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Global Weekly Fintech Update

20 April 2020

20 April 2020

Welcome to this week's global fintech round-up, summarising fintech regulatory developments that have happened around the world along with our Clifford Chance fintech publications and upcoming events.

Details of these and previous developments can also be found on our Fintech Topic Guide on the Clifford Chance Financial Markets Toolkit.

Please click here to subscribe to future editions of the round-up.

CLIFFORD CHANCE PUBLICATIONS AND MATERIALS

Talking Tech article – The Banque de France is calling for applications to experiment with a new programme on a central bank digital currency

Talking Tech article – Zooming in on privacy and cybersecurity controls in the WFH environment

Clifford Chance briefing – Data collective actions: The costs of losing control

SPOTLIGHT

APAC remains at the forefront of fintech and wider tech developments. Expert members of our APAC tech team share some recent highlights and predictions of what's coming next in a new series of articles. In the first two parts they consider artificial intelligence (looking both at fintech and further afield to healthcare and autonomous vehicles) and  cryptoassets (with an overview of recent national crypto-regulation and the regulatory outlook).

Stay tuned – big tech and data and patent and IP protection, including alternative dispute resolution, will be next.

GLOBAL LEGAL AND REGULATORY UPDATES

International

  • (14 Apr 2020) Financial Stability Board consultation on draft recommendations for the regulation, supervision and oversight of global stablecoins. | Press release
  • (14 Apr 2020) World Bank and Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures report on the payment aspects of financial inclusion and related fintech developments.
  • (3 Apr 2020) BIS bulletin​ which looks at the concerns around cash in light of the coronavirus pandemic and the expected impact on the development of central bank digital currencies and other forms of digital payment. 

Africa

Ethiopia:

  • (8 Apr 2020) National Bank of Ethiopia directive ('Licensing and Authorization of Payment Instrument Issuer Directive No. ONPS/01/2020') which sets out authorisation, licensing and other requirements for payment instrument issuers, including mobile wallet and digital financial service providers.

South Africa:

  • (14 Apr 2020) South Africa's Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG) position paper on cryptoassets.
  • (7 Apr 2020) IFWG announced it has launched an innovation hub, which is intended to assist innovators in the financial technology space and to promote responsible innovation | Press release | Innovation hub FAQs
  • (3 Apr 2020) The South African National Blockchain Alliance (SANBA) has been launched by the Department of Science and Innovation as a network of partnerships between the South African government, industry bodies and start-ups aimed at supporting innovation and nurturing blockchain-focused initiatives. | SANBA website

Americas

US:  

  • (15 Apr 2020) Facebook's Libra Association updated white paper for its cryptocurrency project, in which it announces that, in light of regulatory concerns, it is scaling back its initial proposal to establish a global fiat-backed digital currency and is instead focusing on developing multiple stablecoins, each representing a different fiat currency | Press release | Swiss financial regulator (FINMA)'s response
  • (14 Apr 2020) Automatic Boost to Communities Act (ABC Act) introduced to Congress by Rashida Tlaib and Pramila Jayapal. Like the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act, which was introduced on 23 Mar 2020, the ABC Act envisages the creation of digital wallets for US citizens maintained by the Federal Reserve, into which 'digital dollar' relief payments could be paid for qualifying individuals. 
  • (9 Apr 2020) US Small Business Administration application form for non-banks to enrol as participating lenders under the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), an initiative introduced under the CARES Act to support small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic by providing them with access to low-interest, forgivable loans

APAC

China:            

  • (13 Apr 2020) Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) notice (in Chinese) on the establishment of a technical committee comprising 15 organisations responsible for devising national standards for blockchain and distributed ledger technology.
  • (10 Apr 2020) MIIT consultation (in Chinese) on draft guidelines for developing data security standards for blockchain and other emerging technologies such as 5G, cloud computing and artificial intelligence.
  • (3 Apr 2020) People's Bank of China summary​ (in Chinese) of a teleconference in which it states that its top priority for 2020 is the continued research and development of a central bank digital currency.
  • (26 Mar 2020) State Administration for Market Regulation and State Cryptography Administration implementing opinion (in Chinese) on the establishment of a testing and certification regime for cryptography.

Japan:           

  • (3 Apr 2020) Government newsletter (in Japanese) which states that the bill to amend the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act and the Funds Settlement Act to introduce stronger regulations on cryptocurrencies is expected to come into force 1 May 2020.
  • (3 Apr 2020) Financial Services Agency of Japan feedback​ (in Japanese) to responses received to its consultation on new regulations for cryptoasset exchange businesses.

Republic of Korea:    

  • (6 Apr 2020) The Bank of Korea has announced that it has launched a pilot programme aimed at assessing the feasibility of issuing a central bank digital currency | Press release (in Korean)

Singapore:   

  • (9 Apr 2020) Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) list of relief initiatives for the financial and fintech sectors during the coronavirus outbreak. MAS has also announced it will extend the assessment period for the award of digital bank licences from Jun 2020 to the second half of 2020 to allow applicants to dedicate their resources to managing the immediate impact of the outbreak. | Press release

Europe

EU:  

  • (dated 13 Mar, published 8 Apr 2020) European Securities and Markets Authority Financial Innovation Standing Committee (FISC) terms of reference. FISC has been established to, amongst other things, assess risks associated with financial innovation and developments in technology and to promote supervisory convergence.
  •  (8 Apr 2020) EU Parliament study paper on key developments in the area of cryptoassets, as well as regulatory concerns and suggested regulatory responses.
  • (3 Apr 2020) EU Commission consultation on its new digital finance strategy/fintech action plan | Consultation webpage​.
  • (3 Apr 2020) European Banking Federation response to the EU Commission's consultation on the suitability of the existing regulatory framework for cryptoassets.

France:          

  • (7 Apr 2020) Autorité des Marchés Financiers response to the EU Commission's consultation on the suitability of the existing regulatory framework for cryptoassets.

Switzerland:

  • (16 Apr 2020) The Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has announced that it has received an application from Facebook's Libra Association (which is based in Geneva) for a payment system licence under Swiss supervisory law. | Press release

UK:

  • (3 Apr 2020) House of Commons Library briefing paper on the Government's proposals, announced in the 2018 Budget, to introduce a Digital Services Tax to address some of the issues raised by digitalisation and the emergence of major tech companies.

CLIFFORD CHANCE EVENTS

- Following the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19), we are keeping our global events programme under review. We anticipate that many events will be hosted online/remotely instead. Please continue to sign up for events of interest to ensure you receive news of the latest developments and any changes to location or schedule -

Global Digital Finance (GDF) webinar - AMLD5 & FATF: A New Regulatory Era (22 Apr 2020):
Diego Ballon Ossio, Clifford Chance Senior Associate, will join a panel with Veronica McGregor from Shapeshift, Elsa Madrolle from Coolbitx and Oliver Tonkin from BCB Group, hosted by Lawrence Wintermeyer (Board Co-chair of GDF) on the effect AMLD5 has had since it came into force, and the upcoming impact of FATF guidance | For more information and to register please see the event website.

 

Online Perspectives Series ­– Ready, steady, grow – what every global business needs to think about when developing their tech-driven growth strategy (5 and 6 May 2020):
Clifford Chance teamed up with Forbes to survey 300 senior business executives globally on their approach and attitude to tech-driven growth. In this session we look at some of the big tech trends and issues raised by the report – including ethical tech, Board reskilling, tech regulation, the workforce of the future and AI and big data. Our speakers will discuss their real-life experiences and highlight the impact these issues could have over the next decade, and what you need to think about now | For more information and to RSVP see the Perspectives form..

Additional Information

This publication does not necessarily deal with every important topic nor cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not designed to provide legal or other advice. Clifford Chance is not responsible for third party content. Please note that English language translations may not be available for some content.

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