Global Innovation Sandbox Opens for Cross Border Testing

The GFIN’s 29 members include the HKMA, SFC, MAS and ASIC. Applications are now open for firms looking to test innovative cross border financial services.

The GFIN (Global Financial Innovation Network) has started accepting applications from companies looking to test innovative products, services and business models across borders.

The pilot cross border tests follow a consultation announced in August 2018 on the role of the GFIN, an initiative which at the time included 12 regulators. The consultation received 99 responses from 26 jurisdictions, which were “overwhelmingly positive” in favour of establishing the GFIN to facilitate regulatory collaboration on innovation and create an environment for cross-border testing.

Following the consultation, the GFIN finalised the terms of reference for governance and membership, and formally launched last month. It aims to provide a more efficient way for innovative firms to interact with regulators and navigate between jurisdictions as they look to scale new ideas, and creates a new framework for regulators to cooperate and share information on innovation related topics.

Currently, the GFIN comprises 29 organisations, including the UK FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), ASIC (the Australian Securities and Investments Commission), HKMA (Hong Kong Monetary Authority), SFC (Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission) and MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore), along with regulatory bodies in the US, Canada, UAE, Bahrain and Guernsey, among others.

Each regulator will have its own individual screening criteria, areas of interest, ability to support certain activities, and will be responsible for ensuring that appropriate safeguards for their jurisdiction are in place. Firms that wish to participate in the six-month pilot phase must meet the application and regulatory requirements of all the jurisdictions in which they would like to test.

“This pilot is as much a trial for GFIN members as it will be for firms. We are looking for firms who can be flexible and agile in their participation, and can provide GFIN regulators with feedback on their experience,” the GFIN said. “Firms will benefit from the opportunity to test and compete in the regulated space, and their tests will help inform the future work of the network.”

The deadline for applications is 28 February, with the expectation that testing will start in Q2 2019.

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