EC Speech Outlines Goals of FinTech Action Plan


The European Commission (“EC“) published a speech on February 27, 2018 given by Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (“CMU“), which includes an outline of the goals of its Financial Technology (“FinTech“) action plan.

Mr. Dombrovskis explained that the action plan will propose over 20 new measures intended to create a more innovative and competitive EU financial sector. He outlines some of these measures in his speech, which fall under the following three main goals:

Supporting innovative business models. The Commission will propose an EU label for the crowdfunding sector, to allow platforms to operate across the EU under a single authorization. The Commission will also invite the European Supervisory Authorities (“ESAs“) (that is, the EBA, ESMA and EIOPA) to identify best practices for innovation hubs and sandboxes by the end of 2018. Based on their work, it will present a plan with recommendations for regulatory sandboxes.

Increasing cybersecurity and the integrity of the financial system. The Commission supports the work of the European Central Bank (“ECB“) and supervisors to develop an EU-wide cyber-resilience testing framework, to consolidate the testing obligations for companies that operate in different countries. Later in 2018, the Commission will organise a public-private workshop to identify and address obstacles to information-sharing among market participants relating to cybersecurity threats.

Encouraging the uptake of new technologies. Informed and skilled supervision of FinTech activities will be a core theme of the action plan. The Commission will invite the ESAs to consider issuing guidelines to facilitate the use of cloud services. Mr. Dombrovskis explains that the EU blockchain observatory and forum, which it launched on February 1, 2018, will help monitor developments and inform its policy thinking on blockchain and other applications of distributed ledger technology (“DLT“). The Commission will also establish an EU FinTech Lab for supervisors to engage with technology solution providers, to increase the knowledge and understanding of new technologies.

Mr. Dombrovskis explains that the content of the action plan has been informed by the responses received to the Commission’s March 2017 consultation paper on developing a policy approach to FinTech.