Gatekeeping the gatekeepers: when big techs and fintechs own banks – benefits, risks and policy options

Over the past decade, big techs and fintechs began to provide a range of financial services to consumers, initially outside the confines of the highly regulated banking industry. These services started with payments, but expanded to encompass consumer lending, insurance and wealth management. In their provision of financial services, some big techs and fintechs compete directly with banks, while others work in partnership with them through various arrangements, to fulfil their customers’ banking needs. From the perspective of big techs and fintechs, the main benefit of providing bank-like financial services without a banking licence is the limited regulatory oversight, which allows them to focus on enhancing their technology, improving product offerings and enriching the customer experience. …

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