Good morning! 

I hope you had a great weekend!

Well, after three-and-a-half years of turmoil, the UK has finally left the European Union. Naturally, this has implications for the financial services industry. With that in mind, below, you’ll find statements from both the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) on firms’ obligations, as well as a number of articles (and a podcast) on Brexit.

Artificial intelligence (AI) in financial services is another theme of this week’s RegTech X. If you have some spare time, I’d highly recommend reading the new report on AI in banking from FinTech Futures entitled Rise of the Machines.

You’ll also find news and developments in relation to RegTech, crypto regulation, compliance, and AML.

Read on to find out more.

Have a great week! ☕

Evgeny


Regulator UK 

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has clarified financial institutions’ obligations after Brexit. During the implementation period (until 31 December), EU law will continue to apply. (Insurance Business Mag) 3 mins

The UK now has its first FCA-backed crypto payments company. BCB Group, which provides cryptocurrency financial services for businesses and other entities, is the first company in the UK to hold an Authorised Payment Institution (API) license. (Coingeek) 2 mins

A recent study by the FCA has found that high-speed trading by banks and hedge funds essentially imposes a ‘tax’ on other investors, costing them as much as $5 billion per year overall. According to the regulator, high-speed trading can cause meaningful harm to liquidity. (CNBC) 2 mins

Chris Woodlard’s appointment as FCA interim Chief Executive could be good for the UK FinTech sector. “Fostering innovation and collaboration will be absolutely central to what we do next,” he said recently. (Altfi) 2 mins


Regulation EU

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has also published a statement clarifying issues related to UK firms’ reporting obligations following Brexit. ESMA says that it will continue to monitor the application of EU law to/in the UK in preparation for the end of the transition period. (Finance Feeds) 2 mins

ESMA has also launched a consultation on draft technical standards on the provision of investment services and activities in the EU by third-country firms under MiFIR and MiFID II. (ESMA) 2 mins

A leaked version of a European Commission white paper on artificial intelligence (AI) lays out five possible forms of regulation for the technology. Mandatory requirements for high-risk applications, such as healthcare, transport, policing, and the judiciary, is one suggestion. (AEI) 3 mins

Bank of China has agreed to pay €3.9 million in a settlement with French tax authorities, who had launched a money laundering investigation into the bank. The Chinese bank failed to notify French authorities that its clients were transferring millions of euros from France to accounts in China. (International Investment) 3 mins


Regulation US

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has published a report on cybersecurity practices in use within the financial services industry. The report is based on the examinations of broker-dealers, investment advisers, clearing agencies, national securities exchanges, and other SEC registrants, and aims to help firms strengthen their cybersecurity. (Infosecurity) 2 mins


Regulation Asia

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is updating its regulatory framework for crypto businesses and digital payments. Its new Payment Services Act 2019 (PSA) brings Digital Payment Token (DPT) services under current anti-money laundering (AML) rules. (Coindesk) 2 mins


Regulation Australia  

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has set out its policy and supervision priorities for the next 12 to 18 months. Its priorities include maintaining financial system resilience, improving cyber-resilience in the financial sector, and transforming governance, culture, remuneration and accountability (GCRA) across all APRA-regulated institutions. (Regulation Asia) 3 mins


Regulator International

The International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has published its 2020 annual work programme. Priorities this year include crypto-assets, artificial intelligence and machine learning, market fragmentation, passive investing and index providers, and retail distribution and digitalisation. (IOSCO) 4 mins


Crypto Regulation

We need more clarity on a host of issues related to digital assets, says Ilia Obraztsov, CEO of Smartlands, a digital securities investment platform. Obraztsov says that regulating digital assets needs to be a major priority in the years to come and that an overarching global regulatory framework is needed. (Finextra) 3 mins

Andrew Yang, who is currently running for the 2020 US Presidency, also says that more clarity from regulators is needed. Yang says the current environment is bad for innovators who want to invest in the space. (Reginnovate) 2 mins


Compliance 

Compliance officers are beginning to be viewed more as business partners and internal consultants. We should see them as business support, instead of business prevention, writes compliance specialist Meredith Geldhauser. (Forbes) 3 mins

The long-term impact of sanctions breaches highlights the need for firms to adopt sophisticated ‘risk-based’ approaches to sanctions screening to ensure compliance, says Phillip Malcolm, Regional Performance Director for APAC at Refinitiv. Malcolm points out that screening is only as good as the data that is used and says that firms with data gaps need to focus their efforts on ensuring that data is complete and accurate. (Regulation Asia) 2 mins

Banks have paid over $36 billion in regulatory fines since the Global Financial Crisis, according to RegTech firm Fenergo. Last year, 12 of the world’s top 50 banks were fined. (Yahoo Finance) 3 mins


RegTech

Global convergence is the next step for RegTech, says Stephen Ingledew, CEO of FinTech Scotland. Ingledew says that convergence and coordination between RegTech firms will be a key trend in 2020. (BDaily) 2 mins

To drive the growth of RegTech, policymakers and well-established companies need to share more data, says Sébastien Soriano, president of French regulator Autorité de Régulation des Communications Électroniques et des Postes (ARCEP). “The future of regulation is empowering the end-user,” he said recently in an interview. (Sifted) 3 mins

The Volcker Rule is no longer a key driver of RegTech spending, according to industry experts. Instead, data security is a major driver, as banks now need to comply with data protection regulation.  (Bobsguide) 3 mins

Insurers are waking up to the benefits of using RegTech but its potential remains untapped, says Beatriz Benito, Senior Insurance Analyst at GlobalData. Benito points out that Solvency II has exponentially increased the amount of reporting requirements insurers face. (Actuarial Post) 2 mins

Australia has the potential to grab a large slice of the RegTech market, if its government keeps up with the speed of digital innovation, says Leica Ison, founder and chief executive officer of RegTech firm Skyjed. Ison believes there are several initiatives that the current government can do to take advantage of the opportunities in the RegTech space. (Smart Company) 3 mins

Compliance that is digitally enabled and data-driven provides a clear understanding of evolving regulations, writes Anil D’Souza, Founder and CEO, Simpliance Technologies. D’Souza says that AI, big data, and robotic process automation will define the next chapter for the industry. (CXO Today) 3 mins


FinTech

A new report on global FinTech investment has reinforced London’s position as one of the largest FinTech hubs in the world. Last year, the UK accounted for seven out of the 10 largest FinTech deals in Europe. (The Finanser) 2 mins


Technology 

X FinTech Futures has released a new report on artificial intelligence and machine learning in financial services. You can download a copy of the report, which is entitled Rise of the Machineshere(FinTech Futures) 2 mins

Banks have been adopting AI to manage sanctions and compliance risk recently. However, technology cannot mitigate all risks, says Neil Whiley, director of sanctions at trade body UK Finance. (Financial Times) 3 mins

Regulators are expressing concern about the growing power and lack of understanding about how AI works and what it can do. Against this backdrop, Google recently held an event to showcase the positive side of AI by showing some of the long-term AI-based projects it is working on. (CNBC) 3 mins

As payments become faster, fraud is becoming more of a problem. A recent report from the Federal Reserve’s Faster Payments Task Force said that regulation should be flexible to the evolving design of faster payments. (Pymnts) 3 mins


Opinion

The FCA needs to remember that data is not the end, but just the means, writes Charles Walmsley, News Editor at Citywire. Walmsley says that data will help the regulator identify problems, but that human intervention will still be very important. (New Model Advisor) 2 mins

Brexit offers a chance to “reset the regulations,” says Rob Kniaz, a partner at venture capital firm Hoxton Ventures. Kniaz believes the key is to find a sensible middle ground between onerous EU regulations and the innovation-friendly US approach. (The Telegraph) 3 mins

Brexit can spur Europe to create a new set of startup-friendly regulatory policies, argue some of the largest European start-up associations in an open letter on Sifted. The associations say the goal should be to overcome the patchwork of national regulations and clear the way for European tech giants. (Sifted) 3 mins


Podcast

If you have a spare hour this week, there’s an interesting podcast here on how Brexit will impact InsurTech firms. (InsurTech Insider) 52 mins