On 24 September the European Commission issued a Digital Finance Package, which includes the Digital Finance Strategy for the EU. As the Covid-19 pandemic spread through Europe, the uptake on new digital financial solutions increased while the need for a widespread adoption became evident. With the Digital Finance Package, the European Commission is aiming to tackle the challenge of promoting digital finance services while addressing the risks that may arise for users and for the stability of the financial market.

The Commission has identified four priorities to guide digital transformation until 2024:

•Harmonization of the Digital Single Market for financial services to allow financial firms to scale up across borders, eliminating many restrictions for FinTech providers. This includes regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions, extending the latter to the private sector.

•Empowerment of digital innovation through a regulatory framework that promotes the responsible use of digital financial services. The main focuses of the European Commission are crypto-assets and distributed ledger technology (e.g. blockchain), further developed in the proposal for Regulation on Markets in Crypto-assets. The proposal also addresses the use of critical ICT providers (e.g. cloud service providers) by crypto-asset providers.

•Enhancement of data-driven innovation and data-sharing across sectors, supporting a Single Market for Data.

•Enforcement of the principle “same activity, same risk, same rules” between new market players and existing financial institutions. The European Commission aims to safeguard the Union’s financial stability through a proposal for a new Framework for digital operational resilience for the financial sector.
This proposal intends to:

•Guide financial institutions through ICT risk management;
•Establish rigorous resilience testing for ICT systems used in these institutions;
•Create awareness in financial supervisors for cyber-attacks and for the dependency of finance firms on ICT service providers;
•Create a report mechanism for ICT incidents in the sector.

At VdA, our interdisciplinary Team of FinTech experts, composed of members from the ICT and the B&F practice areas is delivering rigorous and strategic legal advice to prepare our clients for the new challenges arising from the Digital Finance Package.ClosePrint

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