Guernsey's financial services regulator, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) is involved in a new cross-border testing pilot for firms wishing to test innovative products and services across more than one jurisdiction.

The GFSC was a founder member of the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), which has now grown to 29 organisations supporting financial innovation in the interests of consumers. It aims to offer a more efficient way for innovative firms to interact with regulators, helping them to navigate between countries as they look to scale their ideas.

It also aims to create a new framework for co-operation between financial services regulators on innovation related topics, sharing different experiences and approaches.

GFIN has confirmed its primary functions as:

  • To act as a network of regulators to collaborate and share experience of innovation in respective markets, including emerging technologies and business models, and to provide accessible regulatory contact information for firms;
  • To provide a forum for joint regtech work and collaborative knowledge sharing/lessons learned;
  • To provide firms with an environment in which to trial cross-border solutions.

Regulators within GFIN have agreed to launch a pilot phase of cross-border testing for firms. February is open for applications, with companies asked to submit applications to relevant participating regulators by the end of the month. Pilots are expected to run from Q2 2019 for six months.

GFIN said that consultation feedback had indicated widespread support for creating an environment that allowed firms to simultaneously trial and scale new technologies in multiple jurisdictions, gaining real-time insight into how a product or service might operate in the market.

Regulators will individually be responsible for deciding whether proposals meet their criteria and ensure appropriate safeguards in their jurisdiction.

GFIN said: "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.

"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."

Emma Bailey, Director, Authorisations and Innovation Division at the GFSC, said: "As one of the founding members we are very pleased to be so involved in the next steps of the GFIN's initiatives, and look forward to working with firms as they apply for the cross-border trials."

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