The Financial Stability Board (FSB) published a report on FinTech and market structure in financial services. The publication is part of the FSB’s ongoing work to monitor FinTech market developments and their potential implications for financial stability. The FSB defines FinTech as technology-enabled innovation in financial services that could result in new business models, applications, processes or products with an associated material effect on the provision of financial services.
Technological innovation holds great promise for the provision of financial services, with the potential to increase market access, the range of product offerings, and convenience while also lowering costs to clients. At the same time, new entrants into the financial services space, including FinTech firms and large, established technology companies (‘BigTech’), could materially alter the universe of financial services providers. Greater competition and diversity in lending, payments, insurance, trading, and other areas of financial services can create a more efficient and resilient financial system. However, heightened competition could also put pressure on financial institutions’ profitability and this could lead to additional risk taking among incumbents in order to maintain margins. Moreover, there could be new implications for financial stability from BigTech in finance and greater third-party dependencies, e.g. in cloud computing services.
Some key considerations from the FSB’s analysis of the link between technological innovation and market structure are the following:
- To date, the relationship between incumbent financial institutions and FinTech firms appears to be largely complementary and cooperative in nature.
- The competitive impact of BigTech may be greater than that of FinTech firms. BigTech firms typically have large, established customer networks and enjoy name recognition and trust.
- Reliance by financial institutions on third-party data service providers (e.g. data provision, cloud storage and analytics, and physical connectivity) for core operations is estimated to be low at present. However, this warrants ongoing attention from authorities.