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Weekly News Highlights – 21 July 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!

French Banking Giant BNP Paribas Enters Crypto Custody Space: Sources (Coindesk)
French Bank BNP Paribas (BNP) is entering the cryptocurrency custody space via a partnerships with Swiss digital asset safekeeping firm Metaco, according to three people with knowledge of the deal. Crypto custody firm Fireblocks is also involved in the bank’s digital asset infrastructure, according to a press release on Wednesday. Many large banks are edging towards crypto custody, but what makes this deal particularly significant is BNP Paribas Securities Services’ position as a major global custodian with almost $13 trillion in assets under custody. Read more

Deutsche Bank partners Abbove for wealth management services in Belgium (Fintech Futures)
Deutsche Bank has partnered with wealthtech Abbove to utilise its wealth planning platform for clients in Belgium. From this month, private bankers at the firm will be able to use the technology to offer their Belgian clients a range of wealth management services. Abbove CEO Guillaume Desclée says the partnership with Deutsche Bank in Belgium marks another step in the wealthtech’s private banking development strategy. “Our technology can help private banks to scale and professionalise their wealth planning services to better serve their clients,” Desclée adds. Read more

The Reserve Bank of India wants to ban crypto, says India’s finance minister (FinTech Futures)
India’s finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the country’s central bank wants cryptocurrencies to be prohibited. In a response to questions on crypto from the Indian parliament, Sitharaman cited the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) concerns regarding the “destabilising effect of cryptocurrencies on the monetary and fiscal stability of a country” as a reason for holding this view. Read more

Croatia to join euro area on 1 January 2023 (ECB)
The Council of the European Union formally approved the accession of Croatia to the euro area on 1 January 2023 and determined a Croatian kuna conversion rate of 7.53450 per euro – this coincides with the level of the current central rate of the kuna in the exchange rate mechanism (ERM II). The European Central Bank (ECB) and Hrvatska narodna banka agreed to monitor developments in the Croatian kuna against the euro on the foreign exchange market until 1 January 2023. Read more 

BNPL acquisitions to rise following low valuations (FintechMagazine)|
New data on the BNPL market suggests mergers and acquisitions will increase as companies shrink in the current economic climate. The report by GlobalData indicates that BNPL companies that have seen a drop in valuation will be perceived as opportunities for acquisitions. The news comes shortly after BNPL giant Klarna announced it had lost US$40bn of its valuation – and is now worth $6.5bn, which is still bigger than its financial reports showed in 2018 and 2019. Read more

Goldman-backed fintech Starling withdraws European bank license application in blow to global ambitions (CNBC)
British digital bank Starling is ending its bid to obtain a European banking license, dealing a significant setback to the company’s international expansion ambitions. The firm told staff Monday that it had withdrawn its application for a bank license from the Irish central bank, four years after initiating the process. Starling’s application had faced problems in the past, with the digital lender temporarily pausing talks with regulators in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more

Visa in Talks to Invest in Fintech Startup Airwallex (Bloomberg)
Payments giant Visa Inc. is in talks to join an extension of the fintech startup Airwallex’s latest funding round, according to people familiar with the matter. The Tencent Holdings Ltd.-backed startup is seeking to raise $100 million to $150 million in an extension to its series E round, the people said. Some of the startup’s existing shareholders could also participate, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Read more

The UK to Introduce Bill For Stablecoins Payments (CoinPedia)
The United Kingdom regulator will propose using stablecoin– cryptocurrencies whose prices are pegged to another asset– for payment in the Parliament on Wednesday. UK Finance Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, will present the Financial Services and Market Bill in Parliament on July 20 to transfer the UK financial services sector. UK finance members believe crypto assets and stablecoins can change the financial environment and establish the nation as a global leader in digital finance, post-Brexit. The Financial Services and Market bill will set standards for using stablecoins as payments due to the rise of crypto in retail and other businesses. It provides a road map to adopting stablecoins, which could help drive crypto adoption in the UK. Read more

Thales Buys OneWelcome for $101.6M to Enter CIAM Market (Bankinfosecurity)
A French conglomerate plans to enter the customer identity and access management market through its purchase of an emerging European CIAM player that was formed last year through a merger. Paris-based Thales plans to capitalize on OneWelcome’s strong cloud-native SaaS product by extending its market footprint beyond Europe and selling it to existing Thales clients in North America and Asia-Pacific, says Sebastien Cano, senior vice president of cloud protection and licensing at Thales. The company will pay $101.6 million for the Netherlands-based OneWelcome in the deal, which is expected to close by December. Read more

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