FinTech Futures: Top five stories of the week – 25 March 2022
Here’s our pick of five of the top news stories from the world of finance and tech this week.
FCA says all UK crypto ATMs must be shut down
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned operators of crypto ATMs in the country to “shut their machines down or face enforcement action”.
Crypto ATMs offering cryptoasset exchange services in the UK must be registered with the regulator and comply with UK Money Laundering Regulations (MLR).
The FCA says: “None of the cryptoasset firms registered with us have been approved to offer crypto ATM services, meaning that any of them operating in the UK are doing so illegally and consumers should not be using them.”
London Stock Exchange Group sells BETA+ in $1.1bn deal
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) has agreed to sell BETA, Maxit and Digital Investor (collectively known as BETA+) to Clearlake Capital and Motive Partners for $1.1 billion.
BETA+ provides back-office processing solutions to the wealth management industry, including securities processing, custody, clearing, asset servicing and tax reporting.
LSEG says BETA+ generated around $300 million in revenue over 2021.
Along with the sale, LSEG has also agreed to a “long-term strategic partnership” with Clearlake and Motive to provide content, data and tools to BETA+ and the firms’ other portfolio companies.
The deal is expected to be completed by H2 2022 subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
USAA hit with $140m fine from FinCEN for Bank Secrecy Act violations
USAA Federal Savings Bank (USAA FSB) has been hit with a $140 million civil money penalty by the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) for what it refers to as “willful violations” of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).
FinCEN says the US financial services firm admitted that it failed to implement and maintain an anti-money laundering (AML) programme that met the minimum requirements of the BSA from at least January 2016 through to April 2021.
USAA FSB also admitted to failing to accurately report in a timely manner thousands of suspicious transactions to FinCEN, “resulting in millions of dollars in suspicious transactions flowing through the US financial system without appropriate reporting”.
Bank of Canada and MIT kick off central bank digital currency research project
The Bank of Canada and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have announced an agreement to collaborate on a twelve-month research project focusing on central bank digital currency (CBDC).
The central bank will work with the MIT Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative (DCI) team to explore how advanced technologies could affect the potential design of a CBDC, building on the DCI’s ongoing research.
The project is intended to inform the Bank of Canada’s research effort into CBDCs and forms part of the bank’s wider research into digital currencies and fintech.
The bank emphasises that no decision has been made on whether to introduce a CBDC in Canada and says it will provide an update on the findings and outcomes at the end of the project period.
New global head of enterprise transformation at Standard Chartered
Standard Chartered has appointed a new global head of enterprise transformation, Aniruddha Paul, based in Singapore.
Paul moves from ING, where he spent 15 years in various senior technology roles, most recently as chief data officer. He left ING earlier this year, as reported by FinTech Futures.
Writing on LinkedIn about his departure from ING, he said the time has come “to make new paths in a new direction”.