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European Financial Services Round Table

Wednesday, April 18, 2018
EFR Calls for Action on Cyber Security

The European Financial Services Round Table (EFR), whose members are Chairmen and Chief Executive Officers of international banks and insurers with headquarters in Europe, views cybercrime as a top tier global risk. As a core target of cybercriminals and in a context where digitalisation makes the financial system ever more interconnected, we are strongly mobilised and continue to make very significant investments in the fight against cybercrime. As a group, our member firms are increasingly subjected to a large number of cyber security incidents every single day of the year. And the threats are constantly evolving and growing in sophistication, while criminals continue to operate in a low risk / high reward environment which knows no international borders. This situation requires urgent measures and mandates strong cooperation and coordination at EU and international levels and between the public and the private sectors.

This is why EFR strongly welcomes EU-level action and coordination to strengthen European cyber security, in particular the European Commission's cyber security package proposal. These initiatives are of the essence and indeed very timely. They now need to be operationalised as swiftly as possible. In this regard, we would also urge that, as a key stakeholder, the financial industry be fully consulted and engaged in the further design and implementation of EU and national level initiatives.

The EFR issued the attached paper outlining key priorities that need to be addressed. In particular, the EFR:

  • underlines the high priority of further efforts to harmonize regulations and minimize fragmentation in the EU, and to assess cyber security risks and regulatory gaps in order to find the right balance between security and the development of a digital single market;
  • strongly supports and would participate in a public-private partnership to study the best approach to sharing cyber security intelligence and incident information within the financial industry and EU authorities, leveraging on the example of successful initiatives such as the FSARC in the US;
  • calls for a common taxonomy, common thresholds and a common simplified incident reporting framework in Europe, which could be achieved through specific EU regulation and an operational, bidirectional mechanism to report on cyber security incidents for financial institutions;
  • calls for increased collaboration and public-private partnerships to further develop Europe's skills and competitiveness in the cyber security global market and pledges to continue its members' efforts in this area;
  • encourages the Commission to ensure a consistent and coordinated approach at international level to cyber security by influencing the development of global standards by international bodies;
  • proposes to be fully involved and to participate in the implementation of the EU cyber security strategy;
  • suggests specific measures to support the creation of a cyber insurance market in Europe.

Our members consider these actions imperative and of the utmost urgency. As such, we stand ready to assist the European Union institutions and Member States in pursuing them in the shared goal of cyber security.

Accompanying Document(s)
116.1. EFR paper on Cyber Security.pdf