Leading German and European companies have stated their intention to cooperate more closely to establish a joint, pan-industry platform for online registration, e-identity and data services. The aim is to make online registration simpler and more secure for clients. The participating companies have signed a corresponding declaration of intent. The initiative was set up by Allianz, Axel Springer, Daimler and Deutsche Bank with Postbank as well as the technology think-tank Core, and Here Technologies, the location services provider.

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Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, held an open lecture at the ESMT in Berlin on April 11. The event entitled “Innovation, Technology and Growth” focused on the opportunities and risks of technological progress as well as recommendations by the IMF to governments on how to handle these risks.

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On 16 March 2017, BaFin – Germany’s financial regulator – held its fourth information meeting on the supervision of IT for banks with roughly 500 attendees. The press and media coverage (FAZ, Handelsblatt, Börsenzeitung) placed emphasis on the vulnerability of bank IT systems to attacks and the need for them to improve their IT security, whereas BaFin and the Bundesbank announced important details regarding future supervision and monitoring of bank IT, with keynote presentations on BAIT (supervisory requirements for bank IT), monitoring of IT matters in practice by banking regulators, and the implementation of the IT Security Act by means of the Federal Office for In- formation Security Act (BSI) and the Payment Service Directive (PSD) II.

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On 21 March 2017 the expert conference “Customer identification and conclusion of contracts without media disruption“ has taken place. Two topics were in the focus of discussion: (1) video identification methods and (2) trust services (with focus on qualified electronic signatures QES), following the overarching question if video identification and QES provide viable solutions for the digital future of banks. First, the legal frameworks have been presented with additional pratical examples about introducing a video identifation method and finally outlining application scenari-os for trust servies.

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In August 2016, the EBA published the draft RTS for consultation, and spelled out the details in a public hearing on 23 September 2016, especially regarding the points on “Use of strong customer authentication for account access (one-month discussion)” and “Using a risk-based approach as a replacement for the second factor”. On 23 February 2017, after taking account of 224 comments received back from the market, the EBA published the final version of the RTS.

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Financial instruments such as securities, derivatives (warrants) and money market instruments are frequently used by firms and investors today for asset, liquidity and risk management. As was made crystal clear by the financial crisis of 2008, these instruments can be useful for risk management, but if used in the wrong way, they can also have a destabilizing effect on financial markets. Financial instruments are therefore quite rightly subject to greater critical scrutiny from the public and from regulators. The latter have produced a series of rules (especially EMIR, MiFID II, MAR, CRD IV and PRIIP) in order to ensure the stability of financial markets on the one hand and to protect consumers on the other.

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Finovate has established itself as a forum to exchange ideas between the Fintech scene and well established financial service providers. This year Billingsgate Market Hall, located in the heart of London’s financial district, was the venue for the European arm of the trade fair where a total of 71 Fintechs were able to present their services to an international audience between February 7–9. CORE also attended this year, in order to identify trends and report on highlights.

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