Financial Regulatory News
Financial Regulatory News

Short, hands-on, up to date

ZAG-MaRisk

On May 27, 2024, the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht – “BaFin“) published the final version of the Circular on the Minimum Requirements for Risk Management of Payment Institutions (“ZAG-MaRisk“). As a result, payment institutions are subject to payment specific minimum requirements for the first time and may not rely on the Minimum Requirements for Risk Management for Credit Institutions (“MaRisk (BA)“) anymore. The ZAG-MaRisk specifies the requirements for the proper business organization of institutions on the basis of Section 27 (1) of the German Payment Services Supervision Act (Zahlungsdiensteaufsichtsgesetz – “ZAG“). In addition, it [...]

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From payment service providers to professional football clubs: New EU regulations to combat money laundering adopted

On April 24, 2024, the European Parliament adopted a new anti-money laundering legislative package to strengthen the EU’s tools to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

The package includes

• the sixth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (“AMLD6”) as well as
• the EU Regulation on a Single Rulebook and
• a new central supervisory authority.

Extended access to beneficial ownership data

A key aspect of the new legislation is to ensure that persons with a legitimate interest – including journalists, civil society organizations, supervisory authorities and other relevant stakeholders – have direct and unhindered access to beneficial ownership [...]

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Update for crypto asset service providers: Draft bill to transfer German crypto regulation to the EU MiCAR regime

On April 5, 2024, the German Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF) published a draft bill for two regulations intended to facilitate the transition of national crypto regulation into the EU MiCAR regime.
These proposed regulations specify the simplified authorization procedure and create the possibility of submitting applications before the MiCAR regulations become fully applicable.

In brief: Simplified authorization procedure for already regulated institutions

At the end of 2023, the German legislator presented the draft Financial Market Digitization Act (“FinmadiG“), which, among other things, provides for a separate Crypto Markets Supervision Act (“KMAG“) (we [...]

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BaFin Declines to Act Against PFOFs (For Now)

The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) will, for now, not take action against payments by third parties to investment firms (Wertpapierfirmen) for forwarding client orders (known as payment for order flow, or PFOF).

In an announcement dated 22 March 2024 BaFin stated that, should investment firms violate the PFOF prohibition with domestic clients, it will refrain from taking measures or imposing sanctions until the completion of the national legislative process in Germany. The PFOF prohibition, as contained in the amended version of the Regulation (EU) No. 600/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council (MiFIR), stipulates that investment firms [...]

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Bitcoin Halving Is Just Around the Corner

After the approval of cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the United States, another fundamental event for the crypto industry is on the horizon: the expected bitcoin halving in mid-April 2024.

The approval of so-called bitcoin spot ETFs by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in early January 2024 led to significant cash inflows into the crypto market, specifically targeting the market for bitcoin spot ETFs. Between March 4 and March 13, 2024, approximately US$3.8 billion was invested into the newly approved bitcoin ETFs, resulting in bitcoin reaching a new record high of around US$ 73,750.

Now, the industry eagerly [...]

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Compliance in focus: duties, challenges and competencies of the Management Board and Supervisory Board

The webinar with our partner Renate Prinz focuses on the latest compliance challenges for executives and supervisory boards. It delves into essential topics that are highly relevant today, both for C-level executives and non-executives on governing bodies. We begin with a thorough introduction to current compliance requirements and the organization of compliance within the company.

Explore key themes, including whistleblowing, anti-money laundering, the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act, and ESG. A central focus of the Passion for People webinar is understanding the specific responsibilities that board members and supervisory boards bear in this context, as well as effective ways to [...]

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Renate Prinz in FinExtra: “Non-Performing Loans are now subject to regulation: What it means.”

Let’s revisit the aftermath of the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Credit institutions faced a pressing challenge: unloading their massive non-performing loan (NPL) portfolios. Our legal team consistently assisted these institutions, clarifying possibilities, limitations, and crucially, what purchasers could not achieve. Surprisingly, the NPL market remained unregulated until now. Renate Prinz provides an overview on the new regulation on Non-Performing Loans in FinExtra and answers the following questions:

  • What are NPLs?
  • What is the NPL Directive?
  • What are the credit servicer obligations?
  • What are the NPL purchaser obligations?
  • How is the regulation handled?
  • How will new regulation change the NPL environment?
  • [...]

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Licence requirement for credit service providers – services for non-performing loans now require a licence

When the Secondary Credit Market Act (Kreditzweitmarktgesetz) came into force on 30 December 2023, services relating to non-performing loans, i.e. loans that are no longer being settled or are at risk of default, will require a licence. Companies that already provide credit services today had to register with BaFin in February and state that they will continue to provide these services and now have until April to submit a licence application. A transitional regulation will then apply to them, under which the services can initially still be provided without a licence. In addition, the sale of NPLs by credit institutions [...]

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Are You Ready for MiCAR? – Webinar on the Introduction to the new EU Crypto Regulation

We had the pleasure to host our webinar on the new regulation of crypto-assets in the EU (Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCAR)), with a focus on the scope of MiCAR, licensing requirements and procedures, and obligations for crypto-asset service providers in the EU. Our experts, specializing in Financial Regulatory Law with a focus on the current crypto regulation, engaged in discussions regarding the upcoming changes due to MiCAR in 2024.

The seminar was targeted at all those who were (or aspired to be) involved in the crypto scene or provided services in this domain, seeking insights into compliance with the [...]

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FinmadiG and KMAG – Implementation of European crypto-financial market regulation in Germany

The German legislator has responded to the harmonization of European financial market regulations: In October 2023, the Federal Ministry of Finance published the draft bill for the Act on the Digitization of the Financial Market (Finanzmarktdigitalisierungsgesetz – “FinmadiG“), followed by the publication of the government draft of the FinmadiG just one month later.

MiCAR, DORA and money transfers – what does the FinmadiG implement?

The FinmadiG is intended to implement the following EU regulations on digital financial market regulation:

  • Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (“MiCAR”): The first EU-wide uniform set of rules for markets in crypto assets (we provided information here, for [...]

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