European Central Bank Executive Board member Benoit Coeure says "there is broad agreement" a central bank is unlikely to issue digital currency within 10 years. Coeure has sounded a cautionary note on bitcoin, saying it is "a combination of a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster".
FIA wants the European Commission to clarify whether temporary post-Brexit equivalence will be granted to only UK central counterparties and central securities depositories or will be extended to include UK trading venues and trade repositories. Without such equivalence, "EU27 firms will not be able to use UK trading venues to meet their mandatory trading obligation for derivatives nor to report new trades to UK trade repositories after 29 March 2019, in a no-deal scenario," according to FIA.
The European Securities and Markets Authority has clarified that investment firms can register as a systematic internalizer in all financial instruments, including those not traded on a trading venue. The change allows SI registration without subjection to transparency obligations under the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive.
Creditors including Nasdaq Clearing have reached a deal with Einar Aas, a Norwegian power trader whose default in September forced clearinghouse members to cover about $113 million in losses. Aas will sell assets, and proceeds will be distributed to default-fund participants on a pro rata basis.
UK financial-technology startup Genesis has raised $3 million in a Series A funding round through venture capital firms Illuminate Financial and Tribeca Angels. Genesis, founded by former HSBC bankers Stephen Murphy and James Harrison, was one of 15 participants chosen for the Innovators Pavilion at FIA's Futures and Options Expo.
The Volcker rule provision that keeps banks from investing in venture capital funds is regulatory overreach that does nothing to further the objectives of the law and should be changed, writes Charlotte Savercool of the National Venture Capital Association. NVCA has proposed two solutions that would allow banks to invest in VC funds while implementing the objectives of the Volcker rule, she writes.
Banks in areas hit by California's wildfires will not be penalized for missing reporting requirements, state and federal regulators say. Regulators also agreed that banks could ease some loan terms to help borrowers.
Michelle Bowman has been confirmed by the Senate to the Federal Reserve Board's community banking seat. Bowman, who served as chief bank regulator in Kansas and was an executive at Farmers & Drovers Bank, is expected to advocate for changes to the Dodd-Frank Act.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has filed for cloture for consideration of Kathy Kraninger's nomination to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If confirmed, Kraninger will take over for Mick Mulvaney, who has served as acting director since Richard Cordray resigned last year.
Health savings accounts can be valuable retirement-savings vehicles if money is allowed to build up tax-free over time. However, a study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute suggests many people aren't investing funds for the long term or maximizing contributions.