European Commission to create 'global hub' for fintech with new action plan

By Johan De Mulder

Europe is aiming to become a 'global hub' for fintech innovation, with the European Commission laying out a 23-step action plan to achieve the goal.

By harnessing the use of disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud and blockchain, the Commission believes investors and businesses on the continent can take advantage of the single market.

With a priority of also making the financial sector safer and more open to new players, Europe would become a 'global hub' for fintech.

The action plan is part of efforts to build a Capital Markets Union (CMU) and a true single market for consumer financial services. It is also part of its drive to create a Digital Single Market.

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"To compete globally, Europe's innovative companies need access to capital, space to experiment and scale to grow," said Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union.

"This is the premise for our FinTech Action Plan. An EU crowdfunding licence would help crowdfunding platforms scale up in Europe. It will help them match investors and companies from all over the EU, giving more opportunities for firms and entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to a wider base of funders."

To prepare the plan, the Commission carried out a public consultation in March 2017 to gather stakeholders' views on the impact of new technologies on financial services. In responding to the public consultation, many respondents underlined that fintech, and technological innovation in general, were drivers of financial sector development.

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