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Fintech Regulation: Nigeria Joins 20 Countries to Establish FinTech-focused Department at Central Bank



To enhance communications between it and growing FinTech sector, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has joined over 20 jurisdictions to institutionalized an access point.

Since 2015 institutional access points have been established in over 20 jurisdictions across the world to enhance communication between regulators and FinTechs through the development of innovation departments within regulatory agencies.

The CBN recently split its bank and payment departments into two independent units Banking Operations and Payment Systems Management Department (PSMD).

The PSMD’s mandate is to deal with all issues relating to financial technology.  Samuel Chukwuyem Okojere was appointed by the apex bank as the director of the newly created department. His appointment took effect onNovember 1, 2018.

It would be recalled that Okojere has since commenced work, signing every circular that relate with the FinTech industry.

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Other jurisdictions that have established similar department include the following:

  1. Australia: The innovation hub launched in 2015 assists FinTech start-ups in navigating the Australian regulatory system: Eligible businesses can request informal guidance from ASIC on the licensing process and key regulatory issues.
  2. Brunei Darussalam:The Autoriti Monetari Brunei Daarussalam (AMBD) established a FinTech unit in 2017.
  3. Canada:The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) was the first of the Canadian securities regulators to introduce an innovation support unit, the OSC Launch Pad, aiming to both support innovative firms and learn from them.
  4. China:Regular outreach with the FinTech sector is aided by the National Internet Finance Association (NIFA), which guides and supervises the implementation of national policies.
  5. Hong Kong:The Hong Kong Money Authority (HKMA) and Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) Fintech Innovation Hub holds dialogues between the industry and HKMA on emerging technologies and tests solutions that may be adopted by the HKMA. FINTECH

The HKMA FinTech Facilitation Office started in March 2016, functions as a platform for exchanging ideas among key stakeholders and conducting outreach. Similar contact points have been established in the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission and the Hong Kong Insurance Authority.

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  1. Indonesia: The Bank of Indonesia established a dedicated FinTech office in November 2016 that functions as an innovation hub.
  2. Luxembourg:CSSF has a special department for financial innovation, established in early 2015, which functions as CSSF’s innovation hub.
  3. Germany: Bundesanstalt  für Finanz dienstleistungsaufischt (BaFin) offers close contact and advice to FinTechstart-ups.
  4. Japan: The Japanese Financial Services Agency launched a FinTech Support desk in December 2015.
  5. France: In June 2016, the Banquede France and French financial services regulator Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR) “created the ACPR Pole Fintech Innovation, and the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) launched the Fintech, Innovation et Compétitivité to assist [FinTech] entrepreneurs in regulatory issues. ACPR and AMF together have established a FinTech forum.
  6. Malaysia: Bank Negara established the Financial Technology Enabler Group in June 2016.
  7. The Netherlands:The Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) and the De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) has been working with an innovation hub where both established entities and tech start-ups can ask questions.
  8. Singapore: The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) established a financial technology and innovation group with an innovation lab known as “Looking Glass @ MAS” as well as a FinTechOffice
  9. Switzerland: The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) established a FinTech desk in 2016.
  10. South Korea: The government established a FinTech Centre in 2015
  11. Taiwan: The Financial Supervisory Commission established a FinTech office in 2015 and implemented a FinTech Pilot Programme.
  12. Thailand: Bank of Thailand has set up a FinTech clinic.
  13. Sweden: Established a National Innovation Council to provide support and advice to establish and startup businesses alike on issues such as regulatory and permit requirements.
  14. United Kingdom:Project Innovate included the establishment of an innovation hub in 2015.
  15.  United States: The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s Office of Innovation serves as a central point of contact, facilitates responses to inquiries and requests, conducts outreach, and provides technical assistance. It monitors the evolving financial services landscape and collaborate with domestic and international regulators.