The European Commission (EC) has unveiled a 23-step ‘Fintech Action Plan’ to tap opportunities presented by technologies and help in digital transformation of the financial services sector.
The action plan is part of the Commission’s efforts to build a Capital Markets Union (CMU) and digital single market for consumer financial services.
Under the plan, the Commission will host an EU FinTech Laboratory that will see European and national authorities engage with technology providers.
It will also set up a best-practices blueprint on regulatory sandboxes, based on guidance from European Supervisory Authorities.
Additionally, the EU will undertake crowdfunding reforms so that start-ups and other small businesses can easily access funds.
The plan is aimed at enabling the financial market to harness new technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud and blockchain to adequately draw the benefit from the single market.
Additionally, the EU intends to make the markets safer and easier for new players, which will be equally beneficial for consumers, investors, banks and new market players alike.
Furthermore, the Commission is considering a pan-European label for platforms, a move that will enable a platform licensed in one country to operate across the EU.
European Commission vice-president responsible for financial stability, financial services and capital markets union Valdis Dombrovskis said: “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.”
Additional features of the action plan include launch of a consultation to promote the digitisation of information published by listed companies in Europe by interlinking national databases; running workshops to improve information-sharing on cyber security, among others.
To prepare the FinTech Action Plan, the Commission launched a public consultation in March last year. Several respondents indicated that technological innovation drives the sector’s development.