Skip to main content

Central banks grappling with fast-changing financial technology and companies such as Facebook Inc. moving into finance will aim to work together more closely through an innovation hub approved on Sunday by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

The BIS said the intention of the hub, which will be based in Basel, Hong Kong and Singapore, is to improve the functioning of the global financial system and it will identify and develop insights into trends in technology affecting central banking.

Facebook’s plan to expand into payments and launch its own Libra cryptocurrency were not mentioned in the BIS statement, but the social-media giant’s move has helped crystallize opinion among central bankers on the urgency of co-ordinating regulatory responses to financial-technology trends.

Story continues below advertisement

“The IT revolution knows no borders and therefore has repercussions in multiple locations simultaneously,” BIS chairman Jens Weidmann said in a statement after the decision to create the hub at a BIS board meeting.

The hub will focus on helping central banks to “identify relevant trends in technology, supporting these developments where this is consistent with their mandate, and keeping abreast of regulatory requirements with the objective of safeguarding financial stability,” he added.

Basel-based BIS, a central bank umbrella group, has already called on politicians to closely scrutinize Big Tech’s incursion into finance, a move that raises questions about data privacy, competition, markets and banking.

Details about the hub were limited, and the BIS said it was not able to provide details on investment or staffing levels.

The Swiss National Bank (SNB), the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Monetary Authority of Singapore have all signed up to support the initiative.

SNB chairman Thomas Jordan said the central bank would step up its efforts in scrutinizing new financial technology.

“The SNB is already keeping very close track of technological innovations in the financial area, and works actively within the central-banking community in identifying and assessing relevant developments at an early stage,” Mr. Jordan said.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies