Regulators take aim at ‘Big Tech’ over users’ financial data

Google, Alibaba and other “Big Tech” companies could be forced to share data on financial services customers with banks and financial technology firms to prevent unfair competition, an international financial watchdog said.

As Facebook’s plan for its Libra “stablecoin” faces scrutiny, a global body of regulators from the world’s main financial centres said that Big Tech’s expansion raised questions for financial stability, competition and data privacy.

The Basel-based Financial Stability Board (FSB) called in a report released on Sunday for “vigilant monitoring” of Big Tech’s shift into financial services, which it said could make it harder for banks to generate capital through retained profits.

While still in its early days, Big Tech in countries like China has brought financial services within reach of under-served communities, the FSB, which is chaired by Federal Reserve Governor Randal Quarles, said in the report.

The FSB said companies including Microsoft, Amazon, eBay, Baidu, Apple, Facebook and Tencent, have enormous databases, while some offer asset management, payments and lending.

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