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Weekly Global Fintech Update

10 January 2022

10 January 2022

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.

CLIFFORD CHANCE PUBLICATIONS AND MATERIALS

Talking Tech article – Segregated bank accounts in the Netherlands: a practical improvement for fintechs

Clifford Chance briefing – The UK's new national security screening regime is now in full effect

Clifford Chance briefing – Spain: software and database companies should ensure the services they provide cannot be used by their clients to violate antitrust rules | Spanish language version

Clifford Chance briefing – Digital Markets Act: EU regulation of online gatekeepers remains on track for adoption in first half of 2022

SPOTLIGHT

Paperless International Trade: Achieving harmony between the law and technological potential

The development of technologies over the past decade has made paperless trade increasingly attainable. Recently, the disruption caused to supply chains by the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the gulf that now exists in many jurisdictions between what is technically possible and what is legally permitted or recognised in relation to the transferable records that underpin international trade.

In this briefing, we examine the current legal framework relating to electronic transferable records in a number of jurisdictions, and the efforts towards reform that are being made in the international community.

GLOBAL LEGAL AND REGULATORY UPDATES

Americas

Jamaica:       

  • (31 Dec 2021) The Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) has successfully completed its eight month central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot. The pilot involved the minting of JMD 230 million worth of CBDC for issuance to deposit-taking institutions and authorised payment service providers. The BoJ intends to proceed with a national rollout of the CBDC in the first quarter of 2022. | Press release

Mexico:         

  • (30 Dec 2021) Tweet (in Spanish) from the Government of Mexico announcing that the central bank of Mexico, Banxico, intends to launch a CBDC by 2024.

Paraguay:   

  • (17 Dec 2021) Bill (in Spanish) to introduce an authorisation and licensing framework for crypto-mining. The Bill has been passed by the Senate and will be discussed by the Chamber of Deputies in 2022.

US:  

  • (17 Dec 2021) Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) annual report, which sets out FSOC's activities over the past year and its recommendations for the coming year. Among other things, FSOC recommends that federal and state regulators continue to examine the risks posed by digital assets and notes that it intends to monitor the potential risks of stablecoins, in particular. | Press release

APAC

China:            

  • (4 Jan 2022) The People's Bank of China has published a fintech development plan, which sets out the Bank's fintech-related development goals and priorities up to 2025. Key areas of focus include: strengthening governance; improving data capabilities; building a green and innovative financial network; supporting regtech development; and cultivating fintech talent. | Press release (in Chinese)

India:             

  • (28 Dec 2021) Reserve Bank of India (RBI) report on trends and progress in the banking sector 2020 to 2021. The report includes a section on CBDCs, in which the RBI argues that CBDCs can provide a 'safe, robust and convenient alternative to physical cash', although a basic version should be implemented first and tested thoroughly before more complex forms are considered.

Republic of Korea:    

  • (28 Dec 2021) The National Tax Service (NTS) has announced that gifted or inherited cryptoassets will shortly be subject to tax. The NTS will consider the value given for cryptoassets across various Korean-registered exchanges to determine an average price the month before and after the cryptocurrency is received, and will use this to determine what tax should be paid. | Press release (in Korean)

Thailand:      

  • (24 Dec 2021) Bank of Thailand statement (in Thai), which sets out its views on the use of digital assets and CBDCs. The statement reiterates the Bank's previous comments that cryptoassets should not be used as a means of payment for goods and services. It also announces that the Bank intends to begin testing a CBDC in the second half of 2022.

Europe

EU:  

  • (4 Jan 2022) European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) call for evidence on amendments to the transparency and data reporting requirements under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR). ESMA is seeking views on whether these requirements need to be amended to ensure they appropriately reflect securities issued, traded and recorded on distributed ledger technology (DLT). Comments are due by 4 March 2022. | Press release
  • (21 Dec 2021) The Council's Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper) has endorsed the provisional political agreement reached between the Council and Parliament negotiators on the EU Commission's proposed regulation establishing a temporary common EU pilot regime for market infrastructures based on DLT. The agreement sets out the Council and Parliament's position on various issues discussed during trilogue negotiations including: the definition of the DLT market infrastructure; the thresholds for admission to trading or recording on DLT; and supervisory responsibilities. | Press release

Estonia:        

  • (23 Dec 2021) The Ministry of Finance has announced that draft legislation intended to strengthen the regulation of virtual asset service providers (VASPs) has been approved by the Government. The legislation prohibits Estonian VASPs from offering anonymous accounts or wallets and requires them to collect similar information on virtual asset transfers as is required for traditional bank transfers. The draft law has been submitted to the Estonian Parliament, where it will need to undergo three readings before it becomes law. | Press release

Luxembourg:              

  • (4 Jan 2022) Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) frequently asked questions (FAQs) on cryptoassets. In the new FAQs, the CSSF sets out the circumstances under which credit institutions are allowed to invest in cryptoassets, and the expectations and requirements that are applicable to them if they do.

Turkey:          

  • (1 Jan 2022) Regulation (in Turkish) on the operational principles of digital banks and service model banking, which has entered into force. The regulation establishes incorporation, operation, licensing and supervision requirements for digital banks.

UK:

  • (6 Jan 2022) Minutes from the Bank of England's CBDC Technology Forum, held on 30 November 2021. Members discussed the main models of CBDC provision, and the public and sector roles under each model, as well as the privacy and identity considerations for CBDCs.
  • (4 Jan 2022) National Security and Investment Act 2021, which has entered into force. The Act gives the Government the power to assess certain transactions for national security risks. The new rules apply if there is a 'change of control' in relation to a wide range of entities or assets and impose mandatory filing obligations for certain investments in entities with specified activities in sensitive sectors. Sensitive sectors include: advanced robotics; artificial intelligence; cryptographic authentication; data infrastructure; and quantum technologies, among others. | Clifford Chance summary

Middle East

UAE:

  • (20 Dec 2021) The Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) has announced its intentions to develop a regulatory framework for innovative financial products, including cryptoassets, DLT and non-fungible tokens, which it will oversee. The DWTC intends this framework to support Dubai's position as an attractive and leading centre for fintech and innovation. | Press release
CLIFFORD CHANCE EVENTS

Warsaw Perspectives Series: Legal, regulatory and product challenges in insurance in light of cybersecurity and new technologies (6 April 2022)

IT systems, artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analysis tools are all being increasingly used by companies in the insurance sector but are also potentially sources of significant risk. Insurance companies and distributors are exposed to the regulatory risk associated with the creation and distribution of insurance products, and their clients to cyber risk and the risk associated with technological service providers. During this seminar, Clifford Chance Counsel Marta Bieniada will discuss how to take advantage of the benefits of technology in a way that is effective and safe for both clients and the firms offering the innovative services. Please note this seminar will be held in Polish. | For more information and to register, please see the event page.