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Korea to tear down barriers to fintech innovation

Korea to tear down barriers to fintech innovation

Korea's Financial Services Commission is to undertake a root and branch regulatory reform to boost the company's fintech sector, amending rules on bank investments and introducing a sandbox programme for startups to test their applications.

The overhaul programme was announced by FSC Chairman Choi JongKu, who ditched the customary shirt and tie for a grey hoodie to emphasise his fintech-friendly credentials.

Preliminary applications for participation in the country's regulatory sandbox will open later this month, he said, with the first cohort entering the programme in April, supported by a KRW4 billion investment spend by the FSC.

Outlining the provisions, Choi says: “The FSC will spare no effort to support fintech companies to come with globally competitive services and spread fintech innovation across the financial sector.”

He has also promised to remove the regulatory uncertainty that restricts financial companies from investing in fintech companies, widening the definition on the scope of businesses beyond pure-play financial services in which banks are allowed to invest.

The policy overhaul will also encompass a review of more than 200 regulatory edicts that hinder fintech innovation. The results will be announced at the end of the first quarter following weekly meetings with fintech businesses to gather their suggestions and opinions.

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