Partner Barney Reynolds, speaking at UK FinTech Week 2021, recommended that financial regulators focus primarily on risk rather than code and control. The panel discussion, Trust vs Innovation: Finding the Regulatory Balance for a Strong FinTech Sector, featured senior regulators from the UK, Australia, Hong Kong and Malta.
Alex Roy, Head of Department – Consumer Distribution Policy area, FCA
Barney Reynolds, Global Head of the Financial Services Industry Group, Shearman & Sterling
Clara KL Chiu, Director of Licensing and Head of Fintech Unit Intermediaries, Securities and Futures Commission
Mark Adams, Senior Executive Leader, Strategic Intelligence, ASIC
Luciano Brincat, Senior Manager – Strategy Policy & Innovation, Malta Financial Services Authority
Kay Swinburne, Vice Chair of Financial Services, KPMG (moderator)
During a panel for UK Fintech Week 2021, Barnabas Reynolds, global head of the financial services group at Shearman & Sterling, emphasised that to build trust in the system and allow space for fintech innovation, that the focus of supervisory systems should be on risk and not unnecessary code or control. While noting that the FCA sandbox was a global innovation when it was first introduced, Reynolds stated that “we now need to move to the next level of innovation [in the UK] to remove the straitjacket of statutory rules.” Reynolds also calls for removal of the “blankets of inherited EU law so that the system is able to operate at its best - as the global gold standard, protecting consumers from their assets worldwide when using UK based financial services virtually.” “We should only legislate or regulate for identifiable problems. We can move quickly to produce new regulations as the market develops to deal with a new problem, but we shouldn't have a Cartesian approach of trying to provide a blanket of law regulation for a sector, in advance of it developing.”