Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN)

The Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) was formally launched in January 2019 by an international group of financial regulators and related organisations, including the FCA. This built on the FCA’s early 2018 proposal to create a global sandbox.

The GFIN is a network of 29 organisations committed to supporting financial innovation in the interests of consumers.

The GFIN seeks to provide a more efficient way for innovative firms to interact with regulators, helping them navigate between countries as they look to scale new ideas. This includes a pilot for firms wishing to test innovative products, services or business models across more than one jurisdiction.

It also aims to create a new framework for co-operation between financial services regulators on innovation related topics, sharing different experiences and approaches.

Confirming the GFIN’s functions

The GFIN was proposed in a consultation paper in August 2018. The GFIN received 99 responses from 26 jurisdictions in response to the consultation paper. The response from industry and other international regulators was overwhelmingly positive in favour of establishing the GFIN to facilitate a new practical method of regulatory collaboration on innovation and creating an environment for cross-border testing.

Following this consultation, the GFIN has finalised terms of reference for governance and membership of the group and confirmed 3 primary functions:

  • To act as a network of regulators to collaborate and share experience of innovation in respective markets, including emerging technologies and business models, and to provide accessible regulatory contact information for firms.
  • To provide a forum for joint RegTech work and collaborative knowledge sharing/lessons learned.
  • To provide firms with an environment in which to trial cross-border solutions.

Since the end of the consultation, the GFIN has discussed further development of our core functions and next steps of the network. Alongside discussions on the sharing of experience, regulators involved agreed to launch a pilot phase of cross-border testing (for firms) and to formalise the membership and governance structure for regulators and international organisations interested in joining the Network.

Following the consultation feedback, the GFIN has:

  • Opened a 1-month application period for a pilot phase of cross-border testing. Interested firms are asked to submit applications to relevant participating regulators by 28 February 2019.
  • As part of the finalised terms of reference for governance and membership, expanding from the founding 12 members, the group now includes 29 organisations. Financial regulators and related organisations with a commitment to supporting innovation in the interest of consumers are invited to join.

Cross-border testing applications – pilot phase for firms

Consultation feedback indicated widespread support for creating an environment that allowed firms to simultaneously trial and scale new technologies in multiple jurisdictions, gaining real-time insight into how a product or service might operate in the market.

To support the development of cross border testing we have opened a 1-month application window for firms interested in joining a pilot cohort for cross-border testing.

Firms wishing to participate in this pilot phase must meet the application requirements of all the jurisdictions in which they would like to test. For example, a firm wishing to test in the UK, Australia and Hong Kong must independently meet the eligibility criteria, and/or other relevant standards, of the regulators in those jurisdictions.

Interested firms should note whether a particular regulator is the relevant authority for the proposed activity before applying to test in their jurisdiction.

Each regulator will decide whether a proposed test meets its individual screening criteria, areas of interest, and ability to support the activity. Each regulator will also make sure that appropriate safeguards for their jurisdiction are in place. Regulators are only responsible for tests in their jurisdictions and should consider the associated risks. We believe this is important to maintain high standards of consumer protection and market integrity in regulators’ respective jurisdictions.

Pilot tests will run for a 6-month period, unless regulators agree to extend them. We expect the pilots will run from Q2 2019.

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. 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. Over time, trials could inform regulatory authorities about potential areas of regulatory convergence (eg streamlined applications), although we stress this is a longer-term opportunity.

Since GFIN cannot override national legislation, a separate application is required to each regulator firms would like to test with. GFIN members will then coordinate with each other around the application. The deadline for testing applications is 28 February 2019. Submit an FCA application.

GFIN members currently participating in cross-border trials

Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC)

Contact: Cuihua Cartwright

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://asic.gov.au/for-business/your-business/innovation-hub/regulatory-sandbox

Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB)

Contact: Yasmeen Al Sharaf

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://www.cbb.gov.bh/fintech

Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA)

Contact: Moad Fahmi

Email: [email protected]

Website: http://www.bma.bm/AboutUs/SitePages/GFIN.aspx

British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) (British Columbia, Canada)

Contact: Zach Masum

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://www.bcsc.bc.ca/For_Companies/Technology/

Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) (Ontario, Canada)

Contact: Pat Chaukos

Email: [email protected]

Website: http://www.osc.gov.on.ca/en/osclaunchpad.htm

Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) (Québec, Canada)

Contact: Lise-Estelle Brault

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://lautorite.qc.ca/professionnels/fintech-technologie-financiere/

Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA)

Contact: Yvonne Tsui

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://www.hkma.gov.hk/eng/key-functions/international-financial-centre/fintech-supervisory-sandbox.shtml

Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (HKSFC)

Contact: Clara Chiu 

Email: [email protected] 

Website: https://www.sfc.hk/web/EN/sfc-fintech-contact-point/sfc-regulatory-sandbox.html

Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary)

Contact: Anikó Szombati

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://www.mnb.hu/en/innovation-hub/regulatory-sandbox

Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA) (Astana, Kazakhstan)

Contact: Assylbek Davletov

Email: [email protected] 

Website: http://afsa.kz/fintech

Bank of Lithuania (LB)

Contact: Jekaterina Govina

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://www.lb.lt/en/regulatory-sandbox

Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

Contact: Damien Pang

Email: [email protected]

Website: http://www.mas.gov.sg/Singapore-Financial-Centre/Smart-Financial-Centre/FinTech-Regulatory-Sandbox.aspx

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)

Contact: Chris Kiew Smith

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://fintech.adgm.com/

Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA)

Contact: Alicia Kedzierski

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://www.dfsa.ae/Fintech

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA, UK) [GFIN Chair]

Contact: Paul Worthington

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://www.fca.org.uk/firms/fca-innovate  

Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC)

Contact: Brett Bewey

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://www.gfsc.gg/commission/innovations/innovation-soundbox

Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC)

Contact: Olenka Apperley

Email: [email protected]

Website: http://www.jerseyfsc.org/the-commission/innovation-fintech-support/

Joining the GFIN – for regulators

We see the GFIN as an open initiative and continue to welcome interest from regulators and international organisations in joining the network in its early stages.

Finalising our terms of reference for on-boarding new members allows us to formally expand the group in a transparent way. We invite interested regulators and international organisations to review our tiers of membership and consider the potential benefits and commitment levels that come with joining the network.

While launching cross-border testing has been an early priority for the group, regulatory members are able to just focus on the network and joint RegTech work, rather than supporting trials.

For more information, organisations can contact any GFIN member or email the FCA at [email protected].

Full list of GFIN Membership

Coordination Group

Organisation

Jurisdiction

Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) Australia
Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) Bahrain
Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) Québec, Canada
Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) Guernsey
Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) Hong Kong
Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (HKSFC) Hong Kong
Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA) Kazakhstan
Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Singapore
Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) United Arab Emirates
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) United Kingdom
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) United States

Members

Organisation

Jurisdiction

Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) Bermuda
Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) Alberta, Canada
British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) British Columbia, Canada
Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) Ontario, Canada
Centrale Bank van Curaçao and Sint Maarten Curaçao and Sint Maarten
Central Bank of Eswatini Eswatini (Swaziland)
Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary) Hungary
Isle of Man Financial Services Authority (IOMFSA) Isle of Man
Israel Securities Authority (ISA) Israel
Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) Jersey
Capital Markets Authority (CMA, Kenya) Kenya
Bank of Lithuania (BL) Lithuania
South African Reserve Bank (SARB) South Africa
Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) United Arab Emirates

Observers

Organisation

Jurisdiction

Qianhai Financial Authority China
Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) Global
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Global
World Bank Group Global