fintech and blockchain icons on financial technology background

U.S. self-regulatory organization the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has launched a new Office of Financial Innovation to lead its handling of fintech-related issues.

“The move will further enhance FINRA’s ability to identify, understand and foster financial innovation in the markets in a manner that strengthens investor protection and market integrity,” the SRO said in a statement.

Among other things, the new unit will work with the SRO’s various branches to “promote engagement with the industry, regulators, investors, and other stakeholders on matters involving significant financial innovation by FINRA member firms.”

FINRA named Haimera Workie to head the new office. Workie is currently senior director at FINRA, and was previously deputy associate director in the division of trading and markets at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

“Innovation continues to pose new opportunities and challenges for our member firms and the broader financial services industry, and it is essential that we as regulators keep pace,” said FINRA president and CEO, Robert Cook.