STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT AND COLLABORATION
THE T&T IFC PARTICIPATES IN A FINANCIAL REGULATORY WEBINAR
The Trinidad and Tobago Securities and Exchange Commission (TTSEC) hosted a series of live Facebook events, of which two were focused on FinTech. Represented on the discussions were the TTSEC, the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT), the Financial Intelligence Unit of Trinidad and Tobago (FIUTT) and our very own Chandradath Maharaj, Vice President Financial Markets Development of the Trinidad & Tobago International Financial Centre (T&T IFC). Both events were well attended with a combined 500+ attendees over the two sessions.
The first event provided a basic overview of FinTech. With so many misconceptions about FinTech in the public domain, the TTSEC felt it necessary to spend some time demystifying the topic. To achieve this, the speakers expanded on a definition of FinTech, its evolution through time, and common FinTech products that exist locally and internationally. They also explained the various types of FinTech including the differences between e-Money and Cryptocurrencies and whether Cryptocurrencies were regulated in Trinidad and Tobago.
Information on FinTech’s role in the growth and development of the local financial sector, the opportunities and benefits that FinTech presents in the financial sector space and the strategies being employed to develop the local FinTech ecosystem were also explained.
They closed off the first session by describing the role of the regulators in the FinTech ecosystem and underscored the need for engagement and collaboration with FinTech companies and the other agencies to develop the appropriate regulatory framework.
The second event, a continuation of the first, took a deeper dive into what the regulators are doing in the development and regulation of FinTech in Trinidad and Tobago. First up for discussion were the risks associated with FinTech with some focus being placed on legal risks and the risk of money laundering. The regulators then focused on their collaborative effort on the e-Money Policy (the Policy) and the launch of the Regulatory Innovation Hub (the Hub), all geared at guiding and regulating FinTech companies. Details were provided with respect to the operationalisation of the policy and the Hub, how they will work and expectations from the market. Another important element was the development of a Regulatory Sandbox geared towards encouraging and promoting innovation, while providing the necessary oversight to ensure market protection and systemic risk mitigation. The T&T IFC then provided an overview of its role in supporting FinTech development working with FinTech companies to setup and onboard, identifying talent and providing an incubation space, which will be done in collaboration with FinTechTT. Finally, the T&T IFC spoke to the availability of funding for FinTech companies, the role that Government is playing in the entire digitalisation drive and outlined how FinTech will play a critical role in the transformation process.
While the T&T IFC is not a regulator, it was critical for the organisation to engage in discussions like these as it works towards its overarching mandate of making Trinidad and Tobago a ‘Cashless Society’. This can only occur through consistent collaboration among stakeholders in the sector. The T&T IFC maintains its position as “your resourceful ally” and continues to emphasise the importance of the development of FinTech and an enabling ecosystem as a means of attracting investment into the Financial Services Sector.
These webinars can be accessed on the TTSEC’s Website at https://www.ttsec.org.tt/