Central Bank of Ireland to launch Innovation Hub

Maria Nikolova

The innovation hub will be established for firms to engage directly with the Central Bank on innovation and FinTech.

Ireland is warming up to novel financial technologies. In a speech at UCC’s Financial Services Innovation Centre this morning, Derville Rowland, Director General, Financial Conduct, announced that the Central Bank will launch an Innovation Hub and an industry engagement program in order to keep step with the evolving FinTech and regulatory landscapes. The innovation hub is set to enable firms to engage directly with the Central Bank on innovation and FinTech.

The absence of an accessible point of contact for FinTech firms is an issue that has come up repeatedly in the bank’s discussions with stakeholders, Ms Rowland said. It is also a common facility provided by other regulators.

A new Central Bank unit will focus on engagement, sharing and listening, and will be a two-way street. The regulator will have a direct contact point for new FinTech firms and existing firms that are becoming more innovative. Such firms will be able to contact the Central Bank at Email: [email protected] with questions. This is set to give firms a way to engage with the bank outside of more formal regulatory interactions, such as in the authorisations process. In so doing, the Central Bank will be able to learn from the firms about their ideas, the technologies they are developing, and have a view to where financial services are heading.

In the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been marking progress in its regulatory sandbox initiative. The regulator received 61 applications for cohort 3 of the regulatory sandbox, with 18 firms accepted to develop towards testing.

The FCA continues to see successful sandbox applications from a diverse range of sectors, locations and firm size. Accepted propositions cover a range of areas including blockchain based payment services, RegTech propositions, general insurance, AML controls, biometric digital ID and Know Your Customer (KYC) verification.

FinTech divisions of regulators are facing an increased volume of enquiries about blockchain and cryptoassets. Various blockchain applications were the topics of the majority of enquiries received by the Fintech Desk of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) last year.

The Annual Report for 2017 published by the Swiss regulator shows that FINMA’s FinTech Desk handled 453 enquiries last year, a pronounced increase from the 270 enquiries received in 2016. Most queries in 2017 were about blockchain, cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings (ICOs) – topics which are also central to FINMA’s supervisory work. The digital asset enquiries accounted for 60% of the total in 2017.

Interestingly, in her speech today, Derville Rowland did not mention anything particular about the position of the Central Bank of Ireland towards cryptocurrencies. The term “virtual currency” was mentioned twice, in relation to initiatives taken by the European Banking Authority (EBA).

Read this next

Digital Assets

CFTC Charges Binance and Its Founder, CZ, with Willful Evasion of Federal Law

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has filed a civil enforcement action against Changpeng Zhao and three entities that operate the Binance platform with numerous violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations.

Institutional FX

Macau announces MCEX exchange for institutional exposure to China’s micro and small businesses

One issue that can’t be overlooked, however, is how transparent can these cash flows be, given the reality of parallel economies in micro and small businesses. 

Digital Assets

Sphynx Ink and OpenSea Partner for “Winkles & Flam” Digital Collectibles

Sphynx Ink Inc. is launching Winkles & Flam, the first cartoon duo in the web3 space, with original hand-drawn art and educational content focused on video game history.

Industry News

Titanium Blockchain CEO sentenced to 4 years in prison for $21m crypto scam

He did not use the invested money as promised but instead commingled the ICO investors’ funds with his personal funds, using at least a portion of the offering proceeds for expenses unrelated to TBIS, such as credit card payments and the payment of bills for his Hawaii condominium.

Industry News

First Citizens acquires Silicon Valley Bank’s deposits and loans

Technically, First Citizens is acquiring Silicon Valley Bridge Bank, National Association, an entity created by the FDIC following the closure of Silicon Valley Bank by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation.

Industry News

FXDD named “Most Transparent Broker – Europe” for 2022

Continuing its winning streak, leading brokerage firm FXDD has won the “Most Transparent Broker – Europe” award – granted by the ForexRating.com Awards 2022.

Industry News

The UTIP has launched a reseller program, opening new opportunities to maximize profits

The UTIP Technologies Ltd.  is underway to launch a reseller program. A purpose of the program is to attract new partners, boost a brand awareness and create a unique offer for forex brokers. This allows the reseller to buy and integrate attractively priced UTIP products with their own solutions and expand a range of products for their clients.


Fxview Sheds Light on Technology Enablement

Traders gain control over their activity and capital with low-latency execution.

Digital Assets

Haru Invest secures EU passport via VASP license in Lithuania

“Haru Invest has been growing stronger than ever, even during the volatile market situation, so we are very keen on crypto regulations. Obtaining a VASP registration is one of many milestones for our company, and it will help build trust in the crypto industry for our members by providing secure and compliant digital asset management services.”