All Things FinReg

LATEST REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS IMPACTING
THE FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY
Financial services is perhaps the most regulated industry in the world, and the intersection between financial services, technology, and law remains a complicated and evolving space. A team of Morgan Lewis lawyers recently attended the 2023 Money 20/20 conference and previewed some major themes and trends that the industry can expect in 2024.
New York has enhanced its fraud prevention tools, while consumers can identify crypto scams using California’s scam tracker. A week after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed amendments to cover cryptoassets under the Custody Rule applicable to investment advisers, federal banking agencies issued a statement reminding banks of their risk management obligations in connection with holding crypto companies’ deposits. The United Kingdom is considering fund tokenization, particularly as it relates to retail investors, and the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission is gearing up for a crypto exchange platform licensing regime while considering whether retail investors should trade on licensed crypto platforms.
In the continuation of our new blog series highlighting recent developments in the digital asset space, this post details continued action policy and enforcement actions by US regulators.
The US District Court for the Northern District of California ruled on December 20, 2022, that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) properly served the defendant, Ooki DAO, by posting summons documents in Ooki DAO’s online discussion forum and in its help chat box. Commodity Futures Trading Comm'n v. Ooki DAO, No. 3:22-cv-05416-WHO, 2022 BL 454541, 2022 U.S. Dist. Lexis 228820 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 20, 2022), Court Opinion (the Order).
In its continued efforts to learn what broker-dealers and their employees are doing in the digital asset space, FINRA has effectively reissued a regulatory notice requesting that broker-dealers keep FINRA apprised of their digital asset activities.
On July 8, the staffs of the Division of Trading and Markets (TM) of the US Securities and Exchange Commission and of the Office of General Counsel of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. issued a joint statement on broker-dealer custody of digital assets that are also securities (Joint Statement).
We are always looking to identify good forums for keeping abreast of global fintech developments and trends. One such interesting platform was Cross-Border Fintech: Regulation & the Law 2019, held in London on June 6, where we heard some great insights into the current market trends in and the future of fintech. The conference was well attended, with representatives of many industry leaders, authorities, and industry bodies in attendance.
Practitioners, academics, and entrepreneurs joined SEC regulators at the 2019 FinTech Forum hosted by the SEC’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub) on May 31 in Washington, DC. Panelists discussed a range of considerations on digital assets, including capital formation, trading and markets, investment management, and innovations in distributed ledger technology (DLT).
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) recently issued guidance consolidating current FinCEN regulations, rulings, and guidance about cryptocurrencies and money services businesses (MSBs) under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).
In a recently published statement, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) has raised concerns relating to the risks that crypto-assets pose to the global financial system.