25th June 2019

Mark Carney’s swansong looks to the future and digital innovation

The final Mansion House speech by outgoing governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney looked to the future. His four key initiatives included reforms that could enable tech firms to open up competition and widen customer choice.

Mr Carney also spoke of reviewing the way the Bank uses digital innovation such as AI and the Cloud to make the UK financial system more resilient, about stress-testing resilience against climate change, and about developing an open platform for finance to assist small and medium-sized businesses. However, he said that Facebook’s planned digital currency Libra would have to meet strict regulations before going into public circulation.

Responding, Stephen Jones, Chief Executive of UK Finance, said: “Digital innovation in financial services has the ability to widen access to banking and payments so all customers have greater choice and access to better services.

"As the industry works to understand and harness these opportunities to improve productivity and drive inclusion for the benefit of businesses and consumers, it is crucial that the UK maintains a well-coordinated regulatory framework that keeps pace with these changes while remaining proportionate, maintaining high standards and promoting competition.

"As the governor acknowledges, future regulation needs to be developed to deal with the changing way customers are banking. While innovation solves problems it also brings new risks and it is important that the UK continues to work to evolve a supervisory approach that encourages innovation while ensuring customers are protected.

"Customers are increasingly choosing to manage and move their money with a broad range of providers, and we need to ensure they remain protected no matter how they choose to pay.

"Looking at how to regulate from the perspective of the activities being carried out, rather than the type of entity involved, poses new conduct and prudential issues for the regulators and policymakers to consider and address. But these are important challenges that must be addressed.”