Central Bank of Bahrain invites applications from firms wishing to test innovative financial products

Central Bank of Bahrain invites applications from firms wishing to test innovative financial products
Published: 4 February 2019 - 5 a.m.

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) is inviting applications from firms wishing to test innovative financial products, services or business models across more than one jurisdiction.

CBB is part of the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) that aims to support financial innovation in the interests of consumers.

Firms interested in taking part in the pilot cross border tests should submit an application to CBB’s Regulatory Sandbox before February 28.

Rasheed Al Maraj, governor of the CBB, said, "This step marks an important milestone in our drive towards digitisation and innovation in Bahrain, and the mutual efforts undertaken by all GFIN members in enhancing Fintech ecosystems. This will build on the success of CBB’s own Regulatory Sandbox which launched in mid-2017, and will attract even more companies to test their innovative financial solutions.”

Khalid Al Rumaihi, chief executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), said, “Bahrain has created a successful Fintech ecosystem built on a foundation of strong regulations, a talented workforce with a long history in the financial services industry, and cost competitiveness. The kingdom also remains at the forefront of innovation, adopting new digitalisation laws which encourage disruption and the introduction of new technologies. The CBB’s commitment to encouraging innovation by introducing initiatives like the Regulatory Sandbox and the cross-border pilot tests further strengthen Bahrain’s position as a Fintech hub.”

What is GFIN

GFIN has been formed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), in collaboration with other global financial regulators and related organisations, which includes CBB.

GFIN is a network of 29 regulators that collaborate and share experience of innovation in respective markets, including emerging technologies and business models.

The move to conduct pilot cross border tests follow last year’s consultation on the role of the GFIN in creating an environment that allows firms to simultaneously trial and scale new technologies across multiple jurisdictions, gaining real-time insight into how a product or service might operate in the market, while ensuring appropriate consumer protection is in place.

The GFIN welcomes formal expressions of interest from regulators and international organisations interested in joining the network. There is no deadline for these applications. More information can be found on the CBB’s website.

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