The Organization of American States (OAS) saw its first-ever Global Regulatory Forum held on November 4, 2015. This conference saw an outflow of ideas and experiences from peer-to-peer lending experts and fintech innovators that convened from all over the world. These financial intellectuals shared their experiences in the alternative finance (AltFi) industry and exchanged views on how to strengthen and enhance this blossoming market.. The conference could not have come at a better time since it was just a few days ago that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved Title III of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act. Also, several technology giants such as Apple and Google have recently joined together to form the Financial Innovation Now partnership. Consequently this conference witnessed an influx of AltFi industry representatives, academia and government officials who were eager to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the future of AltFi, especially on regulations.
The speakers gave their insights on how to integrate policy and fintech innovation. Their discussions also included ways of implementing the continued progress of marketplace lending and equity crowdfunding. Emphasis was placed on the importance of interaction between governments, banks and fintech firms. The conference did not aim at providing one specific solution to the problem, but instead explored a wide range of options that can be used to resolve it.
The organizers of the event broke down the discussions by regions, and several views given were based on the AltFi in specific areas. Some of the speakers of the conference were:
- Richard Swart – a fintech and crowdfunding researcher at the University of California, Berkeley – spoke about the high awareness and acceptance of crowdfunding in the U.S.
- Rupert Taylor – a member of AltFi Data, shared his views on the high popularity of marketplace lending companies in the alternative finance industry in the U.K.
- Paul Poeltner – a crowdinvesting entrepreneur – followed through with some of the challenges facing alternative finance in the European Union (EU) and Eastern Europe, with his main focus being on challenges of cross-border investment
- Xin Zhou – deputy secretary in chief of the China Computer Users Association of Inclusive Finance (CCUAIF). Zhou explained the obstacles of crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending in China. He noted that crowdfunding industry is booming in China although it is unstable and already several platforms failed to succeed.