Banking needs a regtech sandbox

Editor’s Note: Cross-posted from Regulatory Cybersecurity/FISMA Focus.

From: American Banker | BankThink

By Jo Ann Barefoot

One of the best-known inventions in banking oversight in recent years is the “regulatory sandbox.” Pioneered by the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority, these are running now in about two dozen countries and several U.S.states, allowing fintech innovators to conduct live, small-scale testing under the regulator’s supervision.

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Among U.S. federal bank regulators, however, only the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is developing a sandbox. Other agencies have worried that fintech experiments could harm the consumers involved. Most also lack clear authority to design sandboxes that could waive or suspend existing rules during the tests, features that help attract innovators to participate. In addition, federal bank regulators are limited by jurisdictional mandates that may impede direct lab experiments with nonbank fintechs, which are the trailblazers in innovation.

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