The European Commission published a FinTech action plan for a more competitive and innovative European financial sector. This action plan envisages enabling the financial sector to make use of the advances in new technologies.

The financial sector is the largest user of digital technologies and plays a big role in the digital transformation of the economy and society. New technologies, such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and cloud services are changing the financial industry, which creates opportunities for FinTech-based solutions.

The Commission’s action plan has the following three main objectives:

  • Enabling innovative business models to reach EU scale;
  • Supporting the uptake of technological innovation in the financial sector; and
  • Enhancing security and integrity of the financial sector.

In relation to these objectives, the action plan sets out 23 steps to create a more competitive and innovative European financial sector, without compromising consumer and investor protection. The steps the Commission will take include for example:

  • Monitoring the developments of crypto-assets and Initial Coin Offerings and assess whether regulatory action at EU level is required;
  • Presenting a report with best practices for regulatory sandboxes, based on the work of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs);
  • Inviting ESAs to explore the need for guidelines related to outsourcing to cloud service providers;
  • Hosting an EU FinTech Lab, where European and national authorities can engage with technology solution providers in a neutral, non-commercial space; and
  • Organizing a public-private workshop to find potential solutions for barriers limiting the information sharing related to cyber security.

The action plan fits in with other Commission initiatives, such as creating a Capital Markets Union and a true single market for consumer financial services. It is also part of the Commission’s endeavour for a digital single market and matches the Commission’s aim to make EU-rules future-oriented and aligned with the technological developments.

The FinTech action plan can be found here.