Sochi hosts Forum of Innovative Financial Technologies FINOPOLIS 2019

Photo: Aleksander Zholobov / Roscongress Foundation

Between 9 and 11 October 2019, over 1700 participants from 37 countries attended the event which included 3 plenary sessions, 17 sectional discussions, 9 roundtables and 14 open lectures.

Participants of the 2035 plenary session tried to get a glimpse into the future and imagine the financial market 15 years from now: will small players be welcome there and will they be able to compete with large companies? How will financial technologies influence the market and what role the regulator will play? The Bank of Russia Governor Elvira Nabiullina noted that technologies will quickly succeed each other and change living standards, as well as the economy and finance.

‘We in Russia are strongly concerned that small financial market actors will be unable to make large investments in what is now being shaped by a technological wave of innovation. However, I think that technologies will become cheaper and more affordable, whereas the human aspect and human relations will be of higher value,’ said Elvira Nabiullina. ‘Banks and financial institutions will expand their bounds, and new actors will emerge. Certainly, this will challenge the regulator with regulatory issues.’

In the Governor’s opinion, regulation of the financial market should be flexible and open to innovations despite the fact that central banks worldwide are inherently conservative.

The business programme of the Forum included a speech about the digital transformation of banks delivered by Chris Skinner, one of the most influential technology experts in the UK. He spoke about the steps banks should take now to survive in the digital era, which of them are doing best and what role humans will play in a digital bank.

On the closing day of the Forum, the sessions and roundtables discussed, among other things, such topics as blockchain-based services, payment interfaces of the future, customer relation approaches in 2030, innovations in cash circulation, as well as questions about whether big tech might compete with the regulator and whether robots need a code of conduct.

11 October 2019

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