FSB on the Catch 22 of data gaps
The Financial Stability Board (FSB) recently published a report on fintech and market structure in the Covid-19 pandemic. Not surprisingly, the report finds that the pandemic has accelerated the digitalisation of retail financial services, both offering consumer benefits and raising financial stability concerns about the predominance of bigtechs.
Our eye was caught by one particular observation on data gaps and the difficulty of filling them, a knotty problem for those charged with developing reporting requirements, and one to which Covid-19 appears to have lent urgency: “In general, data on the size and characteristics of BigTech and FinTech activities are lacking in official central bank and regulatory statistics. These data gaps can hamper the assessment of the financial risks or potential systemic importance that new entrants may introduce. This leads to a “Catch 22” situation, where risks and systemic importance are key considerations to decide whether to modify the regulatory perimeter or conduct more intensive surveillance, but where the information to assess those risks and systemic importance are only available for institutions falling within the regulatory perimeter.”