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BIS Launches New Innovation Hub in Canada, Partners with Bank of Canada

Jimmy Aki
Last updated: | 2 min read
A stylized image of a building with a Canadian flag flying above it, set against a vibrant, pink and orange cityscape. This scene symbolizes the establishment of the BIS innovation hub in Toronto, Canada.
The BIS Innovation Hub in Toronto will focus on exploring new financial technologies and solutions.

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) launched its Toronto Innovation Hub on June 13, partnering with the Bank of Canada. The hub is expected to spearhead financial initiatives in Canada and extend its influence across Latin America and the Caribbean.

BIS Innovation Hub Will Explore Next-Generation Financial Market Infrastructures

The BIS Innovation Hub in Toronto is the first in North America and the seventh global center opened by the BIS in partnership with various central banks. Led by Miguel Diaz, the Toronto hub will explore innovative technologies aimed at improving the efficiency and inclusivity of the financial system in Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

As disclosed in the official announcement, the BIS Innovation Hub will focus on three major projects: developing next-generation financial market infrastructures, creating suptech solutions for regulatory and supervisory purposes, and leading advancements in open finance concepts.

Agustín Carstens, General Manager of the BIS, expressed his enthusiasm for the hub, stating:

“The opening of the Toronto Innovation Centre is a very proud moment for the BIS. It represents an important milestone in our efforts to build the financial system of the future through innovation and experimentation, enabling us to fully bring this mission to the Americas together with our many partners in the region. We are looking forward to collaborate with the Bank of Canada and other central banks to foster a more modern, efficient and inclusive financial system.”

The BIS innovation hub was established in 2019 by the BIS as a platform for central banks to research trends in financial technology and drive experimentation.

The addition of the Toronto hub to the network seeks to facilitate knowledge-sharing among central bank experts. The BIS has established innovation hubs in various jurisdictions, including partnerships with institutions like the Swiss National Bank and the Eurosystem Centre.

Insights into BIS Innovation’s Latest Works

The BIS innovation unit has been active in driving financial innovation in the economy, even before the unveiling of the Toronto center. On April 19, 2024, the unit launched the project FuSSE (Fully Scalable Settlement Engine) to modernize financial market infrastructures to meet the demands of the digital age.

This initiative, a collaboration between the BIS and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), is the first of its kind, following an agreement signed by the two institutions in September 2023.

In its focus on fostering central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), the BIS unveiled 2024 CBDC plans in January to kick off the second phase of its project “Aurum.” The BIS also planned to work on advanced data analytics and tokenization.

In April 2024, the BIS launched project Agora to explore the tokenization of cross-border payments by central banks. Project Agora involves seven monetary authorities from different regions, such as the UK, Switzerland, Mexico, South Korea, New York, Japan, and Europe.