SARB and other financial regulators in South Africa launched the Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG) Innovation Hub to respond to the fintech-driven changes in the financial sector and to promote responsible innovation in the sector. As part of this, the three available avenues for assistance are the Regulatory Guidance Unit, the Regulatory Sandbox, and the Innovation Accelerator. SARB also published a set of frequently asked questions on the IFWG Innovation Hub.
The Innovation Hub is a cross-regulator capability aiming to demystify the regulatory landscape, provide a space for safe testing of innovative ideas, and actively advance innovation in financial services. In addition to SARB, the other financial regulators include National Treasury, the Financial Intelligence Center, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority, the National Credit Regulator, and the South African Revenue Service. The Innovation Hub is intended to support the financial sector in introducing innovations that complement the core mandates of regulators, including financial stability and soundness, consumer protection, financial inclusion, and fair lending practices. The Hub is open to all financial sector innovators, whether from a start-up, an established fintech firm, an incumbent financial service provider, or an adjacent industry entering the financial services market. Innovation Hub users have access to three avenues for assistance:
- The Regulatory Guidance Unit exists to help market innovators resolve specific questions regarding the policy landscape and regulatory requirements. Regulators will continue to assist queries through digital and virtual means, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, response times may depend on the volume and complexity of queries and will be provided on a best effort basis.
- The Regulatory Sandbox provides financial sector innovators with an opportunity to test new products and services that push the boundaries of existing regulation, all under the responsible supervision of relevant regulators. Participants must apply to the Regulatory Sandbox.
- The Innovation Accelerator exists to provide a collaborative, exploratory environment for financial sector regulators to learn from and work with each other on emerging innovations in the industry. Outcomes of these coordinated efforts will be shared on the IFWG Innovation Hub website
Through the Innovation Hub, the IFWG is committed to providing these resources to fintech firms and other financial-sector innovators to combat the pandemic. To help address the expected economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, IFWG believes innovation among fintech firms and other financial sector innovators is required now more than ever and, therefore, must be supported.
Keywords: Middle East and Africa, South Africa, Banking, Fintech, COVID-19, IFWG, Innovation Hub, Cyber Risk, Regulatory Sandbox, Regtech, Innovation Accelerator, SARB
Leading economist; commercial real estate; performance forecasting, econometric infrastructure; data modeling; credit risk modeling; portfolio assessment; custom commercial real estate analysis; thought leader.
Previous ArticleSARB Announces Regulatory Relief Measures Amid COVID-19 Outbreak
In a letter addressed to the industry, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) set out an updated schedule of policy priorities for the banking, insurance, and superannuation industries.
The European Commission (EC) adopted a comprehensive review package of Solvency II rules in the European Union.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued Versions 1.0 of the "Earnings" and "Regulatory Reporting" booklets of the Comptroller's Handbook.
The European Central Bank (ECB) published results of its economy-wide climate stress test, which aimed to assess the resilience of non-financial corporates and euro area banks to climate risks.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) published a report on the use of digital platforms in the banking and payments sector in European Union.
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) published updates on the policy measures that were announced in context of the ongoing pandemic.
The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), along with several other associations, submitted a joint response to the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) consultation on preliminary proposals for the prudential treatment of cryptoasset exposures.
BIS published the September issue of the Quarterly Review, which contains special features that analyze the rapid rise in equity funding for financial technology firms, the effectiveness of policy measures in response to pandemic, and the evolution of international banking.
The Basel Committee for Banking Supervision (BCBS) met in September 2021 and reviewed climate-related financial risks, discussed impact of digitalization, and welcomed efforts by the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation to develop a common set of sustainability reporting standards
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued a Cease and Desist Order against MUFG Union Bank for deficiencies in technology and operational risk governance.