OSC, AMF Join International Push for a Global Financial Innovation “Sandbox” Network

August 13, 2018

Building on existing bilateral “financial innovation sandbox” arrangements, 12 international regulators, including Canada’s AMF and OSC, are proposing to create a single Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN).

  • The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) and Quebec’s Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) are among a group of twelve regulators and allied organizations that recently published a Consultation Document on the creation of a Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) – essentially a global fintech innovation sandbox.
  • The goal of GFIN would be to allow innovative fintech ideas to be tested in multiple jurisdictions while reducing the need to navigate multiple bureaucracies.
  • GFIN would build on existing bilateral fintech cooperation agreements, including those that have previously been signed by most of Canada’s securities regulators.
  • The Consultation Document includes a list of 10 questions on which feedback may be provided by October 14, 2018.

The GFIN Group

The GFIN group includes Australia, Abu Dhabi and the U.K., with which the OSC, AMF and most other Canadian regulators previously signed bilateral agreements (see our posts here and here). Other jurisdictions that are involved include Bahrain, Dubai, Guernsey, Hong Kong and Singapore, with representation also from the U.S. Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. France, with which the Canadian regulators also have an agreement, is not part of GFIN.

At this early stage, the OSC and AMF appear to be the only Canadian regulators who are involved with GFIN.

Consultation Document

The 21-page Consultation Document states that GFIN would “seek to build on existing collaboration” while speeding up the process of information sharing and making it easier for fintech innovators to approach regulators in foreign jurisdictions. Improved relationships among regulators would ideally lead to more compatible regulation, again to the great advantage of innovators.

Examples of fintech products that would particularly benefit from GFIN’s co-ordinated multilateral approach include those in the following fields:

  • AML
  • Counter-terrorist financing
  • Payments
  • Financial crime
  • Cross-border identify verification

In short, as the Consultation Document notes, “cross border trials would allow firms to test their innovative idea in multiple jurisdictions, gaining real-time insight into how their product or service operated in the market.”

Next Steps

The process that would lead to the implementation of the GFIN proposal is still in its early stages. For the time being, those with an interest in the possibility are asked to respond to the 10 questions that are found in Annex 1 to the Consultation Document. Comments will be accepted until October 14, 2018. Respondents may contact the AMF, OSC or the GFIN group directly at GFIN@fca.org.uk.

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