With the year 2020 dominated by Covid-19-related restrictions of physical interaction and an increasing relevance of technology and digital interaction for businesses and citizens, legislative initiatives by the European Commission aim at addressing digital transformations in Europe’s economy. Technology actors, i.e. BigTech, are expanding their reach from their core businesses into adjacent industry sectors. In turn, the European market is increasingly facing questions of competition, market conditions and available digital infrastructure. The financial sector is a frontrunner in the application of digital innovation to the benefit of customers and business operations. Consequently, the financial ecosystem met newcomers who – thanks to possible gatekeeper roles –carry significant changes into the known environment of business relations and regulatory framework.
The event provided insights into how European banks, regulators and BigTech companies perceived these changes. With the European Commission’s Digital Services Act coming up, conversations touched upon the role for new ex ante regulation and the protection of fair competition and innovation required for a prosperous Europe.