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Tech giants’ rise requires new financial oversight, BIS says

‘Current system is likely to fall short of an adequate response.’
Image: Bloomberg

The world’s biggest tech firms need oversight from financial regulators to guard against their growing market power, possible threats to financial stability and data privacy concerns, according to senior officials at the Bank for International Settlements.

Agustin Carstens, general manager of the BIS, and three colleagues at the Basel-based institution said in a paper published Monday that the current system “is likely to fall short of an adequate response” to Big Tech’s move into finance.

“The current framework does not address the potential (possibly global) systemic impact of big tech operations and of possible spillover effects to the financial sector,” the officials wrote. Current licensing requirements for payments firms “were formulated with small remittance service providers in mind.”

The paper highlighted the surge in users of of Alphabet’s Google, and Facebook as well as the more than 90% market share of mobile payments in China held by Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings Tech firms can grow quickly in financial services because they can quickly roll out new products to their massive user bases, the BIS executives said.

The paper shows the growing concerns among central bankers and financial authorities over new forms of technology that are outside the traditional core of the banking system.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen last month pushed top US financial regulators to accelerate their consideration of new rules to police stablecoins, a type of cryptocurrency that’s seen rapid recent growth and remains largely unsupervised. The Bank of England wants additional powers to oversee the financial industry’s reliance on cloud computing, a market with a handful of technology giants like Amazon.com and Microsoft.

© 2021 Bloomberg

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Investors who underestimate the power and resolve of Central Banks and the IMF are “picking up pennies in front of a steamroller”

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