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

ECB working on licensing rules for fintechs, Nouy says

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.

FILE PHOTO: A Bitcoin (virtual currency) coin is seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France, June 23, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Illustration

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 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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