The Capital Markets Authority has joined a Global Financial Innovation Network, an international network of 29 financial services regulators, and related organisations, committed to supporting financial innovation.
GFIN seeks to provide a more efficient way for innovative firms to interact with regulators, helping them navigate between countries as they look to scale new ideas. This includes a pilot for firms wishing to test innovative products, services or business models across more than one jurisdiction.
It also aims to create a new framework for co-operation between financial services regulators on innovation-related topics, gaining insights and sharing different experiences, lessons and approaches.
CMA’s Chief Executive Paul Muthaura, while confirming the new development, says the move adds impetus to the efforts to support innovation in the capital markets, noting the important role of financial technology as a key enabler of performance excellence under the 10-year Kenya Capital Market Masterplan, 2014-2023.
‘’…to this end, the Authority’s Regulatory Sandbox, expected to be launched by March 2019, is intended to accelerate our understanding of relevant emerging technologies and support evidence-based approaches to regulation that advance the goals of investor protection and capital markets deepening, in line with the objectives of the Capital Market Master Plan,’’ he said.
Mr Muthaura added that CMA has been at the forefront of implementing initiatives to stimulate and support the responsible growth of fintech and innovation within Kenya’s capital markets.
In line with its facilitative role, CMA consistently seeks to provide a conducive regulatory environment for the deployment of new and innovative fintech and business models that have the potential to deepen capital markets in Kenya.
In line with the goal of open and proactive inter-regulatory engagement, Mr Muthaura, observed CMA has already entered MOUs with two members of GFIN; the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Abu Dhabi Global Market.
Mr Muthaura noted that CMA, being cognizant of the fundamental role of fintech within the financial services sector, aligned its 2018-2023 Strategic Plan to respond to the changing technological landscape by setting one of its key objectives as leveraging technology to drive the capital markets value chain.