Autumn School on FinTech
The term ‘FinTech’ denotes technologically-enabled financial services and products. Established technology (such as, in particular, the Internet) in combination with more recent ones (such as DLT or Big Data), allow market participants to change traditional value chains in the financial market. Regulators and policy makers face the challenge of identifying and addressing relevant risks, while allowing the market to innovate further.
The Florence School of Banking and Finance organised an ‘Autumn School on FinTech’ on 20-22 November 2019 to provide professionals in the banking and financial sector with the relevant conceptual basis for the analysis of said risks, their interplay with the questions of societal dimension, and for providing their informed insight for the policy debate that will shape the future of financial services.
The course was opened by the course director, Philipp Paech (Associate Professor of Financial Law and Regulation at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences) who outlined the relevant characteristics of the underlying technologies (AI, Big Data, Cloud, Blockchain) and novel traits of relevant financial activities (FinTech-enabled payment, settlement, robo-advice, currency, platforms, insurance, etc). The course continued with an analysis of the new ways that FinTech enables to create and hold assets with a particular case study, that of ‘stablecoins’. Alongside the course director, these sessions featured as speaker Peter Kerstens, Advisor on Technological Innovation and Cybersecurity at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union.
In the following sessions, course participants were joined by instructors Klaus Martin Löber (Head of the Oversight Division of the European Central Bank) and Elisabeth Noble (Senior Policy Expert working on FinTech at the European Banking Authority), who shared their analysis of the economic implications (caused, in particular by ‘disruptive’ business models) for financial markets in the EU and globally. Further, participants understood how to situate Fintech within the existing regulatory perimeter of the relevant EU rules and will discuss the extent to which these rules need adaptation, modification or expansion. The second day was closed by a speech by Andres Lehtmets, rapporteur for the InsurTech Task Force at the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA).
Finally, the participants were exposed to the issues of competition in the light of increased technical disruption, as well as of the regulatory challenges of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, before the course was closed by a case study on public and private digital money and a discussion on the future regulatory evolution in the sector, both in the EU and beyond.