By Ana Badour and Arie van Wijngaarden

The Transatlantic Policy Working Group (“TPWG”), an organization set up by Innovate Finance and some of its partners and which is dedicated to Fintech policy discussion between the United States and United Kingdom, recently published a report entitled The Future of RegTech for Regulators (the “TPWG Report”).  RegTech refers to the use of technology to facilitate compliance with regulatory requirements via  improved data analytics, reporting, and information governance (please see our previous blog posts on RegTech here and here). These technologies have the potential to help business increase … Continue Reading

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UK Financial Conduct Authority Releases Guidance on Initial Coin Offerings

By Ana Badour, Heidi Gordon and Shauvik Shah

On September 12, 2017 the UK Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) released brief guidance (“FCA Guidance”) on initial coin offerings (“ICOs”). This follows earlier guidance from the Canadian Securities Administrators (the “CSA”) in August on ICOs, a summary of which can be read here:

The FCA Guidance defines an ICO as a digital method of raising funds from the public using a virtual currency (cryptocurrency). An ICO can also be known as a “token sale” or a “coin sale”.

ICO Risk Factors

The … Continue Reading

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Government of Ontario Issues Financial Services Report Following Red Tape Challenge: Implications for Fintechs

By Ana Badour

On August 9, 2017, the Government of Ontario released its report on financial services following the Red Tape Challenge.  This report contains a number of recommendations and action items relating to Fintech:

  • New flexible, innovative provincial financial services regulator – As previously announced, the Government of Ontario is proceeding with its plans to establish a new financial services regulator, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (“FSRA”), which is intended to be a “new, flexible and innovative financial services and pension regulator”, and which will replace existing provincial financial services regulators, including the Financial Services

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By Ana Badour and Arie van Wijngaarden

In July 2017, the Bank of Canada released a discussion paper outlining a framework for the assessment of risks and opportunities for central banks in connection with Fintech. This paper also more generally explores potential implications of Fintech for central banks, given their mandate over monetary policy, the design and distribution of currency and/or financial stability. 

Impact of Fintech on Monetary Policy

One of the reasons that Fintech is being keenly watched by central banks is in connection with its potential implications on monetary policy and the design and distribution of currency. Cryptocurrencies … Continue Reading

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By Ana Badour, Claire Gowdy and Arie van Wijngaarden

The context of de-risking

In the past decade, the financial services sector across the globe has experienced increased regulatory scrutiny, particularly in the areas of financial crimes, anti-money laundering (AML) and anti-terrorist financing (ATF) regulation.

Financial institutions have generally reacted to the new regulatory environment by bolstering their compliance and risk management divisions with increased budgets and headcounts.[i]  However, as the price and regulatory risk of banking increases, some financial institutions are assessing the cost-benefit analysis of certain activities and are opting, simply, to exit entire product lines or … Continue Reading

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By Ana Badour, D.J. Lynde and Meghan Hillstrom

On 22 May 2017, the Financial Stability Board (FSB)[1] and the Committee on the Global Financial System (CGFS)[2] released a report entitled “FinTech credit: Market Structure, Business Models and Financial Stability Implications” (the “Report”).  The Report aims to provide an accurate picture of the extent and nature of Fintech credit activity by analysing the functioning of Fintech credit markets, including the size, growth, and nature of such activities, and the benefits and risks of Fintech credit platforms.

Fintech Credit

The Report defines Fintech credit broadly … Continue Reading

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By Ana Badour, Arie van Wijngaarden, Carole Piovesan, Blake C. Jones and Heidi Gordon

In March 2017, the European Commission issued a public consultation document on Fintech.  The goal of the European Commission (EC) document is to further the objective of a digital single market within Europe.  This will be done by supporting the development of digital infrastructure,  improving access to goods and services, and ensuring rules foster technological development.

The European Banking Authority (EBA) published its response to the public consultation in June 2017.  The EBA response is significant because it sheds light on how European banks … Continue Reading

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By Ana Badour and Laure Fouin

On February 23, 2017, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) announced the launch of a regulatory sandbox. A regulatory sandbox aims at supporting Fintech businesses by allowing them to apply to the regulator to benefit from a more tailored approach to regulation that balances the need to facilitate the use of innovative products, services and applications all across Canada with appropriate investor protection.

As a result, the CSA will assess the merits of each business model, on a case-by-case basis, and allow innovative businesses to register or grant them relief from certain requirements to permit … Continue Reading

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By Ana Badour and Laure Fouin

On February 23, 2017, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) announced the launch of a regulatory sandbox. A regulatory sandbox aims at supporting Fintech businesses by allowing them to apply to the regulator to benefit from a more tailored approach to regulation that balances the need to facilitate the use of innovative products, services and applications all across Canada with appropriate investor protection.

As a result, the CSA will assess the merits of each business model, on a case-by-case basis, and allow innovative businesses to register or grant them relief from certain requirements to permit … Continue Reading

Partnerships between Banks and Fintech Companies: A Continuing Trend for 2017

By Ana Badour, D.J. Lynde and Jessica Firestone

Fintech companies are offering game-changing products and services in the financial services sector, responding to customer demand for frictionless technology. Canadian banks are likewise increasingly seeking to offer innovative products and services. In addition to developing such products and services in-house, banks have been partnering with Fintech companies, seeking to leverage their technological know-how and cost-effective offerings.  Fintech companies in turn seek to leverage banks’ customer relationships, their reach and experience and their expertise in compliance and risk management.  Partnerships between Canadian banks and Fintech companies increased in late 2015 and … Continue Reading

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By Ana Badour, Patrick Boucher, Fraser Bourne and Barry J. Ryan

Under the notice-and-access process introduced under Canadian provincial securities laws in 2013, a public corporation can deliver its management information circular and financial statements to shareholders by posting those materials on SEDAR and an alternative website. The corporation must send a form of proxy to shareholders together with a notice informing shareholders of the SEDAR and non-SEDAR websites where such materials are posted, and how a paper copy of the materials can be requested and received free of charge. The notice-and-access process therefore allows issuers to mail … Continue Reading