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Geopolitical factors and return to protectionism in the world’s leading countries have a significant impact on the international financial architecture. These processes take place amidst the rapid development of the fintеch sector that is transforming financial markets at the high technology level. Blockchain, virtual service channels, and online lending platforms gaining momentum may well result in a loss by financial instutions of their mediation functions and challenge their future.
A shift towards protectionism is one of the main reasons of investor uncertainty, said Tobias Adrian, Director of the IMF’s Monetary and Capital Markets Department, in his April 2017 quarterly report on global financial stability.
The Asia Pacific countries, which have gained the most from the global economy growth, are urging world leaders to return to the way of international economic cooperation.
Experts see the main reason for that in a considerable narrowing of global banks’ mediation functions and a reduced number of their overseas branches.
Apart from the changing economic and political landscape, the world’s financial market feels a strong influence from the fintеch sector, which is offering new technology and innovative solutions in reponse to the decreasing efficiency of traditional financial instututions’ mediation functions.
In PwC’s 2016 global fintech report, experts recommend traditional financial institutions to look at the popularity of P2P lending and such trends as blockchain, robo-advising (automated investment advice), and transition to virtual service channels.
The Russian Central Bank’s financial sector survey for Q1 2017 highlights a shift of activity from banks to other sector players (investment funds, insurance companies, microfinancing institutions, etc.).