Responsible Finance Forum

Financial Stability Implications from FinTech

27 June 2017
Source:  The Financial Stability Board (FSB)

Technology-enabled innovation in financial services (FinTech) is developing rapidly. With its emergence, there will be both opportunities and risks to financial stability that policymakers, regulators, supervisors and overseers should consider. This is particularly important as many innovations have not yet been tested through a full financial cycle, and decisions taken in this early stage may set important precedents. Policymakers should continue to assess the adequacy of their regulatory frameworks as adoption of FinTech increases, with the objective of harnessing the benefits while mitigating risks. In this regard, the German G20 Presidency, as part of its focus on digitalisation, has suggested that the Financial Stability Board (FSB) build on the monitoring to date and identify supervisory and regulatory issues of FinTech that merit authorities’ attention from a financial stability perspective.

Currently, any assessment of the financial stability implications of FinTech is challenging given the limited availability of official and privately disclosed data. It will be important to take into account materiality and risks in evaluating new areas. It will also be important to understand how business models of start-ups and incumbents, and the market structure, are changing.

To draw out the supervisory and regulatory issues of FinTech, the FSB developed a framework that defines the scope of FinTech activities and identifies the potential benefits and risks to financial stability. It provides a basis on which future analysis and monitoring can be made. As most FinTech activities are currently small compared to the overall financial system, the analysis focuses on conceivable benefits and risks. Nonetheless, international bodies and national authorities should consider taking FinTech into account in their existing risk assessments and regulatory frameworks in light of its rapid evolution. Indeed, many authorities have already made regulatory changes to adapt to FinTech activities.