Global Fintech Update
20 October 2023
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.
CLIFFORD CHANCE BRIEFINGS AND MATERIALS
- What businesses need to know (for now) about the Biden Executive Order on AI
- AI Fringe panel moderated by Clifford Chance Senior Associate Herbert Swaniker - AI, fairness, bias and law
- AI Fringe panel moderated by Clifford Chance Partner Jonathan Kewley - View from the UK’s Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum
Securities Finance Transformation
How and where can transformation be driven in securities finance operating models? We were delighted to work with the ValueExchange, HQLAx, PASLA and CASLA on this recent survey designed to provide the market with clarity on how to focus transformation journeys and prioritisation. Based on insights from agent lenders, brokers and banks of all profiles and geographies, this research explores the case for change, areas of focus and the potential impact DLT as a solution.
GLOBAL LEGAL AND REGULATORY UPDATES, INDUSTRY GUIDANCE AND PUBLICATIONS
- (1 Nov 2023) The Bletchley Declaration, which has been signed by the countries attending the AI Safety Summit in Bletchley Park to discuss the global future of artificial intelligence (AI) and work towards a shared understanding of its risks, including the UK, EU, US, China, Singapore, Japan and other leading nations.
- (31 Oct 2023) Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub update on Project mBridge, a collaborative effort of the BIS Innovation Hub, four founding central banks and over 25 observing members, which experiments with a multiple-central bank digital currency (multi-CBDC) common platform for wholesale cross-border payments. The project is intended to address some of the key inefficiencies of cross-border payments, such as high costs, low speed and transparency, and operational complexities, while safeguarding currency sovereignty and monetary and financial stability for each participating jurisdiction.
- (7 Nov 2023) The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has proposed a rule to define a market for general-use digital consumer payment applications. The proposed market would cover providers of funds transfer and wallet functionalities through digital applications for consumers’ general use in making payments to other persons for personal, family, or household purposes. Deadline for comments: 8 January 2024 or 30 days after publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register, whichever is later. | Press release
- (2 Nov 2023) Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) circular on tokenisation of SFC-authorised investment products, which sets out the requirements under which the SFC would consider allowing tokenisation of investment products authorised by the SFC under Part IV of the Securities and Futures Ordinance for offering to the public in Hong Kong. The SFC has also issued an accompanying circular on intermediaries engaging in tokenised securities-related activities
- (31 Oct 2023) The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has announced that it will launch a proof of concept (POC) for an interoperable Singapore Quick Response Code Scheme (SGQR+). The POC, which will be conducted from 1 to 30 November 2023, will explore the feasibility of enabling merchants in Singapore to accept QR payments from a variety of payment schemes through a single financial institution. The MAS has also published a whitepaper titled 'Interoperable QR Payments in Singapore'. | Press release
- (8 Nov 2023) The European Banking Authority (EBA) has launched a set of consultations on various draft regulatory technical standards (RTS), implementing technical standards (ITS), and guidelines under the Markets in Cryptoassets Regulation (MiCA). In particular, the EBA is consulting on:
- o draft RTS to specify the highly liquid financial instruments with minimal market risk, credit risk and concentration risk under Article 38(5) of MiCA (EBA/CP/2023/24);
- o draft RTS to further specify the liquidity requirements of the reserve of assets under Article 36(4) of MiCA (EBA/CP/2023/25);
- o draft RTS to specify the minimum contents of the liquidity management policy and procedures under Article 45(7)(b) of MiCA (EBA/CP/2023/26);
- o draft guidelines establishing the common reference parameters of the stress test scenarios for the liquidity stress tests referred in Article 45(4) of MiCA (EBA/CP/2023/27);
- o draft RTS to specify the adjustment of own funds requirements and stress testing of issuers of asset-referenced tokens and of e-money tokens subject to the requirements in Article 35 of MiCA (EBA/CP/2023/28);
- o draft RTS to specify the procedure and timeframe to adjust its own funds requirements for issuers of significant asset-referenced tokens or of e-money tokens subject to the requirements set out in Article 45(5) of MiCA (EBA/CP/2023/29);
- o draft guidelines on recovery plans under Articles 46 and 55 of MiCA (EBA/CP/2023/30);
- o draft RTS on the methodology to estimate the number and value of transactions associated to uses of asset-referenced tokens as a means of exchange under Article 22(6) of MiCA and of e-money tokens denominated in a currency that is not an official currency of a Member State pursuant to Article 58(3) of MiCA (EBA/CP/2023/31);
- o draft ITS on the reporting on asset-referenced tokens under Article 22(7) and on e-money tokens denominated in a currency that is not an official currency of a Member State pursuant to Article 58(3) of MiCA (EBA/CP/2023/32); and
- o draft RTS on supervisory colleges under Article 119(8) of MiCA (EBA/CP/2023/33).
Deadline for comments: 8 February 2024.
- (7 Nov 2023) The EU Council and Parliament have reached a political agreement on the proposed regulation on instant payments in euro, which amends and modernises the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) Regulation on standard credit transfers in euro by adding to it specific provisions for instant credit transfers in euro. The proposed regulation still needs to be formally approved by both the Parliament and the Council before it enters into force. | Press release
- (31 Oct 2023) European Central Bank (ECB) opinion on the digital euro
- (3 Nov 2023) Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) form (in French) to be used to declare a change in the situation of registered or approved digital asset service providers (DASPs). DASPs are required to use the form to report changes, in particular to their governance, reference shareholders or programme of operations.
- (2 Nov 2023) The Swiss National Bank (SNB), the financial infrastructure operator SIX, and six commercial banks have announced a new pilot focused on tokenised wholesale central bank digital currency (wCBDC). Helvetia Phase III will see the SNB issuing real wCBDC in Swiss francs on a financial market infrastructure based on distributed ledger technology (DLT) and making it available for the settlement of real bond transactions. The banks involved will carry out the transactions on the DLT platform as intermediaries for issuers and investors and the tokenised bonds will be settled against wholesale CBDC on a delivery-versus-payment basis. The pilot with real Swiss franc wCBDC is scheduled to run from December 2023 to June 2024. | SNB press release | SIX press release
- (6 Nov 2023) Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) discussion paper (DP23/4) on its proposed regulation around the issuing and holding of fiat-backed stablecoins, published alongside the Bank of England (BoE)’s discussion paper on systemic payment systems using stablecoins and related services providers, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA)’s Dear CEO letter on innovative uses of deposits, e-money and stablecoins, and a joint FCA/BoE/PRA roadmap paper which aims to explain how the regulators’ proposed regimes interact and their approach for dual regulation. These follow last week's publication of a HM Treasury policy statement providing an update on the Government's plans for the regulation of fiat-backed stablecoins, a HM Treasury paper summarising the feedback the Government received to its consultation on proposed amendments to the Financial Market Infrastructure Special Administration Regime to include provisions on the management of failures of non-bank systemic digital settlement asset firms and a HM Treasury paper summarising the feedback the Government received to its consultation on the future financial services regulatory regime for cryptoassets. Deadline for comments on DP23/4 and the BoE discussion paper: 6 February 2024
- (2 Nov 2023) FCA finalised non-handbook guidance (FG23/3) on cryptoasset financial promotions, which provides information on and sets out the FCA’s expectations of the communication and approval of financial promotions for qualifying cryptoassets. | Webpage | Press release
- (1 Nov 2023) FCA Synthetic Data Expert Group update on the progress it is making towards providing practical synthetic data insights for practitioners and policymakers
- (31 Oct 2023) International Regulatory Strategy Group (IRSG) policy paper on a coherent and interoperable international regulatory framework on AI. The paper sets out a number of recommendations for the UK Government and stresses the importance of creating a globally coherent approach, to help achieving a global regulatory framework for AI that avoids additional, unnecessary burdens for businesses, whilst protecting consumers and maintaining their trust.| Webpage
- (1 Nov 2023) Distributed Ledger Technology Foundations Regulations 2023, which make provision for the establishment and registration of foundations that facilitate distributed ledger technology and token issuance in the Abu Dhabi Global Market. The Board of Directors of Abu Dhabi Global Market has also made the related Distributed Ledger Technology Foundations Regulations (Fees) Rules 2023 and Distributed Ledger Technology Foundations Regulations (International Accounting Standards) Rules 2023
Global Financial Markets Perspectives Series: AI Series: Intellectual property and artificial intelligence – a review of new legal challenges (online, 28 November 2023): In this session we will look at the key IP issues for businesses arising from AI. We will focus on the use of AI, including large language models and generative AI, as well as legal questions around the concepts of inventorship and patentability. | To register, please see the event series registration form
Global Financial Markets Perspectives Series: Space tech for smart cities (online, 5 December 2023): Smart cities are using technology to make cities faster, smarter, more efficient and sustainable. The market for smart city related services is growing fast, with the European Space Agency referencing a forecast growth of +57% between 2020-2025. Many of these smart city services and associated technology are heavily reliant, if not entirely dependent, on space tech. Our panel will explore the importance of space tech to smart cities, the latest developments, and the opportunities and risks for financial investors in the sector. | To register, please see the event series registration form