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BIS appoints Benoit Coeure as the head of new Innovation Hub; Group to foster fintech cooperation between central banks

Central banks are trying to foster cooperation with each other amidst the evolution of the financial sector and corporate giants entering the payment industry.

Image via Pixabay

Tue, 12 Nov 2019, 06:03 am UTC

The global financial sector is experiencing a massive technological evolution sparked by the introduction of blockchain into the mainstream stage. In an attempt to keep up with these changes, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is creating a new body to research the innovation’s application in the financial industry.

Called the BIS Innovation Hub, the group’s aim is to promote cooperation between central banks to study new breakthroughs in financial technology. Benoit Coeure, a stablecoin expert and the chairman of the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures, will be spearheading the Hub.

Coeure expressed his joy about the appointment and said he’s looking forward to steering the group at a time of this significant financial evolution. Agustín Carstens, General Manager of the BIS, is confident that Coeure is the right man for the job, the press release read.

Coeure’s position to last for five years

“I am delighted to have Benoît on board to advance the important mission of the Hub, which is to harness innovation to improve the functioning of the international financial system. Technology-driven innovation is driving change in many fields and can bring great benefits for anyone who makes and receives payments. The Hub reflects central banks' commitment to share resources and lay the foundations for a bright future,” Carstens said.

Coeure will officially start his post in January 2020, which will last for five years. The Hub will initially settle in three locations: Switzerland, Hong Kong, and Singapore. The announcement said that the Hub has already tapped regulators in each territory, with additional locations being added on the second phase of the initiative.

Hub to counter the growing influence of corporate giants in the financial space

The creation of the Hub is undoubtedly in response to corporate juggernauts like J.P. Morgan and Facebook entering the financial sector. Indeed, Coeure said in September that Libra – Facebook’s stablecoin – is a “wake-up call” to legislators and central banks to respond to this market transformation.

Libra is being perceived as a massive threat to central banks, with France and Germany already announcing it will ban the stablecoin in their respective borders. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Libra will not see the light of day unless U.S. regulators approved of its launching. Despite resistance from legislators, however, Libra is still moving forward although some of its partners like Visa and Mastercard already opted to back out.

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