New Dutch FinTech envoy named: former Finance Sec. Vermeend

Willem Vermeend (Photo: @NLinNY/Twitter)Willem Vermeend (Photo: @NLinNY/Twitter)

Former minister Willem Vermeend was appointed the so-called liaison officer for the FinTech sector in the Netherlands. He will be the link between the FinTech sector, the government, industry and regulators and will work on solving problems for technology companies in the financial sector, the government announced. 

Vermeend was appointed to this unpaid and part time position by Ministers Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs and Jeroen Dijsselbloem of Finance in response to rapid pace of FinTech developments and the large impact it is expected to have in the financial sector.

The 67 year old Vermeen was State Secretary for Finance between 1994 and 2000, followed by two years of being the Minister of Social Affairs. Since 2013 he has been working on boosting IT projects in SMEs. He is a a professor of Economics at he Open University and wrote several books on, among other things, Big Data, 3D printing and the Internet of Things.

Vermeend believes that digitization , automation and robotics are going to have a major impact on the industry and the Dutch economy. "The factory of the future is Smart. For industrialists whether or not to update is no longer a choice, it is a necessity if they want to remain competitive in the international market", he said. "This innovation also requires innovative forms of financing. It is therefore important that the financial sector goes along with these developments and puts digitalization as a top priority."

Minister Dijsselbloem, who called for a FinTech liaison officer two weeks ago, developments in the FinTech sector offer many opportunities. "Certainly in the Netherlands where we are still so dependent on the traditional role of banks. We know the fragility of it and know how difficult it can be for young entrepreneurs to get credit at banks. FinTec gives startups and SMEs more opportunities to finance their project or business. With lower costs and more speed."



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