Weekly News Highlights – 8 September 2022

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

Celsius Crypto Borrowers Call for Bankruptcy Trustee, Oppose US DOJ Move to Appoint Examiner (Coin Desk
A group of Celsius Network borrowers wants a bankruptcy court to appoint an independent examiner to investigate the crypto-lender’s financials, but not one working for the U.S. Trustee office. Celsius filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this summer. Its attorneys maintain that the company can recover with the aid of a still-being-built mining operation. The U.S. Trustee’s office, a division within the Department of Justice, petitioned the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York last month to let it appoint an independent examiner, saying the company is not being transparent about its financial situation. Read more

Mambu core banking tech underpins new African bank, Carbon Finance (Fintech Futures)
Carbon Finance, a Nigeria-based microfinance entity, has become a full-service bank, underpinned by core banking software from Mambu. Among its new products is Carbon Zero, a buy now, pay later (BNPL) offering. Carbon has been working with Mambu for a decade, having started life as a lender under the name of One Credit in 2012. It rebranded as PayLater in 2016 and as Carbon Finance in 2019. The following year it received a banking licence. Today, Carbon operates in Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya, employs 150+ people, and has pan-African aspirations. Read more

Ant launches digital operations platform for insurers (Finextra)
Ant Group’s insurance arm has launched a blockchain-based digital operation platform for insurance companies in China. The Xingyun platform promises to help insurers improve operational efficiency and customer experience from sales to operations to customer service. For example, for insurance claim settlements, the AI-powered digital tool on Xingyun can identify 107 types of verification documents with an identification accuracy rate above 95%, says Ant. Read more

Fed officials call for stablecoin regulations amid concerns over financial stability (Forkast)
Two U.S. Federal Reserve officials have called for new regulations specifically for stablecoins and reiterated the new asset class holds risks similar to traditional finance. Michael Barr, the Fed’s vice chair for supervision, said on Wednesday at a Brookings Institution event in Washington, D.C. that stablecoins, like other unregulated private money, could pose financial stability risks. Meanwhile, Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard said on Wednesday in a speech at a conference organized by The Clearing House and Bank Policy Institute that the crypto financial system “has all the same risks that we’re very familiar with from traditional finance,”. Read more

Switzerland’s SEBA Bank Launches Institutional Ethereum Staking (Decrypt)
SEBA bank, a crypto-friendly bank in Zug, Switzerland, announced the launch of Ethereum (ETH) staking for its institutional investors. The move “caters to growing demand from institutions to manage a range of digital asset yield use cases from staking to decentralized finance (DeFi)” by providing flexible rewards and adjustable lock-up periods following Ethereum’s merge event, the bank said. Read more

Hong Kong to introduce subsidies to attract fintechs (Finextra)
The Hong Kong government is set to bring in a number of financial incentives to address what has been termed as a skills shortage, especially in terms of the fintech sector. A number of industry associations, such as the Hong Kong Investment Funds Association, and lobby groups have complained that Hong Kong has become uncompetitive as an international financial hub due to a teightening of immigration rules and stringent quarantine measures as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, a survey conducted by Google, found that 64% of fintechs in Hong Kong arte facing a “severe talent gap” while 80% of respondents said they would welcome more supportive policies from the government. Read more

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