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Topic: Fintech

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Basel Committee paper on designing a prudential regime for crypto-assets

On 12 December 2019, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (Basel Committee) published a discussion paper seeking views on a range of issues related to the prudential regulatory treatment of crypto-assets. The responses to the discussion paper will inform the Basel Committee’s development of a prudential treatment for crypto-assets at large, including for crypto-assets that … Continue Reading

CPMI report on wholesale digital tokens sets out possible future of transaction settlement

On 12 December 2019, the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) published a report on wholesale digital tokens, focussing on their potential for use as a means of settling wholesale transactions. Wholesale transactions are typically settled by updating account balances recorded on a centralised register such as a settlement institution’s ledger. But the development … Continue Reading

FSB publishes reports on financial stability risks stemming from BigTechs and cloud service providers

On 9 December 2019, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) published two reports on financial stability implications of BigTech in finance and third party dependencies in cloud services. The two reports come as BigTech firms – large companies with established technology platforms – play an increasingly prominent role in the financial system and have begun to … Continue Reading

Commission speech on state of play of cryptoassets

On 5 December 2019, the European Commission (Commission) published a speech by Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, following the final Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) meeting under the Finnish Presidency. Among other things, ECOFIN announced the endorsement of a joint statement with the Commission on stablecoins … Continue Reading

Council of EU and European Commission draft joint statement on stablecoins

On 6 November 2019, the Council of the EU released a note (13571/19) from its Presidency addressed to it, which annexes a joint statement of the Council and the European Commission (Commission) on stablecoins. In particular, the joint statement provides that “the Council and the Commission state that no global stablecoin arrangement should begin operation … Continue Reading

IOSCO statement on study of emerging global stablecoin proposals

On 4 November 2019, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) released a statement on a study of stablecoin initiatives with a potential global reach (Global Stablecoins). IOSCO’s FinTech Network (the Network), which is chaired by the FCA and was established in May 2018 to facilitate exchanges among IOSCO members on their experiences relating to … Continue Reading

BIS speech on the future of payments

On 30 October 2019, the Bank for International Settlements published a speech given by Burkhard Baltz, Deutsche Bundesbank Executive Board Member, entitled “Curtain up for the future of payments: from Bigtechs and Fintechs to smartphones”. In his speech, Mr Baltz discusses the three aspects that he believes are key to the digitalisation of the payments … Continue Reading

ESMA validation rules and XML schema for reporting under SFTR

On 31 October 2019, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a press release announcing it has published further technical details for the reporting of Securities Financing Transactions (SFTs) as required under the SFT Regulation (SFTR) The materials include the validation rules applicable to SFTR reports together with the XML schemas that reporting entities … Continue Reading

FMLC paper on issues of legal uncertainty regarding exchange tokens

On 23 October 2019, the Financial Markets Law Committee (FMLC) published a paper on issues of legal uncertainty in respect of exchange tokens. In the paper, the FMLC provides an overview of the latest regulatory and non-legislative developments with regards to virtual currencies. The paper also explores the possible characterisation of exchange tokens as property, … Continue Reading

FSB considers stablecoin regulatory issues

On 18 October 2019, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) published an issues note on the regulatory issues concerning stablecoins. The note was delivered to G20 finance ministers and central bank governors ahead of their meeting in Washington D.C. The FSB warns that recent developments in the private sector involving the launch of stablecoin-type arrangements for … Continue Reading

BoE and FCA joint report on machine learning in UK financial services

On 16 October 2019, the Bank of England (BoE) and the FCA published a joint report on machine learning (ML) in UK financial services. The report was created following the responses received in a joint survey of 300 financial institutions. The survey questioned firms on the nature of deployment of ML, the business areas where … Continue Reading

FCA consults on recovery of costs of supervising cryptoassets firms under AML regulations

On 15 October 2019, the FCA published Consultation Paper 19/29: Recovery of costs of supervising cryptoasset businesses under the anti-money laundering regulations – fees proposals (CP19/29). From 10 January 2020, the FCA will become the anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing (AML/CTF) supervisor for cryptoassets businesses. In CP19/29 the FCA sets out its proposals for … Continue Reading

FSB letter – global resilience in the face of new risks and stablecoins

On 13 October 2019, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) published a letter from Randal Quarles, FSB Chair, to G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. The letter highlights three areas of the FSB’s work: ensuring resilience in the face of new risks. The outlook for global growth has started to weaken and become more uncertain. … Continue Reading

FPC agrees principles to ensure payment systems support financial stability

On 9 October 2019, the Bank of England published the financial policy summary and record (FPSR) of the Financial Policy Committee (FPC) meeting on 2 October 2019. During the course of the meeting, among other things, the FPC agreed a set of principles that will guide its assessment of how prudential regulation and supervision should … Continue Reading

BIS publishes working paper on embedded supervision in blockchain finance

On 16 September 2019 the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) published a working paper by its Monetary and Economic Department on Embedded supervision: how to build regulation into blockchain finance. The working paper suggests that asset tokenisation and the use of the underlying distributed ledger technology (DLT) in finance provides new avenues for the supervision … Continue Reading

Commission update on work relating to cryptoassets

On 28 August 2019, the European Commission (the Commission) published an answer given by Valdis Dombrovskis (Vice-President European Commission, Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union) concerning cryptoassets. In its response, the Commission refers to an announcement made in its 2018 Action Plan on FinTech (see previous blog post here) that it is looking … Continue Reading

Joint EBA and ESMA response to the letter of 19 July 2019 on crypto-assets

On 20 August 2019, the European Securities and Markets Authority and the European Banking Authority (together the European Supervisory Authorities) published a letter in response to an earlier letter from Valdis Dombrovskis (Vice-President European Commission, Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union) concerning crypto-assets, including so-called ‘stablecoins’. The letter outlines some of the European … Continue Reading

ICO joins other data protection authorities in issuing statement on Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra project

On 18 June 2019, Facebook announced plans to launch a new blockchain enabled cryptocurrency called Libra. In early August 2019, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (the ICO) joined other data protection authorities from around the world (from Europe, the Americas, Africa and Australasia) in publishing a statement to Facebook and the 28 other companies behind … Continue Reading

FMLC paper on legal uncertainties arising from ICOs

On 31 July 2019, the Financial Markets Law Committee (FMLC) published a paper identifying issues of legal uncertainty arising from initial coin offerings (ICOs). The FMLC examines the legality of ICOs in different jurisdictions emphasising the lack of international harmonisation and varied approaches to regulation and considers the exploratory work required to provide certainty for … Continue Reading

FCA publishes final guidance on cryptoassets regulation

On 31 July 2019, the FCA published Policy Statement 19/22: Guidance on cryptoassets – feedback and final guidance to CP19/3 (PS19/22). In PS19/22 the FCA responds to the feedback it received to Consultation Paper 19/3: Guidance on cryptoassets (CP19/3) (our blog is here) and sets out the final guidance. The purpose of CP19/3 was to … Continue Reading

ECB letter regarding stablecoin initiatives

On 26 July 2019, the European Central Bank (ECB) published a letter from its president, Mario Draghi, to Markus Ferber MEP. In the letter Mr Draghi discusses how the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) is closely monitoring innovation in the financial sector, including stablecoin projects such as Facebook’s ‘Libra’. The ESCB also contributes to … Continue Reading

EBA report on approaches relating to FinTech activities

On 18 July 2019, the European Banking Authority (EBA) published a report illustrating the findings of an analysis on issues relating to access to the market for FinTech firms. The analysis focused on the monitoring of national developments on the regulatory perimeter; the national regulatory status of FinTech firms; and the approaches followed by Member … Continue Reading

ESMA report on the licensing of FinTech business models

On 12 July 2019, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a report on the status of licencing regimes of FinTech firms across the EU. The report is based on two surveys conducted by ESMA since January 2018, which gathered evidence from Member State national competent authorities (NCAs) on the licencing regimes of FinTech … Continue Reading