Archive: March 30, 2016

1
Providing digital advice to retail clients
2
Marketplace lending how-to from the Australian regulator
3
The Federal Reserve Takes Steps Towards Developing Faster Payments and Settlement
4
The French take on the blockchain

Providing digital advice to retail clients

By Jim Bulling and Michelle Chasser

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released a draft guide on digital financial product advice for consultation. The draft guide does not introduce new regulatory concepts but clarifies some of the uncertainties that have arisen about how existing obligations will apply to robo-advisers.

Generally, robo-advice is provided using algorithms and without the involvement of a natural person. To ensure that consumers are provided with competent advice ASIC is proposing that at least one manager who is used to demonstrate the organisational competence of the licensee (Responsible Manager) must meet the training and competence standards applicable to natural persons who provide advice to retail clients.

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Marketplace lending how-to from the Australian regulator

By Daniel Knight

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released guidance for marketplace lenders navigating Australia’s existing dual licensing regimes for credit and financial products.  While the guidance is helpful, it does not overcome the need for marketplace lenders, like other fintech innovators, to contort themselves into existing regulatory boxes.

ASIC’s Information Sheet 213 focuses on establishing a marketplace lending platform using Australia’s managed investment scheme regime, by far the most popular Australian structure where a trust is interposed between borrowers and lenders.  This regime was designed for pooled collective investment vehicles, such as traditional managed funds, and is not well adapted to pure peer-to-peer lending.  Individual regulatory relief is often needed to overcome these challenges – for example, to facilitate investor withdrawals – and the Information Sheet helpfully outlines the relief ASIC has previously given to industry players.

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The Federal Reserve Takes Steps Towards Developing Faster Payments and Settlement

By Sean Mahoney

The Federal Reserve announced that it engaged McKinsey & Company to help evaluate faster payments solution proposals being solicited by the Federal Reserve from members of its Faster Payments Task Force.  The Task Force consists of representatives of participants in the financial services system, including banks and technology firms.  This step can be viewed as part of a process of making improvements to the US payments system.  It is worth monitoring as any such improvements will likely lead to commercial opportunities.

See the press release here.

The French take on the blockchain

By Claude-Etienne Armingaud

On March 24, the French National Assembly hosted a day-long conference on “Blockchain: Disruption and Opportunities.”

This event aimed at raising awareness of the French elected representatives and corporate executives on blockchain issues and potential uses for the digital transformation of society as a whole.

The closing statement provided by Emmanuel Macron, the French Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Economy, was subsequently echoed by his announcement on March 29 of the upcoming adaptation of the French finance regulatory framework in order to progressively allow the introduction of the technology.

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