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Fintech policies and regulatory frameworks – National Treasury programme update

“Financial Technology (FinTech) has become an increasingly popular phenomenon, with people familiarising themselves with crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin, SAFcoin and many others. The main issue with all these currencies is that they operate in a relatively unregulated environment; thus government is unable to either track or protect consumers from potential fraud that may be associated with these platforms.”

Thus reads the opening paragraph of an interesting article by Caroline da Silva – Divisional Executive: Regulatory Policy at the FSCA, published in the Authority’s latest Bulletin.

“…the financial risks involved when it comes to cryptocurrencies and tokens and the fact that they are not regulated and there are no legal requirements or standardised documents for the issuer to adhere to, made it necessary for a regulatory framework to be developed.”

“The SARB later announced the establishment of the FinTech programme, designed to assess the emergence and regulatory implications of FinTech. FinTech is simply the process of infusing technology into financial services, which will potentially yield benefits, including improving financial inclusion. The SARB has recently decided to establish a broader FinTech programme, with dedicated full-time staff members. Although it is at an early stage, this programme will be required to strategically review the emergence of FinTech and assess the related user cases.”

“The newly established Inter governmental FinTech Working Group, which comprises the National Treasury (NT), the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) and the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), introduced its inaugural market outreach workshop. The Working Group was formed to develop a common understanding among regulators and policymakers of FinTech developments and relevant policy and regulatory implications for the South African financial sector and economy. It also seeks to develop and co-ordinate an approach to FinTech policy making in the country.”

Click here to read the full article which expands on the outcomes of a recent workshop which brought regulators, policymakers and industry players together to develop a ‘harmonised’ approach to FinTech- driven innovation and consider appropriate policies and regulatory frameworks.

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