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Fostering fintech initiatives



Ananda Kautz is head of innovation, payments & digital and member of the management board at the Luxembourg Bankers’ Association (ABBL). Library photo: Matic Zorman/Maison Moderne

Ananda Kautz is head of innovation, payments & digital and member of the management board at the Luxembourg Bankers’ Association (ABBL). Library photo: Matic Zorman/Maison Moderne

A recent Delano article noted the absence of the Luxembourg Bankers’ Association (ABBL) from a major fintech conference in Singapore. However, as the ABBL’s Ananda Kautz points out in this guest column, the association has several initiatives in play that promote fintech in the grand duchy.

To remain competitive, Luxembourg financial institutions are putting a special focus on digital transformation and innovation. Using new technologies to develop mutualisation, developing the digital ecosystem, creating standards and putting in place partnerships with financial technology firms are important pillars in this journey.

With this in mind, the ABBL runs a number of groups and initiatives to enable a strategic dialogue on innovation matters among ABBL members, fintechs and key national stakeholders to contribute to making Luxembourg’s financial services sector more diverse, prosperous and resilient.

Digital Strategy Committee

Specifically, the ABBL has established its Digital Strategy Committee, uniting 43 financial institutions, to provide a platform for discussions and to foster the digitalisation initiatives of ABBL members supported by relevant working groups and task forces.

The current focus of the DSC spans across several key subjects: digital euro, distributed ledger technology, crypto assets, cloud computing, data economy, open finance, artificial intelligence, eID, trust & cybersecurity. DSC provides guidance to its members and develops positions on European and national regulatory proposals.

Fintech & Innovation Forum

Furthermore, ABBL members see an important need for a direct exchange and interactions with fintech firms to proceed with in-house digital transformation projects. Synergies that are born here give a noticeable impulse for a productive cooperation between established financial institutions and innovative solution providers. This is exactly the goal of another initiative of the ABBL, namely Fintech & Innovation Forum that currently gathers 74 organisations, including 26 foreign and local fintech firms.

Through regular meetings and events, FIF contributes to the visibility of fintech firms and accelerates digitalisation of ABBL members by connecting them with financial technology providers. Topics that have been recently discussed at the forum include cybersecurity, regtech, open banking, data analytics, metaverse, non-fungible tokens, and technologies for environmental, social and governance compliance.

It is worth mentioning that the DSC and FIF have set-up a joint “Regulatory Dialogue for Innovation” task force, with the goal to enable a constructive regulatory dialogue with the CSSF and other key stakeholders on subjects related to digitalisation and innovation.

Artificial intelligence

Besides dedicated groups and forums, ABBL supports specific programs, such as a research project to explore and develop trustworthy artificial intelligence tools for instant anti-money laundering due diligence. The project is run in cooperation with several ABBL members, the University of Luxembourg’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) and Fondation ABBL pour l’éducation financière.

We are glad that many key ecosystem partners such as CSSF, Central Bank of Luxembourg, Luxembourg for Finance, Lhoft and University of Luxembourg are part of digital initiatives at the ABBL. We believe that such cooperation will benefit the whole financial services sector of Luxembourg.

Ananda KautzAnanda Kautz is head of innovation, payments & digital, and a member of the management board at the Luxembourg Bankers’ Association (ABBL)