Financial Inclusion

Global Regulators Work Together On Blueprint For FinTech ‘Sandbox’

Regulators from around the world are teaming up to create a blueprint for a global FinTech “sandbox.”

According to Reuters, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced the plans for a global testing bed for new financial technology apps.

“Later this week we start work with interested regulators, including colleagues across Europe, the U.S. and Far East, on a blueprint,” Chris Woolard, the FCA’s executive director of strategy and competition, told the Innovate Finance conference in London. “There’s real momentum behind this, and we hope that before long, the ambition of a global sandbox will be a reality.”

Woolard went on to reveal that the FCA’s sandbox, which is the first of its kind, has worked with 70 FinTech firms – and 90 percent of those in the first round of applications made it to market and were able to easily raise money.

While Britain would like to keep its position as a major FinTech center, its upcoming departure from the European Union has prompted the EU to make plans to attract FinTech firms into the rest of the region.

With that in mind, last month the EU’s executive was set to propose a draft law aimed at boosting the FinTech market throughout the region. The law would enable the FinTech sector to grow through crowdfunding and common blockchain technology standards.

“An EU framework would offer a European passport and, at the same time, ensure the proper management of platforms and the protection of fund providers,” the draft document said.

The EU’s plans for its own blueprint would also include best practices and guidelines for regulatory sandboxes. So far, only 13 of the bloc’s 28 members have set up sandboxes.

In the meantime, Woolard says that a global sandbox program “represents new territory,” but setting it up won’t be easy.

“In some quarters, there could be an aspiration for global standards. The logic is clearly there, but my strong suspicion is that it would take 20 years to negotiate, and in a fast-moving market would be 19 years and six months out of date when we got there,” he said.

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