US regulatory body Finra has established an Innovation Outreach initiative to co-ordinate its ongoing research into fintech trends, beginning with a blockchain symposium in New York.
The initiative will build on recent efforts by the self-regulatory organisation to focus on fintech, such as the launch of a new Webpage that highlights emerging trends, including pieces on blockchain technology and digital investment advice.
“Finra has long been engaged in discussions about fintech issues with member firms and other key stakeholders," says Robert Cook, Finra president and CEO. "The Innovation Outreach Initiative will enable us to better track fintech developments across the rapidly changing industry environment in order to support innovation in the industry while maintaining investor protection and market integrity."
To support the effort, Finra has created a cross-departmental team led by its Office of Emerging Regulatory Issues that will take the lead on a number of programme elements, including the creation of a Fintech Industry Committee and the development of an enhanced communications strategy via regional roundtables and published research.
As an initial step, Finra will host a half-day Blockchain Symposium in New York City on 13 July bringing together regulators and industry leaders to discuss the use of distributed ledger technology and related opportunities and challenges.