Bridging the FinTech gap: What dividend should we seek from regulatory cooperation across jurisdictions?

Technology-facilitated innovation in financial services, a diverse collection of topics which coalesces under the portmanteau term of “FinTech”, is increasingly in the sights of policy-makers, whether at global, regional and national or state levels.  Keen observers will have noted a proliferation of consultation documents, statements, warnings, speeches and more emanating from national regulators.  Some of these recent publications address specific FinTech applications. Indeed, there has been a veritable deluge of material on Initial Coin Offerings over just the past few months.

Meanwhile bodies such as the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the influential Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS), and others, both within and without the traditional regulatory cohort, are making some efforts towards setting out (or attempt to setting out) some universal principles or truths which may address an increasingly gaping hole in the global regulatory policy canon.

We are at an early stage in the development of policy responses to FinTech, and it is perhaps unsurprising that globally agreed standards have yet to emerge. Continue reading

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Filed under Asia, Europe, Fintech, IT & Technology, Regulatory

Further developments in Distributed Ledger Technology

On 15 December 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published the Feedback Statement (FS) to its April 2017 Discussion Paper (DP) DP17/03 on Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). Continue reading

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Singapore’s MAS issues Guide to Digital Token Offerings

On 14 November 2017, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued a guide during the first day of the Singapore FinTech Festival to provide general guidance on the application of the securities laws administered by the MAS, namely the Securities and Futures Act (SFA) and the Financial Advisers Act, to offers or issues of digital tokens in Singapore.

This follows the MAS’s clarification on 1 August 2017 that an offer or issue of digital tokens would be regulated if these tokens constitute products which are regulated under the SFA. Our e-bulletin in August 2017 regarding the clarification can be accessed here.

In our recent bulletin, we highlight the key points in the MAS guide and set out our observations. If you wish to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Asia team (below) or your usual Herbert Smith Freehills contact.

Key contacts

Will Hallatt
Will Hallatt
Partner, Hong Kong
Email | Profile
+852 2101 4036
Siddhartha Sivaramakrishnan
Siddhartha Sivaramakrishnan
Partner, Singapore
Email | Profile
+65 6868 8078
Hannah Cassidy
Hannah Cassidy
Partner, Hong Kong
Email | Profile
+852 2101 4133

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is licensed to operate as a foreign law practice in Singapore. Where advice on Singapore law is required, we will refer the matter to and work with licensed Singapore law practices where necessary.

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Fintech regulation – what is on the horizon?

With fintech becoming such a fast-moving and increasingly regulated space, we have created a timeline of key UK and EU regulatory milestones to watch out for over the coming months and years. Continue reading

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Filed under Cyber security, data protection and IT, Europe, Fintech, IT & Technology, Regulatory, Uncategorized

Scaling up the Senior Managers and Certification Regime: Thinking Ahead

The UK Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR) is being extended to almost all financial services firms authorised by the FCA. This will include many firms in the payment services, peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding and robo-asset management sectors. The plans are currently under consultation and we expect the regime to be implemented towards the end of 2018.

The SMCR was introduced in response to the 2008 banking crisis and the LIBOR rigging scandal to enhance individual accountability and create a culture of risk management and compliance. It has applied to banks, building societies and certain investment firms since March 2016, with a modified regime for insurers (known as SIMR). It is anticipated the extended regime will largely follow the current SMCR.

This post considers the extension of the SMCR and suggests some next steps for newly ‘in scope’ firms. Continue reading

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New regulatory trial grounds for fintech firms in Hong Kong – Regulators announce additional fintech sandboxes

New regulatory trial grounds for fintech firms in Hong Kong – Regulators announce additional fintech sandboxes Continue reading

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Regulators around the world become more vocal regarding the potential risks associated with ICOs

On 4 September 2017, seven major regulators governing the finance and technology sectors in China (collectively, the Chinese Regulators), jointly published an announcement prohibiting initial coin offerings (ICOs) in China. Continue reading

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Filed under Asia, Europe, Fintech, IT & Technology, Middle East, Regulatory

MAS CONSULTS ON REGULATIONS FOR THE PROVISION OF DIGITAL ADVISORY SERVICES

In line with its recognition of the rapid expansion of and new products within the fintech sphere, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued a consultation paper on 7 June 2017 on the provision of digital advisory services (ie advice on investment products using automated, algorithm-based tools, also known as “robo-advisory services”). The consultation closed on 7 July 2017.

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Filed under Asia, Cyber security, data protection and IT, Fintech, IT & Technology

Crowdfunding – regulatory headwinds on the horizon?

Crowdfunding has the potential to be one of the most positive developments on the financial scene in years, with the potential to ‘democratise’ finance and outflank conventional approaches to raising capital in some spheres.

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Fintechs and Regulators adapt to each other

Companies specialising in internet and new technologies (so-called Fintechs) continue to play a key role in the French economy (for example in developing credit activities, targeting in particular the financing of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through lending platforms and crowd funding).

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Filed under Europe, Fintech