Securities Commission to establish Fintech hub

Securities Commission to establish Fintech hub

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Securities Commission of the Bahamas (SCB) has approved the establishment of a Fintech hub, a senior executive confirmed yesterday,

Christian Adderley, Manager of Policy & Compliance at the SCB said this will provide an opportunity for industry participants to meet with the regulator and discuss the requirements of the regulatory environment.

He told Eyewitness News Online yesterday the Commission approved in principle the establishment of a Fintech hub this week.

“The Fintech hub is designed to allow industry participants  in the Fintech space the opportunity  in an informal setting to meet with the securities provider to discuss what would be required of them  to operate in a securities regulatory environment,” Adderley said.

“We understand that many of the practitioners in Fintech are millennials, are involved in robotics and code writing but are not necessarily financial services experts.

“We are hoping that this will help protect investors, encourage innovation in the market  and ensure that practitioners understand the securities regulatory landscape.”

Adderley said he expected the DARE Bill, released for consultation earlier this year, will be approved by the Law Reform Committee.

“I expect that will be approved and released imminently,” he said.

“I can’t give a timeline but we have done our part, we have taken it out for industry consultation. The feedback has been tremendous so now it is with the law reform committee hopefully for imminent approval.”

The DARE Bill’s main goal, according to the Securities Commission, is to regulate the issuance, sale and trading of digital/crypto assets in or from The Bahamas.

Initial token offerings will be covered by the new regime, while sponsors and intermediaries promoting such issues must be registered with the regulator. Digital asset businesses, including crypto exchanges, will also fall under its oversight, along with custodians and wallet services providers.

All participants in the sector will be required to implement stringent data protection measures and adhere to the same anti-money laundering and counter terror financing regulation imposed on traditional “bricks and mortar” operators.

“It’s the same with the Business Capital Rules which are the Bahamas’s answer to crowdfunding. We took that out for industry consultation in 2017. We got review from industry which was overwhelmingly positive. We submitted the final bill to the Law Reform Committee and expect that to be dealt with very quickly,” said Adderley.

Adderley told Eyewitness News Online that the crowdfunding and Fintech legislations have received tremendous inquiry at the Commission.

“They are by far the biggest questions that we get every day; where are the Business Capital Rules, how is the DARE Bill coming, are the rules out yet? There is tremendous interest,” he said.

“From the Business Capital Rules Standpoint it allows companies to seek capital in the public market without the onerous demands of filing due diligence requirements  and without the $20,000 prospectus filing fee.”