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Highlights from ESMA’s 2015 Financial Innovation Day

07 January 2016

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) held its second Financial Innovation Day on 16 December 2015 looking at “Innovation in a Capital Market Union: harnessing innovation to improve access to finance and spur investment”. 

ESMA monitors financial innovation to ensure that supervisors, policy makers and market participants are aware of innovations that may undermine investor protection, give rise to financial instability or threaten market integrity while at the same time appreciating that financial innovation can also beneficially contribute to the economy. Its Financial Innovation Days are a primary source of knowledge for this activity.  

The day brought together a distinguished cast, with Jean-Paul Servais, President of the Belgium FSMA and Chair of ESMA’s Financial Innovation Standing Committee, opening the event and  Adrian Blundell-Wignall, Special Advisor at the OECD, giving the keynote speech. The conference was attended by regulators from the European Economic Area (EEA) with the aim of fostering greater understanding of new trends, products and protocols and around 20 experts drawn from both the industry and regulatory authorities were invited to participate in four panels discussing: 
-    Crowdfunding;  
-    Corporate bonds and whether innovation can reduce the liquidity gap in these markets;
-    Distributed Ledger Technology (also known as the Blockchain); and
-    Leveraged Loan funds.

Verena Ross, ESMA’s Executive Director, closed the day with reflections on the discussions and ESMA’s approach to financial innovation. To find out more about ESMA’s financial innovation activities, see our dedicated financial innovation page.