The European Commission has set out details of a 23-step ‘Fintech Action Plan’ to promote the digital transformation of the financial services sector, including the establishment of an EU Fintech Laboratory, the creation of a best-practices blueprint for regulatory sandboxes and substantial crowdfunding reforms.
The Commission has spent the past year gathering views on how best to harness the opportunities presented by technology-enabled innovation in financial services. The Fintech Action Plan looks to build on the advantages of the Single Market with a set of eye-catching bloc-wide reforms, including legislation that will enable crowdfunding platforms to apply for an EU label based on a single set of rules.
Valdis Dombrovskis, vice-president responsible for financial stability, financial services and capital markets union, says: “To compete globally, Europe’s innovative companies need access to capital, space to experiment and scale to grow. 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.” He says the Commission will also host an EU ‘Fintech Laboratory’ where European and national authorities will engage with tech providers in a neutral, non-commercial space.
Strategies to advance new developments in cloud computing and artificial intelligence will mirror the approach taken by the recently-established EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum, which is assessing the challenges and opportunities presented by the emergence of crypto-assets and distributed ledger technology.
Other highlights, include: a consultation on how best to promote the digitisation of information published by listed companies in Europe, by interconnecting national databases; the formation of workshops to improve information-sharing when it comes to cybersecurity, and; presentation of a blueprint with best practices on regulatory sandboxes, based on guidance from European Supervisory Authorities.