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Ukraine: Focus on collaboration between banks and technology companies

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In brief On 16 January 2021, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) introduced a specific oversight regime with respect to compliance of Ukrainian banks with data protection and cybersecurity requirements. Banks will now be subject to either remote or "on-site" inspections in these areas. In addition, banks will be required to submit their respective annual self-assessment reports. The template report form, approved by the NBU, indicates that banks will have to disclose all of their "cloud" and "outsourcing" projects with third-party vendors.Key takeaways The Ukrainian market is seeing an increased amount of emerging partnerships between banks and technology companies. Such collaboration arrangements have now attracted the regulator's attention. Accordingly, banks and their technology vendors should dedicate more care to the regulatory aspects of their cooperation (and related technology transactions), to ensure a smooth oversight experience.Background The new oversight regime aims to implement the evolving regulatory framework for data protection and cybersecurity in the banking industry. According to its Fintech Strategy 2025, the NBU will also adopt bespoke rules for banks governing IT outsourcing and cloud projects by the end of 2022 and 2024, respectively.

Hong Kong and Thailand: The Future of Asia – Hong Kong & Thailand Mutual...

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On 20 January 2021, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission ("SFC") and the Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand ("Thai SEC") jointly announced1 ("Announcement") that they had entered into a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") for the Mutual Recognition of Funds between the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China and Thailand ("HK-TH MRF").2 The HK-TH MRF represents a significant additional step to foster closer ties and financial cooperation between Hong Kong and Thailand. It follows, amongst other existing arrangements, the long term co-operation between the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and Bank of Thailand to explore a Distributed Ledger Technology solution for cross border funds transfers known as project Inthanon - Lionrock3 and the Memorandum of Understanding on the Strengthening of Economic Relations signed on 29 November 2019 by the respective governments.4 In this Client Alert we provide an overview of some of the key aspects of the HK-TH MRF.

International: LIBOR’s Long Goodbye – An update and next steps

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The COVID-19 crisis has brought into focus the obligations of service providers towards customers with disabilities. In particular, there were reports of some retailers failing to recognise legitimate exceptions to rules regarding wearing face coverings and/or handling enquiries about exemptions with a lack of sensitivity. The issue of "hidden disabilities" became particularly significant in that context. Heavy reliance on online service channels highlighted the importance of ensuring that those services were fully accessible to customers with a range of disabilities, particularly as those channels were tested by a sudden uptick in demand. Older customers and customers with disabilities who relied on online shopping and in-store assistance found that they could not access the same level of support. Reconfiguration of store access to facilitate social distancing required retailers to re-assess whether those arrangements created difficulties for those with mobility and other impairments. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) issued some helpful guidance to retailers in response to some of the issues that had arisen.

International: LIBOR’s Long Goodbye – An update and next steps

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In July of 2017, Andrew Bailey, the chief executive of the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), announced in a speech that after 2021 the FCA would no longer use its power to compel panel banks to submit rate information used to determine the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Mr. Bailey encouraged the market to develop robust alternative reference rates to replace LIBOR.LIBOR has long been the dominant rate for determining interest payments on adjustable-rate financial products and, although progress is being made, LIBOR transition remains a fundamental issue confronting financial markets. Understanding and planning for the impact on your business is key to a smooth transition. Baker McKenzie is pleased to provide expert guidance on this issue below. Please do get in touch if you'd like to learn more.

FInsight: The Global Financial Institutions Industry Podcast

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Episode 9: Financial Institutions in Post-COVID Africa This episode puts the spotlight on Africa, with a focus on South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, and Ethiopia. Wildu...

Global: Finding Balance: The Post-COVID Landscape for Financial Institutions

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COVID-19 represents one of the greatest ever shocks to our economies and, in consequence, to the business models of financial institutions and the way...

International: Long-awaited changes to the US futures trading regime take effect soon

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Starting in March, both multinational companies and asset managers that trade US futures and certain other derivatives will face new, but long-awaited, position limit rules. The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC or "Commission") recently amended its rules ("Final Rule") limiting speculative positions that market participants may take in certain commodities contracts. While the US position limit regime is intended to limit speculation on commodities, the Final Rule covers derivatives commonly used by companies to manage agricultural, energy and other commodity risks. The Final Rule expands the scope of the US position limit regime to include not only specified futures but also swaps that are economically equivalent to those futures.  

European Union: Post-Brexit access regimes in key EEA member states

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The Malaysian Finance Act 2020 introduced, among others, several legislative changes to the Malaysian Income Tax Act 1967 (ITA) in respect of transfer pricing. Notably, a penalty provision was introduced. Effective 1 January 2021, taxpayers (where applicable) who fail to furnish transfer pricing documentation (TPD) upon the Malaysian Inland Revenue Board's (MIRB's) request will be subject to a fine ranging from RM 20,000 to RM 100,000 and / or imprisonment.Consistent with this, the MIRB has also revised the Transfer Pricing Guidelines 2012 to reduce the time given to taxpayers to furnish their TPD from 30 days to 14 days.

United Kingdom: A review of HMT’s proposed cryptoassets regime – and how it compares...

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On 7 January 2021 HM Treasury (HMT) published a consultation and call for evidence on the regulatory approach to cryptoassets and stablecoins. The consultation represents the first stage in HMT's consultative process on the broader regulatory approach to cryptoassets and stablecoins. The consultation closes on 21 March 2021. In this briefing we explore the policy background underlying the consultation, set out the key points of HMT's proposals, and provide a comparison to corresponding provisions in the European Commission's recent proposal on a regulatory framework for cryptoassets.

Fintechfest Webinar Series

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Baker McKenzie Latin America Financial Institutions industry group's FintechFest is the first of a series of webinars that aims to provide insights on key market trends,...
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