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ECB's Villeroy: regulators will not sacrifice security in drive for innovation

FILE PHOTO: Governor of the Bank of France Francois Villeroy de Galhau delivers a speech to open a conference entitled “Bretton Woods: 75 years later” in Paris, France, July 16, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo PARIS (Reuters) – The world’s financial regulators will not sacrifice customers’ security for the sake of innovation, Bank of France head and European Central Bank policymaker Francois Villeroy de Galhau said on Thursday.

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The finance ministers from the Group of Seven’s leading world nations cast a cloud over prospects for Facebook’s Libra digital coin on Wednesday, insisting tough regulatory problems would have to be worked out first.

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“Financial regulators are favorable towards innovation. But that cannot come to the detriment of the security of the consumer,” Villeroy told BFM Business broadcaster.

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Villeroy said regulators wanted “answers” to their areas of doubt over Libra by October.

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Facebook’s plan to launch a digital coin has met with a chorus of criticism and concern from regulators, central bankers and governments, saying it must respect anti-money laundering rules and ensure the security of transactions and user data.

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There are also deeper concerns that the powers of big tech companies are increasingly encroaching upon areas belonging to governments, such as the issuance of currency.

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Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Yann Le Guernigou

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