The Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) is holding its 10th annual supervisory conference at the Messe Wien on “The Big Picture – relevant issues discussed controversially”. Leading figures from politics and finance, regulation and supervision, academia and research are discussing the challenges and threats to the financial markets with an audience of over 800. The range of topics discussed ranges from the development of the European banking sector through to the impact of Brexit and the effects of digital transformation as well as challenges posed by the climate crisis. In addition to the FMA’s Executive Directors, Helmut Ettl and Klaus Kumpfmüller, further impulses in the discussion will also come from Andrea Enria, Chair of the Single Supervisory Mechanism, and Elke König, the Chair of the Single Resolution Board among others. To conclude the conference, Minister of Finance, Eduard Müller will deliver a speech, while the new Governor of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Robert Holzmann, will analyse the “Economic Developments in the Financial Market”.
FMA Executive Director Ettl warns about the risks of a “geopolitical recession”
In his opening statement, FMA Executive Director Helmut Ettl warns about the risks of a geopolitical recession, and calls for vigilance and for the necessary preparations to be taken. The trade wars that are escalating globally, the conflicts that are coming to a head, especially in the Arab states, the continuing threat of a disorderly Brexit as well as the crisis of multilateralism that are increasingly undermining the strength of multilateral standards and multilateral institutions, are geopolitical risks that have the potential to trigger a recession. In a survey conference participants had the possibility to decide whether the prevailing low interest environment as well as operational risks such a IT and cyber risk, legal risk or conduct risks are the greatest challenges for financial market participants. At the conference, Ettl also proposed establishing “a three pillar model for the prevention of money laundering at EU level” consisting of an “intelligence unit” for analysis and strategic development, a “prevention unit” for enforcing due diligence obligations for the purposes of prevention, as well as an “enforcement unit” to investigate specific cases of suspected money laundering and to impose harsh sanctions as applicable.
FMA Executive Director Kumpfmüller urges for the continued development of “integrated supervision”
Ettl’s fellow Executive Director, Klaus Kumpfmüller, emphasised that in particular in overcoming the Global Financial Crisis and its consequences that “the FMA’s integrated approach to supervision, in which the supervision of the entire market takes place under one roof, has proven itself for a small but significant national economy like Austria.” The integrated approach to supervision “is efficient and effective, and exploits synergies both in terms of know-how and costs,” remarked Kumpfmüller. The FMA examines and analyses the markets and their participants from various perspectives – from both microprudential and macroprudential perspectives, by analysing their figures as well as looking at the conduct of the decision-makers and employees, from the perspectives of the providers as well as from the client side – the customers and consumers. Kumpfmüller remarked, “the reciprocal interlinkages are apparent, and go far beyond product and sectoral boundaries. There are synergies as well as channels of contagion. We are putting the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together to form “The Big Picture”. During the crisis this approach already proved itself, but has shown itself to be particularly valuable during the overhauling and redesigning of regulation and supervision as lessons learned from the crisis.
At the supervisory conference, the FMA’s Executive Board therefore pledged to “continue to develop the integrated approach to supervision further,” and invited all stakeholders to “address questions openly, to discuss responses and approaches for solutions with one another, and to thereby strengthen the system of regulation and supervision both on a national as well as an European level.”
Klaus Grubelnik (FMA Media Spokesperson)
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