Impact of fintech in capital markets

A speech by Greg Medcraft, Chairman, Australian Securities and Investments Commission, IOSCO Growth and Emerging Markets Committee Annual Conference (Colombo, Sri Lanka), 20 September 2017

Introduction

Good afternoon, everyone.

I would like to thank our hosts, the Sri Lankan Securities and Exchange Commission, for their hospitality in convening the IOSCO Growth and Emerging Markets Committee Annual Conference here in Colombo.

I would also like to thank the IOSCO Growth and Emerging Markets Committee, and in particular its leader, Ranjit Singh, head of the Malaysian Securities Commission, for giving me the opportunity to introduce and participate in this panel discussion on the impact of fintech in capital markets.

With my time as Chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission drawing to a close this year, I have been reflecting on how much the financial landscape has changed over the past nearly nine years.

When I was appointed to ASIC in late 2008, the global regulatory community was still coming to grips with how to respond to the global financial crisis.

It was a challenging time, but also a time of opportunity, as we worked to stabilise and reform so many different parts of the financial system.

I am very proud of what we were able to achieve at ASIC and IOSCO as Chair of both organisations. The regulatory responses that we made have helped stabilise the financial system and made it a more secure avenue for funding growth.

Although it is tempting to reminisce about past achievements, what I want to focus on today is the fact that beyond the standards we developed, and the new frameworks we implemented, I believe we also established something even more enduring.

I am talking about the relationships we have built, both between regulators and with industry, as a result of working through so many difficult issues together.

In addition to understanding each other better, we have learnt that progress is possible when we look past our differences and focus on common outcomes.

Today, as we all move further down the road towards integration of the physical, digital and biological worlds, sometimes called the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’, I want to encourage everybody here to think about how that same spirit of international cooperation and collaboration can be harnessed in a new way – to reimagine the way we do things in capital markets.

With this in mind, there are only two points that I want to make before our panel discussion today:

First, I will elaborate a little more on the opportunities as well as the challenges we face in adapting to new technologies in the financial sector.

Second, I want to talk in more detail about two particular areas of technological development that have real potential to disrupt the financial system as we know it:

  •  digital fiat currencies; and
  •  initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Read the full speech (PDF 457KB)

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Last updated: 16/02/2018 04:26