4 March 2019, Abu Dhabi UAE: Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the International Financial Centre in Abu Dhabi, is pleased to welcome applications for its fourth cohort of Regulatory Laboratory (RegLab), with dual themes of “API economy” and “Sustainable Finance”.
Technological advances provide vast opportunities to transform financial services globally. Automated Programming Interfaces (“APIs”) power this transformation by assisting corporates to fuel internal innovation, reach new customers, extend products and create vibrant partner ecosystems. By their nature, APIs allow for rapid prototyping, agile development and a fail fast learn quick culture. They enable sharing, moving and accessing information previously ring- fenced within isolated systems.
Open APIs, for instance, could allow FinTech startups to experiment with institutional data to better analyse and offer tailored credit facilities, use machine-learning analytics to process traditional and alternative data for credit scoring or create innovative KYC solutions and cloud-based enterprise financial and risk management. To this end, ADGM will be releasing API Guidance in the coming months to promote the use of standardised, interoperable and trusted APIs.
ADGM also recognises the importance of Sustainable Finance, and its role in the global economy. The financial sector plays a critical role in supporting the funding and investment needs of sustainable development objectives. Unprecedented levels of investment are necessary to develop sustainable energy sources, environment protection, healthcare and education, amongst many others to achieve long-term sustainability and growth for all. In line with ADGM’s Sustainable Finance Agenda, ADGM will provide an innovation platform to channel finance into this important sector.
Technology plays an increasingly important role in supporting sustainable finance. It allows more investors to access previously inaccessible areas of the world, provide necessary transparency and connect markets, sustainable projects and investors through digital platforms.
Recruiting FinTech and RegTech Firms for Cohort 4
ADGM encourages FinTech and RegTech companies that deploy API-enabled solutions or focus on Sustainable Finance to apply in the fourth cohort of the RegLab. The application period will close on 25 April 2019. ADGM is still open to accept applications related to other themes within the financial sectors.
“In the rapidly-changing financial services landscape, the ability to share data securely and efficiently is crucial. APIs lay the foundation for an ecosystem that promotes collaboration and partnerships, facilitating agile responses to evolving customer needs.
The ADGM startup and entrepreneurial ecosystem will further Abu Dhabi’s drive for economic diversification and the growth of key sectors, such as Sustainable Finance. Last month, ADGM signed, with key federal authorities including the UAE Central Bank and Securities & Commodities Authority,
the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Declaration. It sets out our commitment to collaborate and explore innovative initiatives that promote and integrate green and sustainable investments in the UAE and regionally. Technology will form a crucial pillar to that effort. We welcome innovative product offerings and services to support capital formation and generate accessible financing for the sustainable finance sector,” said Mr Richard Teng, Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of ADGM.
Successful applicants can test their product according to regulatory requirements tailored to contain the specific risks and impact of their particular test. These safeguards will allow RegLab participants to explore and develop innovative solutions in a risk-appropriate and cost-effective environment. Participants will also have access to a digital sandbox service that enables them to integrate their solutions with banking data and functionality, and test the solutions for scalability and robustness.
For further details of the ADGM RegLab programme or to apply for consideration in the next cohort, please visit www.fintech.adgm.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note to Editor:
Overview of ADGM’s FinTech Achievement and Commitment
- As an IFC and FinTech Hub, ADGM has accomplished notable milestones and established strategic partnerships to bolster the FinTech and financial services ecosystem since March 2016. As the region’s first, ADGM established an open regulatory framework to licence FinTech stakeholders and launched the ADGM Regulatory Laboratory (Reglab)* – a regulatory sandbox - that offers a controlled environment for FinTech innovators to develop and test their products and services.
- The introduction of ADGM’s new and comprehensive regulatory regime in relation to the spot trading of crypto assets is a global first. ADGM’s framework has been designed to address the full range of risks associated with crypto asset activities, including risks relating to money laundering and financial crime, consumer protection, technology governance, custody and exchange operations and regulates the activities undertaken by exchanges, custodians and other intermediaries within ADGM.
- ADGM announced plans to launch the region’s first FinTech digital sandbox in September 2018 to accelerate financial services innovation and financial inclusion in the UAE and MENA region. The ADGM Digital Sandbox is designed to provide a secure cloud-based environment for FinTech firms, banks and other financial institutions to connect, test products and share data through flexible platforms (APIs) with regulator engagement. This digital sandbox will accelerate the financial inclusion agenda and expand access to financial services locally and globally. In addition, it will help to reduce costs of procurement for institutions and start-ups alike.
- Recently, ADGM successfully completed a cross-border test of its Digital Sandbox connectivity with the API Exchange (APIX) of the ASEAN Financial Innovation Network (AFIN) in Singapore to support financial inclusion.
- ADGM has also partnered with global accelerators and innovation enablers to develop the FinTech ecosystem. Plug & Play, the world’s largest accelerator and most active technology venture-capital fund, set up its regional headquarters in the ADGM FinTech Innovation Centre. In May 2018, Plug & Play launched its inaugural FinTech programme with ADGM to serve, nurture and attract local and global FinTech entrepreneurs and investors to Abu Dhabi. KPMG Digital Village, the innovation lab of KPMG, will also be setting up its first overseas office outside of Singapore in the Innovation Centre.
- For the underserved SMEs, ADGM launched a new framework to regulate operators of Private Financing Platforms (PFPs) to facilitate equity investments, debt and trade receivables financing, to serve the funding needs of startups, private enterprises and SMEs. This complements ADGM’s venture-capital (VC) framework that supports VC activities and seed investments.
- To-date, ADGM has established multiple strategic FinTech bridges with key IFCs and jurisdictions across the globe. These cross-border partnerships enable ADGM to maintain a practical, open and inclusive global FinTech centre that has been serving the communities in Abu Dhabi and the greater MENA region.
- As a regional FinTech Hub, ADGM continues to enhance its international network with the MENA region, Asia, Australia, US, UK, Europe to facilitate greater access to markets, capital and regulatory recognition for Fintech players. ADGM actively engages its stakeholders, forge partnerships and collaborations to develop a conducive and effective FinTech ecosystem.
About Abu Dhabi Global Market
Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), an international financial centre (IFC) located in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, opened for business on 21 October 2015. Established by a UAE Federal Decree as a broad-based financial centre, ADGM augments Abu Dhabi’s position as a global hub for business and finance and serves as a strategic link between the growing economies of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia and the rest of the world.
ADGM’s strategy is anchored by Abu Dhabi’s key strengths including private banking, wealth management, asset management and financial innovation. Comprising three independent authorities: ADGM Courts, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority and the Registration Authority, ADGM as an IFC governs Al Maryah Island which is a designated financial free zone. It enables registered financial institutions, companies and entities to operate, innovate and succeed within an international regulatory framework based on Common Law.
Since its inception, ADGM has been awarded the “Financial Centre of the Year (MENA)” for three consecutive years for its initiatives and contributions to the financial and capital markets industry in the region.
* For more details of ADGM, please visit www.adgm.com or follow us on Twitter : @adglobalmarket and Linkedin : ADGM
* Source: The Global Investor Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Awards
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Associate Director Communications