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Global Weekly Fintech Update

21 September 2020

21 September 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.

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CLIFFORD CHANCE PUBLICATIONS AND MATERIALS
GLOBAL LEGAL & REGULATORY UPDATES
  • (14 Sep 2020) Financial Action Task Force report setting out red flag indicators that could suggest that virtual assets are being used for money laundering and/or terrorist financing purposes. | Press release
  • (11 Sep 2020) President of the Deutsche Bundesbank and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Bank for International Settlements, Jens Weidmann, speech on the future of money and payments, in which he discusses the opportunities and risks posed by central bank digital currencies.
  • (Aug 2020) United Nations Task Force on Digital Financing of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) report on how the digitalisation of finance can be used to support SDGs

Africa

Nigeria:         

  • (14 Sep 2020) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) statement on the classification and regulatory treatment of digital assets. In summary, the SEC notes that digital assets fall under the existing regulatory regime covering securities exchanges and transactions on exchanges.

Americas

US:  

  •  (15 Sep 2020) The Conference of State Bank Supervisors has announced the launch of a new program for the supervision of nationwide money service businesses (MSBs), known as MSB Networked Supervision. Under this new program MSBs will undergo a single comprehensive exam to satisfy all state regulatory requirements. It is expected to apply to 78 of the US's largest payments and cryptocurrency firms. | Press release

APAC

Australia:

  •  (21 Aug 2020) Reserve Bank of Australia Payments System Board update in which it states, among other things, that, while the Bank does not believe there is currently a strong public-policy case for the use of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in Australia, it is researching the implications of introducing a wholesale form of CBDC and working with external parties to develop a proof-of-concept.

China:

  •  (14 Sep 2020) Deputy Governor of the People's Bank of China, Fan Yifei, opinion article (in Chinese) on the policy implications of a Chinese central bank digital currency and the regulatory principles that will be followed once it is operational.

Europe

EU/Europe:

  •  (16 Sep 2020) EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, State of the Union address, setting out the Commission's initiatives for 2021. Among other things, von der Leyen called for a common plan for a digital Europe with clearly defined goals for 2030. She also announced plans for legislative proposals on a new Data Act, digital levies and European e-IDs. | Accompanying letter of intent.
  •  (14 Sep 2020) EU Parliament report on the regulatory and supervisory challenges posed by cryptoassets in the areas of financial services, institutions and markets and the value of legislative proposals to address them.
  •  (14 Sep 2020) Association of Financial Markets in Europe position paper on European capital markets in the digital age, in which it calls on the EU Commission to promote a competitive and level playing field across Europe's capital markets, develop technology-neutral legislation and ensure that there is regulatory harmonisation across the EU. | Press release
  •  (14 Sep 2020) Executive Vice-President of the EU Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis, statement in which he, among other things, responds to the joint statement of the Finance Ministers of Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands, expressing their concerns about the risks of stablecoins which currently fall outside EU legislation. Dombrovskis confirms that the EU Commission's upcoming legislative proposals will address these issues comprehensively.
  •  (11 Sep 2020) The Finance Ministers of Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands joint statement on asset-backed cryptoassets (stablecoins). Among other things, the Ministers support the EU Commission's plans to develop a regulatory framework for stablecoins and prohibit those that do not meet all the requirements. The statement also proposes some general principles to be followed when creating the regulatory framework.
  •  (11 Sep 2020) EU Commission report containing a quantitative overview of the uptake of artificial intelligence technologies among European businesses and a consideration of the challenges these businesses face.
  •  (11 Sep 2020) The EU Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) has adopted a report on digital finance, which contains a motion for an EU Parliament resolution aimed at addressing the fragmentation of existing regulation and providing a comprehensive regulatory framework for the treatment of cryptoassets, cyber resilience, digital onboarding and the use of data | Press release
  • (10 Sep 2020) A draft version of the EU Commission's upcoming legislation on markets in cryptoassets (MiCA) has been leaked and published by the political news site, Politico. The draft legislation aims to create a regulatory framework for cryptoassets which currently fall outside existing EU financial services legislation, as well as for e-money tokens. Please note this is not an official publication and we have not verified its contents, which remain liable to change significantly.
  •  (10 Sep 2020) European Banking Federation response to the EU Commission's consultation on its inception impact assessment on a legislative proposal for the regulation of artificial intelligence.

France:           

  • (11 Sep 2020) Governor of the Bank of France, François Villeroy de Galhau, speech on banking and payments in the digital world, in which he spoke of the potential benefits of private sector involvement in the development and issuance of a European central bank digital currency.  

Germany:    

  •  (11 Sep 2020) President of the Deutsche Bundesbank and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Bank for International Settlements, Jens Weidmann, speech on the future of money and payments, in which he discusses the opportunities and risks posed by central bank digital currencies.

Gibraltar:     

  •  (17 Sep 2020) Gibraltar Financial Services Commission updated guidance for distributed ledger technology providers. The guidance, which was first published in December 2017, has been amended to add further clarity on token issuances, risk management and the difference between virtual assets and virtual asset denominated instruments. | Press release

UK:

  •  (15 Sep 2020) Investment Association guidance on best practice for investment managers when engaging and working with fintechs | Press release
  • (10 Sep 2020) Financial Conduct Authority annual report 2019/20 in which it sets out its activity in the areas of open finance, data ethics, cryptoassets, fintech and regtech. 
  • (8 Sep 2020) The House Committee on Energy and Commerce has passed a motion to incorporate the Blockchain Innovation Act​ (H.R.8153)​ and the Digital Taxonomy Act (H.R.2154) into a broader Consumer Safety Technology Act. Among other things the new legislation would require the Department of Commerce, in consultation with the Federal Trade Commission, to report on the risks posed by blockchain technology and would call on the federal government to explore how emerging technologies could be used to combat fraud and other unfair practices. The American COMPETE Act (H.R.8132), which was also passed by the Committee, would require the Department of Commerce to report to Congress on the state of artificial intelligence, quantum computing, blockchain and other new related industries.| Press release
Events

Perspectives series – Artificial intelligence and intellectual property: considerations for businesses (22 September 2020

As the use of artificial intelligence (AI) by businesses increases, there are still a number of questions concerning the relationship between AI and intellectual property (IP). A panel of Clifford Chance experts will look at ways in which a typical software licence may not be fit for purpose, issues arising from the exploitation of AI, and the fundamental question of whether AI can create IP rights from a UK and European perspective. | For more information and to register, see the registration form

Webinar – The future of European banking (29 September 2020)

Clifford Chance are co-hosting a webinar with FTI Consulting and invite you to join this high-level panel discussion with banking specialists drawn from the highest levels of industry, law and the media. Together they will debate some of the most pertinent themes impacting the European banking sector today, including accelerating digitalisation, profitability, regulation, competition and consolidation. | If you have any queries relating to this event then please contact Misha Amin, and to register, see the event webpage

RUSI Event – Tech start-ups and national security: concrete steps for better collaboration (29 September 2020): 

With the West’s strategic competitors now catching up and sometimes surpassing Western technological capabilities, the innovation gap is now an urgent issue. Clifford Chance, in collaboration with the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), is hosting a panel discussion between Alex Fox (Managing Partner, UK National Security Strategic Investment Fund), Alex van Someren (General Partner, Amadeus Capital), Merle Maigre (Senior Cyber Security Expert, e-Governance Academy) and Arnav Joshi (Senior Associate, Clifford Chance) on the current divide between the tech community and the national security community and the concrete steps that can be taken to improve collaboration. | This event is invite only, for more information, see the event webpage

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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