The European Commission’s Financial Technology Task-Force is seeking feedback from stakeholders in order to gain perspectives on how new technologies, like distributed ledger technology, will impact the European financial services industry, and how to make the EU more competitive. In a 22-page consultation report, the Commission recognized the importance of the emerging technology:
“Building on the single market, the European Commission promotes a thriving and globally competitive European financial sector that brings benefits to the EU economy and its society. New technologies can benefit both individual consumers and firms by enabling greater access to financial services, choice, efficiency, and a more competitive landscape.”
To realize these benefits, the Commission outlined “four broad policy objectives” for which they are seeking comments from consumers, firms, and investors:
- Fostering access to financial services for consumers and businesses;
- Bringing down operational costs and increasing efficiency for the industry;
- Making the single market more competitive by lowering barriers to entry; and
- Balancing greater data sharing and transparency with data security and protection needs.
“This consultation seeks input from stakeholders to further develop the Commission's policy approach towards technological innovation in financial services. It seeks input in terms of stakeholders' perspectives on new technologies' impact on the European financial services sector, both from the perspective of providers of financial services and consumers.”
The Commission has already begun to take measures to facilitate technological innovation in the European financial services industry by revising relevant EU legislation and promoting initiatives. In November 2015, the Payments Services Directive was revised in order to “create an efficient and integrated market for payment services in the EU.” Additionally, from September 2015 to January 2016, the Commission sought feedback on its Call for Evidence initiative, the EU regulatory framework for financial services, in order to better accommodate the financial services industry. Further, in January 2017, the commission backed the “Building a European Data Economy” initiative, a digital single market strategy to “ensure that new business models based on access to data can flourish and that new market entrants, in particular start-ups, have a fair chance to compete with established firms.”
According to the report, all interested stakeholders are invited to complete the latest online questionnaire and reply by June 15, 2017.