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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

West Virginia creates regulatory sandbox program

State Issues State Legislation Fintech Regulatory Sandbox West Virginia

State Issues

On March 24, the West Virginia governor signed HB 4621, which creates a state fintech regulatory sandbox program through the state’s Division of Financial Institutions (Division) that allows participants to temporarily test innovative financial products or services on a restricted basis without requiring a license under West Virginia law. Under the program, approved applicants will have 24 months from the date an application is approved to test their product or service within the state without being subject to state laws and regulations that normally would regulate such products or services, unless the Division determines otherwise. HB 4621 outlines requirements for participants, which include specific state consumer protection laws, time limitations, and reporting requirements. Additionally, the Division, upon written notice, may end a participant’s participation in the program at any time and for any reason. The program allows participants to request an extension of time up to 12 months after the end of the regulatory sandbox testing period in order to obtain a license or other authorization required by the law to continue to offer the product or service. The act takes effect on June 5.

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