Today in TechREG: Global Regulators Calls for Interoperable Stablecoins, CBDC; FCA Urges Banks to Treat SMBs Better

Today in TechReg news, the Bank for International Settlements and the International Organization of Securities Commissions published recommendations for central banks to make stablecoins more centralized and accountable, like other payment systems

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority is warning retail banks to improve their treatment of small businesses struggling with debt or face regulatory actions, while the U.S. and Europe are passing new legislation to lure chip manufacturers to build new factories in their regions in a bid to increase domestic production. 

UK Regulator Urges Banks to Treat Small Businesses Better or Face Regulatory Actions 

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) warned banks to provide better service to small- to medium-sized businesses that are struggling with debt, or face more severe regulatory actions. 

In a letter to the CEOs of the main retail banks in the U.K. published on Tuesday (July 12), FCA Executive Director Sheldon Mills said the agency was “disappointed to find repeated instances of poor customer outcomes and failures to treat customers fairly” during its review of customer files. 

US, EU Subsidies and Regulation Key to Lure Chip Manufacturers 

Global supply chain disruptions have hit most of the industries in the United States and Europe, but one industry that has been particularly affected and has raised sovereignty concerns is the chips industry. 

Policymakers in the U.S. and Europe have warned about their dependency on sought-after semiconductors coming from factories in China and Taiwan. For that reason, the U.S. and Europe have raced to strengthen their domestic chip-making abilities over the past two years. 

The main instrument to achieve this goal has been the promise of new legislation that would provide incentives and subsidies to build more factories in the U.S. and in Europe. 

Global Regulators Call For Interoperable Stablecoins, CBDCs 

The Bank for International Settlements and the International Organization of Securities Commissions published on Wednesday (July 13) their guidance on the application of financial market infrastructure rules to stablecoins, including the entities that provide stablecoins. 

The guidance noted that when a stablecoin reaches a point of significant importance, it must comply with the same safeguard rules as any other traditional form of payments. 

CFPB Sues ACE Cash Express, Alleging It Funneled Customers Into Costly Reborrowing 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is accusing payday lender ACE Cash Express of hiding free repayment alternatives from its customers. 

Due to ACE’s activities, reborrowing fees of hundreds or thousands of dollars were allegedly charged to borrowers who were eligible for free repayment plans. The estimated fees associated with these practices by ACE totaled at least $240 million. 

Biden’s Nominee for Federal Reserve Likely to Get Final Senate Nod 

The U.S. Senate is expected to confirm Michael Barr to the Federal Reserve Board on Wednesday as the central bank’s top banking regulator. 

The votes will take place in two different sessions. Senators will first hold a confirmation vote on Barr’s nomination to the board at 11:30 a.m. Then, at 2:30 p.m., the Senate will hold a confirmation vote on Barr to become chair of the Federal Reserve. 

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