Finra launches office to focus on fintech

Office of Financial Innovation to help regulator keep pace with technology

Apr 24, 2019 @ 2:25 pm

By Ryan W. Neal

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. wants to take a closer look at how its member firms are using technology.

The securities industry's self-regulatory agency is forming an Office of Financial Innovation to help the agency identify, understand and foster financial innovation in the markets while protecting investors and market integrity.

"Innovation continues to pose new opportunities and challenges for our member firms and the broader financial services industry, and it is essential that we as regulators keep pace," said Finra president and CEO Robert Cook in a statement.

The Office of Financial Innovation is the latest development of Finra 360, Mr. Cook's initiative to make Finra more efficient and effective. The office seeks to promote engagement around new innovations by reaching out to Finra stakeholders, training Finra staff, producing research and publications, and coordinating across Finra teams and other regulators.

(More: Finra focuses exam priorities on investor-protection threats)

Haimera Workie, a senior director at Finra, will lead the office, which will incorporate Finra's existing Office of Emerging Regulatory Issues.

"Under Haime's leadership, I am confident the Office of Financial Innovation will further Finra's long-standing commitment to understanding and addressing these issues through coordinated responses that foster both innovation and investor protection," Mr. Cook said.

Finra did not respond to a request for additional comment.

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