The Word Economic Forum gathered this week in Davos, where the flagship debate was unsurprisingly on the future of financial services. Conversations heated over the ongoing question of whether banks will be fast and innovative enough to handle the rising number of fintech startups, more specifically in the blockchain space. The chatter evolved less around bitcoin, but more on the regulatory aspect. Will blockchain and other fintech startups face the same level of regulatory issues and controls as the incumbents face? Should regulation trump innovation when finance and the global economy is involved? It's clear these questions will be addressed again in Davos 2017.
“If you look at the amount of capital, oversight and approach to risk in the banking world today, I strongly believe that the banking system is a lot more solid than it was,” says Andrea Orcel, president of UBS investment bank. This does not mean that the banks are out of the woods, however. “Trying to get the appropriate risk-adjusted returns from banks given the state of the economy, regulation, markets, and the necessary transformation of both business models and cost structures is a challenge — and competition is rising,” says Mr Orcel.