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Clifford Chance

Financial regulation

In-depth analysis of financial reforms

The financial sector faces unprecedented challenges as the most far-reaching set of reforms in the history of the industry are implemented.

Our expertise in international financial regulation means that we are able to work with clients to help them adapt their businesses to the new demands they face.

Globalisation and Financial Regulation: Challenges and Trends

Since the financial crisis of 2008, there has been a major shift away from internationally agreed standards and principles, as regulators and policy makers have focused on national legislative and regulatory solutions to crisis management. This has coincided with the rise of populist and nationalist political movements across a growing number of countries, further eroding international solutions. However, despite this move towards deglobalisation, the growth of the global digital economy will require international cooperation.

In this report, Clifford Chance experts discuss competing forces towards and against globalisation, focusing on five areas that are driving or challenging global approaches in financial regulation, including national approaches to crisis management and the implementation of global regulatory standards, changing approaches to market access, China’s search for global capital and emerging approaches to the regulation of FinTech and cryptoassets. Read more here.

National versus global approaches to financial crisis management

In the immediate aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, it was decided that the response needed to be global and that the concept of “too big to fail” no longer applied. However, in reality, policy makers have often taken national and protectionist approaches to crisis management, focusing on financial stability and the impact on taxpayers, rather than the broader global economy. Clifford Chance experts explore the reasons why. Read more here.

Financial crisis reforms: Driving divergence rather than collaboration?

The 2008 global financial crisis introduced an avalanche of regulatory reforms to counter the perceived failures of the global financial system. While regulators have been ready (and eager) to collaborate on principles and standards, they have not always implemented them in the same way, creating friction in cross-border transactions and contributing to market fragmentation. Here Clifford Chance experts assess the issues. Read more here.

Trends in global financial regulation: China's search for global capital

With protectionism and deglobalisation on the rise in Europe, the US and elsewhere, China, by contrast, is championing globalisation. Its financial system is still relatively closed to international access, but the Chinese government has recently taken steps to open up access to its financial markets to foreign investors, in order to seek global capital. Although it remains at a relatively early stage, legislative changes such as the new Foreign Investment Law and links to the global financial system including Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect are already having an impact and China’s influence in global financial markets may grow significantly if this trend continues. Read more here.

Fintech: International trends and regulatory responses

Technological innovation, the rise of fintech firms and the entry of big tech companies, such as Facebook and Amazon into financial services, are all driving the shift towards a digital economy.

As new financial products and services emerge, policy makers and regulators have to keep up with the pace of change and address new risks. At an international level, whilst they recognise the need for a coordinated response to these developments, so far, this has been largely limited to addressing money laundering and terrorist financing risks. Read more here.

Transition from LIBOR and IBORs

The transition from LIBOR and other IBORs to alternative risk free rates could be the most significant change to financial markets in recent years. Our series of briefings focus on various aspects of this transition. LIBOR – Cross Product Review reviews comparative product challenges for loan, bond (including securitisation) and derivatives markets. Transitioning from LIBORs and IBORs – An international overview provides a snapshot of "risk-free reference rates" (RFRs) selected by different markets to replace LIBORs and IBORs for different currencies. OIS and RFR Futures Conventions: Lessons for LIBOR replacement term rates considers how conventions used in Overnight Index Swaps (OIS) and RFR futures markets are relevant to the development of RFR-based term rates. Further resources and information are available on our topic guides on Regulation of benchmarks and IBOR transition and new risk-free rates.

Smart contracts: Legal framework and proposed guidelines for lawmakers (joint report with EBRD)

This report provides guidance to lawmakers on some of the key areas of law that should be considered in the context of smart contracts. Read more

Brexit: onshoring EU financial services legislation under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018

The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 provides for domestication of EU legislation and grants powers to the Government to correct deficiencies arising from Brexit. On 27 June 2018 HM Treasury and the UK financial services regulators announced how they intend to use these powers. The announcements also discuss the UK's approach to implementing a temporary permissions and recognition regime to cover the UK leaving the EU without a deal. Read more

Initial coin offerings - asking the right regulatory questions

This publication explores what are the risks of ICOs, how are they regulated and how might this change? Read more

EU financial services horizon scanner

This report provides a high level overview of ongoing and expected EU initiatives on financial services. Read more. The horizon scanner is also available as a Topic Guide on the Financial Markets Toolkit.

The New Spring for Securitisation

We have compiled a set of articles looking at regulatory and market topics. They highlight current issues in the securitisation and structured debt markets and where things might be going. Read more

U.S. market manipulation - implications of the CFTC's broad interpretation of its authority

The CFTC's ability to prosecute traders for commodities and derivatives market manipulation extends to those who 'recklessly' impact prices by bona fide open market trading. What does this mean for legitimate market participants and is this approach likely to be upheld in the courts? Read more