The range of tasks in relation to banking supervision is very broad. The Financial Market Authority operates on two levels. While it is active as the national competent authority (NCA), since late 2014 it has also been working in close cooperation with the European Central Bank within the “banking union”.
As the term banking supervision already implies, credit institutions are the principle focus of its supervisory activities. However, since the entry into force of the Payment Services Act 2009 (ZaDiG 2009 – Zahlungsdienstegesetz 2009) the licencing and ongoing monitoring of payment institutions has also fallen under the auspices of the Department for Banking Supervision. This is an obvious step to have occurred since the requirements under supervisory law for payment institutions, while being somewhat less strict, are modelled strongly on those that apply for credit institutions.
With the entry into force of the Payment Services Act 2018 (ZaDiG 2018; Zahlungsdienstegesetz 2018) on 01.06.2018 new market participants (so-called “FinTechs”) in the form of payment initiation service providers or account information service providers are now subject to a clear legal framework as well as supervision by the Financial Market Authority (FMA), with consumer protection thereby being strengthened. Security in payment transactions is consequently increased, with the security requirements for the execution of online payments being increased as the rules in relation to liability in the case of unauthorised payments being defined in a clear and customer-friendly manner.