As Australia waits for the release of the final report from the banking royal commission, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission has joined 28 international bodies in launching the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), which aims to support financial innovation in the interests of consumers.
With the idea for the network first floated last year, it will look to provide innovative businesses with a more efficient way to interact with financial services regulators in different markets, and aims to create a framework for cooperation between regulators on innovation-related topics.
John Price, ASIC Commissioner, said, “Innovation has the potential to offer consumers better quality and value products and services and to promote improved risk management and compliance outcomes by firms through use of regulatory technology.”
As part of its launch, the GFIN is opening a pilot to test new financial products, services, or business models across more than one jurisdiction.
The pilot tests will run for a six month period, with the GFIN expecting to launch the first from Q2.
“This pilot is as much a trial for GFIN members as it will be for firms. We are looking for firms who can be flexible and agile in their participation, and can provide GFIN regulators with feedback on their experience,” the organisation stated.
“Firms will benefit from the opportunity to test and compete in the regulated space, and their tests will help inform the future work of the network. Over time, trials could inform regulatory authorities about potential areas of regulatory convergence, although we stress this is a longer-term opportunity.”
Among the GFIN’s members are the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, and the regulators of Canadian provinces Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario.
The launch of the network broadens the work that ASIC has been doing for a while now in the area of fintech innovation.
The regulator has, over the last few years, signed agreements with its counterparts in markets including Hong Kong, the UK, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates aimed at spurring collaboration and easing access for Australian fintechs looking to expand internationally.