On 3 November 2020, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (Autoriteit Financiële Markten, AFM) published the Trend Monitor 2021 (Trendzicht 2021). Every year, the AFM identifies the most important trends and related risks that will have an impact on the financial markets, in order to then further develop its supervision agenda. The Trend Monitor offers context as well as detail and explains the links between relevant supervision issues. The practical implications of these trends and risks for the AFM’s supervisory activities will be detailed in the Agenda 2021, which will be published in early 2021.

Chapter 3 of the Trend Monitor 2021 discusses the following trends identified by the AFM:

  • macroeconomic developments, covering the effects of the coronavirus pandemic (together with the effects of the ongoing low interest rates);
  • geopolitical developments, covering the risks to the financial stability of the markets as a result of a hard Brexit, as well as the pressure on multinational cooperation caused by more nationally oriented and protectionist policies coming into favour;
  • developments in legislation and regulation, covering among other things the pension agreement reached in 2020 and sustainability gaining a more prominent place in European legislation and regulation agenda;
  • digitisation of the financial sector, covering among other things the increase in availability and usage of data and related developments (such as the use of artificial intelligence, growth of ‘big tech’, and investments in blockchain technology); and
  • transition to sustainable economy and society, covering the growing market for sustainable financial products and investsments.

Chapter 4 addresses responsible mortgage lending, chapter 5 the competition between exchanges and trading platforms in a Single European capital market and chapter 6 the effects of data usage on the structure of the financial market.