Spain banks on regulatory sandbox approval for fintech push

By Aisling Finn on Friday 21 February 2020

Digital Banking

Spain joins a list of 27 countries worldwide, including six in Europe, that have already approved regulatory sandboxes.

Spain banks on regulatory sandbox approval for fintech push
Image source: Image by Carabo Spain from Pixabay


It has been announced that the Spanish Banking Association will launch a ‘regulatory sandbox’ to enable fintechs to test their products without breaking financial regulations. 

Earlier this week, the Spanish Government approved a draft of the Digital Transformation of the Financial Sector law, which included the creation of a sandbox as well as working with blockchains and cryptocurrencies. 

Following the bill’s approval, it will now go to the General Courts of Spain where it's hoped it will be written into law. 

The term ‘sandbox’ originates from the idea of children playing in a controlled environment, so in the world of fintech, it means that emerging fintechs will be able to test their new models without fear of violating financial regulation. 

Following the explosion of the European fintech market in certain countries, like the UK and Germany, other countries across the continent have been vying for the attention of the next generation of fintech startups. 

Spain is clearly trying to become one of the more attractive destinations for startups in Europe, particularly those looking to stay within the Eurozone and test their products in a safe environment.

Despite having a bit of a rocky 2019, Spain is now turning its attention to the fintech revolution as a source of revenue and the introduction of the sandbox will make them an even more enticing location for innovation and expansion. 

Carlos Conesa, director general of the Bank of Spain, said the approval of this regulation will put Spain in a “prominent position in Europe, being one of the first jurisdictions with controlled spaces for testing with emerging technologies”.

The Spanish Banking Association expects the sandbox to be up and running in 2020.

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