The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has published a summary of its FinTech and RegTech Forum, which was held on 25 and 26 May 2017 in San Jose, California. The FATF is an intergovernmental organisation founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering. At the forum over 150 representatives discussed significant trends and developments in FinTech and RegTech and shared their experiences in adapting their practices to continue to identify and mitigate the different money laundering (ML) / terrorism financing (TF) risks brought about by these developments.
The Digital Finance Institute is a prestigious Canadian-based think tank for FinTech established in 2013 with a mandate to address the balance of innovation and regulation; support initiatives for financial inclusion; and advocate for diversity in FinTech. The Digital Finance Institute also promotes FinTech in Canada through conferences and international alliances; the creation of Canada’s national FinTech Awards; the FinTech Cup, the new university FinTech startup challenge and by preparing research papers on FinTech.
To read this publication, click here.
The Australian Attorney General’s Department (AG) has released its statutory review of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML Act). Recommendations have been made to better incorporate digital wallets and digital currencies in the AML Act.
The AG has recommended that:
- the AML Act be amended to ensure that digital wallets are comprehensively captured. Some digital wallets are already caught by the AML Act where they are considered to be ‘accounts’ provided by traditional financial product providers such as banks and credit unions. However, a potential regulatory gap was identified for new types of digital wallets inspired by technological advances. For example, digital wallets which store digital currency are not regulated under the AML Act;
The Australian Government has released its responses to the industry’s priorities for fintech development which it has called “Backing Australian FinTech”. As well as affirming existing commitments, such as introducing a crowd sourced equity funding (CSEF) framework and an incubator support programme, the paper includes a number of initiatives that the Government proposes to undertake. New developments include:
- introduction of an entrepreneur visa in November 2016 for foreign entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and financial backing from a third party;
- possibly increasing the asset and turnover eligibility threshold for CSEF to A$25 million and reducing cooling off periods for investors to 48 hours;
- consultation on a potential framework for crowd sourced debt funding;
- increasing the maximum fund size of Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnerships (ESVCLPs) to A$200 million and providing a 10% tax offset on capital invested;
- introduction of a mechanism to allow Innovation Australia to issue binding advice in relation to the definition of ineligible activities for ESVCLPs;
- Productivity Commission inquiry into options for improving access to comprehensive credit reporting (CCR) data;
- a regulatory guide for robo-advice providers;
- possibly allowing licensed insurance brokers to sell insurance policies from unauthorised foreign insurers where they offer consumers a better price and appropriate consumer protection;
- possibly applying anti-money laundering laws to digital currencies;
- a commitment to address the ‘double taxation’ of using digital currency to purchase goods already subject to the Goods and Services Tax (GST);
- establishment of a new Cyber Security Growth Centre; and
- a ‘regulatory sandbox’ in Australia to allow FinTech start-ups to test their products and business models.
Backing Australian FinTech indicates that 2016 will be a busy year for fintech regulation in Australia.
Read Backing Australian FinTech here.