Home About FBF Overview Speech by Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani at the Conference on the Law and Competitiveness  


30 january 2017

Speech by Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani at the Conference on the Law and Competitiveness

The CEO of the FBF chaired a workshop on: "The uberisation of banks: should we worry?"


Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani introduced a panel discussion by point out that innovation has always been written into banks' DNA. In an ecosystem in full flux, banks are not afraid of competition and see the emergence of fintechs as an opportunity to better serve their customers. Moreover, their universal banking model places them at the centre of the lives of the French people, companies and economy.

The FBF CEO then answered a few questions:

How do banks work with fintechs?

"Banks are not opposed to fintechs. In fact, they assist them in their development, use the services that they develop and even integrate them. Banks and fintechs must work together. The goal is always to better serve their clients and to guarantee at all times a secured environment worthy of the name. The banking sector has long been digitalised. It is efficient and has even reinvented a close-up relationship with its customers, as everyone can now access their accounts on their smartphone.

The daily challenge facing French banks is that they must keep moving, seven days a week and 24 hours a day, for their 70 million customers, who are as numerous as they are diverse in their needs. Each year, we manage 20 billion payment transactions and grant 500 billion euros in new loans. To manage all that, we have a powerful banking industry in France that is equipped with solid methods and processes supported by highly competent, high-value employees."

The GAFAs are mostly staying out of the banking business for the moment. Could they one day stage an invasion in payments, comparers and savings?

"The GAFAs are not staying out! But it's mainly the access to data that interests them. Payments and the general framework of DSP2 offer them some prospects and raise questions of sovereignty in both the use of these platforms and in the area of data protection."

Are the new players as regulated as much as everyone else?

"Banks invest to protect the funds deposited by their clients and to protect their personal data. We need the same rules and the same controls for the same activities. You can count on us to be vigilant in this area! The issue of an actual level playing field is also being raised in all areas. The trust that customers have placed in their banks must not be betrayed."

How do banks guarantee the security of funds and data? What is the regulator’s response?

"Cyber security is a major area of concern. Banks are constantly investing in this area. They are monitored by supervisory authorities and work alongside them. In France, the FBF has initiated a partnership with the French police focusing on the financing of terrorism and any form of cybercrime."

How can innovation take hold in a heavily regulated environment?

"Regulation's purpose is not to block innovation but to protect all stakeholders, especially consumers. However, an excessively stringent regulatory framework can hinder innovation. This has led European banks (with the EBF backed by the FBF) to suggest taking up the issue of a harmonised framework of experimentation at michel.waintrop@bayard-presse.com the European level."

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