To its business breakfast on April 27, CFA Association Russia invited Dr. Sviatoslav Rosov, CFA, a research analyst from CFA Institute, and Alexander Filatov, a member of B&N Bank’s board of directors, to share their views on the present and future role of the fintech industry in Russia and worldwide.
In his presentation Sviatoslav Rosov focused on the three key fintech areas: the peer-to-peer lending (P2P), Blockchain, and Robo-advisors.
Originally, the P2P was meant to be the “uber” of personal and business credits, removing the need for banks. And in China it has really become that: 75 percent of the global P2P market is located there, and 20% of China’s consumer credit is P2P; the UK, however, has been casting a more critical eye on the industry, as it has become very different now from what it was in the past.
Dr. Sviatoslav Rosov (left) and Alexander Filatov
Over the last two years the world’s perspective on Blockchain and Bitcoin has changed from the “Bitcoin bad, blockchain good” to the “Blockchain is boring, let’s look at Bitcoin again!” position, as private blockchains, which seemed so promising at first, finally showed their small impact.
”There is maybe a realization that private blockchains may not be that important to the wider world. And maybe all the bad things about Bitcoin are just the price you pay for having something that is so useful”, the speaker said.
Although the robo-advice industry has been quickly improving and some see it as a huge threat for investment advisors, Sviatoslav doesn’t think robots will completely substitute people, at least not anytime soon:
“I don’t think that it will be enough for robo-advisors to completely take over, because robo-advisors don’t really sell advice, they sell ETF [Exchange-Traded Funds] portfolios. I think and I hope that the underlining demand is for investment advice, not simply for diversified portfolios”, Sviatoslav concluded.
Following Sviatoslav’s presentation, Alexander Filatov took the floor and spoke about the main tends of fintech development in Russia. In the speaker’s opinion, the Russian fintech market is one of the fastest growing markets in the world. “Russian mobile banks сan beat many London’s ones”, said the speaker.
Exchange offices in Russia have been dying out, being substituted by mobile exchange services. Many new banking mobile platforms have appeared.
“When I’m asked what is our [Russian] stock exchange I tell that our stock exchange is one big fintech. It’s monopolistic, not very flexible, nonetheless, marching in front of the world,” Alexander said.
Text by Oxana Kozlova