Ed Sibley: Innovation in financial services - a regulator's perspective

Speech by Mr Ed Sibley, Deputy Governor (Prudential Regulation) of the Central Bank of Ireland, at University College Cork, Cork, 29 November 2019.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
29 November 2019

Good morning ladies and gentlemen. I am delighted to be here today at University College Cork (UCC) to discuss innovation in financial services. Thanks to Professors John O'Halloran, Philip O'Reilly and Thia Hennessy for the invitation to be here today and talk with you. 

UCC plays a vital role in education, research and entrepreneurship, both locally here in Munster and further afield. There is a thriving hub of innovative activity here, which contributes to and shapes wider ideas and practices. Within Cork itself, I know there is an ever growing ecosystem of collaboration between start-ups, larger firms, academia and government agencies all tying in together to advance innovation.

Innovation in financial services has the capacity to bring many benefits for consumers, the economy and society in general. It is essential to the effective functioning of a competitive economy. However, here is where a challenge lies for financial regulators. Innovation is good, but not all innovations are good, and not all good innovations are done well. So regulators and supervisors need to:

  • not get in the way of 'good' innovation;
  • seek to prevent or limit innovations that are detrimental to the goal of well functioning financial services and markets; and
  • ensure that the associated risks are well-managed.