Basel Committee highlights rising risks from finance digitalisation in new report


The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has recently released a comprehensive report detailing the increasing risks associated with the digitalisation of finance. As financial institutions worldwide embrace digital transformation to enhance efficiency and customer experience, the report underscores the need for vigilant risk management and regulatory oversight to address the emerging challenges in this rapidly evolving landscape.

Key Findings

The report identifies several key areas where digitalisation is contributing to heightened risks:

  1. Cybersecurity Threats: The proliferation of digital banking platforms and online financial services has led to a surge in cybersecurity threats. Cyberattacks, data breaches, and fraud are becoming more sophisticated, posing significant risks to both financial institutions and their customers. The Basel Committee emphasizes the importance of robust cybersecurity measures and continuous monitoring to safeguard sensitive financial data.
  2. Operational Risks: As banks and financial institutions integrate advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and cloud computing, they face new operational risks. System failures, software bugs, and technology outages can disrupt services and lead to substantial financial losses. The report recommends that institutions develop comprehensive operational risk management frameworks to mitigate these risks.
  3. Regulatory Challenges: The rapid pace of digital innovation often outstrips existing regulatory frameworks, creating gaps that can be exploited. The Basel Committee calls for updated regulations that keep pace with technological advancements, ensuring that financial institutions operate within a secure and compliant environment. Harmonized global standards are essential to address the cross-border nature of digital finance.
  4. Third-Party Dependencies: Financial institutions increasingly rely on third-party service providers for critical functions such as cloud storage, payment processing, and cybersecurity solutions. This dependency introduces additional risks, including vendor lock-in and the potential for service disruptions. The report advises institutions to conduct thorough due diligence and implement robust third-party risk management practices.
  5. Consumer Protection: Digital finance has made financial services more accessible, but it also exposes consumers to new risks, such as digital fraud and identity theft. The Basel Committee highlights the need for stronger consumer protection mechanisms, including transparent communication, effective dispute resolution processes, and education initiatives to raise awareness about digital risks.


To address these rising risks, the Basel Committee offers several recommendations:

  • Enhanced Cybersecurity Protocols: Financial institutions should invest in advanced cybersecurity technologies and adopt best practices to protect against cyber threats. Regular audits and stress testing of cybersecurity systems are crucial to ensure resilience.
  • Operational Resilience: Developing and maintaining robust operational resilience frameworks is essential. This includes regular testing of disaster recovery and business continuity plans to minimize the impact of potential disruptions.
  • Regulatory Innovation: Regulators need to innovate and adapt to the changing digital landscape. This involves updating existing regulations, fostering collaboration between regulators and the fintech industry, and developing new guidelines that address the unique risks of digital finance.
  • Third-Party Risk Management: Financial institutions must implement rigorous third-party risk management policies, including comprehensive vendor assessments, ongoing monitoring, and contingency planning for critical service providers.
  • Consumer Education and Protection: Enhancing consumer protection through education programs and transparent communication about digital risks is vital. Financial institutions should also offer robust support systems for customers affected by digital fraud or other issues.


The Basel Committee’s report serves as a critical reminder of the complexities and risks associated with the digitalisation of finance. While digital transformation brings numerous benefits, including greater efficiency and accessibility, it also introduces significant challenges that must be addressed proactively. By implementing the report’s recommendations, financial institutions and regulators can work together to create a secure, resilient, and inclusive digital financial ecosystem.