The UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced the creation of the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) in an August 7 press release.
According to the statement, the creation of the network is the next step in the FCA's proposal to create a "global sandbox" where regulators and innovators can come together to share experiences and approaches to build a better framework for cooperation, especially in cross-border dealings.
The FCA, along with 11 different financial regulators from around the world, have defined the GFIN's three primary functions:
The group is asking for comments and suggestions regarding the GFIN mission statement, views on its proposed functions, and advice about where its priorities should lie. The press release does not state from whom the group is seeking feedback.
The FCA received 50 different replies to its original announcement. Respondents voiced support for regulatory cooperation, the importance of project transparency and fairness, and hope that a global sandbox might speed the pace at which products and ideas are brought to market.
Christopher Woolard, FCA board member and executive director of strategy and competition, voiced his opinion about the significance of establishing the GFIN.
"The creation of the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) is an important next step for organizations like ours who are actively engaged in understanding and harnessing the benefits of innovation in financial services for consumers while managing the potential harm."
This is not the FCA's first go at creating a regulatory sandbox. In February 2017, ETHNews reported that the FCA was hosting a regulatory sandbox for nine blockchain-based companies, which reputedly acted as a safe space for these businesses to test out their ideas. In February 2018, US and UK agencies joined forces with the FCA to collaborate on FinTech innovation, including through the creation of regulatory sandboxes.