The EU Supervisory Digital Finance Academy (EU-SDFA) is a TSI flagship initiative aimed at supporting financial supervisory authorities in coping with the risks and opportunities associated to the use of advanced technologies in the financial sector. The European Commission – DG Reform has established the Academy in cooperation with the three European Supervisory Authorities (EBA – ESMA – EIOPA) and the Florence School of Banking and Finance part of the Robert Schuman Centre of the European University Institute (FBF-EUI). The EU-SDFA encompasses comprehensive training cycles and workshops enabling the acquisition of new expertise and skills, knowledge sharing and peer-to-peer exchanges within the financial supervisory community.
In recent years, an increasing number of innovative technologies and digital applications have changed the landscape of finance by giving rise to new business models, applications, processes and products. Financial regulatory and supervisory authorities face the challenge to keep pace with these developments: supervising digital finance requires the acquisition of significant new expertise and technical knowledge, as well as staff with new kinds of work experience and skillsets, including understanding new innovative technologies and the risks related to them.
The enhancement and strengthening of supervisory and regulatory capacity with regard to the application of innovative technologies in finance is in line with the overarching EU objective of supporting the digital transition of the economy. The ability to tackle risks posed, and to reap the opportunities offered, by the most advanced technologies in the field is consistent with the goal to relaunch and modernize the European economy, to ensure Europe becomes a global digital player, and to accelerate the recovery and resilience of Member States’ economies. In line with the EU Digital Finance Strategy, increased awareness and capacity of financial regulators and supervisors would help create opportunities to develop innovative, efficient and inclusive financial products for consumers and businesses across the EU, to enhance financial market integration, and to secure strategic autonomy within the international arena.
The EU-SDFA strives to establish synergies by collecting best practices and enabling peer learning, while taking stock of supervisors’ needs in this area. The project will not only create a community of digital-savvy financial supervisors, but it will also inform and improve the development of supervisory tools and practices that might be implemented in many Member States, potentially reducing costs, increasing convergence and boosting competitiveness as well as business opportunities.
In order to achieve these objectives, the Commission, the ESAs and the FBF-EUI will design and deliver basic and advanced training modules for national supervisory authorities’ staff to empower them to deal with the digitalisation of finance.