“Cloud computing is driving both the digital transformation of banks and the EU Digital Single Market. We need to create a safe and clear regulatory environment so that both banks and supervisors can do their job well.”

Wim Mijs
Wim MijsEBF Chief Executive Officer

“ The success of our first Cloud Banking conference and the launch of the EBF Cloud Banking Forum demonstrates that there is a willingness to innovate and a thirst for clear rules in cloud banking.”

Wim Mijs
Wim MijsEBF Chief Executive Officer

Digitalisation of services and globalisation have led to significant changes in methods of data collection, access and use. Especially in the banking industry.
This has recently contributed to an increased interest in cloud computing as a means to support the digitalisation of financial services. It is not only about storing data in the cloud but outsourcing your computing power meeting the business needs. By doing so, cloud-based infrastructures can be a driving force behind better software performance, data analytics, and emerging technologies such as distributed ledgers and artificial intelligence.

However, banks have been slower in their uptake of cloud services when compared to other industries due to the strict regulatory environment where banks operate in. Correspondingly, legal and regulatory constraints limit cloud adoption in banking, but also the lack of harmonised regulatory approaches across different jurisdictions and between regulators contributes to a high threshold. Moreover, using, managing and storing customer information faces higher compliance risks, especially in an international environment and in the light of data and security guidelines (e.g. GDPR).

The contractual negotiations between banks and cloud service providers (CSPs) are facing significant frictions.

Cloud computing in many forms (private, public, hybrid). Public cloud solutions let service providers make resources like apps and storage available via an accessible network where multiple clients can share the same resources.  A hybrid cloud is an integrated cloud service utilising both private and public clouds to perform distinct functions within the same organisation.


The EBF Cloud Banking Forum is a unique attempt to create a dialogue between relevant authorities, cloud service providers (CSPs) and banks aimed to enable the creation of a harmonised supervisory approach towards cloud computing and to support the rapid adoption of public/hybrid cloud solutions in the banking sector.
In its initial workstreams, the EBF Cloud Banking Forum created three technical papers, reflecting important aspects for cloud adoption by European banks. By support of a harmonized regulatory framework through suggestion of voluntary best practices and provision of educational background, Cloud Service Providers and European banks are looking to avoid detrimental fragmentation for cloud computing across the EU . To that end, the papers reflect on special features of cloud use by financial institutions and address requirements under the EBA Guidelines on outsourcing arrangement from a cloud-specific perspective.

After an initial engagement with its EU observers in the past, the Cloud Banking Forum is looking forward to discuss the proposed papers with the observers in detail. Insights gained from this conversations will help to shape the products of the Forum further, updating them in the face of a fast developing cloud environment that continues to evolve.

EBF Cloud Banking Conference Summary note


According to the European Commission, cloud computing is developing fast. Estimates indicate that these developments could lead to the growth of the European cloud market from €9.5bn in 2013 to €44.8bn by 2020, i.e. almost five times the market size in 2013. Within the Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe, the key role of cloud computing is established through the European Cloud Initiative and through the initiative on Building a European Data Economy.

The European Cloud Initiative focuses is complemented by other initiatives under the Digital Single Market (DSM) to promote the development and uptake of cloud services, focusing on certification, switching of cloud service providers and security. These actions incorporate input from the European Cloud Partnership (ECP) and the Cloud Select Industry Group (C-SIG).

The EBF works together with the Commission on several topics and projects. The Commission is also an observing member of the EBF Cloud Banking Forum.

Digital Single Market Cloud Computing: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/cloud

DSM cloud stakeholder meeting: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/dsm-cloud-stakeholder-meeting-0


European banks want to adopt innovative cloud technology, to allow them to – operate in a fast-developing digital environment, to serve customers and to adapt their business in order to strive for the EU’s digital leadership role.

In December 2017, the European Banking Federation launched the EBF Cloud Banking Forum, a policy hub on cloud computing for European banks and Cloud Service Providers to support a harmonised supervisory approach towards cloud computing. This will facilitate the adoption of public/hybrid cloud computing by European banks on a larger scale.

The 2nd EBF Cloud Banking Conference will present the results of this cooperation and allow supervisory authorities, representatives of EU institutions, Cloud Service Providers and European banks to engage on the future of cloud adoption, from both a European and global perspective. The event will also prove valuable in the context of the implementation of the European Banking Authority’s Guidelines on outsourcing arrangements.


Julian Schmücker

Julian Schmücker

Policy Adviser - Digital

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