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Weekly News Highlights – 13 October 2022

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

Finax Launches the First Pan-European Pension Product for Digital Nomads (Fintech Switzerland)
Bratislava-based wealthtech Finax has become the first company to receive a license to offer a pan-European Personal Pension Product (PEPP) to clients in Slovakia. The PEPP is a portable, voluntary personal pension scheme regulated by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) that is open to all European Union (EU) residents. PEPPs are not tied to employment or place of work and clients can transfer their pension to other EU countries. The maximum fee is 1% of the assets under management per annum. Finax, a Slovak investment management platform, became the first licensed by the EIOPA to provide this product in September 2022 after the country adopted the necessary legislation earlier in the year. Read more

Prudential and Google Cloud team for health and financial inclusion in Asia and Africa (Fintech Futures)
Multinational insurance group Prudential has turned to Google Cloud “to enhance health and financial inclusion for communities across Asia and Africa”. Prudential says it will leverage Google Cloud’s data analytics capabilities, infrastructure, and the broader Google ecosystem, to accelerate its digital transformation and enhance user engagement of Pulse, Prudential’s health and wealth platform. The Pulse app – available in 17 markets and 11 languages – provides users with access to services such as health risk assessment and online doctor consultation to help them manage their health needs, as well as digital wealth tools for financial decision-making. “Across our markets, people are living longer, but not necessarily healthier and better,” observes Solmaz Altin, managing director, strategic business group, Prudential. Read more

BNP Paribas signed an agreement for the acquisition of Kantox (BNP Paribas)
BNP Paribas is pleased to announce the signature of an agreement for the acquisition of Kantox, a leading leading fintech for automation of currency risk management. Kantox’s software solution has managed to successfully re-bundle the Corporate FX workflow, offering a one-stop-shop, API driven, plug-and-play solution which has emerged as a unique technology within the B2B cross-border payments sector. Kantox’s technology provides unrivalled level of automation and sophistication to Corporates in setting up hedging strategies. By leveraging its integrated business model, BNP Paribas is well positioned to accelerate and extend Kantox’s offering to a wide range of Corporate clients across the globe. The acquisition of Kantox is supported by the Global Markets business of BNP Paribas’ CIB division and the business centres of the Commercial, Personal and Banking Services (CPBS) division. The two divisions aim to deploy Kantox technology to large corporate as well as SME and Mid-Cap clients, capitalising on market knowledge and local presence of the Group. This acquisition illustrates BNP Paribas’ Growth Technology Sustainability 2025 plan, that sets out to accelerate the development of technological innovations, to enhance customer experience and to provide best-in-class capabilities to its clients. Read more

European Council approves Markets in Crypto Asset regulation (MiCA) (The Paypers)
The European Union has agreed on the legal text for licensed crypto firms, by passing the landmark Markets in Crypto Asset regulation (MiCA). The legislation will now need to pass through a further vote in the European Parliament next week and if approved, the laws under MiCA would commence at the start of 2024. The scope of MiCA covers issuers of unbacked crypto assets, stablecoins, trading venues, and wallets alongside rules to reveal the identity of persons transacting cryptocurrencies. In June 2022, the European Council and European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on MiCA, marking the first comprehensive EU stance on cryptocurrencies. Back in June, The move came a day after the European Council, European Parliament, and The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) finalised measures aimed at decreasing money laundering in crypto. Read more

Celsius execs cashed out $21 million before bankruptcy (Finextra)
A financial disclosure form filed in New York this week has revealed that top executives of the now bankrupt Celsius Network withdrew $21 million in cryptocurrencies before freezing customer accounts. Between May and June 2022, ex-CEO Alex Mashinsky and ex-CSO Daniel Leon withdrew funds in the form of Bitcoin, Ether, USDC, and CEL tokens. The court documents confirmed that Mashinsky withdrew $10 million and Leon withdrew $7 million and an additional $4 million in CEL. Mashinsky stepped down as CEO at the end of September but retained that he would continue to support the company and support the creditors. Read more

President Biden signs executive order on US-EU data transfer privacy (Global Fintech)
US President Joe Biden has signed an executive order that will aim to protect the privacy of personal data transfers between the US and the EU. According to Security Week, alongside this protection of data transfers it will also seek to address European concerns about US intelligence collection activities. The White House said that the executive order provides a new legal framework for trans-Atlantic data flows that are critical to the digital economy. It will be subject to review and ratification by the European Commission, which is expected to take several months. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said, “This is a culmination of our joint efforts to restore trust and stability to trans-Atlantic data flows. It will enable a continued flow of data that underpins more than a trillion dollars in cross-border trade and investment every year.” Read more

Singapore’s MAS opens ESG Impact Hub (Finextra)
The Monetary Authority of Singapore has launched an ESG Hub designed to spur collaboration between fintech startups, financial institutions and other stakeholders. The hub will focus on building Singapore’s ESG ecosystem through supporting fintechs in the field; anchoring “enablers” such as investors, knowledge partners and financial institutions; and backing stakeholders to drive “material, quantifiable impacts”. MAS says it already has 15 ESG fintechs and organisations set up at the hub as it builds up an onsite community that will ultimately boost financial sector access to high quality climate and sustainability data. Read more

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