Banking

BIS To Open Four New Innovation Hubs Over Next Two Years

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub is planning on adding four new locations in Europe and North America, according to a press release.

The hub, which looks to analyze trends in financial tech relevant to central banks, plans to open up locations in Toronto, London, Frankfurt & Paris and Stockholm with the respective central banks in each place, along with a “strategic partnership” in New York with the Federal Reserve.

The Innovation Hub was launched in 2019 as a way for central banks to collaborate on various innovative solutions to problems, PYMNTS reported. Another goal was the creation of new public goods to improve the world and to serve as launchpads for future innovation.

The initial locations were in Basel and Hong Kong, along with a third in Singapore.

By expanding, BIS will be able to initiate communication among central banks at more new locations than before.

BIS General Manager Agustín Carstens called the move “an investment in the future of central banking and the financial system.”

“These new centers will expand our reach significantly and help create a global force for FinTech innovation,” he said, according to a press release.

BIS Head Benoît Cœuré touted the importance of the new locations, saying it was necessary to achieve leaps and bounds in new tech innovations for finance.

“With this expansion, the Innovation Hub will be well placed to advance work on a broad range of issues of importance to the central banking community, including digital currency and digital payments, cyber security, distributed ledger technology and artificial intelligence,” he said, according to the release. “This expansion is a testament to the central banking community's commitment to innovation and cooperation.”

BIS, in surveying 66 of the world's banks, has also seen a shift toward creating central bank digital currencies (CBDC). Around 80 percent of those surveyed were already in the process of working on them. Though nothing is set in stone, the future could see more public/private partnerships in creating digital currencies.

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