Swiss watchdog to propose looser anti-money laundering rules for fintechs

Reuters | Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi  | Aug 28, 2018

finma - Swiss watchdog to propose looser anti-money laundering rules for fintechsZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss financial regulator FINMA is planning to loosen anti-money laundering rules for smaller financial technology firms, part of a drive to boost innovation and shore up the country’s position as a leading money management hub.
The revisions, prompted by a new ‘fintech’ licensing category carved out by the Swiss parliament in June, will clarify how non-banks applying for the new license must ensure due diligence.

“As a rule, all financial institutions are subject to similar due-diligence requirements relating to combating money laundering. However, as most fintech license applicants are likely to be smaller institutions, FINMA proposes to introduce some organizational relaxations for such institutions,” the financial supervisor said in a statement on Tuesday.

Its proposal defines small institutions as those with gross revenues under 1.5 million Swiss francs ($1.5 million).

Under its terms small institutions, unlike banks, will not for instance have to establish an independent anti-money laundering unit with monitoring duties, it said.

The move comes after Switzerland’s parliament voted in June to amend the Swiss Banking Act, creating a new fintech license category to ease rules imposed on financial endeavors that take in funds and provide certain bank-like functions, but do not make money by investing or receiving interest on the funds.

See:  Comprehensive Overview of Fintech in Switzerland H1 2018

Switzerland, the world’s largest center for offshore wealth, has gained prominence in recent years as a hub for financial technology providers, such as banking software groups Temenos (TEMN.S) and Avaloq AVLN.S, as well as cryptocurrency projects.

But advocates have warned that as banks face increasing margin pressure and tougher competition from technological rivals, more must be done to promote innovation if Switzerland is to remain a leading financial hub.

The new license, intended to promote financial innovation, will apply to groups which accept public deposits of up to 100 million francs but don’t invest the funds or pay interest.

It will likely have the biggest immediate impact on activities such as crowdfunding, which under current rules could often require a banking license.

Cryptocurrency projects — which often fall under anti-money laundering or securities regulations under FINMA’s current guidelines but generally don’t require a banking license — are unlikely to be affected by the changes.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Swiss watchdog to propose looser anti-money laundering rules for fintechsThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with fintech, alternative finance, blockchain, cryptocurrency, crowdfunding and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: ncfacanada.org

Latest news - Swiss watchdog to propose looser anti-money laundering rules for fintechsFF Logo 400 v3 - Swiss watchdog to propose looser anti-money laundering rules for fintechscommunity social impact - Swiss watchdog to propose looser anti-money laundering rules for fintechs

University of Pennsylvania | Wharton Knowledge | Sep 10, 2019 As the finance industry grapples with what the next generation of banks and payment systems will look like, it’s clear that partnerships are a linchpin for riding the wave of change successfully, whether you’re a multibillion-dollar traditional bank or a startup looking to bring cutting-edge technology into the mainstream. “The rails that these payment systems are built on date back 20-30 years – people are not starting to reinvent that alone; it isn’t an overnight thing – it’s incremental innovation adding up to something massive,” said Jennifer Lee, vice president focused on fintech at growth equity firm Edison Partners during the recent Fearless in Fintech conference at Wharton San Francisco. At the conference, which was co-sponsored by Knowledge@Wharton and Wharton Executive Education and organized by Momentum Event Group, Denise Leonhard, head of global credit expansion, business development and expansion at Paypal, used her company’s online payments system as an example of the challenges ahead. “We’ve built our infrastructure with all these different partners – payment networks, bank issuers … we’re all playing in a very messy soup,” she said. “What we’ve been building in the last 20 years has brought ...
Read More
future of fintech partnerships - Swiss watchdog to propose looser anti-money laundering rules for fintechs
BBC | Sep 16, 2019 Kickstarter has been accused of "union-busting" after firing three employees. Taylor Moore, the company's head of comedy and podcasts, tweeted that he and another employee were fired on Thursday, while tech and design lead Clarissa Redwine was fired last week. All three were heavily involved in the formation of a Kickstarter union this year, Mr Moore added. Kickstarter confirmed the employees were fired, but denied that it was because of their union activity. Mr Moore tweeted that he had worked at the company for six years. He said that when Kickstarter fired him they "offered me no real reasons, but one month's severance for signing an NDA" - a non-disclosure agreement. "I will not be signing it." "The union busting campaign that Kickstarter management is engaging in is illegal and wrong," he added. "It is an unforgivable abandonment of the values of an organisation that I have loved and served with my whole heart." Ms Redwine also tweeted at the company, saying: "I will not be signing your termination agreement containing a non-disparagement clause. You can keep my severance." See:  A Digitized Staff Compliance Platform is a Must-Have She added: "Kickstarter's management continues to state ...
Read More
kickstarter acused of unionbusting - Swiss watchdog to propose looser anti-money laundering rules for fintechs
FCA | Sep 11, 2019 Speech by Christopher Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA, delivered at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance annual conference, Judge Business School. Highlights: The UK has led the rest of the world with developments like the regulatory Sandbox, we are very proud of what has been achieved through it. Early engagement is incredibly valuable for monitoring, supervisory and policy purposes. Working with innovative firms helps us achieve a better bird’s-eye view, enhancing our understanding when the overall landscape is blurry and ­changing quickly. 'Stablecoin' is a term that has been widely adopted by industry, but we do not take it to be a distinct category of cryptoassets. Something labelled as a 'stablecoin' could sit within or outside of our regulatory perimeter. Note: this is the speech as drafted and may differ from the delivered version. See:  FCA confirms new rules for P2P platforms Last month, Facebook announced its plans for Libra, the stablecoin it is planning to launch in conjunction with a number of payment and tech firms. As has been widely reported, along with other regulators and central banks, we have been discussing their plans with Facebook. If this comes ...
Read More
Christopher Woolard2 - Swiss watchdog to propose looser anti-money laundering rules for fintechs
NCFA Canada | Sep 13, 2019 JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY. Sep 13: Funding is Female with Jill Earthy EP37 GUEST: JILL EARTHY, Head of Female Funders (Linkedin) HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host BIO:  Jill Earthy is an entrepreneurially minded leader who believes diversity drives innovation. As Head of Female Funders (powered by Highine BETA), she is empowering female leaders to become investors in early stage companies. Her background includes being an entrepreneur, supporting entrepreneurs in various leadership roles and working as Chief Growth Officer of FrontFundr, an online investment platform. She is a community leader and active mentor, currently serving on the national Board of Sustainable Development Technology Canada and as Board Chair of the Women’s Enterprise Centre in BC, and as Co-Chair of We for She. Jill was recently recognized by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion award as a Community Champion, by Business in Vancouver as an Influential Woman in Business and by WXN as one the Top 100 most powerful women in Canada in 2019. About this episode:  On this episode of NCFA'S Fintech Fridays Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Jill Earthy the Head of Female Funders. The talk about what ...
Read More
FF EP37 female funders 1 - Swiss watchdog to propose looser anti-money laundering rules for fintechs
TechCrunch | Kate Clark | Sep 12, 2019 Affirm, founded by PayPal’s Max Levchin, is said to be raising as much as $1.5 billion in a combination of debt and equity, according to people with knowledge of the company’s fundraising activities. Josh Kushner’s New York venture capital firm Thrive Capital is said to be leading the financing, with participation from the San Francisco outfit Spark Capital. Affirm declined to comment. Representatives of Thrive and Spark, existing Affirm investors, have not responded to a request for comment. Sources familiar with Affirm, which gives consumers an alternative to personal loans and credit by financing online purchases at point-of-sale, presume the round will be made up largely of a line of credit from a large financial institution, known as a warehouse facility. Affirm recently raised a $300 million Thrive-led Series F round in April at a valuation of $3 billion. Fintech companies focused on payments and lending, however, require a vast amount of capital to sustain operations. Those capital requirements coupled with the frothiness of the venture capital market justify this additional cash infusion. To date, Affirm has raised $1.03 billion in funding from Ribbit Capital, Founders Fund, Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed ...
Read More
max levchin - Swiss watchdog to propose looser anti-money laundering rules for fintechs
Le Monde with AFP | Sep 12, 2019 Bruno Le Maire expressed his hostility towards this cryptocurrency project, saying that "the monetary sovereignty of states is at stake" Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire announced on Thursday (September 12th) that France was refusing to authorize the development "on European soil" of libra, the cryptocurrency that Facebook wants to launch in 2020. "Considerable financial disorder" "The monetary sovereignty of states is at stake," said the minister at the opening of a conference of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) dedicated to the challenges of cryptocurrencies - without specifying, however, what concrete measures he wanted engage to prevent the spread of libra in Europe. See:  Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency: Everything We Know In his speech, Bruno Lemaire described as "systemic" the risks that could result from this "possible privatization of a currency (...) held by a single actor that has more than 2 billion users on the planet" . "Any failure in the functioning of this currency, in the management of its reserves, could create considerable financial disorders , " justified the Mayor, also fearing that the libra is replacing the national currency in the States where the currency is weak or ...
Read More
Bruno Le Maire Minister Finance of France vows to block facebooks libra - Swiss watchdog to propose looser anti-money laundering rules for fintechs
CNBC | Bob Pisani | Sep 10, 2019 Key Points The head of the SEC says more needs to be done to make it easier for companies to go public. Jay Clayton says his office is taking a “fresh look” at allowing Main Street investors access to the private capital markets. The head of the SEC says more needs to be done to make it easier for companies to go public and that his office is taking a “fresh look” at allowing Main Street investors access to the private capital markets. In a speech to the Economic Club of New York on Monday, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said the lack of more IPOs and the inability of most of the Main Street investing public to access private markets was a “growing concern.” Clayton addressed what he called the “two segments” in capital markets: the public markets, and private ones, including private equity and venture capital investments. See:  The Solution To The Fintech IPO Shortage “Twenty-five years ago, the public markets dominated the private markets in virtually every measure,” he said. “Today, in many measures, the private markets outpace the public markets, including in aggregate size.” Clayton wants to make the ...
Read More
SEC jay clayton - Swiss watchdog to propose looser anti-money laundering rules for fintechs
Nesta UK | Rosalyn Old and Johnathan Bone | Sep 4, 2019 Earlier in May 2019, Nesta commissioned a report called 'Taking Ownership:  Community Empowerment through Crowdfund Investments' that looked at how community-led projects have the power to transform local areas socially, economically and environmentally and how institutions such as local governments, municipal authorities and foundations, can help community-led initiatives by making the most of new investment crowdfunding models (eg community shares and bonds). Key Findings Investment crowdfunding has been used to fund a broad range of local assets, including but not limited to, saving local shops and pubs from closure, creating new community centres and art spaces, and expanding leisure facilities and infrastructure projects. Potential opportunities in using investment crowdfunding for community-led initiatives include helping to fund projects that would otherwise struggle to access finance elsewhere, increasing the use of and volunteering for community initiatives, and strengthening local resilience and self-determination by bringing communities together to improve their area. The main challenges for community organisations raising money in this way include gaining access to assets to buy or use on a temporary basis, transitioning from grassroots fundraising to implementing a project and avoiding negative impacts on diversity and inclusion ...
Read More
taking ownership community empowerment through crowdfunded investment - Swiss watchdog to propose looser anti-money laundering rules for fintechs
NCFA Canada on behalf of our partner's Lending Loop | Sep 11, 2019 HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A CHESHIRE CAT SMILE? Well they deserve it. Back in October 2015, NCFA made this introductory video with Cato Pastoll, CEO and Co-Founder of Lending Loop, about a peer to peer lending marketplace for small businesses model that was new to Canada but was achieving significant growth internationally. The question and opportunity was back then:  why not here in Canada? A question that many of us ask ourselves, ask the community and point fingers at strict regulations and high operating costs.  Well fast forward several years and growth obstacles later, and the Lending Loop story continues to impress with their latest milestone of lending over $50 million to deserving small businesses to help them grow and expand operations while providing retail and accredited investors direct access to a wide range of lending and investment options, a robust community and the chance to strengthen Canadian small business - here here! The early vision... Brandon Vlaar, Co-founder and CTO of Lending Loop sharing their good news! CONGRATS to the entire Lending Loop Team for achieving this latest milestone.  We've 'got your back' and look forward ...
Read More
Lending Loop passes 50 million - Swiss watchdog to propose looser anti-money laundering rules for fintechs
NCFA Guest Post | Sep 9, 2019 The world was shook when online money was first introduced. Some people didn’t like the idea. They’d prefer having something tangible, something that they can actually see and touch to use as currency. Some people were positive about the new experience. They believe that it can certainly make life more convenient. But hey, we’re now in 2019 and online currency is still widely in use. In fact, its uses have expanded way more since it was first introduced (read more). One of the most popular and controversial of its time was BTC or Bitcoin. Even without studying cryptocurrencies, you’ve probably heard this term once or twice before. You may have come across it in the internet or someone may have encouraged you to try trading it. After all, when cryptocurrency was first brought to light, many people saw its potential in the trading market. And it has been making noise ever since. See:  New Regulatory Framework for Canadian Retail Payments Coming in 2019 At first, Bitcoin was surrounded with a lot of controversy – and of course, a lot of doubt. People were scared of exchanging real world money for something that you ...
Read More
digital tokens and coins - Swiss watchdog to propose looser anti-money laundering rules for fintechs