February 17, 2020: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has organized introductory sessions on recently launched regulatory sandbox initiative. In the sessions held in Karachi and Lahore, participants were briefed upon process of registration in Sandbox and its benefits for startups and financial institution.
SECP has opened its first cohort under Pakistan’s first ever Regulatory Sandbox on February 1, 2020. Under first cohort, the application window will be open till March 15, 2020 for all eligible persons including registered companies, unregistered startups. SECP’s Regulatory Sandbox is available for Insurance sector, Non-Banking Finance Sector, Capital Markets, and overall corporate sector. SECP has already issued Regulatory Sandbox Guidelines 2019.
Regulatory Sandbox are becoming increasingly popular regulatory tools internationally. As of now, more than 50 countries have introduced their respective regulatory sandboxes with similar objectives.
With the aim to promote innovation and encourage entities/persons involved in the market, SECP organized these introductory awareness sessions that attracted corporates, startups, brokers and insurance firms looking to leverage existing or new technologies to deliver new financial products or services in the market.
“SECP is taking various initiatives to create an enabling regulatory framework for facilitating startups in Pakistan. These measures will attract local and international innovators. Launching of the regulatory sandbox initiative is one of such steps being taken in this direction,” said Shauzab Ali, SECP’s Commissioner for Information System and Technology, speaking at the session in Karachi.
Aligning with the Government’s vision of Digital Pakistan, Abdul Rahim Ahmad, Chief Information Officer, emphasized on the need and importance of Regulatory Sandbox in Pakistan and the criticality of encouraging FinTech products, which are duly evaluated and approved for scaling up through the sandbox. He also highlighted how several regulators across the world have launched a Regulatory Sandbox that has helped to change the landscape of digital innovation in the financial sector. Mr Rahim also shared basic concepts of sandbox along with international examples based on different technologies adopted through Regulatory Sandbox.
In a fast-paced interactive workshop, participants held discussions and provided their feedback on the Regulatory Sandbox Guidelines and the application criteria. The workshops were organized by the SECP at Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance in Karachi and at the National Incubation Centre at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in Lahore.
The SECP has a dedicated mailbox (firstname.lastname@example.org) for any queries with respect to the Regulatory Sandbox.