“Technological sovereignty” is the buzzword of the incoming European College of Commissioners, where Fintech looks set to be the subject of increasing regulatory scrutiny. The Commission is planning to set up a Fintech unit in early 2020 within the Commission’s department for financial services, known as DG FISMA. 

German Commission official, Jan Ceyssens, is expected to head the new unit which will be responsible for drawing up rules on cyber security and crypto assets, as well as preparing the EU to address any issues that arise as tech companies increasingly move into the financial sector.  This development comes at a time when plans for the Facebook-backed virtual currency, Libra, appear to have spooked regulators on both sides of the Atlantic.

Within the College of Commissioners, the person overseeing DG FISMA and the Fintech sector will be the Christian-democratic politician and former Prime Minister of Latvia, Valdis Dombrovskis, who is due to have the rather grand title of “Executive Vice President for an Economy that Works for People.” Dombrovskis is currently in charge of the Euro and Social Dialogue in the outgoing Commission, but will now have an expanded portfolio.

Along with having responsibility for completing the Banking Union and speeding up work towards a Capital Markets Union, Dombrovskis has been called to:

  • Put forward a Fintech strategy to support new digital technology in our financial system;
  • Ensure a common approach of Member States on cryptocurrencies to ensure we understand how to make the most of opportunities they create and address the new risks that they pose;
  • Put forward a new, comprehensive approach to fighting money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities; and
  • Develop a green financing strategy to direct investment and financing to support transition to a climate-neutral economy.

Read more about new European Commissioners’ plans with Fintech here.

First published by Holland Fintech on November 21st 2019.