Vladislav Goranov: The Ministry of Finance will support the establishment of a Sofia-RegTech-SandBox platform and will participate in its management
“The Bulgarian fintech industry is among the leading ones in Europe. This is evident from the sensible growth of sales, entry into new international markets, and from the technologies that Bulgarian companies successfully develop and scale globally”, said Minister of Finance Vladislav Goranov at the opening of the Annual FinTech & InsureTech Summit.
Minister Goranov announced that the Ministry of Finance will be directly involved in the development of financial technologies in Bulgaria by setting up a regulatory box (Sofia RegTech Sandbox) and participating in its management. This would be accomplished in close collaboration with financial institutions, established and start-up tech companies, as well as with relevant public institutions. “Compliance with technological progress is an indicator of a sustainable environment for business growth. Our goal is to bring together, through an open dialogue, our efforts in order to encourage and support financial technologies developed locally, while positioning Bulgaria among the leading countries in the sector of innovation,” added the Finance Minister.
Vladislav Goranov highlighted the absence of clear regulatory guidelines as a challenge for institutions, regulators, market participants and fintech businesses operating in Bulgaria. This, however, also gives Bulgaria the opportunity to take proactive actions in order to attract businesses from all over the world. The regional and global dynamics in the sector and the competition among CEE countries to attract investments call for a closer dialogue between institutions, regulators and the fintech sector with the aim of adopting an effective and sustainable policy framework. Minister Goranov pointed out that the Ministry of Finance’s pledge to support and develop the regulatory sandbox is be a signal to the market that the Ministry recognises its role in and responsibility for the development of the sector, the establishment of a framework for the development of fintech products, as well as for addressing the risks associated with the dynamic evolution of the market.
The organisers of the Summit pointed out that Sofia was one of the top 3 fintech destinations in CEE, with the largest number of fintech start-ups in the region. Financial, technological and start-up players are actively engaged in mutually beneficial competition; however, two more ingredients are needed for this critical mass to turn into a productive ecosystem – a platform for generating content and a regular discussion forum.
Sofia RegTech Sandbox will be the first of its kind in the region and will allow global companies to test their products and services in a secure regulatory environment. In turn, this open dialogue with businesses will give institutions a better understanding as to what regulatory frameworks will be needed in order for to the innovation sector to flourish. The key objective of the sandbox is to be the regulatory-technological forum that will provide an opportunity to exchange ideas, make analyses, and organise discussions in the fintech field. Participation in it will be voluntary and non-profitable as the professional opinions, views and analyses, expressed within the discussions of the respective working groups, will be based on the expertise and professional competence of the participants.
Sofia RegTech Sanbox will be a fully transparent project, taking into account the interests of all stakeholders in the topics discussed. All information and output from this forum will be publicly available, as the Ministry of Finance will publish a designated section on its website to provide more information.