Barclays Plc will need to defend its advantages in the payments business from encroachment by technology companies including Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc., according to Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley.

“There are some tectonic shifts going on, driven by tech and the geopolitical environment,” Staley said during a panel discussion Saturday at the annual meeting of the Institute of International Finance in Washington. “All the banks are very focused on the payments space. That may be where the battleground of finance is fought over the next 15 years.”

Jes Staley, chief executive officer of Barclays Plc
Jes Staley, chief executive officer of Barclays Plc. Bloomberg News

Staley also said that cybersecurity is among the top concerns for financial firms and that regulators will have to “extend their reach” as more companies compete in payments. JPMorgan Chase & Co. investment bank chief Daniel Pinto, speaking on the same panel, said the banking industry needs to do a better job of sharing information and stressed the need for global standards in cybersecurity.

“A customer can come into Barclays and require us to download every piece of financial information for the last three years, and the issue is ‘Who is this being downloaded to?’" Staley said. “The regulators have woken up. They are increasingly going to have to be governing who gets access to that data.”

Marcus Schenck, co-head of Deutsche Bank AG’s corporate and investment bank, said Friday that the industry is spending heavily to protect the financial system from criminals and questioned whether regulators are holding fintech firms to the same standards.

On Thursday, U.S. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo questioned whether regulators should be given more power to supervise credit-reporting companies after a massive data breach at Equifax Inc. exposed gaps in oversight. In a letter, he asked the heads of the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency if they have or need the authority to help ensure credit bureaus are adequately protecting consumers’ information.

Bloomberg News