ESMA’s Executive Director, Verena Ross, has spoken at a Fintech conference on the regulatory response to opportunities and challenges coming from financial innovation. ESMA is in charge of ensuring a coordinated approach to the regulatory and supervisory treatment of new or innovative financial activities in securities markets. Ms Ross points out that innovations such as automated advice, and the benefits that it can bring to competition in the market and consumer access, need to be carefully evaluated in relation to the provision of human professional advice. Ms Ross also discusses the use of exchange-traded funds, crowdfunding and blockchain technology as examples of innovation fostering new means of financing economic activities. (Source: ESMA discusses financial innovation)