In this regular update, we round-up FinTech-related regulatory developments for the week ending 3 September 2021.



BIS Innovation Hub and central banks will test CBDCs for international settlements

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub has announced that it will collaborate with the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, South African Reserve Bank and Bank Negara Malaysia to test the use of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) for international settlements. Led by the Innovation Hub’s Singapore Centre, Project Dunbar aims to develop prototype shared platforms for cross-border transactions using multiple CBDCs.

Project Dunbar’s work will explore the international dimension of CBDC design and support the efforts of the G20 roadmap for enhancing cross-border payments. Its results, expected to be published in early 2022, will inform the development of future platforms for global and regional settlements. Technical prototypes of the shared platforms, developed in collaboration with different technology partners, will be demonstrated at the Singapore FinTech Festival in November 2021. [2 Sep 2021]




EC: Updated consultation response deadlines – AML package, incl in relation to crypto-assets

The European Commission (EC) has updated the consultation response deadline for the following consultations under its anti-money laundering (AML) initiative to 2 November 2021:

ESMA: Report on trends, risks and vulnerabilities

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its second report on trends, risks and vulnerabilities. The report highlights the continued rise in valuations across asset classes in an environment of economic recovery and low interest rates, the increased risk taking of investors and the materialisation of event risks.

The report also includes in-depth articles looking at financial stability risks of cloud outsourcing, credit rating agencies and green bonds. [1 Sep 2021]




Payments System Review final report released

The Commonwealth Government has announced the release of the final report of the Payments System Review. This review considered whether Australia’s regulatory framework is fit-for-purpose and responsive to market economic changes, as well as how regulation could greater enhance productivity, innovation and competition.

The Government has stated it will carefully consider the recommendations and begin consultations before finalising a response by the end of this year.  [30 Aug 2021]




Hong Kong

Insurance Authority signs MOUs with CBIRC and AMCM on fintech co-operation

The Insurance Authority has entered into memorandums of understanding (MOUs) on fintech cooperation with the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) and the Monetary Authority of Macao (AMCM) respectively.

The MOUs signify a deeper cooperation between Hong Kong, Mainland China and Macao whereby the three regulators will step up their collaboration on innovation in financial services (including exchanging information) and consider organising joint innovation projects on the application of novel financial technologies.

The MOUs are also expected to enhance the financial connectivity within the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, help jointly create an open, inclusive and safe fintech ecosystem, and enable policyholders in the region to enjoy more customised client experience.  [1 Sep 2021]



SFC establishes alert list on suspected unauthorised CISs 

The SFC has established an alert list on suspected unauthorised collective investment schemes (CISs).

CISs may not be offered to the public in Hong Kong without the SFC’s authorisation, and unauthorised CISs may generally be sold to professional investors only.  It may be an offence to offer an unauthorised CIS to the Hong Kong public or to market or distribute interests in a CIS without the SFC’s licence or registration.

The alert list includes investment arrangements which have come to the SFC’s attention and display certain characteristics of a CIS.  These arrangements may involve overseas real estate or non-conventional assets such as digital tokens and initial coin offerings.  Investors are recommended to check the alert list before investing.

The SFC will continue to work with the Investor and Financial Education Council (IFEC) to strengthen investor education about CISs and associated risks. The IFEC website contains information about CISsinvestments in overseas propertiesdigital tokens and initial coin offerings.  [30 Aug 2021]





MAS speech: Official launch of the AIDF

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has published the keynote address by Mr Heng Swee Keat, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, at the official launch of the Asian Institute of Digital Finance (AIDF).

MAS global CBDC challenge – finalists announced

MAS has announced the finalists for the global competition to develop retail CBDC solutions. The finalists will progress to the Acceleration Phase of the Global CBDC Challenge, before they pitch their solutions to a panel of judges and an international audience at this year’s Singapore FinTech Festival. [30 Aug 2021]



Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has a Formal Law Alliance (FLA) with Singapore law firm Prolegis LLC, which provides clients with access to Singapore law advice from Prolegis. The FLA in the name of Herbert Smith Freehills Prolegis allows the two firms to deliver a complementary and seamless legal service.