Manama, Bahrain – 11th December 2023 –The Central Bank of Bahrain (“CBB”) has been re-elected as a member of the Global Financial Innovation Network’s (“GFIN’s”) Coordination Group for a third term, alongside 11 other regulators from across the globe following an internal voting process which took place during the GFIN’s annual general meeting that was hosted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Washington DC in November 2023. The Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) UK have also been re-elected as the Chair and the Secretariat of GFIN, for a third term.
The GFIN which was launched five years ago, is a network of over 70 international financial regulators and related organizations committed to supporting financial innovation. The network 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. The GFIN also aims to create a new framework for co-operation between financial services regulators on innovation related topics, sharing different experiences and approaches.
The GFIN is overseen by the Coordination Group, which sets the overall direction, strategy, and annual work program of the network. The organization held a vote amongst its members and wider group, during its annual general meeting in November 2023, to elect the new Coordination Group members for a four-year term. Besides the FCA which will continue to Chair the GFIN, the newly elected Coordination Group Members include: Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Bank of Lithuania, Bermuda Monetary Authority, Canadian Securities Administrators (Alberta Securities Commission, Autorite des marches financiers, British Columbia Securities Commission), Central Bank of Bahrain, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau USA, Dubai Financial Services Authority, Financial Conduct Authority UK, International Financial Services Centers Authority and the Jersey Financial Services Commission.
Commenting on this occasion, Ms. Yasmeen Al Sharaf, Director of Fintech and Innovation Unit at CBB said, “We are pleased to be re-elected as a Coordination Group member, which is a testament to the Central Bank of Bahrain’s unwavering commitment and dedication to support innovation in the global financial landscape. Building on our contributions to the network over the past two years, we look forward to supporting the GFIN network’s initiatives and leading on different planned workstreams in the upcoming term.”
It worth noting that in June 2023, the GFIN successfully launched its first ever virtual greenwashing TechSprint which was hosted on the UK FCA Digital Sandbox, with the purpose of bringing together international regulatory authorities and innovators to address a GFIN priority on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) by developing a tool or solution that could help regulators or the market more effectively tackle or mitigate the risks of greenwashing in financial services. The CBB participated in the TechSprint alongside a total of 14 other international regulators. The FCA hosted the GFIN Greenwashing TechSprint showcase day where the winners were announced in September 2023.
Moreover, the CBB has also led a GFIN study, alongside other GFIN members, to explore the adoption of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) technologies within financial services. The project constituted a survey to better understand and scoped out the current trends of AI/ML in financial services within the respective jurisdictions of GFIN members, explored the treatment of these technologies by financial regulators, and induced an outlook from a regulator’s perspective.