Similar to the British regulator FCA the Dutch regulators AFM (Authority Financial Markets) and the DCB (Dutch Central Bank) this week announced a joint approach of start-ups and innovative initiatives.

The approach has three pillars, a (so called) InnovationHub, a jointly serviced website that answers questions about regulations and policies in relation to innovative concepts and ideas. The goal is to make information easy accessible and to give informal support in an early stage of the operationalization of the innovative financial product before the licence application.

However the challenge for the regulators will be to stay away from giving advice. The regulators are not equipped to give advice and giving advice is potentially conflicting with the process of granting a licence.

The second and most important pillar is the possibility to give a so called bank licence "light", this will give companies the opportunity to run a pilot project under a temporary licence, that otherwise would not be possible as a regular licence would not be granted if an innovative product has not been tested in practice.

Finally as part of the InnovationHub the AFM and DCB will ask the sector and newcomers how regulation should be altered to stimulate innovation.

Links:

https://www.afm.nl/nl-nl/professionals/nieuws/2016/jun/innovation-hub

http://www.dnb.nl/toezichtprofessioneel/innovationhub/index.jsp