Bahrain issues new rules to encourage fintech growth

Central bank creates regulatory sandbox to allow firms to test and experiment banking ideas and solutions
By Staff writer
Sat 08 Jul 2017 01:44 PM

Bahrain has announced new regulations to create a regulatory sandbox that will allow startups and fintech firms to test and experiment their banking ideas and solutions.

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) said in a statement that the regulatory sandbox provides an opportunity for fintech businesses around the world to expand and thrive in the Gulf and strengthens Bahrain’s position as a fintech and financial services hub in the GCC.

The framework provides a virtual space for companies to test their technology-based innovative solutions, and is open to existing CBB licensees and other local and foreign firms.

The testing duration is nine months, with a maximum extension of three months, the CBB said.

To be eligible, solutions need to demonstrate innovation, customer benefit, technical testing, and an intention to be deployed in Bahrain after the sandbox period ends, it added.

The sandbox is part of the Gulf kingdom’s efforts to encourage growth in the fintech industry.

Most recently, the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) announced a partnership with fintech incubator and ecosystem builder Singapore Fintech Consortium and Dubai-based asset management and advisory firm Trucial Investment Partners to develop a fintech ecosystem and regulatory framework for the kingdom.

Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj, governor of the CBB, said: “These new initiatives are a continuation of the CBB’s efforts to provide the right mix of policies and products to develop and enhance the quality and competitiveness of services in the financial sector.

"We are living in an era of unprecedented changes mainly brought about by technological advancement, where we are witnessing how technology is defining financial services and CBB remains at the forefront of these developments to enable the industry to advance similarly.”

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Last Updated: Sat 08 Jul 2017 01:44 PM GST

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