European Commission and ESAs launch European Forum for Innovation Facilitators

The European Commission and the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) has launched its European Forum for Innovation Facilitators (EFIF).

Through this new forum, the EU is hoping to improve the cooperation and coordination of technology across the EU financial sector. An ‘Innovation facilitator’ refers to innovation hubs and regulatory sandboxes.

An innovation hub provides a single, dedicated point of contact for financial firms to raise enquiries with competent authorities on FinTech problems. While, regulatory sandboxes are initiatives established by authorities to give companies the ability to test financial products within a secure environment.

EFIF will give participating authorities a platform to collaborate and share engagements with companies in innovation facilitators.

The ESAs and National Competent Authorities will make up the bulk of members of the EFIF; however, some representatives from third-countries’ authorities will be invited to participate in the EFIF meetings.

Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, said, “There are 21 innovation hubs and five regulatory sandboxes in the EU. By creating the European Forum for Innovation Facilitators, we aim to create a favourable environment for Fintech start-ups to scale-up and flourish in Europe. Innovation is a key component of the engine supporting the economic growth of the EU”.

Earlier in the year, the ESA published a joint report on regulatory sandboxes and innovation hubs, providing a comparative analysis of these bodies across Europe. As part of the document, it outlines the best practise for operations.

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