On 8 March 2018, the European Commission (EC) published its long-awaited new FinTech Action Plan. The EC understands FinTech to be technology-enabled innovation in financial services, and the strategy covers developments related to new technologies which are changing the financial industry and the way consumers and firms access services. At the same time, the action plan also covers related challenges, such as cyber threats, and proposes the assessment of innovative technologies, such as blockchain, cryptocurrencies and cloud computing services.
EU Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis recently compared the increasing digitalization of financial services to a global ‘space race’ – in which Europe should not lose out. Various national supervisory authorities in Europe are concerned about the ‘gamification’ of, and advertisement methods for, certain financial services and warn of the risks associated with Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). An important policy debate for FinTech is thus in full swing at EU level.