A press release was sent this week by Fintech Fusion to announce their collaboration with id est avocats, a law firm from Lausanne, in order to soon file a consultation procedure at FINMA. Both entities insistently call the Regulatory Authority to make a clear stand for Fintech companies.
Indeed, though the Federal Council launched a consultation in February 2017 concerning the modifications of the law and of the banking ordinance in the area of financial technologies, accompanying measures for Fintech by FINMA are considered too limited, consigning their role to control and oversight.
Let us note that the Federal Council promotes a three-fold approach: (i) facilitating crowdfunding activities, (ii) providing a sandbox for activities that need less than CHF 1 million of deposit, and (iii) facilitating banking activities below certain thresholds.
« These efforts may appease Fintech entrepreneurs and create new opportunities, but they won’t be enough to promote Switzerland on an international level. (…) There is a risk that Switzerland remains a playground for Fintech developing companies, instead of becoming their definitive location. » we can read in the release.
Thus, several areas of improvement are suggested:
1. Support companies during their regulatory proceedings,
2. Develop connections with foreign supervisory authorities (like the new collaboration with Monetary Authority of Singapore) in order to better support Fintechs located in Switzerland towards these foreign correspondents,
3. Prioritize a simplification of the regulatory environment and of the support of startups during their proceedings, instead of providing a sandbox with no support and very low thresholds that don’t reflect the applicable reality for companies,
4. The creation of an ad hoc division for Fintech within FINMA in view of the area specificities and of the increasing importance of this activity.
As an astute observer of the Fintech ecosystem since several years, Alp ICT can only support this initiative, for it is so important to strongly position ourselves in this sector. Indeed, as we have been saying for more than 2 years now, we have here a great opportunity to take the global lead in technologies designed for banks. So many issues that (private) banks are facing can be solved with fintech, while providing a customer experience and more digitalized processes. We should no longer let other Fintech hubs go first and we should make all necessary effort so that Switzerland won’t be recognized only as a financial center or an innovation center, but also as a Fintech hub of global significance.
- On 19 April 2017
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