Payments, Banking & FinTech Roundup: November 2021

November has seen the news dominated by updates to rules, regulations and innovation, with UK Finance and the FCA featuring prominently in our roundup this month, along with plans for the RTGS Renewal Programme from the Bank of England. 

It’s also been a busy month for Banking Circle. In a new webinar with The Paypers, our UK Head of Compliance & MLRO, Mitch Trehan, was joined by a panel of experts to discuss the threats facing FinTechs and payments businesses. Watch it on demand here.

In our regular webinar, Knowledge Circle, Banking Circle’s Head of Local Clearing, Michael Boel, was joined by guests as we explored the globalisation of e-commerce, and the role that Alternative Payment Methods (APMs) will play in the future of this space. Watch that on demand here.  

We were delighted to receive an award for Best Use of AI at the Banking Tech Awards last week, as well as the Best Payments Infrastructure Award at the recent Payments Awards. We have also been announced as finalists in four categories of the 2022 Card and Payments Awards, with winners due to be announced in February 2022.

We’re also pleased to announce that leading provider of B2B issuing solutions, B4B Payments, has signed a deal to become part of the Banking Circle ecosystem, and will operate as an independent sister company of Banking Circle.

Finally, November saw us welcome Timo Florian Zwez as Banking Circle’s new Head of Institutional Banking for the DACH region. A highly experienced banker, he will be particularly focused on our ambitious growth plans within the DACH banking marketplace, assisting institutions in cutting the costs and speed of cross border payments.

Here are some other important stories from the industry you may have missed:

 

The FCA reminds UK PSPs to prepare for Brexit changes to take effect

Upcoming changes to the law affecting cross border payments due to Brexit have been reiterated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The EU’s Funds Transfer Regulation is designed to help identify and combat money laundering, terrorist financing and breaches of financial sanctions. It requires certain information on the payer and payee to accompany electronic payments.

UK Payment Service Providers (PSPs) have not yet had to apply this change to UK law because the FCA used its temporary transition powers to give firms time to adapt, however, this standstill relief ends on 31 March 2022.

From this date, UK PSPs will need to ensure that transfers from the UK to the EEA exceeding 1,000 are accompanied by the following information:

  • The name of the payer and payee
  • The payer and payee’s account number
  • The payer’s address
  • Official personal document number
  • Customer identification number or date
  • Place of birth

 

UK Finance publishes ‘The future strategy for open banking payments’ paper

UK Finance brought the industry together to consider the future opportunity for open banking payments, as well as how the market could collaboratively shape that future.

The new report focuses on two key recommendations. 

There are calls for more governance, with a recommendation for open banking payment standards to be developed further. The report also makes the case for exploring a voluntary framework for open banking payments. 

View the report here

 

Proposed changes for financial regulators following Brexit 

While the UK has previously had to follow rules from the EU on finance, new proposals are set to give financial regulators new freedom and responsibilities. 

Whilst their core duties, such as maintaining financial stability, and ensuring consumer protection will remain the priority, the aim is to enable regulators to help boost growth and competition in finance, allowing them more autonomy on how to act, as well as be able to set new rules on areas like IPOs, green finance, and crypto. 

Also amongst the proposed changes are altering rules on banker compensation and bonuses, private equity firms, hedge funds and insurance.  

Read more about the changes here

 

Bank of England speech on enhancing cross border payments 

At a keynote speech delivered at the Central Bank Payments Conference, the Bank of England’s Victoria Cleland spoke about how central banks and the private sector will work together to deliver improved cost, speed, transparency and access to cross border payments. 

Key to achieving this will be the Bank of England’s upgrade to its Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) payments system. 

Cleland talked about “significant and innovative developments” to the RTGS Renewal Programme, the first milestone of which is to move to ISO 20022 messaging on a like-for-like basis in June 2022, followed by enhanced ISO 20022 in February 2023. 

The BoE will then migrate to the new core settlement platform, however Cleland claims that this won’t be the end of the renewed RTGS. The launch of the new platform signals the start of a continuous evolution of the service that will enable wider access to central bank money, as well as a more efficient and streamlined onboarding process for new participants. 

Read the full speech here