Archive: January 12, 2017

Update on post-implementation review of UK loan and investment based crowdfunding market
Indonesia’s financial services authority issues its first FinTech regulations

Update on post-implementation review of UK loan and investment based crowdfunding market

By Jonathan Lawrence

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has given an update on the post-implementation review of the UK loan-based and investment-based crowdfunding market since current rules came into force in April 2014. The FCA says it believes it is appropriate to modify a number of rules for the market.

For both loan-based and investment-based crowdfunding platforms the FCA has found that, for example:

  • it is difficult for investors to compare platforms with each other or to compare crowdfunding with other asset classes due to complex and often unclear product offerings;
  • it is difficult for investors to assess the risks and returns of investing on a platform;
  • financial promotions do not always meet the FCA’s requirement to be ‘clear, fair and not misleading’; and
  • the complex structures of some firms introduce operational risks and/or conflicts of interest that are not being managed sufficiently.

In the loan-based crowdfunding market in particular, the FCA is concerned that, for example:

  • certain features, such as some of the provision funds used by platforms, introduce risks to investors that are not adequately disclosed and may not be sufficiently understood by investors;
  • the plans some firms have for wind-down in the event of their failure are inadequate to successfully run-off loan books to maturity; and
  • the FCA has challenged some firms to improve their client money handling standards.

The FCA plans to consult on more prescriptive requirements on the content and timing of disclosures by both loan-based and investment-based crowdfunding platforms. For loan-based crowdfunding the FCA also intends to consult on:

  • strengthening rules on wind-down plans;
  • additional requirements or restrictions on cross-platform investment; and
  • extending mortgage-lending standards to loan-based platforms.

The FCA’s ongoing research and investigatory work should be completed early in 2017. At that stage, the FCA will determine whether further consultation on rule changes is needed.

For the full feedback statement, please click here.

Indonesia’s financial services authority issues its first FinTech regulations

By Jonathan Lawrence

Indonesia’s financial services authority (OJK) has issued its first regulations relating to FinTech. The regulations lay out minimum capital requirements, interest rate provision and education and consumer protection rules.

Every Indonesian FinTech P2P lending firm must now register and secure a business licence from the authority. A company must have Indonesian Rupiah 1 billion ($75,000) in capital to register, and a further Indonesian Rupiah 2.5 billion ($188,000) to apply for a business licence. These figures are approximately half those that had been proposed in previously issued draft regulations. Foreign ownership is limited to 85%.

No maximum interest rate has been set, which again contradicts previous drafts of the regulations which set a cap of seven times Bank Indonesia’s seven-day reverse purchase rate per annum.

Muliaman Hadad, chair of OJK, told the Jakarta Post that the regulation was only an initial step in the authorities’ efforts to regulate and supervise the business. “What’s important is they get onto our radar because we don’t want to regulate the prudential aspects hastily. We want to provide [business] transparency guidelines first,” Hadad said. The OJK also has implemented a regulatory sandbox for firms to test services for consumers.

Bank Indonesia set up a dedicated office and regulatory sandbox in November 2016 to help FinTech developers. It will also provide services to help developers to understand Indonesia’s regulatory policies on FinTech, gather and disseminate information on developments, and hold regular meetings with authorities and international bodies interested in the use of technology in finance, Bank Indonesia said.

For a full text (in Indonesian) of the regulations, please click here.

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