The European Commission unveiled a 23 steps Action Plan on how to harness the opportunities presented by technology-enabled innovation in financial services (FinTech), it aims to tackle a wide range of issues from cryptocurrencies, cybersecurity, data protection, blockchain innovation and EU compliance and supervision of these new technologies. Here are some of the highlights:
- The Commission will set up an expert group to assess by Q2 2019 whether there are unfair regulatory obstacles to financial innovation in the current financial services regulation
- The Commission will assist in the development of standards for FinTech by Q4 2018 working with the European Committee for Standardisation and International Organisation for Standardisation including in the blockchain area.
- The Commission is to support efforts by companies to develop, by mid-2019 of ‘standardised application programming interfaces’ that are compliant with the PSD and the GDPR.
- The Commission will present a best practice guide on regulatory sandboxes based on guidance from European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs)
- The Commission will host an EU FinTech Laboratory where both European and national authorities will work with tech providers
- Crypocurrencies - The Commission will work with the ESAs and international partners to assess risks, opportunities and applicability of existing rules. The Commission will continue to closely monitor developments of the market and any risks that may arise, while the ESAs will continue their assessment of the applicability of EU financial regulation to cryptocurrencies. In view of this assessment the Commission will decide if specific initiatives at EU level are required. Any initiatives will need to be put in an international context as Europe represents only a small share of global cryptocurrency trading.
- The Commission will organise a public-private workshop in Q2 2018 to explore and assess barriers limiting information sharing on cyber threats between financial market participants and to identify potential solutions while ensuring data protection standards are upheld.
- The Commission will continue to work on its strategy to consider the legal implications of distributed ledger technology and blockchain addressing all sectors of the economy including a pilot project to implement the European Financial Transparency Gateway based on distributed ledger technology.
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