Weekly News Highlights – 26 May 2023

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

Meta receives USD 1.3 bln EU fine over data privacy (The Paypers)
Meta has been fined with EUR 1.2 billion by regulators from the European Union for violating EU privacy laws by transferring personal data of Facebook users to servers in the US. The European Data Protection Board announced the fine in a statement, saying it followed an inquiry into Facebook (FB) by the Irish Data Protection Commission, the chief regulator overseeing Meta’s operations in Europe. Read more

Visa to recruit 1500 staff for new Polish tech hub (Finextra)
Visa is to open a new global Technology and Product Hub in Poland that will house 1500 new tech and product hires over tthe next few years. The new Hub will be the first of its kind for Visa in Central and Eastern Europe, and its fifth major strategic location worldwide. Read more

Bank of England set to decline Revolut’s application for banking licence (The Paypers)  
The Bank of England has told the Treasury that it is planning to reject Revolut‘s application for a banking licence, after a two-year campaign by Britain’s most valuable fintech company. In March, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), the bank’s licencing arm, warned the government that it expected to issue a statutory warning letter to Revolut within a few weeks. Read more

Swedish fintech Qred lands full banking licence (Fintech Futures)
Swedish fintech Qred has landed a full banking licence from the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (SFSA), seven months after it first applied. Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Stockholm, Qred operates a proprietary AI-led financing platform to offer loans, credit cards and factoring for small businesses. Since its inception, Qred claims to have issued over 100,000 loans to small businesses in the Nordics and Benelux region, enabling Qred’s customers to create over 30,000 new jobs. Read more

‘We can’t afford to wait’: Brussels and Google pitch voluntary AI pact to fill legislative gap (Euronews)
EU legislators are currently negotiating the Artificial Intelligence Act, but the legislation could take up to three years to be fully applicable. The European Commission and Google have committed to crafting a voluntary pact for artificial intelligence to mitigate the gravest risks associated with this rapidly evolving technology until proper legislation is put in place. The pledge was announced after Google CEO Sundar Pichai met with several European Commissioners during a visit to Brussels, where the topic of AI featured prominently in the conversations. Read more

Dutch cryptocurrency trading platform LiteBit ceases operations; Bitvavo to help with clients’ fund transfers (Silicon Canels)
Rotterdam-based LiteBit, a cryptocurrency trading platform, on Tuesday, May 23, announced its decision to cease all operations due to market developments. Consequently, the company has reached an agreement with Bitvavo, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the Netherlands, to transfer clients’ funds to their platform. The company is registered as a digital currency exchange at the Central Bank of the Netherlands (DNB). Read more

Australia to regulate BNPL sector (The Paypers)
Australia has planned to regulate Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services as a consumer credit product, requiring providers to perform background checks prior to lending. This would come as being among the world’s hardest regimes for the sector, putting companies of the likes of Afterpay and Zip Co under the supervision of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). What is more, as per the Reuters article detailing the news, this would place Australia behind only the UK as being amongst the countries to have sought to regulate BNPL as a standard credit product. Read more

Sapiens and Microsoft: Pioneering Generative AI for the Insurance Sector (Global Fintech)
Global software solution provider Sapiens International Corporation, and tech titan Microsoft, have announced a strategic partnership aimed at harnessing the power of generative artificial intelligence (AI) in the insurance industry. Sapiens, a NASDAQ and TASE listed company, is renowned for its role in providing software solutions to the insurance sector. Microsoft, a household name in the realm of technology, offers a range of products and services, including its advanced Azure OpenAI Service. The collaboration’s main objective is to utilise AI’s potential to improve efficiency and customer service in the insurance industry. Read more

US LGBTQ+ neobank Daylight to close down (Fintech Futures)
US-based neobank for the LGBTQ+ community, Daylight, has announced that it will be closing down, with its last day of operations on 30 June. In a statement on its website, Daylight says the decision to close down is “unrelated” to the wider banking crises taking place globally. “We have not found a business model that allows us to sustainably provide our banking services to the LGBTQ+ community as a small company,” Daylight says. “Banking is a business that works well at scale, and as a small company we cannot identify a path toward profitability.” Read more

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