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Austrian Finance Minister Löger holds keynote speech at FinTechWeek

In his keynote speech today at FinTechWeek Vienna, Austrian Finance Minister Hartwig Löger stressed the fundamentally positive attitude of the Austrian Finance Ministry towards digitalisation of the financial services sector. He also presented initial results achieved by FinTech, founded one year ago, and underlined the necessary of cooperation.

"Digitalisation of the financial services sector constitutes one of the most decisive areas determining the future of our national economy. For this reason, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance established the FinTech Advisory Council in order to support the evolution of this sector and play an active role in shaping this evolution. This enables us to ensure that consumers have at their disposal the best possible choice of financial products while, at the same time, Austria as a financial centre is modernised and thus strengthened," explained Löger.

Löger went on to describe the concrete progress which the FinTech Advisory Council has been able to achieve since being established last year.

For instance, work on the "regulatory sandbox", which enables fintechs to test their business models initially for a limited time period and with a limited sphere of customers, without having to fulfil all regulatory requirements, is at an advanced stage. Implementation is set to follow as early as next year.

In relation to crypto-currencies, Löger emphasised that work is being undertaken primarily on improvements to customer and investor protection. Here, increasing transparency and eliminating risks of the financing of terrorism are key areas of focus.

Finance Minister Löger also spoke about ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings), Know Your Customer (KYC) processes, and the digitalisation of securities.

In all these areas, "technology neutrality" was considered to be particularly vital. After all, competition and the customer's own decisions must be at the forefront.

22 November 2018