FSB Chair outlines work priorities for 2023

02 March 2023
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The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has recently published a letter from its Chair, Klaas Knot, to G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, ahead of the G20 meeting on 24 and 25 February. The letter notes the recent easing in global financial conditions but warns that, while expectations of a ‘soft landing’ for the global economy have grown, the outlook remains clouded by uncertainty. The combination of near record-high levels of debt, rising debt service costs and stretched asset valuations in some key markets could pose serious threats to financial stability. Continue reading…

The Arkansas Insurance Department joins IAIS cooperation and information exchange agreement

01 March 2023
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The Arkansas Insurance Department has become a member of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMoU) – an international supervisory cooperation and information exchange agreement. “We are pleased to welcome Arkansas as a signatory to the MMoU,” said Vicky Saporta, Chair of the IAIS Executive Committee. “As we have experienced over the recent years of social and economic challenges, there are enormous benefits for the global insurance sector when supervisors are able to cooperate quickly and effectively across jurisdictions. The MMoU is an essential regulatory tool for supervisors to foster safer and more stable insurance markets.” Continue reading…

A new way forward on the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland

28 February 2023
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Yesterday, the European Commission and the Government of the United Kingdom reached a political agreement in principle on the Windsor Framework. This constitutes a comprehensive set of joint solutions aimed at addressing, in a definitive way, the practical challenges faced by citizens and businesses in Northern Ireland, thereby providing them with lasting certainty and predictability. The joint solutions cover, amongst other things, new arrangements on customs, agri-food, medicines, VAT and excise, as well as specific instruments designed to ensure that the voices of the people of Northern Ireland are better heard on specific issues particularly relevant to the communities there. These new arrangements are underpinned by robust safeguards to ensure the integrity of the EU’s Single Market, to which Northern Ireland has a unique access. Yesterday’s political agreement in principle allows the two sides to open a new chapter in our partnership, based on mutual trust and full cooperation, also allowing to unlock the full potential of their relationship.
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New initiatives, laying the ground for the transformation of the connectivity sector in the EU

27 February 2023
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The Commission has presented a set of actions aimed to make Gigabit connectivity available to all citizens and businesses across the EU by 2030, in line with the objectives of Europe’s Digital Decade, and to enable the transformation of the connectivity sector in the EU. The recent initiatives on Connectivity consist of: First, the Commission has adopted a proposal for a ‘Gigabit Infrastructure Act’, a regulation that will put forward new rules to enable faster, cheaper and more effective rollout of Gigabit networks across the EU. Second, it has published a draft Gigabit Recommendation, which seeks to provide guidance to National Regulatory Authorities on the conditions of access to telecom networks of operators with significant market power, in order to incentivise faster switch-off of legacy technologies and accelerated Gigabit networks deployment. Third, the Commission has launched an exploratory consultation on the future of the connectivity sector and its infrastructure, to gather views on how increasing demands for connectivity and technological advances may affect the future developments and needs. Continue reading…

FCA highlights areas of focus for firms implementing the Consumer Duty

24 February 2023

With six months to go before the Consumer Duty comes into force, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published a review of how firms are planning to implement the Duty. The FCA reviewed a sample of implementation plans and found that many firms show they understand and embrace the shift to delivering good customer outcomes, which the Duty will bring, and have established extensive programmes of work to comply with it properly. However, the FCA also found that some firms are further behind in their planning, so there is a risk that they may struggle to apply the Duty effectively once the rules come into force.   Continue reading…

FSB assesses financial stability risks of decentralised finance

23 February 2023
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The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has on 16 February published a report on the financial stability risks of Decentralised Finance (DeFi). DeFi is commonly used to describe services in crypto-asset markets that aim to replicate some functions of the traditional financial system in a supposedly decentralised manner – though the actual level of decentralisation varies widely. The report, which was delivered to the February G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting, concludes that while the processes to provide services are in many cases novel, DeFi does not differ substantially from traditional finance in the functions it performs or the vulnerabilities to which it is exposed. Continue reading…

ECB adjusts remuneration of certain non‑monetary policy deposits as of 1 May 2023

22 February 2023

On 8 September 2022 the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) decided to temporarily remove the 0% interest rate ceiling for the remuneration of government deposits held with the Eurosystem, setting the ceiling for such remuneration at the deposit facility rate or the €STR, whichever was lower, until 30 April 2023. The Governing Council has now decided to adjust the ceiling for the remuneration of such deposits as of 1 May 2023, in order to provide incentives for a gradual and orderly reduction of those holdings, thereby minimising the risk of adverse effects on market functioning and ensuring the smooth transmission of monetary policy. This decision also alters the remuneration of deposits held under the ERMS framework. Continue reading…

FCA takes action against unregistered crypto ATM operators in Leeds

21 February 2023
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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has used its powers to enter and inspect several sites around Leeds suspected of hosting illegally operated crypto ATMs. The FCA gathered evidence from several sites around the city as part of a joint operation with West Yorkshire Police’s Digital Intelligence and Investigation Unit. Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA, said: “Unregistered Crypto ATMs operating in the UK are doing so illegally. We will continue to identify and disrupt unregistered crypto businesses operating in the UK. Crypto businesses operating in the UK need to be registered with the FCA for anti-money laundering purposes. However, crypto products themselves are currently unregulated and high-risk, and you should be prepared to lose all your money if you invest in them.”

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Photo: Press point by Ursula VON DER LEYEN, President of the European Commission

The 10th package of sanctions against Russia

20 February 2023
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Ursula von der Leyen : “For almost one year now, Russia’s war of aggression has been sowing death and destruction. Putin is not only waging a brutal war on the battlefield but he is also viciously targeting civilians. The aggressor has to pay for this. Today, we are turning up the pressure with a 10th package of sanctions. First, we propose further export bans worth more than €11 billion, to deprive the Russian economy of critical technology and industrial goods. For maximum impact, we are targeting many industrial goods that Russia needs, and that it cannot get through backfilling by third countries. Vital goods such as electronics, specialized vehicles, machine parts, spare parts for trucks and jet engines. And we are targeting goods for the construction sector which can be directed to Russia’s military, such as antennas or cranes.
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Digital Compliance Standards in US Casinos

17 February 2023
Knowledge Base

by Eva Skornicka

Despite their reputation, gaming companies have to follow regulations that are stricter than nearly any other industry, and it’s up to programmers to ensure compliance. Most companies think of compliance and IT as completely separate departments within their companies, whose members only meet when a laptop crashes or when there’s a birthday party for Melody from HR. But the reality is that IT — especially IT development — has to work hand in hand with compliance in order for a company to be fully compliant in many cases.  Continue reading…