The effects of digitalisation in the finance sector was the focus of the day at the UNI Europa Finance meeting on 22 November. With a diverse selection of speakers representing fintech, consumer protection, watchdog organisations and of course European trade union affiliates, the discussions of the day centred around what solutions trade unions could offer in the future finance sector and what skills were important for finance employees to possess going forward.
Of note, was the presentation about the Copenhagen Fintech Lab, which is an initiative run by FSU Denmark in cooperation with banks and legislators, creating a space for fintechs to grow and for trade unions to keep a close eye on how the sector is developing. During this presentation, Simon Ousager developed upon the current uses of blockchain technology and their future applications, which could severely change the way the finance sector operates. Most importantly, Mr Ousager dispelled the myth, that fintechs only wish to disrupt the sector and that fintechs don’t need banks and bankers.
Other presentations focused on the importance of adjusting vocational training to future needs and using bargaining power to force employers to enable this training, as well as detailing the way new technology is already being used in the sector.
Michael Budolfsen, President of UNI Europa Finance said: ‘We will lead the way for our members. It is important that digital solutions always serve people and help to improve social standards and working conditions.’
Throughout the day, many affiliates wished to contribute with their observations and several valuable points were raised. One of them questioning if digitalisation could lead to increased inequality, as the gap between people with good and lacking IT skills will grow ever wider, leading to income inequality and general possibilities in the workplace. While another emphasised that digitalisation must never replace good personalised advice by a competent human advisor.
The topic of the meeting was very well received by the audience and it is clear that event was only the very start of discussing this topic, both on a European and on a global level.
Smahan Jabiri-Egan, Communications Coordinator, UNI Europa
Phone: +32 22 34 56 56