New Legislation Adopts Buckeye Institute Recommendations to Attract and Keep ‘Fintech’ Employers in Ohio

Oct 05, 2021

Columbus, OH – On Tuesday, Senator Steve Wilson (R-7) introduced Senate Bill 249, legislation that includes a number of policy recommendations made by The Buckeye Institute that will help Ohio attract and keep financial technology, or fintech, employers in Ohio.

“Ohio has one of the nation’s largest financial service sectors in the country, but risks losing these employers due to burdensome regulations that prohibit companies from developing and deploying new products and services,” said Logan Kolas, an economic policy analyst with the Economic Research Center at The Buckeye Institute. “The policies in Senator Wilson’s bill, which incorporates many of The Buckeye Institute’s recommendations, will ensure that Ohio’s regulatory process allows and encourages fintech companies to develop and offer new and better services to their customers. These changes will keep Ohio competitive in the innovation race and will keep jobs in Ohio.”

In building a fintech-specific regulatory sandbox, Ohio will make its regulatory process less daunting, less expensive, and more transparent for financial technology employers. Sen. Wilson’s legislation incorporates many of The Buckeye Institute’s recommendations on how to effectively implement a regulatory sandbox, which were outlined in Policy Solutions for More Innovation: Build a Regulatory Sandbox for Financial Technology Innovators, including:

  • Make the regulatory sandbox voluntary for financial technology companies;
  • Prioritize consumer safety in the application process and in supervision by regulators;
  • Allow companies that maintain a physical presence in the United States or conduct virtual operations to apply for Ohio’s regulatory sandbox, acknowledging how important virtual business is in the evolving modern business landscape; and
  • Create avenues for Ohio’s regulatory sandbox participants to operate in other states’ sandboxes and allow approved businesses in other states to participate in Ohio’s regulatory sandbox.

The proposed legislation could further be improved by considering the following alterations:

  • Require overseeing regulators to conduct and submit an annual report to the General Assembly outlining lessons learned and which regulations should be amended or eliminated to improve the sandbox and Ohio’s general regulatory structure;
  • Require the state to send a summary to rejected businesses detailing why their sandbox application was rejected so they can make improvements for future applications; and 
  • Provide an avenue for rejected businesses to quickly re-apply to the sandbox.

Policy Solutions for More Innovation: Build a Regulatory Sandbox for Financial Technology Innovators was the first in a series of papers that offer policy recommendations to spur innovation, attract new businesses, and make Ohio more prosperous. The second paper in the series was Policy Solutions for More Innovation: A Policy Primer for Emerging Technology in Ohio.

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