September 6, 2017 / 8:34 AM / 3 years ago

ECB working on licensing rules for fintechs, Nouy says

Flags in front of the European Central Bank (ECB) before a news conference at the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, April 27, 2017. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank is working on new licensing guidelines that would also cover financial technology firms, Daniele Nouy, the ECB’s top bank supervisor told a conference on Wednesday.

The fintech sector, though still relative small, has been stealing market share from traditional lenders in a variety of sectors from payments to lending, attracting investment $6.5 billion (4.99 billion pounds) in the first half of the year.

“At the ECB, we are, for instance, devising a guide on licensing that also covers fintechs,” Nouy told a conference. “This guide will be published shortly for the purpose of a public consultation.”

“The technical and financial hurdles have become a bit lower; the (banking) market has become more contestable,” Nouy said added.

The nascent industry, ranging from mobile payment apps to ‘cryptocurrencies’ like bitcoin, is seen playing a crucial role in the future of financial services but regulators are still searching for ways to properly supervise a sector that has largely flown under their radar.

Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Francesco Canepa

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