The Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) has published its priorities for inspections for 2021 today. “Building on our medium-term risk assessment for 2021 – 2025 we have identified areas of the financial market that will present regulation and supervision with particular challenges in the coming years,” remarked the FMA’s Executive Board Members, Helmut Ettl and Eduard Müller, On the basis of this risk assessment, the FMA has drawn up its priorities for supervision and inspections for 2021, and drawn up a list of specific measures for addressing risks and challenges.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered profound uncertainty in economic, political and social terms, which will prevail for some time to come,” remarked Ettl. This uncertainty has already been reflected in the very heterogeneous forecasts for the economic provided by various economic researchers. “Massive public aid and support programmes have cushioned the impact of the pandemic on the real economy as much as possible, while at the same time also limiting its impact on financial service providers and financial markets for the time being,” the FMA’s Executive Board Members added. “For the financial sector, however, the major challenges will only emerge once the aid and support programmes come to an end.” Here we need to do everything to prevent risks from being transferred from the real economy to the financial economy. The continuing prevailing low interest environment, disruption due to digital transformation as well as the battle to avert the consequences of climate change present the financial economy with additional risks and substantial challenges.
Priorities for supervision and inspections 2021
“We have drawn up a bundle of specific measures in order to address these substantial challenges for the Austrian financial market, and have formalised then in our priorities for supervision and inspections for 2021,” stated FMA Executive Director Müller.
The FMA has therefore defined the following thematic issues as priorities for supervision and inspections in the coming year:
- Resilience and Stability: to address the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic in a consistent manner, to learn lessons from it and apply them consistently, as well as strengthening preventive crisis management.
- Sustainability: to support and accompany financial service providers and markets in their migration towards a sustainable economy in the struggle against climate change.
- Digitalisation: in order to ensure and strengthen the future sustainability of Austria as a financial centre, to exploit the opportunities presented by digital transformation and to address the risks associated with it.
- Accompanying new business models in regulatory and supervisory terms.
- Ensuring Austria’s orderliness as a financial centre.
- Further developing of collective consumer protection.
Operationalisation of the priorities for inspections
The FMA has defined a range of specific measures for each of these thematic areas, to operationalise the priorities for inspections. A dashboard is being developed for example for increasing stability and resilience, in which all crisis-relevant figures and information are distilled into significant key figures, and developments are also visualised. The impact of sustainability risks on assets managed by asset managers are being analysed and evaluated in order to increase sustainability. In order to be able to fully exploit the advantages of digitalisation, regulatory impediments are being identified and overcome, and a regulatory sandbox operated, in which promising FinTechs are able to test their business model in a secure regulatory framework.
Transparency and Clarity of Supervision
The aforementioned measures are only few outstanding examples. A clear and detailed presentation of all the measures contained in the “Priorities for supervision and inspections 2021” has been published on the FMA website as well as in the publication “Fakten, Trends und Strategien 2021” (Facts and Figures, Trends and Strategies 2021).
“The tool of determining priorities for supervision and inspections for the year ahead has proved itself. On the one hand, doing so raises awareness for the material risks and challenges for the coming years. On the other hand, publishing them makes a valuable contribution towards ensuring the transparency and clarity of supervision activities, and also increases confidence in the Austrian financial market”, remarked Ettl and Müller.
Journalists may address further enquiries to:
Klaus Grubelnik (FMA Media Spokesperson)
+43 / (0) 1 / 24959-6006
+43 / (0) 676 / 88 249 516