The future of the Geneva financial centre depends more than ever on its capacity to innovate, especially in technology. The banking industry will have to reinvent itself to meet the requirements of generation Y and Z. This is where FinTech drives competitiveness. Governments can facilitate the process by providing a favourable regulatory framework.
Large financial centres today have vastly expanded their digital capacity. To remain competitive on an international scale, the Swiss banking industry needs a regulatory framework that supports the future evolution of technology.
In the United Kingdom, regulatory authorities have taken a proactive approach: the Financial Conduct Authority plays a key role in promoting economic development by supporting FinTech companies through its ‘innovation hub’ programme.
In Switzerland, the Federal Council recently adopted a ‘Digital Switzerland Strategy’ calling for close cooperation among all economic sectors. The FINMA, meanwhile, has decided to authorise online identification of banking clients, an important development for an international financial centre like Geneva, and one that is likely to benefit both retail banks and institutions specialising in wealth management.
To ensure the financial centre remains competitive and continues to innovate, government and political leaders must provide a determined regulatory impetus, in order to give Switzerland a legal framework that supports the development of FinTech and does not discourage innovation.