This week, policymakers and regulators in Europe continued to issue warnings about cryptocurrencies as “highly speculative assets” and renewed calls for “consistent and comprehensive” cryptocurrency regulation.
Meanwhile, the European Parliament has debated the new Consumer Credit Directive, which may include now exempt purchase and after-payment (BNPL) solutions. The measure is likely to be voted on in June and final approval is likely in July. The EU Parliament has also approved the final agreement with EU member states on the Digital Markets Act which will impose strict conditions on Big Tech.
In the UK, financial and payment regulators have gained new powers to fight scams and fraud.
Crypto still on the agenda
EU regulators attack Stablecoins as CBDCs rise
After a previously volatile week for stable currencies and cryptocurrencies, this week began with a new call from EU regulators to investigate the space and push for alternatives to private digital money, namely a digital euro.
Two senior central bank officials on Monday (May 16th) criticized cryptocurrency assets and the disruption they could bring to the international financial system if unregulated. First, the Governor of the Bank of France, Francois Villeroy de Galhau, said at a conference in Paris that more regulation is needed and that cryptographic assets must be consistently and properly interoperable across all jurisdictions.
The second official to discuss this issue was Fabio Panetta, Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank (ECB). Panetta has previously warned of the risks associated with cryptographic assets, and during its speak On Monday morning in Dublin, he also warned that stable currencies are vulnerable to racing.
The G-7 calls for “consistent and comprehensive” cryptographic regulation.
The financial leaders of the Group of Seven (G-7) on Thursday (May 19) called for the Financial Stability Board (FSB) to develop “consistent and comprehensive” regulation of cryptocurrencies. Leaders cited the recent collapse of Stablecoin Earth and the ensuing chaos in the cryptographic world that followed.
BoE official warns of Crypto’s terrible future
Jon Cunliffe, deputy governor of the Bank of England, said investors in cryptocurrencies should expect tougher times. That will come as central banks raise interest rates, making safer assets better bets. When asked at a Wall Street Journal conference if rising interest rates would add pressure to cryptography, Cunliffe said there would likely be an “exit from risky assets” as the process continues.
Lawmakers and regulators will pass new rules to protect consumers
New EU consumer credit rules could be approved in the summer
EU lawmakers on Tuesday (May 17th) discussed the proposed amendments to the Consumer Credit Directive (CCD), which will be put to a vote in committee in June in order to get final approval in plenary before the summer break.
The existing CCD is from 2008, and although it has introduced a number of benefits to consumers, it does not include many new consumer loan initiatives that are widely used by consumers, such as BNPLs, payday loans, or short-term overdraft facilities.
The commission’s proposal seeks to address these technological developments by broadening their scope, introducing pricing rules for some credits, clarifying information requirements and reviewing solvency assessments.
The UK payments regulator gets more powers to fight authorized push payment fraud
The UK Payment System Regulator (PSR) continues its fight against authorized push payment fraud (PPP). One of the actions taken by the regulator was the publication of a new rule in February 2022 that paved the way for more banks and construction companies to adopt Beneficiary Confirmation (CoP), bank account name verification services.
The plan began in 2020 with the six largest banking groups in the UK, but the new rule in 2022 has expanded the scope of the plan and the first phase will be closed by 31 May. In the second phase, which begins on June 1, all payment service providers (PSPs) must ensure that the CoP service is available.
The UK FCA will fight fraud by canceling permits in 28 days
The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced on Thursday that it will use new powers to cancel or change more quickly the regulated activities that companies are allowed to carry out. The regulator may cancel any permit granted to a regulated entity, or change it, 28 days after the first notice if the company has not taken appropriate action. In essence, companies will be required to prove that they are carrying out the regulated activity that they are authorized or are facing to lose this permit.
Big Tech has a quieter week
EU Parliament approves agreement on Digital Market Act
The European Parliament ‘s Internal Market Committee approved on Tuesday the has provisionally agreed with EU governments on the Digital Markets Act (DMA) with 43 votes in favor, one against and one abstention, according to a press release.
An interim agreement on a sister proposal to regulate online platforms, the Digital Services Act, was reached on April 23, according to a separate press release. Both proposals are expected to be put to a final vote in Parliament in July before being formally adopted by the council and published in the Official Journal of the EU. The DMA regulation will enter into force 20 days after its publication, and the forecasts will start to apply six months later.
BaFin seeks clarifications from Deutsche Bank on business communications via WhatsApp
German financial watchdog BaFin has ordered Deutsche Bank to clarify how its staff uses private WhatsApp messages for business purposes, as part of a global effort to curb the practice of mixing business with personal life. BaFin wants to ensure that Deutsche Bank officials comply with banking rules. The request comes at a time when Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing has spent billions of dollars trying to fix bank controls and improve relations with supervisors.