Now in its 19th consecutive year, the European Financial Services Conference is widely considered as the major event in the Brussels calendar on financial services, annually attracting some 400 senior bankers and financial policymakers to discuss the most pertinent issues affecting European and global financial markets.
Hosted by Barclays, Generali and Kreab, this year’s conference is planned to take place on 15 June 2021, primarily as a virtual event with a limited live element in Brussels if circumstances allow – more information on this will follow shortly.
As we continue on the pathway out of the crisis, the conference will explore the vision for the next generation European financial system.
Building back better – Opportunities and challenges ahead
CBDC – The future of the digital euro
Europe and the emerging new global partnerships
Over a year has passed since the pandemic swept over us in several waves causing unprecedented economic and social upheaval. As the vaccination programmes gradually allow for the re-opening of our economies and societies, this session will look at how leaders of large global financial institutions assess the success of the economic measures taken to address the crisis and what they see as the resulting policy priorities. As we continue on the pathway out of the crisis, it will discuss the challenges and opportunities ahead as we adapt to changes in working environments and the investment climate, and the vital role that the financial sector can play in building a sustainable recovery.
– What is the current state of the EU economy in comparison to other regions?
– What should be the key priorities for financial institutions and EU economic and
financial policy over the next 12 months and beyond?
– What role should digitalisation and sustainability play in the recovery?
– What are the lessons for European economic sovereignty and how do we balance them with our global interests and instincts?
After years on the sidelines, there are signs that environmental, social and governance investing (ESG) has begun to go mainstream, with record capital inflows in 2020. This move from sectoral, tailored sustainability legislations to broader, holistic ESG initiatives is shown in the transition of initiatives to capture more firms (NFRD, Green Bonds, Taxonomy, etc.) as well as a move to look beyond limited environmental focus. As we move into the recovery phase, focus will shift to holistic ESG – including looking at social issues, human rights, and biodiversity. This is also apparent in the connected sustainable corporate governance workstream, which will affect financial institutions and corporates. The International Platform for Sustainable Finance has begun working in global coordination of broad ESG workstreams including disclosure, reporting, labels and standards, and the use of taxonomies. This session will examine the evolution of ESG and the long-term path ahead.
-How has the EU’s vision of sustainable finance evolved from the 2018 Action Plan to now as we anticipate the Renewed Sustainable Finance Strategy (shift to real economy)?
-How has the COVID pandemic, both from a financial markets perspective and societal view, influenced the EU sustainable finance agenda? Of course, sustainability is actively being ingrained in the recovery, but has the focus shifted or new priorities emerged for action?
-The pandemic highlighted a large uptick in issuance of green and social bonds, how will the EU upcoming framework enhance this growing area of the market?
-What challenges and opportunities lie in the expansion of focus from just environmental sustainability to holistic ESG? Can the EU address social and governance issues the same way environmental issues were tackled (e.g. through disclosures/taxonomy)?
-What should corporates be aware of in these new horizontal initiatives? How will they be impacted?
-How will outstanding questions of access, availability and reliability of ESG data be addressed (e.g. NFRD review, ESG data single access point, etc)?
-How will the sustainable corporate governance and sustainable finance workstreams build on one another?
-Looking at a global level, the International Platform has gained a large number of Members and is expected to continue growing. With ongoing work on the international use of disclosures and taxonomies, how can the EU contribute to working to harmonise international standards and ESG initiatives?
-What’s next for global sustainability in the market?
In June 2021, the ECB will decide whether to proceed with the creation and distribution of a digital euro. Preparatory work is already underway and the underlying assumption is that the project will proceed. By this time, stakeholders will have had a chance to submit feedback through a consultation and the ECB would make further details about the development and rollout of the CBDC available. Sweden is one of the most advanced countries in the world in building and trialling a CBDC, and is currently testing its electronic Krona. There is particular concern from the banking industry, as well as risks to financial stability, in the impact a digital euro would have on bank deposits (if there is a sudden shift from bank deposits to digital euro wallets creating stability risks for example).
-Do EU citizens want a digital euro? How will this help them?
-What are the risks and benefits involved in issuing a digital euro?
-With several other nations sufficiently advanced in the development of their own CBDC (e.g. Sweden, China), is the euro-area already behind in this area? If so, how will we catch up?
-How are concerns related to financial stability being analysed and addressed?
-What are existing financial markets participants, for example banks, role in the digital euro ecosystem?
-Following a decision on whether to proceed with the digital euro, what is the anticipated process and timeline for issuance?
-There are several concerns related to risk and stability, how does the infrastructure and design of the digital euro impact this?
A new future needs to be forged between the EU and its primary international partners in financial services provision, in particular the UK and the US. The UK’s departure from the EU has important implications for the EU financial system, most notably for capital markets. As the new Biden administration beds in, there is an opportunity to jointly address shared economic issues of concern. This session will give serious thought to optimally shaping the future political and regulatory relationships between our respective financial sectors. It will look at how the UK, a major global financial centre now outside the EU, may become less integrated with EU markets and firms over time and what the impacts of this are for globally operating firms. It will also focus on how the EU, UK and US can manage the process of developing differing regulatory regimes, even if the overarching objectives are likely to remain aligned, whilst maintaining and enhancing the competitiveness and attractiveness of financial markets at a time of unprecedented economic uncertainty.
Minister for Finance, Slovenia
CEO, Barclays Europe
Group Chairman, Generali
CEO, Fidelity International
Director General, DG FISMA, European Commission
Director General for Financial Services, HM Treasury, UK
Chief Investment Officer and European Equity Fund Manager, Invesco
If you are interested in becoming involved in this event and finding out more about the sponsorship opportunities available, please contact Charlene Bowditch: firstname.lastname@example.org / +44 (0) 2920 783 079
For more information on any aspect of this event, please contact Charlene Bowditch using any of the details below.
Director | Head of Event Management
Tel: +44 (0) 2920 783 079