This course gives an overview of the changing regulatory environment since the 1997 Asian and 2008 global financial crisis. Following these two major crises, governments around the globe enacted a set of far-reaching new financial regulations that are aimed towards safeguarding financial stability. However, banks find it increasingly difficult to be profitable in this new regulatory environment. Technology, at the same time, has taken important leaps forward with the emergence of sophisticated models of artificial intelligence and the invention of the blockchain. These two developments fuel the emergence of fintech companies around the world.
This course discusses fintech regulation in emerging markets using case studies from China and South Africa. The course pays special attention to the socioeconomic environment in emerging markets, as well as to political risk as a major source of uncertainty for fintech entrepreneurs. Peer-to-peer lending and remittances are used as leading examples for fintech innovation in emerging markets.
-So you’re interested in the opportunities for fintech in emerging markets? I’ll start by taking you back to the key events in financial crises of the late 1990s and early 2000s that will enable you to understand the context of fintech and regulation in emerging markets. We’ll be looking at the basic mechanisms behind banking and what happened when the financial markets crashed. It’s essential for us to become familiar with the new financial regulations and how they create opportunities and constraints for fintech today. Over the four weeks of the course, you will be invited to think about how new financial regulations have spurred the rise of fintech companies in emerging economies.
-This week we dive into detail about financial systems - with a focus on how banks work and on banking regulation. Using the Great Depression of the United States as starting point, I describe what happened to cause the collapse of banks and the introduction of the post-depression financial regulations. The new financial regulations included the establishment of international financial institutions which control current monetary policies. Being familiar with the current financial regulatory framework and where it comes from provides the basis for understanding the disruptions from the fintech innovations we will be covering next week.
Fintech regulation in emerging markets
-Now we reach the heart of the course - looking at the context of fintech in countries with emerging economies and what makes it different from industrialised countries. We will look at Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) which are one of the key mechanisms used fintech companies to finance themselves. We are going to focus particularly on South Africa, China and Brazil, and I have a number of interviews with people involved in banking, financial regulation and fintech from these countries.
Rise in Fintech Companies
-In the last week of the course, you will be looking applications of fintech in emerging economies. I have selected two of the most successful applications to explore in detail - peer-to-peer lending and remittances. Because of the costs of banking and the exclusion of millions from the formal banking systems, entrepreneurs have started creating innovative mechanisms to finance business by borrowing from peers. Using fintech as fast and secure mechanism to transfer remittances is being widely used across the world - and we will look at some examples. I also invited guests from within the banking sector to describe how large formal financial institutions are considering the impact of blockchain and other new technologies. At the end of this week, you will have a chance to apply what you’ve learnt in a final assignment.