Weekly News Highlights – 8 December 2022

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

Vanguard quits climate alliance in blow to net zero project (Financial Times
World’s second-largest asset manager cites investor ‘confusion’ amid increase in criticism from Republicans. Vanguard is pulling out of the main financial alliance on tackling climate change at a time when Republicans in the US have stepped up their attacks on financial institutions that they say are hostile to fossil fuels. With $7.1tn under management and more than 30mn customers as of October 31, Vanguard is the second-largest global money manager after BlackRock. The group said on Wednesday that it was resigning from the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative, whose members have committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Vanguard, which mainly manages passive funds that track market indices, said the alliance’s full-throated commitment to fighting climate change had resulted “in confusion about the views of individual investment firms”. Read more

Regnology Announces Acquisition of Belgian Regtech b.fine (Crowdfund Insider)
Regnology, a software provider with a focus on regulatory reporting solutions, announces that it has acquired b.fine, a Belgian RegTech firm which “assists financial institutions on the enhancement of their reporting supply chain.” Founded in 2017 and headquartered in Belgium, b.fine has “grown to a team of nearly 50 that serves over 30 institutional clients across banks, insurance companies and investment firms.” b.fine significantly “reduces the regulatory burden for financial institutions by offering them an all-encompassing platform for managing their regulatory reporting processes.” Read more

Neobroker BUX buys retail brokerage arm of Spain’s Ninety Nine (Global Fintech)
BUX, a European neobroker, has acquired the retail brokerage arm of Spanish neobroker Ninety Nine, helping BUX boost its presence in the Spanish retail brokerage market. Following the close of the deal, BUX will offer its clients with a broader range of services, including access to investing in Spanish, European and US stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, fractional investing and the BUX Savings Plan. Speaking on the partnership, Ninety Nine CEO and founder Javier Sanz Álvarez said, “We have been working for over a year and a half on our B2B strategy, and while it was a difficult decision, we have decided to focus all our efforts on it. Read more

Hong Kong and Singapore compete for green finance supremacy (The Japanese Time)
Hong Kong and Singapore have long squared off to be the pre-eminent finance hub for Asia. That battleground is now shifting to the ESG space, with potentially trillions of dollars at stake. From green bonds to carbon trading and asset management, both cities are angling to be the regional base for sustainable finance as governments and companies ramp up investments to fight climate change. Combined ESG assets could soar to $53 trillion by 2025, with Asia sparking the next leg of growth, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. The race to attract all that fresh money and trading business in Asia will take years to play out, but so far Singapore has an early edge over Hong Kong. Read more 

EU agrees new rules on online credit (Finextra)
European parliamentarians have reached agreement on updated consumer credit rules to protect citizens from new forms on online debt, such as buy now, pay later schemes and short-term high cost loans. The update to the Consumer Credit Directive will ensure improved assessment of the consumers’ ability to repay and make sure that the cost is limited, through measures such as caps on interest rate, the annual percentage rate of charge or the total cost of the credit. An additional provision mandates that credit advertising should always contain a clear and prominent warning that “borrowing money costs money”. Read more

Law enforcers link in global money laundering crackdown (Global Fintech)
Law enforcement from 25 countries have linked to crack down on money mules and their recruiters. The European Money Mule Action (EMMA8) was supported by Europol. Interpol and the European Banking Federation. An operational phase was carried out between mid-September to the end of November 2022, 8,755 money mules were identified alongside 222 money mule recruiters, and 2469 individuals were arrested worldwide. Over the course of the project, 2,469 money mules were arrested,1,648 criminal investigations were initiated, 4,089 fraudulent transactions were identified and €17.5m was intercepted. Europol said, “Have you ever been asked to help transfer money by an online friend or love interest? Someone offering a way to make easy money? Someone claiming to need help as they can’t use their own bank account? Read more

EU to Make Crypto Companies Report Tax Details to Authorities (
New OECD-inspired tax evasion plans take a step further than the MiCA but haven’t settled how to deal with foreign providers. The European Commission plans to make crypto companies report user holdings to tax authorities, it said Thursday. But the European Union (EU) body says it’s still working on how to enforce the measures on wallet providers or exchanges based outside the bloc. As previously reported by CoinDesk, the proposed new tax rules, known as the eighth Directive on Administrative Cooperation, or DAC8, seeks to halt billions of euros in evasion by taxpayers stashing crypto abroad. “Anonymity means that many crypto-asset users making significant profits fall under the radar of national tax authorities. This is not acceptable,” Paolo Gentiloni, EU commissioner for tax, said in a statement. Read more

Crypto lender Genesis tells clients it is working to preserve their assets (Reuters)
U.S. crypto firm Genesis is working to preserve client assets and strengthen liquidity, it said in a letter to clients on Wednesday, adding that it would take “weeks rather than days” to form a plan. Genesis’ lending arm, Genesis Global Capital, froze customer withdrawals on Nov. 16, citing “unprecedented market dislocation” following the collapse of major crypto exchange FTX. Genesis, owned by venture capital firm Digital Currency Group (DCG), said last week it was seeking to avoid a bankruptcy filing. Read more

Queen Máxima launches the CCAF Regulator Knowledge Exchange (Finextra)
The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) has launched a new digital hub designed to bring together regulators from across the globe, to collaborate and enhance their efforts to evolve financial services regulation. The Regulator Knowledge Exchange (RKE) is a peer-led, community-driven, forum where financial services regulators, supervisors and policymakers are encouraged to share research and work together to improve cross-border regulatory engagement. Hosted by the CCAF at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School, the RKE already has over 1,000 members from 240+ financial authorities in over 120 jurisdictions. Launched via webinar on Thursday the 1st of December, Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands and United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA) delivered the keynote, stating that the platform has significant potential to have a lasting impact. Read more

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