"2016 Symposium on FinTech and Financial Consumer Protection" Successfully Held
Financial technology (FinTech) drastically changes the ecosystem of global financial system. When using FinTech for innovation opportunities, financial services enterprises (FSEs) should take heed of transaction risks and above all should prioritize financial consumer protection. On 19 August, from 9:30 to 12 a.m., the Financial Ombudsman Institution (FOI) held the "2016 Symposium on FinTech and Consumer Protection" in the International Conference Hall 801 of the Chang Yung-Fa Foundation International Convention Center. In his speech at the symposium, the FOI Chairman Jan-Juy Lin indicated that the successful application of technology to finance depends on a win-win approach that embraces the spirit "Technology comes from trusting in human nature," adapted from a past advertising slogan "Technology comes from human nature."
The distinguished guests of the symposium included Professor Wo-Chiang Lee of Tamkang University; Yi-Kun Lee, Financial Advisor of the Taiwan Research Institute; James Liu, Managing Supervisor of the Life Insurance Association; Chen-Fang Chang, Executive Vice President of Hua Nan Commercial Bank; and Ko-Yang Wang, Chairman of Fusions 360. James Liu mentioned the recent heatedly discussed issue of a "regulatory sandbox." He pointed out that the UK's regulatory sandbox was developed to encourage innovation while also enabling the regulator to grown and learn in step with developments in innovation. The UK regime hence adopts a first-easy-then-tough, innovation-supportive, tiered regulatory framework, with "heavy-touch" supervision of larger scale initiatives and "light-touch" supervision of smaller scale initiatives. Chen-Fang Chang of Hua Nan Commercial Bank expressed that in this FinTech era, Taiwan's banks in the coming five years will experience a multi-fold increase in electronic payments and a drastic reduction in physical counter services, since clients can carry out account-opening or other banking operations through digital channels. Yi-Kun Lee, Financial Advisor of the Taiwan Research Institute, offered an analysis from the perspective of legal systems. He indicated that Taiwan, as a civil-law jurisdiction which does not take the negative-listing regulatory approach adopted in common-law jurisdictions, should first of all enact a special law following Japan's model. Although that may mean slightly slower development of the market, it also will mean that risks will be more controllable and the market will be less likely to recede whenever a crisis occurs.
Ko-Yang Wang expressed that FinTech is changing every day, and everyone is urgently rushing to claim their share of this big market by providing better and faster services. He said that a regulatory sandbox regime can enable applicant enterprises to communicate with the market regulators. He also encouraged applicant enterprises to adopt self-regulatory initiatives and enter the normal regulation stage as soon as their business prospers and grows large. Wo-Chiang Lee expressed his wish to see the coming together of the financial and technological worlds. Given Taiwan's current situation, in which the size of the market has not grown and there are multiple enterprises aspiring to claim shares, although the opening of the market may inevitably result in the closing of some enterprises, he believes that the integration of finance and technology will be essential in building market power.
The symposium attracted about 200 participants from financial and technological fields. The speakers and attendees engaged in lively interaction, expressing strong ambitions for the future of FinTech. They exchanged views and opinions on regulatory and protective mechanisms related to FinTech, and also on the recent heatedly discussed issue of the regulatory sandbox. The conclusions of the symposium can provide a useful reference for the FSC as it proceeds to develop related regulatory provisions.