Governor Ron DeSantis announced initiatives in Jacksonville on Monday to offer more workforce training for the financial technology sector and to encourage those types of companies to start, relocate and expand to Florida.
He said even the most “old school” banks are now technology firms in the age of the internet. DeSantis wants state colleges to partner with financial services companies to train people in how to run them.
He made the announcement about the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund at the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, where the governor said he’s instructing Enterprise Florida to expedite grant applications for companies looking to offer the relevant workforce training.
“We think that, that’s important that these technologies be welcomed and fostered rather than be suffocated. And so this will seek to ease some of the outdated regulatory burdens for innovators in the financial services technology sector,” said DeSantis.
The governor said he envisions financial technology “academies” popping up in Jacksonville and other large cities.
Also joining DeSantis was Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and other dignitaries.
DeSantis and Patronis are also planning to pursue legislation to create a so-called regulatory sandbox for financial technology (FinTech) companies. The legislation would create an environment where companies that disrupt the status quo are provided regulatory flexibility, with the idea being it will trigger more innovation and entrepreneurship.
DeSantis said he’ll be pushing for the legislation during the state legislative session that starts in January.
In another move to retain and grow FinTech in Florida, the state’s Office of Financial Regulation has signed onto the American Consumer Financial Innovation Network. The coalition’s aim is to facilitate consumer-driven innovation in markets for financial products and services.
By joining the network, Florida joins Arizona, Utah, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and Indiana to share information and coordinate in the development of innovative policies governing financial technology products.