“By creating a connected digital single market, we can generate up to EUR 250 billion of additional growth in Europe in the course of the mandate of the next Commission, thereby creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs, notably for younger job-seekers, and a vibrant knowledge-based society.
To achieve this, I intend to take, within the first six months of my mandate, ambitious legislative steps towards a connected digital single market, notably by swiftly concluding negotiations on common European data protection rules; by adding more ambition to the ongoing reform of our telecoms rules; by modernising copyright rules in the light of the digital revolution and changed consumer behaviour; and by modernising and simplifying consumer rules for online and digital purchases. This should go hand-in-hand with efforts to boost digital skills and learning across society and to facilitate the creation of innovative start-ups. Enhancing the use of digital technologies and online services should become a horizontal policy, covering all sectors of the economy and of the public sector.”
President of the European Commission
A successful Digital Single Market with banks
Creating a Digital Single Market (DSM)2 is one of the ten priorities set out by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker. When Vice-President Andris Ansip presented the DSM strategy in May 2015, he underlined the importance of making the European Union’s single market fit for the digital age. According to the European Commission, a properly functioning digital single market could contribute €415 billion a year to the EU economy and create some 3.8 million jobs. Achieving it means tearing down regulatory walls and moving from 28 national markets to a single one.
Creating a Digital Single Market that responds to the reality of the banking market is one of the priorities of the European Banking Federation, which is actively committed to the future of banks.
What is needed to achieve a successful Digital Single Market?
Banks represent strategic digital partners for Europe’s economy. Making Europe “digital” involves banks too. Banks channel savings to investments to ensure economic activity and growth and provide essential services in a secure and reliable way for their customers, consumers and corporates alike. They embrace the digital innovation opportunity, accelerating the rethinking of their traditional business model, proposing innovative products/apps, engaging in FinTech partnerships, and financing innovative starts-ups. Banks perform indispensable functions within the economy and in this way strengthen EU competitiveness and stimulate investment for growth and job creation.
Faced with an unprecedented industrial transformation towards a digital future, a more holistic approach is vital. Banks are keen to see the economic benefits of a truly effective Digital Single Market. This goal warrants further reflection by banks and EU stakeholders on the possible role of digital financial services when it comes to launching a Capital Markets Union, and, in the context of the forthcoming retail financial services consultation. All European Commission services, as well as the other EU institutions should, together with the private sector, conduct an assessment on the challenges the EU needs to meet and ensure the legislation is adjusted to the digital market reality.
The banking sector supports a competitive and innovative EU Digital Single Market which safeguards existing consumer protection, trust and security. In the banks’ view, there is not necessarily a conflict between innovation and security. The key to a successful Digital Single Market is trust. To protect consumers and their data within a new digital economy, companies offering services similar to those of banks, and facing comparable risks, should be subject to appropriate and equivalent rules. This implies the need to find the proper balance between competition, innovation, security, privacy, and consumer protection. It is crucial to create a Digital Single Market that facilitates the development of all European businesses.
Strengthening cooperation and raising the awareness of EU citizens on the growing threats from cybercrime is crucial. Making digital finance secure and building trust should be a concern for all, including public and private actors.
The EBF Blueprint proposes recommendations on which to build a proper framework for a workable Digital Single Market (DSM) in particular on key issues.
Better Access to banking products and services
Data value chain/big data
Digital payments (mobile/instant and e-invoicing)
Digital skills (competence/talent recruitment and education)
Removing regulatory inconsistencies