Weekly News Highlights – 30 June 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!

Banks are rethinking partnerships with credit-card based fintech firms (ET)
Indian banks are rethinking partnerships with credit-card based fintech firms following recent directives by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) with respect to the co-branded card segment. Several banks have reached out to RBI to understand the regulator’s thinking after it issued orders for debit, credit and co-branded cards in April. RBL Bank has told its co-branding card fintech partners that it would stop support services starting June 30, multiple people told ET. Read more.

Funding Societies Inks Deal to Acquire CardUp (Fintech News)
Funding Societies, a Southeast Asian digital financing platform for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), today announced that it is acquiring regional payments solution, CardUp, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals. Through the move, Funding Societies will acquire CardUp’s payments capabilities such as card payments to non-card accepting recipients (domestic and cross-border), online payments acceptance, invoice automation tools as well as its licenses and integrations with third-party business software. Read more.

First regulatory sandbox on Artificial Intelligence presented (European Commission)
A pilot of the first regulatory sandbox on Artificial Intelligence (AI) was presented by the government of Spain and the European Commission at an event held in Brussels in the presence of Spanish, European authorities as well as renowned experts in the field. The sandbox aims to bring competent authorities close to companies that develop AI to define best practices that will guide the implementation of the future European Commission’s AI Regulation (Artificial Intelligence Act). This would also ensure that the legistlation can be implemented in two years. Read more.

Crypto Companies Put the Brakes on Sports Sponsorship Amid Market Crash (Fintech News)
This year’s cryptocurrency crash, which saw the market lose more than half of its value in the span of six months, is threatening to bring sports sponsorship deals to a halt as crypto companies look to cut costs. Sources with direct knowledge told The New York Post last week that cryptocurrency exchange FTX recently backed out of talks to provide a jersey patch to the MLB’s Los Angeles Angels. Another patch deal between the NBA’s Washington Wizards and an undisclosed crypto company also recently fell through, the sources said. Some companies are even facing lawsuits over missing payments. The UK’s Times reported in January 2022 that Iqoniq, a crypto-based fan platform, went into liquidation, owing Spanish football team Real Sociedad a reported EUR 820,000 for their primary shirt sponsorship. English football club Crystal Palace, meanwhile, is said to have begun legal action against the company over missed payments. Read more.

Black entrepreneurs take aim at racial wealth gap by starting mortgage fintech (American Banker)
A fintech startup launching this Labor Day is looking to chip away at the racial wealth and homeownership gaps by helping its customers show lenders that, even if they don’t have the credit score to secure a mortgage, they have the cash flow. Ashley D. Bell, the founder and CEO of Ready Life, has landed Bernice A. King as chair of the fintech’s advisory council; she is a lawyer, minister, and the youngest child of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. Bell currently works at law firm Dentons as senior counsel and was formerly the regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration for Region IV, which encompasses most of the South. Read more.

State bank VTB, fintech firm execute Russia’s first digital asset deal (Reuters)
Russian lender VTB’s (VTBR.MM) VTB Factoring subsidiary and fintech company Lighthouse have executed the country’s first cash-backed digital financial asset transaction, the bank said on Wednesday. In February blockchain platform Atomyze Russia was legally permitted to exchange digital assets in a country whose central bank has long voiced scepticism of cryptocurrencies, citing financial stability concerns and advocating for a complete ban on trading. Read more.

UBS Offers its Compliance Knowledge via a Regtech (Retail News)
UBS has put a great deal of effort into its compliance guidelines and action models. That accumulated legal knowledge is now being offered to third parties for the first time. UBS has compiled its financial market legislation and compliance knowledge in an expansive collection of documents. This know-how in the form of legal commentaries and the interpretation of laws is now being made available to other Swiss financial services providers, according to a statement on Tuesday. The offerings can be accessed via the Partnervine platform, a Zurich-based startup specializing in marketing legal texts and services. The financial guidelines FidSA and FinIA as well as the revised Collective Investment Schemes Act provide the framework for the action and decision paths developed by the UBS. Read more.

Jacobi Asset Management to Launch Europe’s First Bitcoin ETF on Euronext (US News)
Jacobi Asset Management said on Thursday that it would launch Europe’s first bitcoin exchange-traded-fund (ETF) on the Euronext exchange, in a sign of the cryptocurrency’s appeal despite its volatile price swings. The company said its Jacobi Bitcoin ETF would start trading in July on Euronext Amsterdam under the symbol of ‘BCOIN’. “The Jacobi Bitcoin ETF will enable investors to access the underlying performance of this exciting asset class via a well-established and trusted investment structure,” said Jacobi CEO Jamie Khurshid, a former Goldman Sachs banker. Read more.

Nottingham RegTech Ideagen sold for £1.1bn (Business could)
Nottingham RegTech Ideagen has been sold for £1.1 billion. The acquisitive compliance software giant has been taken over by London-based private equity firm Hg Pooled Management following 12 consecutive years of growth. London-listed Ideagen had recommended the offer from Hg to its shareholders. Now Rainforest Bidco Limited, a newly-incorporated wholly-owned subsidiary of funds managed by Hg, is to complete the acquisition “through a court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement and remains subject to sanction by the court”. Read more.

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