UK’s Green Fintech Challenge

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has launched its Green FinTech Challenge. Firms that require specific regulatory support are invited to apply. The Challenge will provide support to a selection of firms developing innovative products and services to assist in the UK’s transition to a greener economy. It is open to start-ups, incumbents and technology providers. Successful firms will benefit from a dedicated Innovate Adviser, authorisation support, live market testing in the sandbox, guidance and/or informal steers. The deadline for applications is 11 January 2019.

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UK Retail Banks Draft FinTech Alliance Guidelines

Top U.K. banks and fintech firms have worked together to create a set of guidelines to improve the relationship between FinTech startups and financial institutions. The new guidelines, developed by the British Standards Institution, aim to address issues that interfere with FinTech firms and banks forming alliances. The U.K. banks that put them together includes the Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, HSBC UK, Lloyds Banking Group and Santander — as well as vendors like MarketInvoice, The ID Co. and iwoca. The new guidelines provide advice for FinTech companies pitching to banks, including details about the commercial considerations and the necessary checks and controls to meet business and regulatory demands. These items include data gathering, due diligence, onboarding, commercial and contractual processes, data protection and security considerations.

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Hong Kong remains vigilant against risks of virtual assets even as fintech investments more than double, financial minister says

Investment in Hong Kong’s fintech industry more than doubled last year to US$550 million, far surpassing Singapore, according to Hong Kong financial secretary Paul Chan Mo-po. The Greater Bay Area will inject new momentum and provide a bigger market for Hong Kong’s fintech development, while the opening of the high-speed rail link and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge will foster closer collaboration between the region’s cities and create more convenience. But even as it promotes financial innovation, Hong Kong will adopt a number of new measures to strengthen protection of investors in virtual assets or funds.

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Factris Concludes EUR 1.5 Million Funding Round

Factris — a fintech company which offers factoring to small and medium-sized businesses in Europe — announced the successful conclusion of the funding round led by the European venture capital fund Speedinvest Fintech. The initial investment of EUR 1.5 million is for sales, marketing and growing the platform capabilities to support pan European operations. As part of the investment, Crown Finance Group BV was acquired for cash and stock.

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Thailand tightens its grip on ICO regulation

The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are preparing to launch its first regulated ICO portal later this month. It appears that ICOs will be vetted on a case-by-case basis and will be added to the portal shortly after its launch, although there is no mention of a set date as yet. Thai regulators believe having regulated ICO portals will help vet ICOs for their legitimacy, help investors conduct due diligence, and ensure know-your-customer (KYC) policies are being used.

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Zambia: Three Arrested in $2.4 Million Cryptocurrency Investment Scheme

Three individuals are currently out on bond in Zambia after being arrested over charges related to a cryptocurrency investment scheme they had operated. The three suspects are directors of cryptocurrency investment firm Heritage Coin Resources Limited. They allegedly collected more than 28 million Zambian kwacha (approximately US$2.4 million) from prospective investors who were promised that the money would be invested in cryptocurrency. The three now face charges of engaging in money laundering activities, obtaining money by false pretenses, participating or conducting a money circulation scheme, and operating an unlicensed financial business.

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Early stage technology investment in Europe increases four-fold in three years

Investment in Early Stage Technology in Europe has increased from  €875 million in the first half of 2015 to €3.6 billion in the first half of 2018, finds a new report. The report, A Deep Dive into European Early-Stage Tech Startup Activity, produced by Stripe, Techstars and research specialists, found that Fintech startups such as Monzo and N26, and Medtech startups such as Dr.Focused, Kry and Doctolib have benefited most from the influx of investment, as they challenge one another for the greatest share of early stage with investment. They have each received €2.32bn and €2.07bn in investment respectively over the last three years.

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Get Seed the future – A deep dive into European early-stage tech startup activity (free, registration required)

2nd Fintech Banking Summit at the BMC

Following last year’s professional and media success, the Fintech Banking Summit conference will again be organized this year by Elektromédia Kft. on November 22 at the Budapest Music Center (BMC). The aim of the event is to outline the latest fintech trends and gather together key players in the industry, connecting potential clients, partners, mentors and investors.

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The Largest Blockchain Event In Bali: Over 500 Delegates attended XBlockchain

Blockchain leaders, government ministers, entrepreneurs, and technology experts at the XBlockchain Summit 2018 spoke to the regional landscape, shared products and best practices, identified opportunities for collaboration, and addressed challenges facing the industry. Held from October 9-10, the Summit featured the latest in blockchain and cryptocurrency, focusing on innovative use cases and long-term solutions for the global market.

The next edition of XBlockchain Summit will come to Brazil on March 29-30, 2019 and China with a date to be announced shortly.

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DWS Group acquires stake in GCC FinTech start-up Neo Technologies

DWS Group, a European asset manager in which Germany’s Deutsche Bank has a majority stake, agreed to buy a 15 per cent stake in Dubai and Kuwait-based FinTech start-up Neo Technologies for an undisclosed sum. Neo Technologies aims to work with asset managers and other financial institutions in the Middle East to help them provide digital wealth advisory and other asset management and banking services to clients in the region. DWS Group’s investment will help Neo to expand its platform across the GCC, in particular Saudi Arabia, the largest market in the Arabian Gulf, and develop product enhancements to better service its partner clients.

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