United Kingdom

Topic: Fintech

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Commission announces the launch of the INATBA

On 3 April 2019, the European Commission announced the launch of the International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA). Per the Commission’s announcement, the INATBA aims to bring together industry start-ups, small and medium enterprises, regulators and standard setting bodies to bring blockchain and distributed ledger technology into the mainstream. More than 100 organisations have … Continue Reading

BIS committees report on central bank digital currencies

On 13 March 2019, the Markets Committee and Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS committees) published a report on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). The report follows work from the BIS committees on CBDCs in which they analysed the potential implications for payment systems, monetary policy implementation and … Continue Reading

Basel Committee statement on crypto-assets

On 13 March 2019, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (Basel Committee) published a statement on crypto-assets. In recognition that crypto-assets do not reliably provide the standard functions of money and are unsafe to rely on as a medium of exchange or store of value, the Basel Committee’s statement sets out its prudential expectations related … Continue Reading

FCA report setting out insights on cyber security

On 8 March 2019, the FCA published a report on industry insights into cyber security. The FCA notes that since 2017, it has brought together over 175 firms across different financial sectors to share information and ideas from their cyber experiences. The FCA runs Cyber Coordination Groups (CCGs) with the industry to help improve cyber security … Continue Reading

FCA reveals findings from first crypto-assets consumer research

On 7 March 2019, the FCA published two pieces of research looking at UK consumer attitudes to crypto-assets. The first piece of research explores the attitudes, understanding and motivations behind people’s decisions to purchase and use different crypto-assets, through qualitative interviews with a small number of crypto-asset owners. The second piece of research is a … Continue Reading

Commission speech on progress of FinTech action plan

On 26 February 2019, the European Commission published the speech given by Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis (VD) at the 3rd Annual Afore Fintech Conference. VD begins his speech by covering the Commission’s Fintech Action Plan. Last year the Commission asked the European Supervisory Authorities to report on regulatory sandboxes and innovation hubs in Member States. VD … Continue Reading

FSB report assesses FinTech developments and potential financial stability implications

On 14 February 2019, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) published a report on FinTech and market structure in financial services. The FSB defines FinTech as technology-enabled innovation in financial services that could result in new business models, applications, processes or products with an associated material effect on the provision of financial services. The report considers … Continue Reading

FCA update on functions, membership and governance of GFIN

On 31 January 2019, the FCA published a webpage providing information on the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN). GFIN was formally launched in January 2019 by an international group of financial regulators and related organisations committed to supporting financial innovation in the interests of consumers, including the FCA. This built on the FCA’s early 2018 … Continue Reading

FCA consults on cryptoassets guidance

On 23 January 2019, the FCA published Consultation Paper 19/3 (CP19/3) concerning guidance on cryptoassets. Within the UK Cryptoasset Taskforce’s report of October 2018, the Taskforce set out a commitment to provide extra clarity to firms about where current cryptoasset activities are regulated. The FCA is consequently consulting in CP19/3 on guidance to fulfil that … Continue Reading

ESMA publishes advice to EU institutions on ICOs and crypto-assets

On 9 January 2019, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published its advice to the EU institutions (the European Commission, the Council of the EU and the European Parliament) on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and crypto-assets. Prior to the publication of the advice ESMA has been working with Member State national competent authorities (NCAs) … Continue Reading

ESAs report on regulatory sandboxes and innovation hubs

On 7 January 2019, the Joint Committee of European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) published a report on FinTech, concerning regulatory sandboxes and innovation hubs (together, innovation facilitators). In the report, the ESAs analyse the innovation facilitators established to date within the EU. The ESAs also set out ‘best practices’ regarding the design and operation of innovation … Continue Reading

Commission action plan on AI

On 17 December 2018, the European Commission issued a press release concerning a coordinated plan prepared with Member States to foster the development and use of artificial intelligence (AI) in Europe. The plan proposes joint actions for closer and more efficient cooperation between Member States, Norway, Switzerland and the Commission in four key areas: increasing … Continue Reading

Wholesale banks and asset management cyber multi-firm review findings

On 10 December 2018, the FCA published the key findings from its cyber multi-firm review of a sample of 20 firms operating in the asset management and wholesale banking sectors. The review involved meetings with board members, management committees and executives from the firms’ first and second lines of defence. Key findings include: whilst boards … Continue Reading

Cyber-resilience: range of practices

On 4 December 2018, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (Basel Committee) published a report which identifies, describes and compares the range of observed bank, regulatory and supervisory cyber-resilience practices across jurisdictions. For the purpose of the report, the Basel Committee uses the Financial Stability Board’s Cyber Lexicon definition of cyber-resilience, which defines it as … Continue Reading

ECB cyber resilience oversight expectations for FMIs

On 3 December 2018, the European Central Bank (ECB) published its cyber resilience oversight expectations for financial market infrastructures (FMIs) (the Expectations). In June 2016, the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published Guidance on cyber resilience for financial market infrastructures (Guidance). The Expectations provides FMIs … Continue Reading

FCA report on cyber and technology resilience

On 27 November 2018, the FCA published a report on its 2017-2018 cross-sector survey on cyber and technology resilience. The FCA surveyed 296 firms during 2017 to 2018 to assess their technology and cyber capabilities. The survey looked at key areas such as governance, delivery of change management, managing third party risks and effective cyber … Continue Reading

Select Committee inquiry – IT failures in the financial services sector

On 23 November 2018, the House of Commons’ Treasury Select Committee launched an inquiry which will focus on the common causes of operational incidents in the financial services sector, the ways in which consumers lose out as a result of such incidents, and whether regulators have the relevant skills to adequately hold people to account. … Continue Reading

FCA speech on using AI / machine learning in financial crime supervision

On 21 November 2018, the FCA published a speech delivered by Rob Gruppetta, Head of the Financial Crime Department, entitled ‘AI and financial crime: silver bullet or red herring?’.  Some of the key points to note from the speech include: whilst the building blocks of artificial intelligence (AI) have begun to emerge, sound principles for … Continue Reading

BoE speech on advanced analytics in prudential supervision

On 19 November 2018, the Bank of England (BoE) published a speech by James Proudman, (Executive Director, UK Deposit Takers Supervision) on the application of advanced analytics in prudential supervision. In the speech, Mr Proudman explores the impact of AI and advanced analytics broadly on the safety and soundness of the firms supervised by the … Continue Reading

ECB speech on cryptos, cyber and CCPs

The ECB has published a speech by Benoît Coeuré, the Chair of the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI). The speech is entitled The new frontier of payments and market infrastructure: on cryptos, cyber and CCPs. The slides that accompanied the speech have also been published. Key messages in the speech include: the G20 … Continue Reading

Valdis Dombrovskis statement on regulating virtual currencies

On 13 November 2018, European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis issued a statement at the European Parliament Plenary on regulating virtual currencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). In the statement, Mr Dombrovskis posts two questions for financial regulators to consider: Whether crypto-assets are financial instruments, and are therefore covered by financial regulation? Whether that regulation is … Continue Reading

FSB Cyber Lexicon published

On 12 November 2018, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) published the first edition of a Cyber Lexicon, which comprises a set of approximately 50 core terms related to cyber security and cyber resilience in the financial sector. The lexicon is not intended for use in the legal interpretation of any international arrangement or agreement or … Continue Reading