Archives: Fintech

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IRS Ramps Up Efforts to Target Taxpayers Who Deal in Cryptocurrency

Last July, the IRS announced its Virtual Currency Compliance Campaign, designed to intensify the IRS’s efforts to counter the underreporting of income related to cryptocurrency use. Through the campaign, the IRS will address noncompliance through taxpayer education, increased audits and initiations of criminal investigations. This past week the IRS began sending “educational” letters to more … Continue Reading

New York DFS Announces New Division Overseeing Fintech

On July 23, the New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) announced a new Research and Innovation Division.  The Division will assume responsibility for licensing and supervising virtual currencies.  It will also “assess efforts to use technology to address financial exclusion; identify and protect consumer data rights; and encourage innovations in the financial services … Continue Reading

SEC Issues Guidance on Changes to Stock Exchange Fees for Market Data and Connections

On May 21, 2019, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) issued guidance to national securities exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) (referred to as “SROs”) clarifying the SEC’s expectations with respect to their market data fees. These guidelines clarify enhanced standards for SROs to increase their fees for products and services, … Continue Reading

OCC Solicits Public Comments on Innovation Pilot Program

On April 30, 2019, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) opened a 45-day public comment period on its Innovation Pilot Program (the “Program”).  In accordance with the agency’s objective of providing constructive and proactive supervision, the OCC’s proposed Program is intended to encourage the testing of innovative activities – including products, services, … Continue Reading

FinCEN Penalizes Peer-to-Peer Virtual Currency Exchanger for Violating BSA

On April 18, 2019, the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced an enforcement action against Eric Powers, a California-based peer-to-peer (P2P) virtual currency exchanger, for violating the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).  This marks the first time FinCEN has taken action against a P2P virtual currency exchanger and the first time it … Continue Reading

CFTC Issues Report on Automated Futures Orders

On Wednesday, March 27, 2019, the CFTC’s Market Intelligence Branch of the Division of Market Oversight issued a report on the impact of automated orders in futures markets to determine how technological change affects futures trading. Automated trading refers to orders that are generated or routed without human intervention. The CFTC presented the report before … Continue Reading

Consumer Groups and Some States Oppose CFPB Policies Aimed at Promoting Fintech Innovation

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (the “CFPB” or “Bureau”) announced a trio of policies in September and December of 2018 intended to provide regulatory relief to banks and fintech companies developing new financial products and innovative disclosure methods, as part of its ongoing effort to promote innovation in financial technology. In public comments on … Continue Reading

Overview of Fintech Regulation in the United States

Innovation in financial services continues to move at a rapid pace. The significant increase in the number of fintech companies in recent years has highlighted a burgeoning market with significant economic potential, and a commercial need to create efficiencies and modernize the provision of financial products and services. Federal and state financial services regulators remain … Continue Reading

ESA Report Outlines Strategies on Facilitating Cross-Border EU Fintech Innovation

In a joint report (the “Report”) published on 7 January 2019, the EU’s three financial industry watchdogs considered the need for potential strategies to help coordinate and promote innovation in the EU fintech space. The Report by the European Securities and Markets Authority (“ESMA”), European Banking Agency (“EBA”) and European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority … Continue Reading

The ACM’s guidance to address competition law concerns for FinTech in the creation of technical standards

Introduction On December 3, 2018, the Dutch Authority for Consumers & Markets (“ACM”) published a speech from its board member, Cateautje Hijmans van den Bergh, regarding potential competition law concerns in the financial technology (“FinTech”) sector. In particular, further to the European Parliament’s study on FinTech and competition law (the “Study”) – as discussed in a previous blog post – Hijmans … Continue Reading

FDIC Renews Focus on De Novo Charters

On December 6, 2018, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) released a series of documents relating to the process for chartering a de novo FDIC-insured depository institution. A request for information (“RFI”) on all aspects of the FDIC’s deposit insurance application process. The RFI seeks comments on the transparency and efficiency of the application process, … Continue Reading

Intellectual Property Issues in Blockchain and FinTech

FinTech and blockchain technologies are rapidly developing. With the emergence of so many new ideas and technologies comes the need for action, to protect both current and future innovations. Given the pace at which technology continues to disrupt the industry, securing IP assets—especially patents—should be a primary consideration for companies in this space. As the … Continue Reading

CFTC Issues Primer on Smart Contracts

The CFTC’s LabCFTC recently released “A Primer on Smart Contracts” as part of LabCFTC’s initiative to engage with stakeholders on FinTech topics. The primer explains smart contracts, and explores their potential benefits — with a particular focus on the financial sector — and challenges. The CFTC has an interest in smart contracts because, as the … Continue Reading

State Regulators Renew OCC Suit Over Fintech Charter

On October 25, 2018, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (“CSBS”) filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to stop the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) from issuing special purpose national bank charters to fintech companies.  The lawsuit follows a similar suit against the OCC by … Continue Reading

Governor Brainard Discusses Financial Inclusion, Fintech, and Reforms to the Community Reinvestment Act

On October 17, 2018, Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard discussed the potential for financial innovation, and in particular, fintech products and services, to foster financial inclusion of underserved families and small businesses.  She has frequently addressed the importance of fintech, including cryptocurrencies, digital currencies and distributed ledger technologies and the role of banks in … Continue Reading

OCC Reaffirms Willingness To Accept and Grant Special Purpose Charters to Fintech Companies

On October 9, 2018, Grovetta Gardineer, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (“OCC’s”) senior deputy comptroller for compliance and community affairs, reaffirmed the OCC’s willingness to accept applications from fintech companies seeking a special purpose national bank charter and grant such applications if the application meets certain requirements. These remarks, which were made … Continue Reading

CFTC and Monetary Authority of Singapore Sign Cooperation Agreement on FinTech Innovation

Late last week, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced a cooperation agreement on FinTech innovation.  The agreement is principally focused on information sharing on FinTech trends and developments and on each regulator’s FinTech sandboxes. The agreement could also, however, help FinTech companies move more easily between the … Continue Reading

NYSDFS Sues to Block the OCC’s Special Purpose National Bank Charters for Fintech Companies

On September 14, 2018, Superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services (“NYSDFS”) Maria T. Vullo filed a complaint in federal court against the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) to block the OCC from issuing any special purpose national bank (“SPNB”) charters. The OCC announced last month, after much … Continue Reading

Arizona Fintech Sandbox Begins Accepting Applications

Arizona recently became the first state in the U.S. to create a “regulatory sandbox” program to facilitate the development of innovative financial products and services. Such products would either incorporate new or emerging technology or reimagine uses of existing technology. The program would exempt participants from certain state financial regulations, but not federal requirements. On … Continue Reading

Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Announces Participation in the Global Financial Innovation Network

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection announced earlier this week that it would join ten non-US financial regulators in an alliance, called the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), to encourage the growth of fintech — and, potentially, create a “global sandbox” for financial innovation. The alliance was initially proposed, in February 2018, by the UK’s … Continue Reading

Treasury Releases Report on Nonbank Institutions, Fintech, and Innovation

On July 31, 2018, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released a report identifying numerous recommendations intended to promote constructive activities by nonbank financial institutions, embrace financial technology (“fintech”), and encourage innovation. This is the fourth and final report issued by Treasury pursuant to Executive Order 13772, which established certain Core Principles designed to inform … Continue Reading

The OCC Will Move Forward to Accept Applications for Special Purpose National Bank Charters for Fintech Companies

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) announced yesterday that a nondepository financial technology (“fintech”) company that engages in a core banking activity, such as paying checks or lending money, can now apply for a special purpose national bank (“SPNB”) charter. This announcement followed shortly after the release of the Treasury Department’s report … Continue Reading

European Data Protection Board Provides Clarification On PSD2

In response to questions from a Member of the European Parliament, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has provided much needed clarification on the overlap between the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the EU Payment Services Directive (PSD2) in an open letter.  As we identified in a previous blog post on this topic, the … Continue Reading
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