As we discuss in our memorandum released today and available here, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (“SFC”) last week took a significant step in its regulation of virtual asset activities by establishing a new, opt-in regulatory sandbox framework for virtual asset trading platform operators, proposing
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Financial services regulatory reform in 2018 continues to evolve.  As we leave summer behind, here is the Fall Focus edition of our reference tool, which provides context and summarizes current developments across a range of key regulatory areas, agencies and actors.  We will continue to track these issues and will
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After a several month lull that led some to question the SEC’s focus on crypto enforcement, this week saw a spate of enforcement activity involving crypto assets: several SEC enforcement actions, an SEC trading suspension order, the first FINRA cryptocurrency enforcement action, and a preliminary court decision consistent with the
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The FTC is expanding its enforcement efforts for fintech, particularly in the areas of online and small-business lending, payments, and cryptocurrencies.  At a recent event in Washington, D.C., the FTC’s Director of Consumer Protection, Andrew Smith, stated, “Commissioners are really interested in [fintech].  Finance will be a steady part of
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The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has granted conditional approval to digital-banking startup Varo Bank (previously Varo Money) of its application to form a de novo national bank.  Varo Bank, N.A. would become the first mobile-only national bank in United States. This is an interesting
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The ability of banks to sell the loans they originate is a core element in the development and sustainability of a nationwide lending market.  Recent legal developments threaten to undermine this ability, jeopardizing the foundation of a U.S. nationwide loan market and the core lending activities of banks.

A long-settled
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In its recent report on financial innovation, the U.S. Treasury Department calls upon federal banking regulators to address the uncertainty in lending markets created by the Madden case and True Lender developments.

The Report recognizes that “unsecured consumer credit could be diminished because nonbank firms such as marketplace lenders may
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The Federal Reserve’s current approach to determining whether a banking organization has control over another company for purposes of the Bank Holding Company Act can discourage fintech investments by banking organizations.  This impact was discussed in the Treasury Department’s report on nonbank financial institutions, fintech and innovation.  The report highlights
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