On June 13, 2017, The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) declared the establishment of the Innovation Outreach Initiative, in order to properly assess FinTech's industry impact.
FINRA's Innovation Outreach Initiative comes after the launch of its FinTech site that’s dedicated to emergent topics in the field, and literature on blockchain technology and digital investing. In addition, a team working across departments is being led by its Office of Emerging Regulatory Issues. Leading the initiative, the team will cooperate with participants in the industry to gather real-time intelligence.
To kick off the initiative, on July 13, 2017, FINRA will host a Blockchain Symposium in New York City, aimed at discussing blockchain use cases amongst regulators and heads of industry.
In an announcement, Robert W. Cook, FINRA President and CEO, said that FINRA's initiative is underpinned by a collaborative effort:
“FINRA has long been engaged in discussions about fintech issues with member firms and other key stakeholders. The Innovation Outreach Initiative will enable us to better track fintech developments across the rapidly changing industry environment in order to support innovation in the industry while maintaining investor protection and market integrity.”
The initiative will consist of program elements, such as enhancing FINRA's processes, timely publication of regulatory technology applications, regional outreach roundtable discussions (comprised of FINRA members and nonmembers), and the creation of a FinTech Industry Committee. The committee will help to assist with ongoing discussions about how FINRA's programs and rules will intersect with FinTech innovations.
FINRA will use the knowledge gained from the Innovation Outreach Initiative to calibrate further steps necessary for the development of FinTech in the securities industry.