News Gulf

Banking Frontiers - - Highlights -

The Cen­tral Bank of Bahrain (CBB) 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. This 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. In or­der 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. The CBB re­cently is­sued the Reg­u­la­tory Sand­box Frame­work di­rec­tive, which in­cludes the el­i­gi­bil­ity cri­te­ria, fil­ing re­quire­ments and time­line for the process. This is in line with the King­dom’s ef­forts to fur­ther de­velop the ecosys­tem in place to en­cour­age growth in the fin­tech in­dus­try. 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.

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