CCAF: Third Anniversary of the Cambridge FinTech and Regulatory Innovation Programme

Posted on Jul 21, 2022 by Dr. Dee Allen, Head of Capacity Building and Education/Lead in Regulation and Policy, Khuselchimeg Ravdan, Account Manager & Akshi Saggar, Account Manager, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF)

Photos of the authors of the Spotlight article in the July 2022 issue of CBPN
Cambridge FinTech and Regulatory Innovation (CFTRI) Programme

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) has successfully delivered its online capacity building and education programme to more than 1,400 regulators and central bankers from 340+ institutions in over 145 countries via its Cambridge FinTech and Regulatory Innovation (CFTRI) online executive programme since its inception.

The CFTRI programme was created in 2019 in response to the rapid digital transformation in the financial sector and regulatory environments to provide an efficient, timely opportunity for regulators and policymakers to (i) become aware and equipped to deal with the emergent challenges; (ii) understand how to leverage opportunities to improve through regulatory innovation; and (iii) enact effective, appropriate, and proportionate regulatory responses to market innovation in financial systems.

The programme draws upon the most current, explanatory, and insightful fintech case studies, data, and examples from a diverse set of geographies, business models, and economic contexts, while benefiting from the expertise and experience offered by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance. The value of the programme is that it offers insights, knowledge, and content. But just as important, it provides a unique opportunity and safe space for regulators and policymakers to network, share ideas, and think through the challenges and issues presented by new financial innovations, enabling them to work towards better approaches, strategies, and methods to address these challenges.

CFTRI Programme Overview

The Programme is designed as a tutor-led online programme with the following objectives to help all learners:

  • Develop a holistic understanding of the mechanics and applications of key innovative technologies employed by fintech firms;
  • Distinguish between various fintech business models and evaluate potential regulatory and policy implications and responses across regulatory jurisdictions;
  • Utilize analytical tools to critically assess fintech business models and prioritize areas of regulation according to their respective regulatory, supervisory, and policy objectives and capabilities;
  • Assess the viability and suitability of an array of regulatory innovation initiatives and responses in different jurisdictions; and
  • Deliver a tangible outcome that can be a catalyst for regulatory innovation within participating institutions.

Programme Structure

The programme is designed to run over eight weeks. Participants learn essential concepts concerning the technologies and business models that are transforming the financial industry. The focus of the programme is on formulating evidence-based regulatory, supervisory, and policy responses to the development of financial technology.

The structure of the programme is illustrated in the diagram below:

Programme Delivery

The programme is delivered using an online asynchronous learning platform (Moodle) to share the programme content, combined with synchronous live guest sessions, live tutorial sessions, and support with the development of a capstone project. Participants are taught by leading economists, lawyers, engineers, regulators, and development professionals in the interactive online sessions. The live guest speaker and tutorial sessions are conducted using Zoom.

Live Guest Sessions

Each week, we also conduct live sessions to focus on the week’s discussion topics from Global and Regional perspectives. Experts from international organisations such as the BIS, the World Bank and regional organisations are invited to share their insights on the module topic. The transcript of the interactions and questions and answers from the live sessions are synthesized and posted on the virtual learning environment (VLE) with the live session recordings.

Live Tutorial Sessions

A key benefit of the CFTRI programme is to provide an interactive learning environment for participants through group activities to stimulate peer learning and knowledge sharing. In each cohort, participants are subdivided into tutorial groups of 15–25 individuals, all of whom are supported by dedicated tutors that facilitates group discussion for each module on a weekly basis. The tutors provide subject matter input and make connections where necessary. The tutors are all individuals with fintech & regulatory innovation experience and may currently be or have worked within regulatory or policymaking institutions.

Capstone Project Proposal

The Capstone projects are a fundamental part of the programme. All participants are encouraged to work in smaller groups comprised of 2–4 individuals to collaborate on delivering an implementable project, report, tool, or output to be practically employed within their respective organisation/jurisdiction that is focussed on a particular fintech or regulatory innovation issue or activity.

Programme Certificate

Upon successful completion, participants will be awarded with a certificate from the University of Cambridge Executive Education.

Regulator Knowledge Exchange Platform for CFTRI Alumnus

The CCAF introduced a Regulatory Knowledge Exchange (RKE) community platform. As alumni of the CFTRI programme, participants are invited to join a secure and user-friendly digital platform to continue discussions and share knowledge after the programme ends. The demand for this platform was determined from CFTRI user feedback. The CFTRI participants wrote that staying in touch with classmates, obtaining technical assistance from experts, and sharing resources and good practice was in high demand.

To be eligible, applicants must be financial regulators specialising in the regulation of channels and instruments of finance that emerge outside of the traditional banking sector.

The RKE is a community platform where financial regulators can join members from over 100 jurisdictions in discussion and working groups on topics such as central bank digital currencies or peer-to-peer lending. Other features of the site include a specialist library, a member directory, an online events programme, and a variety of useful benchmarking tools. We have 750+ members from 120+ regulatory organizations using the platform so far.

The Centre is currently exploring how participants might be able to obtain access to subsidised technical expertise through the platform at no or low cost, for example under an open access policy. To join the initiative please email rke@jbs.cam.ac.uk or sign up via https://rke.ccaf.io/signup

CFTRI Programme Evaluation and Feedback

At the end of each Cohort, participants are asked to give an overall programme score out of 10 (with a score of 1 = very poor and 10 = excellent) in the exit survey. We also ask participants to indicate if they would recommend their friend and colleague to the programme. Since Cohort 2, the overall score has remained at 9 out of 10 on average.

Selected Testimonials

“I am extremely honoured to have participated in the CFTRI. This CFTRI programme is well structured with each topic as insightful as the next. The course takes you on a journey from understanding basic concepts to fundamental and practical information from an industry perspective and then diving into the regulatory perspective. As a regulator, being armed with knowledge from different perspectives allows for prudent regulation and supervision in facilitating innovation while, inter alia, ensuring financial stability and protecting consumers. The volume and quality of materials shared have been invaluable together with the lectures and tutorials conducted. The opportunity provided to interact with other regulators on various topics and to gain insights from experts (as they presented in lectures and tutorials) certainly made this course outstanding. Highly recommend this course to others.” Kavita Maharaj-Alexander, Former Chief Policy and Development Officer, Cayman Islands Monetary Authority

“It was an honour to have participated at the Cambridge FinTech & Regulatory Innovation programme, which provides diverse information about the international FinTech world, with experts in high-level financial technology. It also allows you to share your experience from the point of view of each participant. All the live sessions, online modules and tutor-led allowed me to expand my knowledge in different subjects.” Dorian Loyo, Former Deputy General Director of Prudential Regulatory, National Banking and Securities Commission, Mexico

Conclusion

To conclude, the CFTRI programme covers all relevant topics and all geographies, sharing knowledge and data about the new developments, bringing in high-profile guest speakers from around the world to share latest insights on fintech and regulatory innovation​. Another key component of the CFTRI is that it focuses on real-life case studies rather than reading theoretical texts, to help promote critical thinking, activating schemata, ensuring jurisdictional relevance into all content, and evaluating any initiatives undertaken by subject matter experts and peers for appropriacy and feasibility.

CFTRI also organizes peer group discussions of specific topics with deeper detail, and support with the preparation of a capstone project by CCAF subject matter experts​ which adds more value to this Programme.

For further details on the forthcoming CFTRI Programme taking place from 5 October - 9 December 2022, please visit our website. The fee is US $2,200 per participant. To register, please submit the registration form here.

For more information, contact us atccaf.edu@jbs.cam.ac.uk

Learn more about other CCAF Programmes

Cambridge Digital Assets Programme: https://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/faculty-research/centres/alternative-finance/the-digital-assets-programme/

Cambridge Supervisory Technology Lab: https://ccaf.io/suptechlab/

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Tags

Education, Regulation, Fintech, Innovation