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Mark Simpson

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Mark heads the Financial Services & Regulatory (FSR) practice group in London and co-leads the FinTech group. He also acts as Chair of the FSR practice for the EMEA region and sits on the Global FSR Steering Committee. Mark is ranked as a Leading Individual in Legal 500 2022 for Financial Services (Non-Contentious Regulatory) and is individually ranked in Chambers 2022 for FinTech. He is described in these publications as being "very knowledgeable" and "very approachable" with "a wonderful range of FinTech experience" and as someone who is "clear, commercial and pragmatic and understands all the issues in detail." He has authored a number of articles and contributions for leading journals and other publications, most notably the Journal of International Banking and Financial Law, the International Guide to Money Laundering Law and Practice, and A Practitioner's Guide to the Law and Regulation of Financial Crime.

On 28 June 2023, the EU Commission published its long-awaited package of reforms to the EU payments regulatory regime. Deeming the package an “evolution not a revolution” of the EU payments framework, the Commission has published proposals for:
• A third Payment Services Directive repealing and replacing the Payment Services Directive and Electronic Money Directive
• A new Payment Services Regulation, which will harmonize and directly apply most of the conduct obligations imposed on payments firms
• A new Regulation on a framework for financial data access, relating to open finance
• A new Regulation on the establishment of a digital euro

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.

On 11 April 2023, the UK government announced in a Factsheet the introduction of a new criminal offence of failure to prevent fraud for organisations profiting from fraud committed by their employees or agents acting on their behalf. Violations can result in unlimited fines for organisations involved. Introduced as an amendment to the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill 2022, the new offence will come into force on the day the Act is passed.

On 14 February 2023, the Treasury finally published its delayed consultation on draft legislation to bring BNPL within the regulatory perimeter. The legislation follows the general approach set out by the Treasury last summer to bringing BNPL within the regulatory perimeter. There are, however, some key updates in the Treasury’s final policy position from its thinking from last summer on the scope of regulation.

Baker McKenzie are pleased to share with you their annual briefing looking at financial services regulation and enforcement in 2023, “What does 2023 hold? Key upcoming developments and enforcement trends”. The London Financial Institutions Regulatory and Enforcement experts explore the key developments and trends expected to dominate the regulatory landscape this year.

HM Treasury has finally published its much anticipated consultation and call for evidence on a future financial services regulatory regime for cryptoassets. Building on the forthcoming stablecoin regulatory regime, the Treasury’s consultation sets out proposals to bring a broad set of cryptoassets within the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 regulatory perimeter. This will result in a fundamental change in the way that cryptoasset businesses operate in the UK: the key outcomes of the consultation are that (a) cryptoasset service providers will require full FCA authorization to operate where they do so in the UK (or have customers in the UK), and (b) a new bespoke regime will be brought in governing public offers of cryptoassets and admission to trading of those assets on platforms.

Following the Treasury’s confirmation that it intends to introduce a new “regulatory gateway” for authorized firms approving financial promotions, the FCA has launched a consultation on proposals to operationalize this new gateway. Complementing a wider program of reform to the financial promotions regime, the proposals will affect both authorized firms approving financial promotions as well as unauthorized firms communicating approved financial promotions.

This virtual seminar series provides insights on how the regulatory landscape is changing and discuss the future of crypto within the financial services sector. Recordings of the following sessions are now available — The Crypto Ecosystem; Integrating Crypto into Established Financial Services (Part 1: Funds and Listings and Part 2: Practical Considerations); Crypto Risk: Significant Legal and Regulatory Risks; A Deep Dive into NFTs; and DeFi (Decentralized Finance).

In October 2022, the Council of the EU published the long-awaited compromise text of the proposed Regulation on Markets in Cryptoassets (MiCA), a “landmark regulation” that, according to the Council, will “put an end to the crypto wild west”. Once in force, MiCA will establish the first comprehensive, pan-EU regulatory regime for the regulation of cryptoassets, including the regulation of (i) cryptoassets issuance activities and (ii) cryptoasset service providers (who will be held to similar regulatory standards to those imposed on investment firms).

The speed and volume of change in the crypto asset markets has accelerated across the globe, with established financial institutions increasingly entering the sector whilst regulators look to keep pace. Recent high-profile developments and market volatility have led to growing calls for scrutiny and regulatory controls. Navigating this fast paced environment, within a sometimes disjointed regulatory framework, can be challenging. The Crypto Boot Camp 2022 Series covers the crypto ecosystem and integrating crypto into established financial systems (recordings available), crypto risk (3 November 2022), NFTs (15 November 2022), DeFi (1 December 2022), and Growth in Crypto (6 December 2022).