On 23 March 2017, the European Commission launched a public consultation on FinTech, seeking feedback from stakeholders on how to foster a more competitive and innovative European financial sector. The consultation provides the opportunity for the European Commission to clarify its stance with regards to FinTech. It has outlined three core principles driving its regulatory approach to Fintech, namely (i) technological neutrality; (ii) proportionality; and (iii) market integrity.

Presenting the public consultation during a FinTech conference on 23 March 2017, the European Commission encouraged the industry as well as consumers to provide their feedback to help shape the future European FinTech framework. It is particularly interested in how FinTech can benefit consumers and boost the market for retail financial services. For the broader financial services sector, the European Commission considers that FinTech can contribute to reduce barriers to entry as well as operational costs, while increasing the efficiency of services and the competition in the market. At the same time, data protection and cybersecurity are key concerns.

G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors adopt a strong line on fair taxation During the Baden-Baden meeting on 17 and 18 March 2017, G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors reaffirmed their commitment to implement the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (‘BEPS’) package, under the leadership of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (‘OECD’). They encouraged all countries which have not yet done so to implement the OECD Common Reporting Standard (‘CRS’), expected to be operational as of September 2017. They also mentioned that the G20 Summit in July 2017 will consider adopting defensive measures against jurisdictions that do not show sufficient progress in the implementation of the OECD standards.

Reflecting on current efforts across jurisdictions to address tax evasion, tax avoidance and money laundering, G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors stated that they will take steps to advance transparency of beneficial ownership and of legal arrangements. This will materialise in the effective implementation of international standards and in further cross-border exchange of information on beneficial ownership information.