On 8 March 2016, the Dutch Minister of Finance (the Minister) sent a letter to the Dutch Parliament setting out the Dutch Government’s view on technological innovation in the Dutch financial sector (FinTech).
In his letter, the Minister addressed the opportunities that are created as a result of FinTech, but also the risks which are associated to FinTech. On the one hand FinTech can, amongst other things, offer the Netherlands the opportunity to be a pioneer in the field of financial innovation, lead to alternative ways of funding small- and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups, contribute to more efficient customer-focused services and increase competition as well as diversity in the financial sector. On the other hand, FinTech may give rise to new privacy-related issues (e.g. technical innovation in the field of payment methods), additional cyber risk (e.g. hacking) and the duty of care towards customers may be eroded.
In order to seize the opportunities that FinTech offers, while at the same time taking into account the associated risks, the Minister described three (policy) principles which he believed to be important in relation to FinTech:
- Eliminating bottlenecks: the current rules and regulations need to be updated and be brought in line with developments relating to FinTech. In addition, the Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche Bank, DNB) and the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (Autoriteit Financiële Markten, the AFM) needs to accommodate and respond to FinTech.
- Ensuring the security of the financial sector: FinTech may lead to risks for the financial stability and integrity of the financial sector. Therefore, FinTech developments need to be monitored closely, particularly by the DNB and the AFM. The Minister also emphasised that it is important that the financial sector, governments and regulatory authorities closely cooperate and share knowledge (both at a national and (pan-)European level).
- Seizing opportunities: the Netherlands should clearly present itself as a centre for financial innovation. In that respect, it is important that events are initiated in and from the Netherlands and organisations should be promoting developments relating to FinTech.
View the Dutch Minister of Finance’s letter to the Dutch Parliament (Dutch only), 8 March 2016.