Team Bahrain wins key award for Fintech initiatives

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Team Bahrain, represented by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) and Bahrain Fintech Bay, has won a key award for its initiatives in the area of Financial Technology (Fintech).

The MENA Fintech Hub of the Year Award for Bahrain was conferred by Fintech Galaxy, a digital crowdfunding platform, in association with Entrepreneur Middle East, a flagship regional business magazine, during FinX 2018, a Fintech event held on 31 October 2018 in Dubai, UAE.

The MENA Fintech Hub of the Year Award recognizes excellence in creating an active and innovative fintech ecosystem.

The Award was conferred on Team Bahrain for its pioneering initiative in providing the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with:

• A Fintech hub which recognizes the joint effort between the regulators, banks, accelerators, and investors to create a cohesive ecosystem.

• A regulatory environment that promotes and encourages innovation in the region’s financial system

The award was received on behalf of Team Bahrain by Mr. Rasheed Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain, during an awards ceremony held on the same day.

“We are delighted to receive this award, which is a demonstration of international recognition for the initiatives being undertaken by the Kingdom of Bahrain in Fintech. We believe that such initiatives celebrate the remarkable achievements by some of today’s catalysts for change in this progressive financial services sector, and we take pride in our Fintech ecosystem which is complemented by persistent efforts from the Bahrain Economic Development Board and Bahrain Fintech Bay.” said Mr. Rasheed Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain.

Recent initiatives by the CBB to foster innovation in the financial sector include the successful launch of the CBB’s Regulatory Sandbox in mid-2017, setting up a dedicated Fintech and Innovation Unit within the CBB, issuing regulations for Financing and Equity based Crowdfunding activities accommodating both conventional and Sharia-Compliant crowdfunding transactions, and facilitating Cloud Computing services for licensed financial institutions.

HE Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), said, “We are pleased that Bahrain has been recognised as the top FinTech Hub in the MENA region. The development of the FinTech ecosystem has been a top priority, and this builds upon Bahrain’s position as a leading and established financial services hub.  This recognition is a strong endorsement of Bahrain’s commitment and efforts to introduce and improve both the regulatory framework and ecosystem needed to support the ambition of both our startups and existing companies.

With a dedicated FinTech unit, the Central Bank of Bahrain, shaped a pro-innovation regulatory framework, including the region’s only onshore Regulatory Sandbox, established last year, which became a test bed for FinTech startups. The collaborative approach between the government and private sector has been instrumental to the advancement of the FinTech growth and activities in Bahrain.  Financial Services now accounts for around 17% of total GDP, and we are confident that the Kingdom will continue to strengthen its position as a FinTech leader, regionally and globally while preparing for a future in which technology is going be a game changer.”

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