VILNIUS, June 10 (Xinhua) -- Fintech sector offers opportunities which can support productivity and growth, yet fintech may also pose certain risks and needs to be properly managed, Tao Zhang, deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated at a high-level event held in Vilnius on Monday.
Zhang was speaking at a joint high-level fintech seminar held by the Bank of Lithuania and the IMF.
"Technological change has brought rapid advances in financial technology that are transforming the economic and financial landscape. Recognizing the opportunities and potential challenges that fintech brings, the IMF and the World Bank launched the Bali Fintech Agenda last fall which brings together key issues for policymakers", said Zhang.
Some countries have been encouraging fintech innovation and exploring regulatory responses proactively, however "this is not going to be enough", he added.
"There is a need for greater international cooperation on cyber security and money laundering risks, on developing legal, regulatory and supervisory frameworks, on domestic and cross-border payment and securities settlement systems", he underlined.
Vitas Vasiliauskas, Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania, said at the same event that principles enshrined in the IMF and World Bank's Bali Fintech Agenda have confirmed that Lithuania has taken the right direction in terms of financial innovation.
"We are among the first countries to adopt the emerging international best practices, at the same time contributing to their formulation. Our approach is pragmatic: given high concentration in Lithuania's financial sector, fintech has the most potential to reinforce competition and offer wider consumer choice, thus broadening access to financial services," said Vasiliauskas.
However, development of fintech "may not come at a cost to quality and security," Vasiliauskas underlined.
The Bank of Lithuania has already granted authorisation to nearly 120 market players, such as crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending platform operators, electronic money and payment institutions, specialized banks, the bank said in a statement released on Monday.
Based on preliminary central bank's estimates, the Lithuanian fintech cluster might welcome up to 100 new participants this year.