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Karen H.Y. Man

Karen Man is a partner in Baker McKenzie’s Financial Services group, leading the non-contentious Financial Services Regulatory practice. Her clients include global, Chinese and local banks, fund managers, brokers/dealers, money service operators and fintech firms. Karen is admitted to practice in Hong Kong, the UK, and Australia.

While not new, AI is one of the key drivers of change and could boost productivity and cut costs. The use of distributed ledger technology is creating new products and services such as central bank digital currencies that could bring the unbanked to the financial mainstream. And the use of biometrics authentication promises to enhance the security available to users. While quantum computing remains beyond the next decade, it could have wide-ranging benefits to financial institutions but also leave the sector exposed to a higher level of cyberattacks.

On 12 March 2024, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) issued a press release announcing the launch of its new stablecoin issuer sandbox arrangement (“Stablecoin Sandbox”). The Stablecoin Sandbox is another step following the legislative proposal to implement a new regulatory regime for stablecoin issuers. The Stablecoin Sandbox will facilitate communications between the HKMA and interested stablecoin issuers to gauge the expected regulatory standards.

On 8 February 2024, the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau of Hong Kong (FSTB) released a public consultation (“Consultation”) on legislative proposals to introduce a licensing regime (“Proposed Regime”) for providers of over-the-counter (OTC) trading services of virtual assets (VA). The Proposed Regime will be regulated by the Commissioner of Customs and Excise. The Consultation represents the latest step in the city to further enhance the VA regulatory framework as outlined by the Hong Kong Government in its 2022 Policy Statement on Development of VA in Hong Kong.

As another year of uncertainty and disruption draws to a close, our Baker McKenzie Financial Institutions lawyers look ahead at the potential disruptors impacting the industry in 2024, all against a background of economic and geopolitical risk.
Our report, 2024: What’s on the Radar for Financial Institutions?, gives an overview of the challenges facing the sector, drawing on our three risk radars, one for each of the forces that are transforming the financial sector.

Baker McKenzie’s Financial Services Global Regulatory (FSR) Guide has been updated for 2021 to incorporate changes across the globe in this rapidly evolving regulatory environment. The Guide acts as a quick reference tool when distributing financial products into new markets, providing a comprehensive summary of regulations applicable to banks and other financial services companies around the world.

In this edition of Bite-size Briefings, we take a bite-size look at the latest developments concerning AI regulation as it affects financial services in Australia, the EU, Hong Kong SAR, Thailand, the UK and the US.

The proliferation of fintech start-ups in the past decade has indeed injected new, vibrant sources of competition into several spheres of financial service provision, such as payments. Yet the power of industry incumbents and their vertically integrated models, in banking and other industry sub-sectors, remains largely undiminished. The modularization of financial services promises to change this, prying open entire value chains to small, digitally adroit providers of specialized services.

The Financial Services Regulatory (FSR) Momentum Monitor is a horizon-scanning tool enabling financial service providers to plan and prepare for coming developments across the jurisdictions in which they operate. Grouping upcoming changes into key business-relevant themes, the FSR Momentum Monitor highlights the extent and expected impact of upcoming regulatory intervention in multiple jurisdictions across the globe.

A series of briefings that take a bite-size look at international trends in different jurisdictions, drawing on Baker McKenzie’s expert financial services practitioners with local market knowledge. This edition takes a bite-size look at the latest environment, social and governance developments in Brazil, the European Union, Belgium, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.