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Don’s blog: New Year, New Governance: Holland FinTech 2.0

The future of digital finance is changing. The data economy and geopolitical developments are forcing the EU to rethink its global competitive position. As such, digital finance is becoming a priority. Over the years we have seen a significant increase in regulatory pressure and this trend is not likely to end any time soon. Policymakers struggle to keep up with technology and the rise of new players entering the market, whilst safeguarding the financial ecosystem and protecting consumer interests. This is now clearly impacting the innovative power and market potential of the industry, in particular digital finance.

It is essential to restore the balance of innovation versus regulations, and therefore Holland FinTech wants to focus on advocating our collective interests to policymakers and other key stakeholders. To be able to do so properly, Holland FinTech will implement new governance. We believe it is essential that our members are empowered to define the strategic agenda, identify collective priorities and get involved in the execution. With this new foundation, we can truly believe we can represent your interests in the best way.

Holland FinTech started out 6 years ago as a private, small initiative to use the momentum in fintech to drive change in financial services. In a landscape of companies competing for the customer, the primary aim was to give people more alternatives for financial services and to educate and connect parties on how the world is changing and demonstrate the added value of participation and collaboration. This mission is still valid today, but the world has changed a lot since our inception.

Holland FinTech has grown into a diverse and respected network connecting over 500 companies, ranging from start-ups to large incumbent financial institutions, as well as technology and other service providers closely tied to the financial services ecosystem. This diversity in members has provided for a wide range of perspectives, a high pace of innovation and a vivid dynamic in the market.

Especially, this market dynamic is at stake. Since the policymakers have stepped in with many new regulatory measures intending to create a level playing field, we, unfortunately, have to conclude that they often miss that mark. Policymakers still struggle with topics like AML, tax evasion and cybersecurity, data privacy, cryptocurrencies, and artificial intelligence, resulting in a continuously high influx of new regulations. This hampering innovation and disadvantages of financial services versus other digital services.

Fortunately, many new regulations are only in the draft as policymakers are aware of the fact that the new world cannot be shaped from an ivory tower. This is demonstrated by the call for input on the EU Digital Finance package as well as through the Fintech Action Plan in the Dutch market. So there is ample opportunity for us to influence and change the rules of the game. But the time to act is now, and it is something that we must do together.

To optimize our contribution to shaping the future of digital finance, Holland FinTech is going to change. To genuinely and objectively represent the interests of our members to key stakeholders, we need to align our organisational structure with new governance. Holland FinTech will transition to a formal association, with a general assembly, a board and working groups representing all members to define strategic priorities, shape the annual working programme and execute on our collective interests.

Will this change everything? Certainly not! The Holland FinTech team you are familiar with will keep on running the show. We will provide for the programme, distribute insights and connect people as you are used to. We will however allow the board to shape the strategic priorities and programme to ensure that the needs of our members are captured. A proper and effective member representation becomes our top priority.

We are very excited about this as it will increase our impact as a community in shaping the future of digital finance. We truly believe this new governance will strengthen our community, allow us to build stronger relationships with members and key stakeholders, and better facilitate the generation of ideas and leverage our collective brainpower. It’s time for Holland FinTech 2.0!

We will soon elaborate about next steps and the transformation itself, but first, we will focus on scouting board members and prepare for the 2021 programme, for the association to have a head start. You are all very much invited to give your input. Please provide us with your ideas here. On the Annual Member Summit – which will also function as our general assembly – we will present the board and the 2021 plans based on your input.

So please note 28 January 2021 in your agenda and do not hesitate to contact us any time you have questions or want to inform us of your interest to play an active role in Holland FinTech 2.0.

We are stronger together!

Don

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