Prosek’s Financial Regulation Roundup: April 24, 2017
Here are the top stories on the financial regulatory landscape in the U.S., EU and around the world over the past two weeks.
- Trump’s ambiguity about his plans for Dodd-Frank seem to have been lifted as we reach the close of his first 100 days. The head of the U.S House Financial Services Committee has now unveiled the Financial CHOICE act, a Republican Dodd-Frank replacement. Analysis of the bill in the coming days will determine the level of Democratic support. It requires votes from at least eight Democrat senators to pass (read here).
- Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan made waves when he stated that he supported a repeal of Dodd-Frank, stating that this would have a “positive impact” (read here).
- Going against the de-regulatory grain of Trump’s mandate, a bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill to raise penalties for SEC violations. The bill would move these charges away from set rates and to a system based on the percentage of how much money those responsible for a violation stood to gain (read here).
- So-called “click-to-trade” regulation that will allow bonds to be traded with the same ease as stocks is on the way, and already beginning to cause shake-ups in the industry. The Economist dedicated a piece this week to covering this emerging issue, how it interacts with MiFID II, and what it means for the future of the venerable old bond dealer (read here).
- MiFID II isn’t the only sweeping regulation on the horizon that’s causing anxiety in Europe: the General Data Protection Regulation’s (GDPR) deadline is also inching closer. The regulation serves to give EU citizens increased control of their personal data online (read here).
- However, the many U.S. tech giants headquartered in Ireland for tax purposes (Apple being the most notable) will become subject to this regulation when it’s rolled out in 2018 (read here).
- The president of the European parliament, Antonio Tajani, has said that the EU would happily welcome the UK back should the UK government “change its position.” This position would seemingly contradict PM May’s statement that there’s “no turning back” from Article 50. Further uncertainty surrounding Brexit is certainly the last thing regulators and traders need as they try to map out a future of compatible regulations between the U.K. and Europe (read here).
Bank of England says Brexit is a chance to set new regulatory agenda
- Speaking ahead of the International Monetary Fund Spring meetings in Washington, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said Brexit was a "tremendous opportunities" to set a new regulatory agenda that should be dynamic, flexible and protect the global system against future financial crises. He stated that policymakers should not be afraid to edit or reverse regulation that has proved counterproductive (read here).
Bank of England says no need for tougher fintech regulation
- Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said last week that the financial technology sector did not need the same level of regulation as banks, in the latest sign of Britain seeking to cement its position as a global fintech hub after Brexit. Carney's reassurances on regulation underscore a supportive attitude from the government, which is seeking to avoid stifling innovation and sending firms to lighter-touch countries (read here).
FCA hands advantage to human advice with robo risk warning
- The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published its latest guidance consultation on the financial advice market review (FAMR), which addresses important questions about how firms establish clients’ attitudes to risk. An important question is how these expectations apply to an array of face-to-face, streamlined and automated robo-advice services (read here).
- Guo Shuqing, the new governor of China’s central bank, has issued seven new sweeping policy declarations in the past 12 days. The changes are made with the intent of mitigating financial risk, targeting interbank lending and complex investment products sold to retail investors and large corporations (read here).
- Additionally, the chairman of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission was placed under investigation last week, leading to speculation of further purges within China’s regulatory authorities (read here).