The Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development (GFRID) 2023

The GFRID Summit 2023

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The Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development (GFRID) is a UN informal process aimed at gathering stakeholders from public and private sector, and the civil society, involved in the remittance and diaspora investment ecosystems. The process culminates is biannual Summits, reuniting major experts and partners to discuss opportunities and challenges to leverage the potential of remittances and investment towards sustainable development.
The GFRID Summit 2023 will take place at the UN Office at Nairobi (Kenya) on 14-16 June, and will see the engagement of around 500 participants from public and private sector, and the civil society.


DFR Observance Event - 16 June 2023, United Nations, Nairobi (Kenya)

Since 2015, the International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR) is observed each 16 June, in recognition of the fundamental contribution migrants make to the well-being of their families and communities in countries of origin.

Tell the world what public sector entities are doing to promote financial inclusion, digitalization and an enabling environment to leverage the impact of remittances

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GFRID Summit 2023 & RemTECH Awards

The Special Awards Session is a highlight of the GFRID Summit. It recognizes the innovative and impactful contributions made by individuals and organizations in the remittances, investment, and development space in The Remittance Evolution Award, Innovation Remittance Solution, Top Service Provider, Best in Class Compliance Solution, and Partner of the Year. The Awards Ceremony will provide a platform for the awardees to share their achievements and inspire others to drive progress in the field of remittances, migration and development. Scroll down and select the category you would like to submit your entry to.

Tell the world what public sector entities are doing to promote financial inclusion, digitalization and an enabling environment to leverage the impact of remittances

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ESBG calls upon European Institutions to ensure a level playing field in response to EPI's new instant payment solution

Brussels, 25 April 2023 – “The European Savings and Retail Banking Group (ESBG) welcomes the announcement by the European Payments Initiative (EPI) on acquisitions, additional shareholders and the coming launch of its new instant payment solution”, said ESBG’s Managing Director, Peter Simon. “Now that the industry showed that they are capable to deliver, it is time for the European Institutions to follow”, he added.

“With this initiative, EPI – backed by its shareholder companies including major European banks and payment services providers- is building the foundation for a response to calls from the European Institutions – the European Commission and the European Central Bank – in their respective Retail Payments Strategies for home-grown, pan-European payment solutions”, mentioned ESBG’s Head of Payments, Digital Finance and Innovation, Diederik Bruggink.

“The solution EPI is currently building, will obviously need to establish itself in the existing competitive landscape as the unified solution and common innovation platform of the European payment ecosystem. In this context, a level playing field and a viable business model must be ensured by the European Institutions”, he added.

The European Payments Initiative announced today four additional shareholders to EPI, and confirmed its planned acquisition of payment solution iDEAL and payment solutions provider Payconiq International. These will support EPI’s vision to set up a new, innovative and unified payment solution for Europe.

The ESBG believed that this development will be the first stepping stone towards a home-grown, pan-European payments solution based on instant payments.

EPI addresses several building blocks identified by ESBG and the other European Credit Sector Associations in their policy paper for creating an integrated EU payments market, in which they observed the European payments landscape at a crossroads. The changing customer demands, the development of SEPA instruments by European banks, an intense regulatory focus and increased competition as well as innovation and technological changes have driven an ever-advancing European payments landscape in which much looks possible, but the risk of fragmentation lurks. Likewise, European authorities have indicated that payments form an important factor for European sovereignty and an important driver for the greater international role of the euro.

ESBG congratulates EPI and its shareholders for this announcement and for their persistence and is calling upon the European Institutions to continue their support to EPI.

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Your Contact:
Diederik Bruggink
Head of Department – Payments, Digital Finance and Innovation
Phone: +32 2 211 11 21

Meet the payments, digital finance & innovation team

ESBG welcomes the newly issued analysis of the EP Think Tank on a digital euro while preserving its reservations

BRUSSELS, 20 April 2023 – The European Savings and Retail Banking Group (ESBG) takes note of the in-depth analysis of the European Parliament Think Tank on a digital euro, published on 18 April 2023. The document, prepared by the Economic Governance and EMU scrutiny Unit at the request of the European Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, is broadly positive on the preparatory work for a digital euro, currently carried out by the European Central Bank, but “doubtful on the wisdom of eventually launching a digital euro”. In parallel, the European Commission is working on a legislative proposal that will facilitate the rollout of a possible digital euro.

The analysis thereby seems to confirm what has been addressed by the latest ESBG paper, ‘A Digital Euro: what does it mean for savings and retail banks?’, published on 29 March, that stressed the need of addressing many open questions before a successful implementation of a digital euro would be feasible.

Notably, ESBG agrees with the reports’ conclusions on the need for a well-designed compensation structure for the services provided by banks and the analysis of the impact a possible digital euro could have on the banking sector.

“We are supportive of investigating digital money issued by the central bank”, says Sofia Lindh Possne, Chairwoman of the ESBG Task Force on Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). “Yet, a digital euro must be designed without causing any new vulnerabilities in the financial system”, she says, pointing at potential deposit outflows that would reduce banks’ capabilities to finance the economy, and highlights the need of a sustainable compensation model.

Apart from its potential negative impact on banks’ liquidity, it will be vital to maintain a level playing field in the European payments market, according to Diederik Bruggink, Head of Payments, Digital Finance and Innovation at ESBG, and recent efforts towards a pan-European digital payment solution must be taken into account. “Indeed, ESBG and its members welcome the digital euro as a logical representation of central bank money in the digital age. However, a digital euro needs to find its place in the already busy payments mix, and where it should respect the existing level playing field”.

Supportive of further embracing innovative payment solutions, ESBG looks forward to continue the constructive dialogue with involved stakeholders in the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Central Bank.

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Your Contact:
Astrid Satovich
Policy Advisor
Phone: +32 2 211 11 36

Meet the payments, digital finance & innovation team

New EU Commission’s proposal on CMDI: a wider resolution scope with more funding

BRUSSELS, 19 April 2023 – The European Savings and Retail Banking Group (ESBG) welcomes the new legislative package adopted by the European Commission which aims to strengthen the current Crisis Management and Deposit Insurance (CMDI) framework.

ESBG members welcome that the dual approach is kept in the new proposal: i) resolution for failing banks that meet the conditions of the Public Interest Assessment (PIA) and ii) liquidation under National Insolvency Proceedings (NIPs) for the less significant institutions. However, ESBG members remain very sceptical about the extension of the resolution scope to smaller and medium sized banks by amending the criteria of the PIA and other consequences of such an approach. “Resolution should remain the standard approach for the few, not for the many to maintain financial stability.

In order to provide for financial means necessary to accommodate the far reaching changes of the European Commission, the proposal is putting national Deposit Guarantee Schemes (DGS) at risk. A balance needs to be respected not to erode trust in the banking sector in Europe”, said Georg Huber, Chair of ESBG’s Task Force on CMDI. ESBG members also take note of the further harmonization of the NIPs, which aims to tackle unintended dysfunctionalities generated by the plurality of national regimes.

“ESBG calls for an evolution not a revolution of the framework. We acknowledge that the EU Commission intends to enhance the global framework without upsetting the foundations of systems that have demonstrated their robustness in the past”, said ESBG Managing Director, Peter Simon. Further changes to the proposal might therefore become necessary to take the EU’s diversified banking sector on board. We are convinced that meaningful improvements can be achieved without detrimental effects to depositors.

With regard to the Commission’s proposal to facilitate the access of funding in resolution via DGS intervention to meet the required threshold of 8% of Total Liabilities and Own Funds (TLOF), ESBG is concerned that the Single Resolution Fund (SRF) could be depleted faster with the obligation for banks to replenish it accordingly. The banking industry has already contributed around €66 billion to the SRF which will stand at €80 billion by the end of 2023. This amount is 45% higher than the originally envisaged target level. Clarity and predictability are crucial for our members who must also fulfil high capital requirements.

In this context, ESBG is determined to voice its members’ concerns during the coming legislative process. We believe that the close cooperation among all stakeholders will be indispensable for a successful revision of the CMDI framework. ESBG expects the co-legislators to take into consideration proportionality aspects and the diversity of business models with prudence and avoid an ideological approach.

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Your Contact:
Christophe Hennebelle
Policy advisor
Phone: +32 2 211 11 62

Meet the Advocacy Team

ESBG revises its position paper on the CSDDD in accordance with the recent negotiations

Given the developments of the recent political negotiations, ESBG has decided to update its position paper on the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) with five main recommendations to be considered.

First of all, ESBG calls for reconsidering the scope(s) and supports lifting the employee threshold to 1000. Moreover, for competitiveness purposes, ESBG calls to narrow the gap between the suggested thresholds for EU and non-EU companies. ESBG has also concerns regarding the scope of the “adverse impact” listed in the annexes and ask to narrow it. Finally, ESBG strongly opposes the inclusion of the financial entities in the list of high-risk-sectors.
ESBG insists on limiting the value chain to the direct customers receiving loans or credits only, not to their subsidiaries or business partners. Also, loans or credits provided to SMEs, natural persons and households should not be covered by the value chain.

ESBG is in favour of the implementation of a risk-based approach when conducting the due diligence for financial undertakings. ESBG proposes including a differentiation between simplified and enhanced due diligence rules depending on the risk profile of a customer. For instance, it could make sense to prioritize identification of entities established in countries/regions more likely to generate “high adverse impacts”.

Regarding the specific role of financial undertakings, ESBG strongly urges to keep the identification obligation limited to before providing loans or credits. Finally, ESBG stresses the need to consider the specific structure of mutualist banking groups.

A coherent frame that makes the rules work will also be welcomed. Overall, ESBG encourages the legislators to coordinate their progress with other current projects, such as the EU taxonomy, corporate sustainability reporting directive, deforestation regulation and conflict minerals regulation.

Finally, ensuring legal certainty is key. Therefore, ESBG discommends the inclusion of specific provisions related to civil liability under the proposed CSDDD, notably because it could lead to a permanent litigation risk as well as the directors’ duty of care. In this regard, ESBG also recommends that the substantiation of concerns is eliminated.

European Credit Sector Associations call for removing payments from the scope of the Digital Identity Regulation

The European Banking Federation, the European Association of Co-operative Banks, and the European Savings and Retail Banking Group, jointly known as the European Credit Sector Associations (ECSAs) welcome the ambitions presented in the European Commission’s proposal for a European Digital
Identity (eIDAS 2.0).

The proposal will incentivise Member States to be more expedient in developing e-ID solutions with a wide scope of usage. Moreover, the European Digital Identity Wallet (EUDIW) will foster quicker onboarding processes and a better user experience. It will also contribute to the further adoption of digital banking services. However, Recital 31 and Art. 12b.2 as adopted by the European Parliament and corresponding Art. 6db.2 of the Council’s General Approach are currently open to interpretation. The current wording seems to imply that the full payment sphere is included in eIDAS 2.0 on a mandatory basis. We urge the European Parliament and the Council to re-consider their proposed wording during the trilogue negotiations.

If widely used cards and payment specifications were included in the new EUDIW Infrastructure, huge investments would be required not only in the financial sector, but also for the overall acceptance network. This could possibly result in disproportionate costs for merchants and service industries that accept card payments in accordance with the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2). In addition, deleting payments from the scope would also solve the general issue of liability banks would face. The proposal in its current form does not sufficiently address the question of liability, which impedes applying its provisions to payments.

This is why the ECSAs call upon the legislators to keep payments out of the scope of the Digital Identity Regulation. The ECSAs therefore recommend, in order to avoid the mandatory nature of the acceptance of the EUDIW in terms of strong customer authentication (SCA) on payments, limiting such mandatory acceptance to the verification of the user’s identity only.

From the Press Corner

Law 360Agence Europe

ESBG responds to SRB consultation on its future strategic review

ESBG has recently shared its feedback with the Single Resolution Board (SRB) on its future strategic review which aims to enter into a new era after the completion of the construction phase. This phase was marked by the build-up of the Single Resolution Fund (SRF) and by the introduction of tools improving the resolvability. As part of the second phase, priority will be given on operationalisation with a focus on the resolution plans.

In its consultation response, ESBG has focused on two main elements. Regarding the first part which focuses on how the SRB consultation process can be enhanced, ESBG is of the opinion that both the banking sector and the Resolution Authorities would benefit from a wider framework for SRB consultation. Currently, the number of consultations does not cover the wide spectrum of expectations. It will also be desirable to promote an active participation of the banking industry in advance of implementing modifications on regulations they are subject to. ESBG also believes that banking associations are insufficiently involved in some consultations (e.g. SRB consultation on SRF contributions). A bundling of feedback by associations would be more expedient, as this would avoid receiving hundreds of identical comments for the SRB. Finally, considering the too-short consultation periods in the past (e.g. for MREL Policy), ESBG recommends to extend the deadlines.

On the second part, ESBG commented on how SRB could improve transparency and interactions with the banking industry. ESBG confirms that, in terms of transparency, a great progress has been made over the years; however, a balance must be struck between transparency and over-information. The latter makes reaching the knowledge more difficult; hence ESBG recommends the SRB to add a summary of the most important key points in front. In terms of interactions, ESBG members really appreciate the participation in the industry dialogue meetings initiated by Dr. König which should continue to take place physically. Also, the SRB should, similar to the ECB banking supervision, gradually translate the contents of the website into all official languages and also make important documents, such as policies, expectations or guidelines, available in these languages. Finally, with regards to formal communication on resolution cases, ESBG advocates that confidential information sessions for banks’ head of resolution planning and IRTs could be helpful for knowledge sharing amongst peers.

Executive SummaryFull Position Paper

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