SWIFT CEO spoke at a conference on European financial integration and stability held jointly by the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) at the European Parliament in Brussels on Thursday 16 May.
Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and ECB Vice-President Luis de Guindos opened by focussing on the challenges and opportunities facing European banking and capital markets in the digital age.
Key policymakers, financial market and industry leaders, and renowned academics discussed the international role of the Euro and challenges to banking and capital markets in several high-level panel sessions.
Leibbrandt was joined by Sylvie Matherat of Deutsche Bank and Mauro Dognini of Monte Titoli in a panel discussion on Financial markets and infrastructure and the international role of the Euro, moderated by Sean Berrigan of the European Commission.
In his remarks, Leibbrandt spoke of how the European payments landscape has transformed over the last 20 years – citing the introduction of the Euro as a major achievement setting in motion many harmonisation initiatives.
Speaking about the evolution of the Eurosystem’s market infrastructure, he said: “It may so far have attracted less attention than PSD2 or GDPR, but it stands to play just as important a role in the transformation and integration of payments in Europe.”
Leibbrandt also pointed out the benefits SWIFT gpi is bringing to Europe: “The more European banks fully embrace gpi, the better. Enabling fast, efficient, traceable and transparent cross-border payments into and out of the Eurozone, account-to-account, is important both for European end users and for encouraging the Euro’s adoption as an international currency.”
On cyber security, he said: “Alongside integration, modernisation and speed, we have to think about risk – in particular cyber risk. Europe isn’t doing badly on cyber risk – GDPR has set a gold standard for data protection regulation globally and this year’s EU Cybersecurity Act marks an important step forward.”