The “Call for Input” launched in the 2021 edition of the FMA’s study on the current state of digital transformation of the Austrian financial market that opened at the end of last year has attracted a high level of participation from all stakeholder groups. In general, the stakeholders agree with the conclusions drawn by the FMA in the results of its survey. A few opinions received also contain supplementary remarks in relation to data protection issues, about the handling of liability for risks as well as pushing social media in business transactions. In addition, legal policy suggestions were also made. For example: the underlying algorithms for digitalisation should be required to be designed in a manner that is free from discrimination. Or: it should be mandatory to maintain an analogue infrastructure, so that people who do not use digital means of communication are not excluded from financial services. A summary of the results of the “Call for Input” on the FMA Study were published today on the FMA website.
A comprehensive overview of digitalisation in the Austrian financial market
“Digital transformation fundamentally changes the conditions in the financial market, heralds new opportunities, as well as being accompanied by new risks. Furthermore, for us as regulators and supervisors it also puts our tried and tested supervision tools for analogue supervision to the test as well as throwing up difficulties regarding interpretation in the regulatory framework that should not be underestimated,” remarked the FMA’s Executive Board Members, Helmut Ettl and Eduard Müller: “We therefore have to identify and analyse drivers, trends and future developments as quickly as possible, in order to be able draw conclusions and consequences for regulation and supervision in a timely manner.” The FMA’s Digitalisation Study, which was conducted for the second time in 2021, covers almost all sectors of the domestic financial market almost fully, and therefore provides the most comprehensive picture about the state of the digitalisation as well as the areas in which digital technologies are used in the Austrian financial market. It is therefore also a valuable source of information for anyone who is interested in the current status and development of digitalisation in Austria.
Agile supervision, fair conditions for competition
In their submitted opinions, the stakeholders also overall hold the impact of digitalisation on the Austrian financial market in positive esteem. Digitalisation benefits innovations and supports financial market participants in understanding customers better, and also tailoring business models as well as products to the needs of their customers. In the coming three years they do not expect any disruption to the core business of financial services providers, but at the same time remain convinced that the changes to occur within the next five years will be closer to a disruption than to an evolution. The regulatory framework which is tailored towards analogue business, as well as corporate cultures and the established IT landscapes are all viewed as impediments to digitalisation. New digital competitors will drive existing entities towards continuing further development and in particular will also broaden the range of products and services. The role of the supervisor is primarily viewed as ensuring a level playing field, i.e. ensuring fair competitive conditions; particular attention is to be paid to ensure technology-neutral regulation as well as acting in an agile manner across different products and sectors. The Study on Digitalisation itself, as well as a summary of the results of the Call for Input can be found online on the FMA’s website under the following link.
Journalists may address further enquiries to:
Klaus Grubelnik (FMA Media Spokesperson)