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Fintech growth demands global intervention - Iosco

08 February 2017  |  10755 views  |  0 Digital Abstract

Bank regulatory bodies need to co-ordinate their strategies for dealing with emerging financial technology at a global level, says a new report from International Organization of Securities Commissions (Iosco).

The Iosco Research Report on Financial Technology, highlights the growing intersection between fintech and securities markets across a number of critical business areas, including financing platforms, robo-advisory services, innovations in bond trading and applications of distributed ledger tech.

It notes the way in which regulators are adopting differing tactics to deal with emerging fintech platforms, from setting up dedicated fintech offices, creating sandbox frameworks, and opening labs and accelerators.

Regardless of the approaches taken, certain risks are recurring across the fintech sector, says Iosco, citing those arising from unlicensed cross-border activity, programing errors in the algorithms that underlie automation, breaches in cyber security, KYC failures and the inability of investors to understand financial products and services.

"While tech firms operate globally, regulation is conducted largely within national or sub-national borders," says Iosco. "The local nature of regulation may create challenges regarding cross-border supervision and enforcement, whereas regulatory inconsistency across jurisdictions increases the potential for regulatory arbitrage."

While acknowledging the potential benefits bred by new innovations, the co-ordinating body says national regulators need to elevate their discussions to the international stage.

"The global nature of fintech creates challenges that regulators should address through international cooperation and the exchange of information," the report concludes

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