The work of financial supervision must become more digital says Kilvar Kessler


The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed European banks towards greater digitalisation, and so the work of financial supervision authorities should also become more digitalised than it has been, said Chair of the Board of Finantsinspektsioon Kilvar Kessler in a speech to the policy conference of the European Banking Institute (EBI).

The pandemic has hurt the banking industry less than was feared when the crisis first erupted. Mr Kessler argued that the buffers that the banks had built up in the good times, the limits on dividend payouts, and the introduction of payment moratoriums had helped the banks cope well with the crisis. He said that as the pandemic ends, we will see banking across Europe become much more digitalised than before. The work of European supervisory institutions needs to become more digitalised in consequence. More modern data processing technology will need to be used, and staff with specialist IT skills will need to be hired.

He noted that the Estonian banking sector already stood out in Europe for its high level of digitalisation even before the pandemic. More than 92% of all the payments made by private individuals are initiated through e-channels, and 87% of payments move instantly. The second wave of the pandemic moved 70% of the bank staff in Estonia rapidly over to working remotely. This led to a rise in cyber attacks, which the Estonian banks were able to counter successfully.

Kilvar Kessler’s speech to the European Banking Institute's policy conference “Recovery and Growth in a Post-Pandemic EU”, 3 November 2021

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