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NEWS WRAP - US Organisations Take Inspiration from the UK's FCA

A number of United States Regulators have joined The Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) – an alliance comprised of more than 50 financial organisations from across the globe – in what is likely to prove a positive development for non-resident aliens and other cross-border individuals in the United States.

In an October press release made by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) it was announced that the SEC, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) have all become members of GFIN.*

The SEC released the following statement, "By promoting knowledge-sharing on innovation in financial services, U.S. members of GFIN will seek to advance financial and market integrity, consumer and investor protection, financial inclusion, competition, and financial stability."

It is hoped that the inclusion of US groups in the global alliance will serve to clarify and advance the interests of US-based financial services clients, particularly those with UK citizenship or UK-based financial interests. GFIN owes its origins to the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which established the organisation in 2018 with the aim of enhancing collaboration between regulators and financial services and wealth management companies.

GFIN may prove to be crucial over the coming years as it uses its influence and expertise to develop global standards in relation to emerging and disrupting forces in the financial services sector; for example, artificial intelligence and distributed ledger tech. It also aims to establish cross-border testing of innovative financial services and products.

Clarification of the US cryptocurrency position?

The news also provides interesting hints at the developing US position in relation to cryptocurrencies and perhaps provides a sign that the US may adopt an approach similar to that taken by the FCA.

The FCA currently considers certain cryptocurrencies, including XRP, Ethereum and Bitcoin to be exchange tokens and therefore outside of its regulatory scope.**

DFS move is a sign of more widespread adoption

It has also been announced that the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has joined GFIN.

"New York is a center of innovation, and we look forward to engaging globally to continue to make New York an attractive place for pioneers," said a DFS spokesperson. "Innovation is priceless, and our membership in GFIN reflects our commitment to supporting innovative policies within modern regulatory frameworks that protect consumers."***

The view of Blacktower in the US

Over recent years the US has sought to respond to criticism of the clarity and fairness of its approach to the regulation and taxation of cross-border assets and income, including cryptocurrencies. As such, knowledge-sharing across an FCA-originated organisation can only be good news and may be a sign that the financial services world is slowly moving towards more standardised operations.

Blacktower (US) LLC, for clarity and direction

Blacktower in the US helps clients make sense of the many cross-border complexities they face when planning their wealth management and retirement strategies as foreign nationals in the United States.

Whether you want to optimise your UK pension, perhaps with a transfer into a SIPP, organise your US-based retirement accounts or structure your wealth in the best possible way, contact your Blacktower today.


* https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2019-221 Accessed 01-11-19

** https://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/cryptoassets Accessed 01-11-19

*** https://www.finextra.com/pressarticle/80377/new-york-state-department-of-financial-services-joins-global-financial-innovation-network Accessed 01-11-19

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