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European Commission unveils new fintech action plan

BBR Staff Writer Published 09 March 2018

The European Commission (EC) is taking action for a more competitive and innovative financial market.

An action plan has been unveiled on how to harness the opportunities presented by technology-enabled innovation in financial services (FinTech).

The action plan will support financial sector to effectively use new technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and cloud services.

The plan is part of the EC’s efforts to develop capital markets union (CMU) and single market for consumer financial services, as well as to create a digital single market.

As part of the plan, the commission is initially introducing new rules to help expand the crowdfunding platforms across the EU's single market.

The commission is also planning to launch new pan-European label for platforms, allowing a platform licensed in one country to operate across the EU.

The plan includes 23 steps to help innovative business models to scale up, adapt new technologies, increase cybersecurity and protect the integrity of the financial system.

The commission will also establish an EU fintech Laboratory for European and national authorities to engage with tech providers in a neutral and non-commercial space.

The EC has already established EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum to work on a comprehensive strategy on distributed ledger technology and blockchain addressing all sectors of the economy.

Based on guidance from European Supervisory, the commission will present a blueprint with best practices on regulatory sandboxes.

A regulatory sandbox is a framework established by regulators that helps fintech startups and other innovators to conduct live experiments in a controlled environment, under a regulator's supervision.

EC financial stability, financial services and capital markets union vice president Valdis Dombrovskis said: “This is the premise for our FinTech Action Plan. An EU crowdfunding licence would help crowdfunding platforms scale up in Europe.

“It will help them match investors and companies from all over the EU, giving more opportunities for firms and entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to a wider base of funders."

Image: Head office of the European Commission. Photo: courtesy of Amio Cajander.