Global Regulator & Central Bank News Roundup

Volume 22/2024 (May 27 – June 2)


Your weekly summary of key regulatory updates in an objective bite-size format, drawing on official news and press releases from 700+ financial services regulators, central banks as well as global and regional standard setters. For more current updates, visit Regxplora, Regxelerator’s end-to-end automated and generative AI-powered financial regulatory intelligence platform. Sign up here to receive the roundup via email.

Themes covered in this edition


Prudential & financial stability
Reserve Bank of New Zealand Activates New Debt-To-Income and Loan-To-Value Restrictions to Strengthen Financial System Stability
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has announced the activation of its new Debt-to-Income (DTI) and Loan-to-Value Ratio (LVR) restrictions in an effort to mitigate the risks in the housing market. The final DTI restrictions will limit banks to making 20% of new owner-occupier lending to borrowers with a DTI ratio over 6, and 20% of new investor lending to borrowers with a DTI ratio over 7. Complementarily, LVR restrictions will be eased, allowing banks to make 20% of owner-occupier lending to borrowers with an LVR greater than 80%, and 5% of investor lending to borrowers with an LVR greater than 70%. Deputy Governor Christian Hawkesby explains that while LVRs target potential losses in the event of a downturn by reducing default impacts, DTIs reduce the likelihood of defaults by ensuring borrowers’ ability to repay debt and notes that the dual approach allows for more focused risk management and overall financial system stability. Banks have been granted an allowance to conduct up to 20% of their lending outside these specified limits, providing flexibility for managing complex cases and exercising discretion. The new restrictions will come into effect as of 1 July.


European Single Resolution Board Publishes Multi-Annual Plan 2024-2028
The European Single Resolution Board (SRB) has released its Multi-Annual Plan for the years 2024-2028, which delineates the strategic priority areas in line with the SRM Vision 2028 strategy. Specifically, the plan details the key strategic objectives and associated action points in relation to three strategic areas, namely (1) its core business, (2) governance, organization and tools, as well as (3) human resources. As part of (1), the SRM is set to strengthen its focus on crisis readiness and management, the operationalization of all resolution tools, as well as the implementation of comprehensive testing to ensure banks can be effectively resolved. To achieve these goals, the SRB will focus on developing lean and robust internal structures and recruiting talented and diverse staff members. The Multi-Annual Plan also includes an amended Annual Work Programme for 2024, replacing the previous version published in November 2023.


Financial Intelligence Consultative Group Agree on Priorities and Launch New Data Platform to Strengthen Transnational Crime Prevention
The Financial Intelligence Consultative Group (FICG) has convened its 2024 plenary in Melbourne. Co-chaired by AUSTRAC Deputy CEO Intelligence John Moss and Attorney Matthew David of the Philippines’ Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the plenary involved attendance from representatives from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam alongside observers from the Cook Islands FIU and the Japanese FIU. During the meeting, the Group identified three operational priorities for the coming year: enhancing their regional information-sharing platform, addressing cyber-enabled fraud, and tackling the financing of child sexual exploitation. Within the context of these priorities, the FICG also formally launched a regional information-sharing platform. Designed to enable real-time, cross-border exchange of information, case studies, and technologies among member countries, the platform will be initially trialed by the FIUs of Australia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.


U.S. Treasury Issues Inaugural NFT Illicit Finance Risk Assessment
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has published its inaugural 2024 Non-fungible Token (NFT) Illicit Finance Risk Assessment, examining the potential for misuse of NFTs and their platforms for illicit activities such as money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing. The assessment highlights that NFTs are particularly vulnerable to fraud and scams, including theft, and can be used by criminals to launder money from underlying criminal activities while noting a lack of evidence regarding the use of NFTs by terrorists or proliferators. The report identifies several challenges including inadequate cybersecurity measures, intellectual property rights issues, and the volatile nature of NFT pricing that contribute to the risk of fraud and scams. It also points out that some NFT firms may lack sufficient controls to ensure market integrity and prevent financial crimes. To combat these vulnerabilities, the assessment suggests implementing several mitigation measures such as utilizing industry tools, enforcing legal authorities, and analyzing public blockchain data. Furthermore, it recommends actions for the U.S. government such as raising industry awareness about existing obligations, continuing enforcement of laws related to NFTs, and potentially expanding regulations to cover NFT platforms more comprehensively. This risk assessment forms part of the Treasury’s 2022 Digital Asset Action Plan and builds on previous assessments including the Illicit Finance Risk Assessment on Decentralized published in 2023.


GAFILAT Conducts First Targeted Financial Sanctions Simulation in Bolivia
The Financial Action Task Force of Latin America (GAFILAT) has conducted the first simulation of the implementation of targeted financial sanctions (SFD) in Bolivia, as part of its efforts to combat the financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The drill, which took place during the first week of May 2024 and which was carried out with technical support from the German Cooperation Agency (GIZ), was premised on the scenario that Bolivia was required to enact a designation and asset freeze in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1373 (2001). The unannounced exercise allowed for an assessment of Bolivia’s legal and procedural framework to enforce such financial sanctions, involving both financial and non-financial entities. The outcomes highlighted Bolivia’s readiness and identified areas where further capacity building could enhance preparedness for actual enforcement scenarios.


Cyber & operational resilience
European Supervisory Authorities Issue Dry Run Exercise Materials for DORA Implementation Support
The European Supervisory Authorities have published materials and tools for the voluntary dry run exercise to support the implementation of the Digital Operation Resilience Act (DORA). The resources are designed to assist financial entities in preparing and reporting their registers of information regarding contractual arrangements with ICT third-party service providers and include inter alia Excel templates for the registers, a draft technical package for reporting featuring a data point model, annotated table layout, and validation rules, as well as a set of frequently asked questions to clarify aspects of the exercise. Entities participating in the dry run exercise must submit their completed registers through their competent authorities between 1 July and 30 August. To further aid participants, a preparatory workshop has been scheduled for 10 June.


Conduct & consumer protection
OCC Launches Project REACh 2.0 to Advance Economic Access and Support Financial Inclusion Initiatives
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has announced the launch of Project REACh 2.0 during the Project REACh Financial Inclusion Summit. Project REACh 2.0, an evolution of the original Roundtable for Economic Access and Change, aims to enhance economic access and change by bringing together banking industry leaders, civil rights organizations, businesses, and technology experts to address and reduce barriers to full economic participation. Acting Comptroller Michael J. Hsu highlighted that Project REACh has already facilitated credit access for over 100,000 individuals previously invisible to credit systems and directed significant investment into minority depository institutions. The updated initiative will transition from workstreams to four working groups: (1) A place-based working group focused on strengthening financial inclusion for a specific geographic neighborhood or community; (2) An underserved and disadvantaged populations working group to promote fair access to affordable capital and credit for economically disadvantaged groups; (3) a technology working group mandated to assess the potential of technology to facilitate financial inclusion; and (4) a tools, products and services working group to empower those promoting financial inclusion and innovative products and services that improve access to credit.


Fintech & ecosystem innovation
SWIFT Initiates AI-Driven Pilot Programs with Global Banks to Enhance Fraud Detection in Cross-Border Payments
The SWIFT cooperative has announced the initiation of two AI-based pilot programs in partnership with global banks to enhance fraud detection in cross-border payments. The first pilot aims to refine SWIFT’s Payment Controls service by integrating an AI model that will utilize historical network activity patterns to more accurately identify potential fraud using live traffic data from participating financial institutions. Concurrently, a separate experiment involves 10 leading banks, including BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, DNB, HSBC, Intesa Sanpaolo, and Standard Bank, and consists of exploring the use of advanced AI to detect anomalies in anonymously shared data. The test will rely on a secure infrastructure that enables the banks to share relevant data with strong privacy-preserving controls.


Labuan Financial Services Authority Launches Shariah-Compliant Blockchain Hub Masterplan
The Labuan Financial Services Authority has announced the launch of the world’s first Shariah-compliant Blockchain Hub (SBH) Masterplan for the Labuan International Business and Financial Centre (Labuan IBFC). The SBH Masterplan, developed in alignment with Malaysia’s National Blockchain Roadmap 2021-2025, is designed to transform Labuan IBFC into a digital financial hub leveraging blockchain technology to create a complete digital ecosystem that adheres to Shariah principles. It features AI-enhanced Shariah screening processes for real-time compliance, smart contracts within Shariah parameters, and aims to eliminate interest-based transactions, uncertainty, or speculation. This initiative is closely tied to the Islamic Digital Asset Centre (IDAC) launched in 2022, which seeks to attract fintech players and establish Labuan as a leader in digital Islamic finance. The Malaysian Government has supported this vision by offering a five-year tax exemption starting from the Year of Assessment 2024 for Islamic digital players in Labuan.


ESMA Publishes Final Report on Conflict of Interest Standards for Crypto-Asset Service Providers
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published the Final Report on the draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) concerning conflicts of interest for crypto-asset service providers (CASPs) under the Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA). The report delineates specific requirements for CASPs to identify, prevent, manage, and disclose conflicts of interest, tailored to the scale and nature of their services. It emphasizes the need for robust policies and procedures that address potential conflicts arising from vertical integration, ensuring alignment with parallel standards being developed by the European Banking Authority for issuers of asset-referenced tokens. The RTS also prescribes a detailed methodology for the content of the disclosures related to conflicts of interest.


ESMA Issues Guidance on AI Integration in Investment Services Under MiFID II Compliance Framework
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued a public statement on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the provision of retail investment services. This guidance aims to help investment firms navigate the integration of AI technologies in compliance with the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II) obligations, emphasizing the prioritization of clients’ best interests. As part of the statement, ESMA highlights various applications of AI, including customer support, investment advice, compliance, risk management, and fraud detection, as well as reminds of the risks inherent in the use of AI, such as algorithmic biases, data quality issues, opaque decision-making processes, and privacy and security concerns. Against this backdrop, the statement outlines several critical considerations for firms on their use of AI through the perspective of MiFID II. Among other things, these include the necessity for firms to maintain robust governance structures, carry out regular testing of AI models, have effective monitoring systems in place to identify and mitigate potential risks and biases associated with the use of AI as well as to ensure that staff handling AI tools are adequately trained to manage, interpret, and utilize these technologies effectively. Additionally, firms are required to keep comprehensive records of their AI utilization and transparently disclose the use of AI including to customers. To ensure ongoing compliance and address emerging challenges posed by AI applications in financial services, ESMA together with National Competent Authorities (NCAs) will continue to monitor the situation and assess whether additional measures are necessary.


Danish FSA Releases Guidance for Financial Firms on Responsible AI Adoption
The Danish Financial Supervisory Authority has issued recommendations for the use of artificial intelligence (AI) by financial companies, aiming to facilitate safe and efficient AI adoption in the sector. The guidance outlines good practices for the use of AI by financial services firms in in the areas of governance, model management and explainability. Among other things, outlined practices stipulate that organizations should create an overview system that tracks all AI models, whether developed internally or acquired, and transparently assign responsibility, tailoring the oversight mechanism and intensity based on the nature and risk level associated with the AI application. In relation to model management, organizations should integrate their AI risk assessments with existing risk management practices to ensure consistency while catering to the unique aspects of AI applications. Additionally, organizations should establish clear protocols for AI model retraining and independent validation. Finally, as regards explainability, the guidance among other things discusses the trade-off between complexity and explainability and the relevance of and considerations for explainability at different stages in the AI application lifecycle.


New York DFS Mandates New Customer Service Requirements for Regulated Virtual Currency Entities
The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has issued new guidance for virtual currency entities (VCEs) to enhance customer service standards. Superintendent Adrienne A. Harris announced that DFS-regulated VCEs are now required to establish effective policies and procedures for promptly addressing customer service requests and complaints, including the collection of relevant data to enable the DFS to evaluate their performance in resolving issues in a timely and equitable manner. The guidance sets forth expectations for VCEs regarding customer service protocols, such as offering multiple channels for submitting requests and complaints, providing regular updates and estimated resolution timelines to customers, publishing accessible FAQs, tracking customer satisfaction feedback, and reporting quarterly analyses of customer interactions. Additionally, VCEs must maintain records of their policies and procedures and clearly identify the individual or individuals responsible for the customer service and complaint policies and procedures. The initiative forms part of Superintendent Harris’ broader VOLT initiative aimed at strengthening licensing oversight and supervision within the virtual currency sector.


Payments & money
Bank of Israel Launches “Digital Shekel Challenge” to Explore CBDC Use Cases
The Bank of Israel has announced the launch of the “Digital Shekel Challenge,” an initiative aimed at exploring innovative uses for a potential central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the Israeli economy. The challenge invites entities from various sectors, including private, public, and academia, to develop technological use cases for the digital shekel by utilizing its API layer. Participants are encouraged to create original and innovative payment solutions that could address specific needs within different population groups or industries or propose new applications with broad applicability. The evaluation of submissions will be conducted by a panel of experts who will prioritize projects that demonstrate creativity and potential impact on payment systems. Selected participants will gain access to the experimental environment where they can collaborate with the project team to develop their proposed use cases. Successful projects will be showcased at a conference organized by the Bank of Israel upon completion of the challenge.


Bank of Canada Executive Director Discusses Payment System Modernization and Potential Digital Currency Launch
The Bank of Canada’s Executive Director of Payments, Supervision and Oversight, Ron Morrow, delivered a speech at the Payments Canada SUMMIT in Toronto, addressing the evolution of payment systems in Canada and the importance of modernizing payment infrastructure. Morrow highlighted the increasing digitalization of payments, noting that while Canadians have a variety of payment options including debit and credit cards, e-transfers, online payment providers, cryptocurrencies, and stablecoins, cash remains vital due to its universal accessibility. He assured that the Bank would continue to support bank notes as long as there is demand but also acknowledged the possibility of issuing a digital Canadian dollar in the future. The speech outlined four main pillars for modernizing Canada’s payments infrastructure: Lynx for high-value payments; Real-Time Rail for real-time transactions; improvements to batch payment systems; and new retail payments supervision. With over 3,000 service providers expected to register with the Bank under new rules aimed at consumer protection this autumn, Morrow emphasized that these measures will enhance safety and reliability for consumers while fostering competitiveness among service providers.


IMF and World Bank Strengthen Partnership to Elevate Climate Action
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced a strengthened collaboration with the World Bank Group (WBG) to intensify global climate action efforts. The partnership aims to assist countries in scaling up their climate strategies through an integrated, country-led approach that combines policy reforms with climate investments. The framework is built on three foundational principles: (1) collaborative identification of climate challenges and necessary policy reforms using resources like the WBG’s Country Climate and Development Reports and the IMF’s climate analytics; (2) joint efforts with other Multilateral Development Banks to implement these reforms through technical assistance and financing; and (3) the establishment of country-led platforms to mobilize additional climate finance, including private sector contributions. The enhanced cooperation builds on the progress made since their Joint Statement in September 2023 and seeks to optimize the use of increased resources dedicated to climate action by both institutions. In addition to these efforts, the WBG is also increasing its climate action commitments, including a target to allocate 45 percent of its annual financing to climate change adaptation and mitigation by 2025 and expanding its crisis toolkit. Meanwhile, the IMF continues to support climate resilience through its Resilience and Sustainability Trust, benefiting from contributions from 23 countries and aiding 18 countries since its inception in October 2022. This reinforced framework is expected to amplify the impact of these initiatives, fostering significant policy shifts and investment increases to address the urgent climate needs of countries globally.


Singapore Issues First Environmental Crimes Money Laundering Risk Assessment
Singapore has published its inaugural Environmental Crimes Money Laundering National Risk Assessment, which evaluates the threats and vulnerabilities related to money laundering through environmental crimes in Singapore. The assessment reveals that Singapore’s status as an international financial center and a major trading and transit hub with a highly externally-oriented economy increases its exposure to money laundering from environmental crimes such as illegal wildlife trafficking, illegal logging, and waste trafficking, which are prevalent in Southeast Asia. Banks and cross-border payment service providers are identified as the most vulnerable sectors for being exploited for laundering proceeds from these environmental crimes. Despite this susceptibility, the risk of criminals using Singapore for environmental crimes related money laundering is considered medium-low due to the nation’s robust legal and enforcement framework designed to detect ML activities and facilitate investigations, prosecutions, asset recovery, and international cooperation concerning environmental offenses. To further mitigate these risks, the report recommends that government agencies continue their vigilance while financial institutions (FIs) and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professionals (DNFBPs) should reference the assessment in evaluating their risks and enhancing control measures accordingly.


The White House Issues New Principles on Voluntary Carbon Markets and Convenes Multi-Agency Discussion on Integrating Climate Risks into Macroeconomic Forecasts to Advance Climate Objectives
The White House has issued new Principles for Responsible Participation in Voluntary Carbon Markets (VCMs), focusing on enhancing the market’s integrity and effectiveness in addressing climate change. Among other things, the seven principles emphasize that carbon credits must adhere to credible atmospheric integrity standards and genuinely contribute to decarbonization. They stipulate that activities generating credits should not only avoid environmental and social harm but also support co-benefits and ensure benefits are shared transparently and inclusively. Furthermore, corporate buyers are urged to prioritize measurable emissions reductions within their own operations and to transparently disclose the nature and impact of the credits they purchase and retire. Public claims about the climate impact of these credits must accurately reflect their true effect and adhere to high integrity standards. Additionally, all market participants are encouraged to engage in efforts that enhance market integrity and to work towards more efficient market participation by reducing transaction costs. The principles are part of a broader initiative by the Biden-Harris Administration to drive private investment towards sustainable and technologically innovative solutions, aiming to ensure that VCMs effectively contribute to the U.S. and global climate objectives.

Separately, the White House has also shared insights from the Second Convening on Climate-Risk Macroeconomic Forecasts, a collaborative effort involving multiple U.S. government agencies and departments. This recent gathering aimed to address the emerging and increasing threat of climate change to the global financial system and economy, with a focus on integrating climate risks into macroeconomic forecasting. The urgency of these concerns is underscored by recent events such as stress in home insurance markets and the impact of drought conditions on ocean shipping, which demonstrate that climate change effects are current realities rather than distant worries. Progress has been made by a government-wide technical working group, led by the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in developing methods to account for climate risks in economic forecasting, following President Biden’s Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risk. The convening discussed key challenges such as leveraging climate-related data for better economic understanding, addressing data gaps, managing uncertainty and extreme weather events, forecasting sectoral investment changes, and recognizing the benefits of transitioning to a clean energy economy. These discussions build upon previous efforts from a similar event hosted in February 2023 and aim to enhance analytical capacities through transparency and collaboration with private sector partners. Moving forward, further engagement with community partners is anticipated to advance capabilities in incorporating climate issues into broader economic forecasting and policy decision-making.


Other transversal themes
IOSCO Advances Digital and Sustainable Finance Initiatives at 49th Annual Meeting
The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has concluded its 49th Annual Meeting. Hosted by the Hellenic Capital Markets Commission in Athens, the meeting drew approximately 400 senior-level participants from 130 member jurisdictions, which oversee over 95% of global capital markets. Besides discussions on current risks and issues in global capital markets and various regulatory workshops focused on technical capacity building in areas such as suptech, the event featured several highlights. This included the introduction of IOSCO’s new brand to reflect its renewed focus on its core objectives: investor protection, market integrity, and financial stability—elements symbolized by the three dots in its new logo. Furthermore, it involved the approval of a new Compliance Handbook by the IOSCO Board to foster consistent adherence to the Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding for international cooperation and information sharing along with the approval of two final reports on Good Practices on Leveraged Loans and Collateralised Loan Obligations, as well as Market Outages, for publication. Finally, as part of its capacity-building efforts, the IOSCO also partnered with the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) and introduced with ISSB Standards Adoption Guide to assist member jurisdictions in navigating their approach to sustainability reporting standards and adopt the ISSB Standards. During the introduction several early adopters such as Brazil, Japan, and Nigeria shared their experiences, emphasizing practical considerations for the implementation of the standards. IOSCO’s next Annual Meeting, marking the 50th edition, will be hosted by the Qatar Financial Markets Authority in May 2025.


BIS FSI Brief Explores Expansion of Suptech Ecosystem and Identifies Collaboration Challenges
The Bank for International Settlements has published a new FSI Brief titled “Building a more diverse suptech ecosystem: findings from surveys of financial authorities and suptech vendors,” which provides insights into the current state of supervisory technology (suptech) initiatives and the associated challenges faced. The brief reveals that almost all financial regulatory authorities are currently engaged in suptech projects, focusing on aspects such as data visualization, regulatory reporting, financial risk assessment, and supervisory automation. However, due to organizational, legal, or infrastructure constraints, these authorities tend to rely on internal resources rather than engaging with private vendors or other authorities. When collaboration with suptech vendors does occur, it is mostly in the realm of developing regulatory reporting solutions. Suptech vendors remain optimistic about the market’s future but are challenged by a lack of visibility into authorities’ specific needs, complex procurement processes, and organizational silos. To enhance private sector involvement and foster better collaboration between financial authorities and suptech vendors, the brief recommends increasing transparency around suptech requirements, streamlining internal processes, and establishing policies conducive to secure collaboration. The detailed summary of the document can be accessed here.


Leadership changes
IOSCO Announces Re-election of Jean-Paul Servais as Chair and Several Other Critical (Re-)Appointments
Against the backdrop of its annual meeting, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has announced several (re-)appointments. This includes the re-election of Jean-Paul Servais, who concurrently serves as the head of the Financial Services and Markets Authority in Belgium, as its Chair for an additional two-year term as well as Chairman of IOSCO’s European Regional Committee (ERC), which unites 52 European member authorities under his leadership since 2014. Alongside him, Shigeru Ariizumi from Japan’s Financial Services Agency and Rostin Behnam from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission have been re-appointed as Vice-Chairs of the Board. Dr. Mohamed Farid Saleh has been re-elected as Chair of the Growth and Emerging Markets (GEM) Committee and will maintain his role as ex-officio Vice-Chair of the Board. Additionally, Mr. Roberto E. Silva, head of the Argentina Securities Commission (CNV), has been appointed to the IOSCO Board of Directors, where he will serve as the Inter-American Regional Committee (IARC) Representative for the 2024-2026 term.


Cross-border cooperation
IFRS Foundation and AfDB Initiate Partnership to Advance Sustainability Disclosure in Africa
The International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation has partnered with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to promote sustainability-related disclosure practices in Africa. The collaboration, formalized through a letter of intent during the AfDB’s Annual Meetings in Nairobi, aims to engage with African financial institutions, regulators, and policymakers for capacity building and technical assistance necessary for effective sustainability disclosure aligned with the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) Standards. The African Financial Alliance on Climate Change (AFAC) and the ISSB will spearhead this initiative, leveraging AFAC’s role as a platform that unites stakeholders across the African financial sector to address climate change and promote sustainable finance. The letter of intent establishes an initial three-year term during which both organizations are dedicated to providing resources that support these activities.


IFSCA and BSEC Enter MoU to Enhance Financial Regulatory Collaboration and Development
The India International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC). The agreement, which was formalized during the IOSCO Annual Meeting in Greece, aims to facilitate mutual assistance and information exchange to support the development and regulation of financial services within their respective jurisdictions. The MoU encompasses collaboration on the creation of financial products and services, sharing best practices, and leveraging technology innovations including fintech and regtech. Additionally, it includes provisions for organizing seminars and conferences to enhance financial market development in both India and Bangladesh.


DFSA and SFC Host Roundtable to Discuss Asset Management Collaboration and Regulatory Developments
The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and the Hong Kong Securities & Futures Commission (SFC) have engaged in high-level discussions to enhance market cooperation. The meeting, which took place in Dubai and involved the SFC’s CEO, Ms. Julia Leung, and Executive Director of Investment Products, Ms. Christina Choi, alongside DFSA’s top executives including Chief Executive Mr. Ian Johnston, the parties served as a platform for both regulatory bodies to discuss mutual interests such as the latest regulatory developments in their respective regions and the overall market landscape as well as to explore ways to strengthen financial collaboration between the Hong Kong SAR and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Additionally, the SFC co-hosted a roundtable with the DFSA where they shared insights into Hong Kong’s business environment and regulatory regime, particularly highlighting opportunities within the asset and wealth management sector for over 15 DIFC stakeholders including asset managers and fund managers.


Central Bank of Montenegro Joins SBFN to Advance Sustainable Finance Integration
The Central Bank of Montenegro (CBCG) has announced that it has joined the Sustainable Banking and Finance Network (SBFN). The CBCG’s entry into the SBFN, which is facilitated by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and supported by the World Bank Group, aligns with its commitment to sustainable development and enhancing the resilience of its financial sector. As part of the membership, the SBFN will assist CBCG in developing a national sustainable finance roadmap to direct capital towards environmentally and socially responsible initiatives. The SBFN includes over 90 member organization spanning 70 countries. In addition to the Central Bank, Montenegro is furthermore represented by the Association of Montenegrin Banks in the Network.


Bermuda Monetary Authority Forms Strategic Alliance with Lloyd’s to Enhance Insurance Innovation and Education
The Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) and Lloyds have announced the signature of a MoU to advance innovation and education in the international insurance sector. Under the MoU the two organizations will pursue different efforts and initiatives, including navigating regulatory developments and exploring related opportunities by leveraging the Lloyd’s Lab, a 10-week fast-track insurance innovation incubator as well as deliver educational training and remote learning programs through the Lloyd’s Academy with a view to enhancing expertise across Bermuda’s insurance sector and Lloyd’s global network.