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SEC Forms New ‘FinHub’ Office for Public Engagement in FinTech

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced the launch of a new office called the “Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology” (“FinHub”). The SEC aims to provide resources to effectively handle public engagement relating to FinTech. Previously, several working groups at the SEC focused on FinTech matters. The SEC hopes that the FinHub will consolidate these groups into one office for ease of internal coordination and external communication with the public.

Portal for SEC Services

The SEC’s FinHub will provide resources to assist innovators in the improvement and development of FinTech services, such as blockchain and distributed ledger technology, digital marketplace financing, automated investment advice, and machine learning and artificial intelligence, and includes the provision of a public portal. The portal will provide the public and the FinTech industry access to engage directly with SEC staff regarding technological developments, innovative ideas, advisory services, trading platforms, and marketplace financing using digital assets, among other FinTech areas. Portal requestors may specify the purpose of a requested meeting, including determining whether a financial instrument is categorized as a security, how to receive assistance with securities, and implementing trading platform registrations. Also included in the portal is a space for requestors to upload non-sensitive information related to their request.

Additional Engagement Resources

In addition to the portal, the FinHub will also regularly post the SEC’s involvement with FinTech and publish events for the industry and public. One such event is a FinTech Forum planned for 2019, which will focus on distributed ledger technology and digital assets. The SEC hopes that the FinHub will serve as a platform for SEC staff to gain knowledge regarding current developments in the FinTech industry. FinHub will also assist domestic and foreign regulators in the FinTech arena by facilitating open dialogue.

What FinHub Means for Innovators

FinHub’s launch may result in a more streamlined way for the SEC and innovators to coordinate the organization and registration of emerging technologies, and to stay abreast of current issues affecting FinTech. The portal, in particular, may serve as an easier method for innovators in the FinTech space to directly interact with SEC personnel and glean information they need from the SEC.