PwC: Inconsistent regulation threatens online takeup

Financial services businesses around the world are concerned slow progress in developing global regulatory frameworks for online financial services could be stifling opportunities, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report.

The PwC report, 'Protect and Survive - Regulation of e-commerce in the Financial Services Industry', cautions that if regulation of online financial services fails to keep pace with the e-business revolution it could suppress the opportunities for innovation, competition and growth presented by e-commerce.

PwC said it is essential in an "increasingly convergent environment" that global regulation be fostered in an atmosphere of co-operation, if on-line business is to be effective and secure.

Jan Muysken, e-business leader for PwC said: "Australia's major financial institutions continue to invest significantly in e-business as a means to enhance their customer relationships and increase efficiencies through re-engineering, strategic alliances and joint ventures.""However, the industry and regulators must strive to provide a global standard which creates a safe and secure environment for transactions while protecting privacy."PwC said security, privacy and reliability concerns have undermined consumer confidence in buying over the Internet, and that other issues such as share ramping, fraud, mis-selling and money-laundering have also kept some consumers firmly in bank queues instead of moving online.

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