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Spanish Fintech Association (AEFI) releases regulatory white paper

The Spanish Fintech & Insurtech Association (AEFI) recently published a regulatory white paper presenting the main themes and organisations of the Spanish fintech industry. The publication was presented to the Spanish financial authorities. The white paper is meant to incentivise alternative perspectives on the current legislative framework for the financial services providers in Spain including banks and insurers.

The paper discusses possible normative changes that can benefit the Spanish fintech firms while creating more competitive financial industry in the region. The paper also stresses out the importance of taking the advantages for the consumer into account. The research included more than 180 professionals in the Spanish fintech ecosystem which provided input on potential revisions of financial regulation.

According to the AEFI, Spain has more than 200 fintech organisations employing more than 2500 professionals and having generated EUR 250 million of investments. The research included several denominations and product offerings which represent the main financial innovations. Examples included are crowdfunding, payments, cryptocurrencies, big data, blockchain & alternative finance.

The main proposed regulatory actions of the AEFI for the Spanish market are listed below.

  1. Authorities should issue customized and temporary operating licenses for a rapid market access.
  2. Introducing possible exceptions of financial conduct and governance policies of third-party products or specific financial services to facilitate diversified product offerings across several providers and eventually increase competitiveness.
  3. Creating a virtual space or regulatory sandbox where entrepreneurs can experiment and try out with new products without having to enter the market.
  4. Appointing a special fintech authority for every financial cluster (insurance, banking and capital markets) that will overlook innovation.

Additionally, the paper argues the leading countries in terms of fintech investments being the United States, China, United Kingdom, India and the Netherlands. Consequently, governments and authorities all over the world are experimenting with innovation on a regulatory level through regulatory sandboxes such as in Singapore, United Kingdom, Germany and France. These initiatives can function as an example for the Spanish market. For more information on the role of the Spanish Fintech Association please visit their website.

Currently, the white paper is only available in Spanish and can be found here.

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