The Philippines secretary of finance Mr Carlos G Dominguez opened the 29th EAIC in Manila with an address that acknowledged the struggle the region faces in withstanding the withering pace of technological change that is disrupting the financial services sector, while also harnessing said technology to create rapid and inclusive growth.
His main piece of advice to regulators facing technological change around the region was simple: Act quickly. The nations that are most nimble and can move fast into the area of e-regulation will be the winners, he said. "Or we could find ourselves caught in conflict between what technology makes possible and what regulators allow."
FinTech, he said, is at the cutting edge of this change and should be seen as a blessing that will lead to greater financial inclusion. While insurance is the most closely regulated area of financial services this means that it will be the sector that benefits most from FinTech developments.
At the same time, he exhorted the industry to take charge of the industrial revolution. "The insurance industry should be at the forefront and center of technological change driving our economies," he said. "The industry ought to explore new products that not only mitigate risk for corporations but also mitigate risks for communities vulnerable to natural calamities. This is one area where business opportunities and social consciousness converge quite nicely."
He ended his keynote by urging delegates to use the EAIC as a forum to plan for what is to come and encouraged participants to create an agenda for the future that was “rich in insight and bold in foresight.”