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“You’ve never just been able to innovate”: eToro CEO

According to the founder of eToro, Yoni Assia, there are two key players that stand in the way of disrupting the modus operandi of finance.

Yoni Assia, CEO and Founder of one of the world’s largest social trading and investment platforms, eToro, highlights the two major players that could stand in the way of fintech progression.

His plan, as is the case with the majority of fintech startups has been to remove the smoke and mirrors from an industry steeped in jargon, thus lowering the barrier to entry often associated with finance. His arena is trading. And at nearly 10 years old, the platform has amassed over 5 million users in more than 170 countries.

Though despite its trajectory, Assia foresees problems on the horizon.

One of the key issues, he suggests, lies with the regulators who are “the government” of the fintech space.

Incumbents like the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) for example have tended to limit innovation and thus held a critical role in fintech progression.

“You have never just been able to innovate,” he says.

“You need to innovate and then ensure that it falls under regulatory framework, or that you can at least interpret some regulatory framework to help define what it is you are doing.”

The second players described by the Israeli, are the large existing financial institutions, or the “large banks.”

“The big banks have been on the sidelines for the last seven years. Though over the past one or two years, they have been stepping out of the sidelines, building accelerators, VC funds, and to some extent trying to mimic or copy what the other startups are doing,” which, given both the reputation of brands and enormous amount of capital put behind them, makes the task more difficult for fintech progression.

It isn’t all bad though. The FCA are changing.

“I think generally, more and more regulators are learning that actually, innovation is a good thing. It is something that consumers can benefit from,” says Assia.