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Regulation

Treating Customers Unfairly (#HSBC)

I’ve blogged many times that so called free banking is a fallacy.  It’s something I have blogged about for a decade, and the recurring theme is free banking should be banned by the regulator as it’s only free as long as you don’t go overdrawn. The result is that the most financially challenged group of…

The Case for a Bitcoin ETF

I’ve noted that the bitcoin swings and roundabouts tend to often cycle around the hope and expectation of the US SEC giving approval to a bitcoin ETF … only to find that they never do and so it goes around. In an interesting article by Dave Weisberger on Coindesk, there may be a reason for…

Regulators: damned if they do and damned if they don’t

I was running a fun panel on regulation this week. That kind of sounds like a lie – whatever can be fun about regulation – but hey, it was. I often reflect on the fact that regulators run with their eyes in the rear-view mirror. They can’t see what’s ahead as they don’t know what…

The real reason for a regulatory sandbox … avoiding death and mayhem

I just spoke at Russia’s Eastern Economic Forum, a Davos for the Russian world and beyond. Hosted by Vladimir Putin there were stellar guests attending including Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, as well as other world leaders and Chris Skinner. Hanging out with the heads of Russia,…

How does MiFID II and FinTech work?

Over a decade ago, I curated a book about MiFID – the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. I don’t blog about this much these days, as my audience is firmly in the retail and payments technology space, but I still keep close track of the investment markets, clearing and settlement, custodial banks and central counterparty…

Who governs the internet?

I have this debate often: Why governments will fail to block the emergence of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin Can you have decentralised exchange without centralised control? Is the world being democratised through technology? How do governments regulate a networked world? A world without money A world without government? … and find the answer always the…

Is Big Tech good or bad for banking … the regulator’s view

Following on from Facebook’s announcement of its own digital currency Libra, the key regulatory body of banking – the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) – which sets standards like the Basel capital reserve requirements, has stepped into the debate and produced a report on their view of the threat and opportunity of Big Tech to…

Time for a global regulator

I was in conversation with a banker the other day and we got around to regulations and regulators, as many conversations with banks tend to do. There were some interesting reflections in that dialogue, however. I guess it falls into three categories: the way regulations used to be; the way they are; the way they…

Does FinTech worry policymakers?

Not sure if anyone noticed that the Financial Stability Board – the world’s central banks tasked with maintaining financial stability – produced a white paper on FinTech last month. It was published on Valentines Day, so you were probably busy, and I only just stumbled across it. Here’s the Executive Summary. FinTech and market structure in…

The next global financial meltdown is just around the corner

Yep, there’s a clickbaiting title if ever I saw one. But it seems to be true. Ten years ago, we had a global financial crisis. Now, ten years later, the banks are heavily regulated, their risk-capital ratios stabilised, their leverage reduced and the regulators breathing down their necks, promoting competition and supporting technology innovators. The…

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