Study on the impact on competition of new technologies in the financial sector

National Commission on Markets & Competition - Spain

This study analyzes the impact on competition of new technologies in the financial sector (Fintech) from the perspective of the competition and of efficient economic regulation defending consumers. It tackles the key problems arising from a series of financial-sector applications such as payment systems and services, blockchain, asset management and crowdfunding.

The National Commission on Markets & Competition makes the following recommendations:

  • Regulation should avoid putting a stop to Fintech innovations, unless there are reasons of need and proportionality.
  • It should re-assess the need and proportionality of the various regulatory requirements for entering the market and practicing financial activities, in the spirit of seeing whether Fintech can correct market failings.
  • Regulation should focus on activities -rather than institutions- and avoid restrictions on activity as far as is possible. The Fintech ecosystem should have the greatest scope for action possible in order to make the most of efficiencies. Market shortcomings are connected to a particular activity and generally not to a way of organizing such activity.
  • To make the most of the Regtech phenomenon, allowing new technologies to be used for regulatory compliance, to reduce the burden of regulation and supervision.
  • Adopting regulatory sandboxes so that the most innovative models can develop within a test environment, and their market impact can be assessed.
  • Support open banking & insurance initiatives to ensure that the principles of technology neutrality are applied as well as those of non-discrimination, where access to certain inputs can take place under reasonable terms.