European rulemakers put big data under the microscope

European rulemakers put big data under the microscope

European supervisory authorities are to undertake a review of the use of big data to profile and target consumers by the bloc's major banking groups.

Publishing its work programme for 2016, the Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (EBA, ESMA and EIOPA) says that it will place a renewed focus on financial innovation and consumer protection, alongside the work already underway in areas such as anti-money laundering, financial conglomerates and securitisation.

The authorities say they want to monitor potential risks and benefits arising for consumers from particular market developments and innovations including automation in financial advice and the use of big data.

Banks around the world are looking at ways to mine their vast troves of information on customers to profile consumers, identify patterns of consumption and make targeted offers.

In a statement, the ESAs say: "The topic aims to analyse the adequacy of sectoral regulatory frameworks and identify any regulatory and/or supervisory measures which may need to be taken. The ESAs will react with joint warnings if appropriate."

They say more details will be forthcoming at a fourth joint Consumer Protection Day which will be organised in Paris next year.

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