Fintech Investment abstract concept with business people on stock market background

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is launching its Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub), the federal agency announced Friday.

FinHub will serve as the SEC’s liaison with the fintech sector, the commission says in a news release.

The innovation hub replaces a number of SEC internal working groups that have been dealing with fintech issues for the agency, such as the emergence of robo-advice, distributed ledger technology and  artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning.

“The SEC is committed to working with investors and market participants on new approaches to capital formation, market structure, and financial services, with an eye toward enhancing, and in no way reducing, investor protection,” says Jay Clayton, SEC chairman, in a statement. “The FinHub provides a central point of focus for our efforts to monitor and engage on innovations in the securities markets that hold promise, but which also require a flexible, prompt regulatory response to execute our mission.”

“SEC staff across the agency have been engaged for some time in efforts to understand emerging technologies, communicate the agency’s stance on new issues, and facilitate beneficial innovations in the securities industry,” adds Valerie Szczepanik, who heads the new unit as senior advisor for digital assets and innovation and is associate director in the SEC’s corporate finance division. “By launching FinHub, we hope to provide a clear path for entrepreneurs, developers, and their advisors to engage with SEC staff, seek input, and test ideas.”