The potential of open APIs, cloud, blockchain and AI to transform the financial services sector will only be realised if regulators keep up and accept the "new realities" created by emerging technologies, argues a new Deutsche Bank white paper.
Deutsche Bank says that the emergence of new technologies and their uptake by the banking industry has driven increasing volumes of digital data, and new market players, business models and evolving client expectations.
Yet the transformative promise will only become reality if the regulatory approach keeps up and is globally aligned, technology-neutral, digitally relevant, embracing of new solutions, and industry-led.
Thomas Nielsen, chief digital officer, Global Transaction Banking, Deutsche Bank, says: "Further regulatory alignment on a global level would greatly support the development of innovative technologies for global business.
"This is particularly important in the context of data protection and security standards - as long as the rules vary across jurisdictions, technological solutions will be constrained by local boundaries, diluting their potential to transform the industry."
The paper highlights a number of areas where Deutsche Bank argues that regulation may not yet completely account for the “new realities” of technology. For instance, legislation relies on traditional means of ensuring data and information security - requiring access to premises where data is stored on cloud for the purpose of physical audits.
Re-thinking this approach to rather focus on the advanced distributed platforms and cyber security tools employed by cloud service providers would accelerate the movement of core banking services to cloud, suggests the paper.
Another issue is the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, which enshrines the “right to be forgotten”, potentially hindering the opportunities derived from the immutability of blockchain.
Says Nielsen: "Technology provides us with a huge opportunity to change our business models, releasing some control of the component value chain in order to better meet the new needs of clients.
"Getting this right is something that can only be done through collaboration with regulators and a wide range of industry groups. We must be responsible - but we need to disrupt, or be disrupted."