Speaking at the event most-beloved by conspiracy theorists and conspirators, the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Governor of the Bank of Japan (BoJ), Haruhiko Kuroda, said that fintech companies could change the way regulators look at the financial services industry.
According to Reuters, the BoJ governor said that new technology companies entering the financial services industry are taking a different approach to banks. Instead of providing loans and bank accounts, he noted, many of these firms are focusing exclusively on settlement and payment solutions.
“We tend to think that these big tech companies are making a disruptive impact on the banking system,” Kuroda said. “[They] may disrupt the banking sector in a serious way. How to deal with this situation, that is a very difficult question.”
Given that ‘disruptor’ and ‘disruption’ have been transformed into positive phrases by the corp-speak bullshitters of the technology world, many in the fintech space, if they aren’t smiling smugly at the idea of ‘disrupting’ an industry, are probably wondering why Kuroda would be concerned by their behaviour.
Kuroda – no regulation, big problems
Fortunately for us, Kuroda did explain himself. He said that, as most regulation concerns itself with traditional banking, many of these new companies are entering uncharted territory – and, if there’s one thing regulators don’t like, it’s uncharted territory.
The BoJ governor said that, without proper rules governing them, these new fintech firms could cause economic problems for advanced countries. Those economic problems could, in turn, lead to major political problems.
“Financial crisis,” he said, “tends to create not just financial and economic problems, but political instability.”
Along with his fellow central bank governor, Mark Carney of the Bank of England, Kuroda also said that cyber security will be a growing challenge for financial regulators.
“In [the] coming years,” said Kuroda, “probably this cyber-risk issue would be the most serious kind of risk and we have to carefully study and think about ways to strengthen the system against any cyberattack,”