The Polish Ministry of Finance and PFSA (Polish Financial Supervision Authority—UKNF), with support from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, have commenced a project "On the Road to Financial Inclusion and Innovation" to establish a legal and technology framework for developing the FinTech and SupTech sector in Poland. The consortium responsible for the project consists of Areto, FinTech Consultancy, IT9 and Eversheds Sutherland Wierzbowski.

The general aim of the project will be to create both legal and technology framework for accelerating FinTech development in Poland and to assist the Ministry of Finance and the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (UKNF) respectively in developing innovative technological solutions within the Polish financial market, identifying and removing legal, regulatory and supervisory constraints limiting technology advancement. It will also focus on providing recommendations on using innovative technology by the PFSA to support supervision competences over some market areas.

The project will consider the spectrum of disruptive technologies, with special consideration of Distributed Ledger Technology, machine learning, advanced data analytics and cloud computing. The project is financed by the Directorate-General for Structural Reform Support of the European Commission, and the Project Manager for the consortium is Mariusz Więckowski, Managing Partner of Areto.

The entire initiative is divided into three separate streams.

  • Stream one will focus solely on the FinTech sector, is aimed at providing the Ministry of Finance with recommendations for the development of the financial technology sector in Poland, and will be led by Mariusz Więckowski (Managing Partner, Areto) with support from Ernest Frankowski (CEO, IT9) in technology issues. All FinTech development issues will be widely consulted and discussed as part of public consultations with representatives of the FinTech sector.
  • The second stream will focus on designing the concept and framework of a regulatory sandbox for the PFSA and will be led by Michał Markowski (head of Banking and Finance at Eversheds Sutherland Wierzbowski, leader of the stream) and Piotr Ziółkowski (founder of FinTech Consultancy).
  • The final stream will consider recommendations for the PFSA on the application of new technologies in supervisory processes. Supervisory technology (SupTech) is the use of innovative technology by supervisory authorities to digitize and automate a certain set of supervision processes. This stream will be led by Ernest Frankowski, CEO of IT9.

Michał Markowski, Head of Banking & Finance at Eversheds Sutherland Wierzbowski, said: “We are honored that we can work with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Polish Financial Supervision Authority, and the Ministry of Finance on the project involving development of a road map to eliminating barriers to the growth of the FinTech sector in Poland, supporting PFSA in preparing and implementing a regulatory sandbox, and advising on identifying supervisory technologies that could be implemented in Poland. The project is aimed at facilitating transformational changes on the financial market and creating stronger foundations for the growth of innovation in Poland. In this sense it is a venture with strategic importance for the growth of the Polish financial services market, and realization of the project will contribute to increasing the country’s attractiveness for foreign investors. Together with colleagues from other offices of Eversheds Sutherland, we will conduct an analysis for PFSA of the options for implementing a regulatory sandbox in Poland, based on experiences in other jurisdictions, and provide support for PFSA in developing the final model for this solution. Eversheds Sutherland has a wealth of experience on projects of this type, carried out in various sectors of the economy. I am pleased that we will be able to exploit our local and global experience to support the Ministry of Finance and PFSA in carrying out this important undertaking.”