Malaysia joins digital banking revolution – Bank Negara Malaysia issues Exposure Draft on Licensing Framework for Digital Banks

On 27 December 2019, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) issued an exposure draft on the Licensing Framework for Digital Banks (Exposure Draft). According to BNM, up to five licences may be issued to applicants to establish digital banks that conduct either conventional or Islamic banking business in Malaysia. BNM’s move to promote the development of digital banks is in line with the direction taken by regulators in Singapore and Hong Kong, which have each issued similar licensing frameworks in the past two years. Read more

FCA warns CEOs to tackle non-financial misconduct

The FCA has warned CEOs that how a firm handles non-financial misconduct is indicative of a firm's culture. It is the FCA's view that embedding healthy cultures includes, therefore, taking steps to address the discrimination, harassment and bullying that remains "prevalent" in firms. In a 'Dear CEO' letter (the Letter), which follows recent incidents in the wholesale general insurance sector, the FCA considers the need for fundamental change in firms' culture and calls on leaders to bring about that change. Read more

Building Operational Resilience: UK regulators launch consultations

On 5 December 2019, the Bank of England (BoE), the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) released a number of publications on operational resilience, marking the launch of a consultation phase which will inform how the UK authorities seek to embed the consideration of operational resilience into the regulatory framework. Read more

Be on the mark – APAC central banks release study of benchmark reform implications

On 24 September 2019, the Executives’ Meeting of East Asia-Pacific Central Banks (EMEAP) published its study on the implications of benchmark reform across the East Asia and Pacific region (Study), including the effects of LIBOR discontinuation, the EU Benchmarks Regulation (BMR) and the ongoing reform of local benchmarks. The Study provides important insight into market participants’ varying levels of awareness of and preparedness for benchmark reform, as well as valuable guidance as to future regulatory developments we are likely to see from regulators keen to ensure regional markets are well equipped to handle these reforms. The Study also refers extensively to Herbert Smith Freehills’ market-leading work on the BMR with ASIFMA. Read more

Commercial Court considers contractual discretion of bank to close customer account without notice where there is suspicion of money laundering

In a recent decision, the Commercial Court has upheld a financial institution’s decision to exercise its contractual right to close a customer’s accounts and terminate its relationship without notice, where the financial institution had a suspicion that its customer’s accounts were being used for money laundering purposes: N v The Royal Bank of Scotland plc … Read more

Cryptoassets: Personal account dealing policies and procedures

First published on Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence on 15 July 2019. This third article of a series on cryptoassets focuses on personal account dealing (PAD) policies and procedures. This topic is important not only for firms themselves but also for individual staff who have entered into or are considering entering into cryptoasset transactions on their … Read more