The digital transformation of financial services has driven profound shifts in the industry’s competitive environment, firstly with a trend towards the unbundling of services by FinTech start-ups, and now increasingly in a form of ‘re-bundling’ within BigTechs’ digital platforms. BBVA’s Head of Digital Regulation and Trends (and former IIF secondee) Pablo Urbiola returns to FRT to discuss these phenomena, which are elaborated in his recent BBVA paper,"From FinTech to BigTech: an evolving regulatory response."
Pablo highlights the ability of BigTech firms to rapidly achieve scale and to leverage network effects as they enter a new sector, and emphasizes the linkage between competition and systemic risk. These issues manifested themselves in policy initiatives such as open banking, in those jurisdictions that have established asymmetrical structures across sectors, and they are made more important than ever with COVID-19 as our lives are more digital and intermediated by tech firms. Pablo stresses that these issues need global and cross-sectoral solutions, noting that financial regulators are well placed to lead with their extensive history of international co-operation and co-ordination.