Financial Technology (or, more snappily, “FinTech”) has been on the rise in recent years. Financial markets are subject to multiple legal regimes, which act in parallel to ensure that consumers and investors can have faith and security in the integrity of the financial system. FinTech raises certain novel concerns that regulators (including antitrust authorities) are currently grappling with.
FinTech is a broad term, but, at its essence, it refers to new technology that seeks to improve and/or automate the delivery and use of financial services. Initially, the term FinTech was used to refer primarily to innovations employed at the so-called “back-end” systems of established financial institutions. Increasingly, however, new technology has been deployed to refer to consumer-focused services encompassing education, retail banking, fundraising and nonprofit sectors, and investment management, to name but a few.
Perhaps the most prominent example of FinTech disrupting existing financial markets has been the rise of cryptocurrencies (though despite their meteoric success, for now, the bulk of regulation remains focused on governing the established financial institutions, in light of their sheer market power). The articles in this Chronicle run the gamut of the FinTech space, with a specific focus on antitrust rules (and how they interact with existing regulatory regimes).
Marcel Haag opens with a timely piece querying what the the regu...