The Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) today published its priorities for inspections for 2019 in accordance with the supervisory reform that entered into force on 1 January 2018. “Building on our medium-term risk assessment for 2019 – 2024 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 Klaus Kumpfmüller: “For each of the six identified thematic areas, we have developed a bundle of specific measures to tackle these challenges in harmony with our mantra of ‘anticipatory thinking, acting anticyclically’.“
Priorities for supervision and inspections 2019
The FMA has defined the following thematic areas as priorities for supervision and inspections in the coming year:
- Financial market digitalisation: supporting digital change, managing risks.
- Sustainability of business models in the economic upturn: anticipatory thinking, acting anticyclically.
- Corporate governance: Strengthening resilience in a changing risk environment.
- A comprehensive examination of risk: increasing the stability of supervised entities by means of strong compliance and the strict prevention of money laundering
- Collective consumer protection: Increased risk awareness thanks to targeted information, increased confidence due to product transparency, increased fairness as a result of the highest level of quality in distribution
- Increasing operational readiness for future crises: improving the fitness of the FMA and the financial centre for more difficult times
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. For example, the challenges presented by digitalisation are addressed among other ways by means of a “Cyber Incident Simulation” which stresses infrastructure and the organisation of IT and cyber security in supervised entities, to detect and rectify weaknesses. Furthermore a further priority is the compliance with conduct rules for protecting consumers where digital instruments and technologies such as robo-advice. In the area of outsourcing there is a priority for analysis and inspection placed on cloud-based computing.
In the priority for supervision for collective consumer protection there is a focus on the policy of sustainably granted consumer loans and mortgages. Furthermore an information offensive is planned for various target groups about the specific risks entailed in digital financial products, particular those in the cryptoeconomy. There will also be a particular focus on fairness and transparency in relation to the distribution of financial instruments, insurance and investment products.
Transparency and Clarity of Supervision
The aforementioned measures are only few outstanding examples. For clear and detailed presentation of all the measures for the Priorities for supervision and inspections 2019” has been published on the FMA website (In German) at (https://www.fma.gv.at/publikationen/fakten-trends-strategien/) as well as in the Publication “Fakten, Trends und Strategien 2019” (Facts and Figures, Trends and Strategies 2019).
“We are convinced that the priorities for supervision and on-site inspections for 2019 address the material risks and challenges faced in the coming years. Their publication furthermore contributes towards ensuring the transparency and clarity of supervision activities, and also increases confidence in the Austrian financial market”, remarked Ettl and Kumpfmüller.
Journalists may address further enquiries to:
Klaus Grubelnik (FMA Media Spokesperson)
+43/(0)1/24959-5106, or +43/(0)676/882 49 516