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Financial Regulation Roundup: February 23, 2018

Eamon Levesque

Here are the top stories on the financial regulatory landscape in the U.S., EU and around the world over the past two weeks.

U.S. News:

US Deregulation Moves Ahead

  • While the much-touted repeal of the Dodd-Frank act has yet to materialize, sentiment from the broader financial world around Trump’s regulatory agenda is largely positive. The lack of new regulations coming from the administration, the blueprint for Federal Reserve rate hikes, and a more hands-off approach to day-to-day supervision have earned Trump praise from major banks. (FT: read more)
  • On a consumer level, the federal government is also stepping back from previous regulatory norms. The Goodwin law firm reports that “fewer federal enforcement actions and deregulation could be the new norm for the foreseeable future,” especially should a rumored elimination of the CFPB go through. (Marketwatch: read more)

Regulation Across the Pond

  • An agreement has been reached between the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), focusing on information sharing regarding fintech market trends and developments. The parties behind the deal state that by collaborating with the FCA, the CFTC can raise awareness of the critical role of regulators in 21st-century digital markets. (FinReg News: read more)

EU News:

MPs approve new FCA chair despite tax avoidance admission

  • The incoming chairman of the Financial Conduct Authority, who admitted to an “error of judgment” after investing in a controversial tax avoidance scheme, has been given the go-ahead by MPs to take up his new role at the City regulator. The Treasury committee approved the appointment of Charles Randell, a former City lawyer whose firm reportedly billed the Treasury nearly £33m for its advice during the financial crisis, after receiving an assurance there were “no other aspects of his personal tax affairs that might cast his judgement into further question”. (The Guardian: read more)

FCA in fintech agreement with US regulator

  • The Financial Conduct Authority has signed an agreement with its US counterpart to collaborate in supporting innovative firms through each other's fintech initiatives. The FCA has been running its Project Innovate since 2014 in order to support businesses with innovative fintech business models. Meanwhile the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission runs LabCFTC to address a similar issue. The agreement focuses on information-sharing regarding fintech market trends and developments. (FT Adviser: read more)

France tightens regulation of cryptocurrencies

  • Autorite des Marches Financiers, the French financial markets authority, announced this week that financial products based on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies such as futures, binary options and contracts for difference, should fall under the European Union's MiFID II regulation. This decision means that crypto-derivatives products will not be allowed to be advertised online in France. (CITY A.M.: read more)

International:

China Seizes Anbang:

  • The Chinese government has seized their country’s largest insurance corporation, another in a series of aggressive crackdowns against perceived excessive risk in the private sector. The multi-billion dollar conglomerate is best known in the US for its ownership of the Waldorf Astoria and its former ties to Kushner Companies. China’s insurance regulatory body will now operate the company for one year. (BBC: read more)

US Treasury Looks To Regulate Crypto Worldwide

  • The undersecretary of the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Intelligence has asked that global regulatory bodies take a harder stance on crypto regulation. Concerns that rogue states and terrorists could have significant, untraceable crypto holdings are of concern to the treasury, and they have asked for help in combating this issue. (Coinbase: read more)

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