What are the EU institutions doing to lead on Distributed Ledger Technology?

Written by Inline Policy on 06 Sep 2018

Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), sometimes referred to as blockchain, is coming under increased scrutiny by policy makers in the EU institutions. We have produced a one page guide highlighting the key initiatives which companies using DLT should be following.

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What does the Industrial Strategy say about a low carbon strategy in the UK?

Written by Inline Policy on 09 Feb 2017

To a rather muted fanfare, the British Government published its industrial strategy green paper last month. As far as the energy and climate change audience were concerned, in the run-up to the publication of the strategy, the Business Energy and Industrial Strategy Department (BEIS) – a department still in its infancy - was essentially facing two challenges:

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Full steam ahead for the EU in 2017 on Banking Regulation and Capital Markets Union

Written by Inline Policy on 19 Dec 2016

2017 is set to be a year of acceleration in the pace of regulation of the financial services sector at global and European levels. The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) is making steady progress on plans including a leverage ratio surcharge for global systemically important institutions (G-SIIs).

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Crowdfunding: Maturing with Regulation

Written by Conor Brennan on 01 Sep 2016

In July, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – the body that regulates loan-based and investment-based crowdfunding in the UK – launched a ‘call for input’ on the current rules applied to crowdfunding in the UK.

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eSports gambling – regulators take a closer look

Written by Inline Policy on 24 Aug 2016

The prospect of video gamers becoming paid professionals, and people placing bets on the outcome of contests, would have seemed unthinkable a few years ago.

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Membership vs access: Why words have meaning for the future of UK financial services and the Single Market

Written by Inline Policy on 26 Jul 2016

Some of the UK political instability following the EU Referendum in June is beginning to dissipate. A new Prime Minister, reshuffled Ministerial teams, and reshaped Government machinery are in place. A timetable of sorts for the next steps is beginning to form, ie. no triggering of Article 50 to commence the departure negotiations, during this calendar year, but likely early in 2017. What is still concealed in opacity is any inkling of what the UK position might be in the parallel discussions on a future economic and co-operative relationship with the EU. 

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Out of the low growth trap: the limits of central bank power in boosting economic output

Written by Inline Policy on 06 Jun 2016

Last week’s gloomy Global Economic Outlook from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (the OECD) raises further questions on the degree of reliance placed by policymakers on monetary policy as an engine to boost output in a low growth, ultra-low inflation, economic environment. Markit Economics’ recent study of combined PMI indicators for the UK and the Eurozone indicated growth in the second quarter of 2016 of 0.2% and 0.3% in each respective market. The OECD downgraded the forecast for UK GDP growth in 2016 to 1.7%.

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The CMA Interim Report on Remedies: A more competitive UK retail banking sector or missed opportunity?

Written by Inline Policy on 27 May 2016

Last week’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) set of interim recommendations on the UK retail banking sector represents the culmination of nearly two years work from the new competition regulator analysing plans for structural, market, and anti-trust reform of the industry. It is important to remember the political context which gave rise to the enquiry. 

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What would Brexit mean for the investment climate in the financial sector?

Written by Inline Policy on 13 May 2016

With just six weeks left to go, the battle over the UK’s continued membership of the European Union is rising in volume and intensity. A key issue for investors in UK-traded financial services products and markets is undoubtedly what effects the decision made on June 23 will have on the climate for purchasing or retaining bonds, equities or other assets linked to either the performance of sterling or the stock market. Ultimately these are reflections on the underlying health of the UK economy itself, and the likely economic temperature if the UK stays within or leaves the Single Market, both in the short term and medium-to-long term.

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The Single Rulebook and why it matters for financial services in the UK

Written by Inline Policy on 27 Apr 2016

One of the key policy responses to the financial crisis which led to the Great Recession was the subsequent action taken by EU Heads of Government through the European Council in June 2009 to strengthen the regulatory system governing all financial services providers within the Single Market area. In establishing a new European Banking Authority (EBA), within a European System of Financial Supervisors, which could take decisions on the basis of majority voting, member states also adopted a trio of regulations applicable throughout the Single Market – known together as the Single Rulebook.

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How can the financial services sector help reduce asset inequalities faced by Generation Rent?

Written by Inline Policy on 20 Apr 2016

In most parts of the world, the Millennial Generation has more personal and economic freedom than any which preceded it, but is also facing a squeeze on wealth and assets not experienced in the last 70 years. The UK Government’s Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission considers that social mobility is in danger of going into reverse in some areas of the UK, and that inequality of assets between generations could worsen matters. 

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Major banks on the move with Blockchain – huge development amid renewed economic flux

Written by Inline Policy on 13 Apr 2016

These are key months in the future of financial services, and for the power of traditional banks in the global economy. The recent Citigroup report spelled out in clear terms the potential of Blockchain technology, which underpins the digital currency Bitcoin, to revolutionise financial services way beyond payment and remittance services, into asset management and insurance. The report modelled projected surges in Blockchain use in retail banking services and automation of some routine financial advice, with a multi-trillion potential market in new peer-to-peer lending created by the app economy, while having the effect of losing 1.7m retail banking jobs in the EU and US. A recent McKinsey study showed that in Western Europe as much as 40% of new deposits could come via digital-only banking by the end of the decade, and 80% of people in developed Asian markets would be prepared to shift their accounts to banks offering digital only platforms.

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Race to the tape in EU Referendum means investors need answers on implications now

Written by Inline Policy on 06 Apr 2016

Referendums are transformative events. Governments may come and go, but a decision to stay in or leave an economic union like the EU is an irrevocable judgement on the nation’s destiny – the most important decision in the lifetimes of voters in the UK. The implications will affect everything from the regulation of the air we breathe to the pensions we invest in. For the financial services sector, the general investment climate in the UK, as well as the contours of central bank policy on the equity banks must retain as capital buffers will be shaped by the outcome on June 23.

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UK well placed to lead transformation in financial services through global leadership in Fintech

Written by Inline Policy on 29 Mar 2016

The world of financial services is changing fast. The implications of blockchain technology or decentralised ledgers may not yet be a hot kitchen table topic but has the potential to utterly change the worlds of banking, insurance, asset management, and access to finance. In short, it could transform the economy around us. Though the US remains the largest base for investment in FinTech companies developing peer to peer finance and smart payment mechanisms with over $12bn investment in FinTech startups in 2015, more than doubling year on year growth, the UK is the fastest growing global market. With over £3.5bn annual investment in the sector in the UK, it is Europe’s FinTech leader over competition from Paris and Frankfurt.

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Regulatory Sandbox – a new form of policymaking

Written by Conor Brennan on 07 Dec 2015

The ways and means in which regulation is developed and implemented in the internet age have changed. Regulation across the globe can only follow the rapid expansion of new innovation and business models in, for example, online short-term rentals or car-sharing platforms. There is a continuing trend towards companies developing an idea and going to the market with it fast, with the result that regulation is so far behind it must adapt to the new business environment.

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Capital Markets Union – What Does It Mean For The Fintech Industry?

Written by Inline Policy on 01 Oct 2015

On a day when the entire financial services industry in the UK and in Continental Europe dissected the long-awaited – albeit leaked – European Commission Action Plan on Capital Markets Union, a few eyebrows were raised about some potential implications for the fintech community. Regulators at national and supranational level are still pondering over an optimal regulatory framework to promote the fintech industry whilst at the same time ensuring adequate consumer protection; but not necessarily on a like-for-like basis with the established providers, who are already beginning to use the ‘level playing field’ argument to challenge the disruptors.

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Paving the way for a 'circular economy' in Europe

Written by Inline Policy on 10 Jul 2015

In a speech at the European Parliament plenary debate on Monday 6th July, First Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, said that the Commission “remains strongly committed” to present a circular economy package towards the end of this year.  The reasons are quite simple: Vice-President Katainen, Commissioner Vella, Commissioner Bienkowska, and others, essentially believe that the new circular economy package can bring:

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Capital Markets Union – a new framework for diversification

Written by Conor Brennan on 26 Jun 2015

In February of this year, the European Commission unveiled its Green Paper for ‘Building a Capital Markets Union’. Over the coming five years it will be the flagship project for the Directorate General responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (DG FISMA). The Green Paper clearly states that the European Commission’s objective is to stimulate economic growth, largely through simpler access to capital markets, which will diversify the sources of SME financing and in turn support their growth. So what does the Capital Markets Union (CMU) mean for new innovative and a high growth companies? How does the CMU plan address their many concerns whilst also building on their many achievements?

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What the future may hold for Fintech after the UK general election

Written by Conor Brennan on 26 Mar 2015

With the UK General Election just six weeks away, the recent Budget was an opportune time for The Chancellor, George Osborne, to set out his stall and give the UK electorate a glimpse of what a Conservative-led Government after the election would prioritise. Among the macroeconomic announcements and promises were policies solely aimed at the growing financial technology (Fintech) sector. Both the Conservative Party and Labour Party now recognise the importance of this budding industry and have been quick to publicise their aspirations for the sector, should they lead the next Government.

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Europe considers investment-based crowdfunding regulation

Written by Conor Brennan on 16 Jan 2015

Crowdfunding is now considered a legitimate alternative form of finance for businesses across Europe. The sector continues to grow and shows no signs of slowing down. Investment-based (or equity) crowdfunding is no exception – according to a recent report by NESTA, this form of crowdfunding grew by 201 per cent in 2014.

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