Second, our first Annual Conference in three years brought together practitioners, academics and policymakers to discuss topics in digital and green finance under the heading “The Future of Finance
– Finance for the Future”. In her keynote and to set the stage, Anneli Tuomen (former Director General of the Finnish FSA and now ECB representative on the Supervisory Board of the ECB) pointed to the risks for European banks stemming
from the Russian aggression and rising energy prices, but also the much stronger capital buffers that European banks have available compared to a decade ago. Further, European banks have come stronger out of the pandemic than initially feared.
She also pointed to new sources of risks, including cyber-risk and increasing dependence of banks on third-party service providers (e.g., cloud services). The increasing digitalisation in finance was an important topic at the conference, including the increasing
role of BigTech companies and new legislative and regulatory initiatives on the European level, including the new crowdfunding regulation. What are the implications for competition from an increasing role of BigTech companies? Discussions on digital
currencies showed a clear contrast between regulators and practitioners who focus on potential uses and technical details of such currencies and academics who see little if any value added from digital currencies on the retail level (to be paraphrased as:
‘what problem is the digital euro the answer to?’). The transition to a sustainable financial system was a second major theme. To which extent can we rely on the financial system to undertake the necessary shifts in asset allocation and to
which extent are regulatory tools needed, including stress tests or even adjustments in capital requirements?