Blockchain technology is ushering in a new epoch of monetary oversight, creating opportunities and challenges for regulators in a world disrupted by the advent of cryptocurrencies Continue reading
Open Banking catching the eye of global regulators: Developments in Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia
The banking industry has undergone rapid change in recent years with the rise of virtual currency, fintech and digital innovation challenging the status quo. One of the key developments emerging in the last couple of years is the concept of Open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for use in the banking industry, or Open Banking. Continue reading →
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 →
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.
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.
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 →