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Weekly News Highlights – 24 February 2022

Stay up to date with the latest news from fintech! This week, we bring you updates and developments on partnerships, lending, banking, crypto, NFT and more. Enjoy reading!

Exclusive: UK’s leading fintech bosses call on government to ramp up efforts to overhaul regulation (City.am)
A group of the UK’s leading fintech bosses have called on the Government to ramp up efforts to overhaul regulation and build a world-leading environment for the sector, in a letter seen exclusively by City A.M. Bosses at over 70 of the biggest fintech firms in the UK, including digital banks Monzo and Starling, payments giant Checkout.com and buy-now pay-later firm Klarna, have signed the letter compiled by industry body Innovate Finance. Read more.

Binance, led by the world’s richest crypto billionaire, is taking a $200 million stake in Forbes (CNBC)
Binance, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, is making a $200 million strategic investment in Forbes, the 104-year-old magazine and digital publisher, CNBC has learned. The funds will help Forbes execute on its plan to merge with a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, in the first quarter, according to people with knowledge of the deal. Binance will replace half of the $400 million in commitments from institutional investors announced earlier, making it one of the top two biggest owners of Forbes after its listing, the people said. Read more.

London Stock Exchange Group Buys Fintech Firm TORA for $325M (Coindesk)
The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) has bought TORA, a provider of technology for the trading of multiple asset classes including crypto, for $325 million. The acquisition will add digital assets to LSEG’s trading capabilities, the group announced. The deal opens the door for LSEG to offer crypto or non-fungible token (NFT) trading in the future. NFTs are digital assets on a blockchain that represent ownership of virtual or physical items. LSEG didn’t respond to request for comment at press time. The acquisition is expected to close in the second half of this year, subject to regulatory approval. Read more.

Askari Bank taps Hysab Kytab for personal financial management tech integration (Fintech Futures)
Pakistan’s Askari Bank has partnered with fintech firm Hysab Kytab and plans to integrate the latter’s personal finance management (PFM) solution into its digital banking offering. The solution will enable Askari Bank customers to view all their accounts in one place, track their expenses, create budgets in various categories, set savings goals and glean insights through charts and graphics that track their spending. The integration of the personal finance management solution forms part of the bank’s ongoing digitisation strategy. Askari Bank’s chief operating officer Khurshid Zafar says the partnership with Hysab Kytab is “yet another step forward in this endeavour”. Read more.

FX platform M-DAQ acquires B2B cross-border paytech Wallex (Fintech Futures)
Singapore-based FX platform M-DAQ has acquired B2B cross-border payments provider Wallex. The deal forms part of M-DAQ’s growth strategy as it looks to expand into new international markets. M-DAQ group CEO and founder Richard Koh says: “Investing in businesses with strong growth potential is one of our core strategies, as we expand our ecosystem.” Wallex holds licenses in Hong Kong, Indonesia and Singapore and will continue to operate under its own brand, with former chief operating officer Hiro Kiga promoted to CEO. Read more.

Singapore Tightens Regulatory Grip on Crypto (Fintech News)
Singapore has long been praised for being a forward-thinking, progressive jurisdiction that supports technology and innovation. This has enticed a horde of cryptocurrency and blockchain startups to set up shop in the nation, lured by its seemingly openness to the industry. However, these companies are now facing roadblocks and finding it rather challenging to operate in the city-state. Just a couple of weeks ago, operators of crypto ATMs were forced to shut down their machines after the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) outlawed cash-to-crypto terminals. The move is part of a wider crackdown on advertising cryptocurrencies to the general public, which MAS believes shouldn’t be encouraged to engage in the trading of digital assets. Read more.

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