Fri, Dec 29, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Legislators reach consensus on financial sandbox rules

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Lawmakers yesterday reached a consensus on a number of issues during cross-caucus negotiations over a bill aimed at easing financial regulations for companies that invest in research and innovation in the financial sector.

The bill is based on the idea of a financial sandbox proposed by the UK Financial Conduct Authority and seeks to improve the accessibility, functionality and quality of financial services by allowing companies to “experiment” with innovative financial services within a prescribed time frame, the Executive Yuan said.

Companies would be allowed to bypass certain financial regulations based on agreements reached during reviews held by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), the Cabinet said.

Lawmakers from all four caucuses agreed on a proposal that the FSC should introduce bills to accommodate firms that have successfully field-tested their projects, and have been approved by the review committee, within three months of a project’s approval.

People First Party caucus whip Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) initially expressed concern that the three-month period might hurt the profitability of firms with innovative ideas and suggested shortening the period.

Lee gave his support after Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Karen Yu (余宛如) told him the time limit is only being proposed as a safeguard to prevent the FSC from postponing legislation, but she believes the commission would promptly draw up bills to facilitate financial innovation.

Lawmakers also agreed to set the time frame within which firms will be allowed to experiment with innovative financial services at 18 months, to be extended to a maximum of three years with the commission’s approval.

The Executive Yuan’s Anti-Money Laundering Office and agencies in charge of monitoring threats posed by hacking are to formulate rules to be followed by firms that want to use the sandbox legislation, the lawmakers agreed.

However, opinions were divided over the constitution of the review committee.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator William Tseng (曾銘宗) tendered a bill that stipulated at least half of the committee’s members should be experts from the private sector, which Tseng said would be more conducive to innovation and was part of the agreement reached by lawmakers during committee reviews.

New Power Party Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) seconded Tseng’s proposal.

However, DPP lawmakers proposed capping private-sector committee members at 50 percent, with a lower limit of no less than one-third of of committee members.

Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) ruled that the draft article is to be further discussed during a plenary session.

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