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Digital platforms: developments in their regulation and challenges in the financial arena

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As has happened with other industries, large technology companies are increasingly present in the financial services sector. In addition to being providers of digital tools and solutions, these firms can also act as a distribution channel for goods and services that are traditionally produced by financial institutions. Further, in certain business niches, BigTech firms are also emerging as new, direct competitors to banks. Without prejudice to the potential benefits that this new situation could present, the significant disruptions caused to industries by the increasing consolidation of digital platforms’ activity have prompted European institutions to instigate various actions aimed at nurturing the fairest functioning of the markets in which they act. One of the most recent examples is the Regulation on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services, in addition to other competition and general regulatory initiatives for European digital services markets. Despite their broad scope, these measures enable some of the challenges that major digital actors pose to the financial sector to be addressed. However, they do not give a satisfactory response to another series of more specific and equally relevant matters, such as credit procyclicality, adverse selection and interdependencies. For these matters, more specific approaches are needed that help trace parallels between the activity of these platforms and of those that are already regulated, as a first step in the process to adapt the current regulatory and supervisory framework.
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Economic bulletin / Banco de España. Analytical articles
Economic bulletin / Banco de España [Artículos], n. 4, 2020
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