Ask the treasuryXL expert #2 How can I efficiently and cost-effectively get central bank approval/advice for cross-border flows in cash-strapped countries without delaying my business?

treasuryXL is the community platform for everyone with a treasury question or answer! Today, we discuss a question that treasuryXL expert Vasu Reddy often hears within his treasury network. The question relates to challenges in Emerging Markets that most corporates continue to experience.

27-07-2022 | treasuryXL Vasu Reddy | LinkedIn |

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marcus evans | 25th Edition Capital Management for Banking Institutions | 26-28 September | London

26-07-2022 | treasuryXL | marcus evans | LinkedIn |

We are proud to announce our media partnership with marcus evans group for the 25th Edition Capital Management for Banking Institutions conference taking place in London on 26-28 of September, 2022.

London, United Kingdom

26 – 28 September 2022 



In recent years, the Basel IV capital regulations and amendments have put banks under large amounts of pressure to place the right measures, controls and models to understand these regulations’ impact on capital. With capital positions weakening, banks were forced to change their focus from capital optimisation to resource deployment, something which delayed Basel IV implementation. Additionally regulations such as the FRTB ad SA-CCR, impacting market and counterparty credit risk had a huge impact on the risk and capital management side. Moreover new regulations related to climate risk and stress testing being introduced recently by the Bank of England and the European Central Bank, meant that banks had to step up their capital related efforts in this area. In the face of new and ongoing regulatory pressures and market conditions banks need to be able to adapt and optimise their capital management practices.

With this in mind, the marcus evans 25th edition Capital Management for Banking Institutions conference held between 26-28 September, 2022 in London, UK will provide practical guidance on how to optimise capital management for banking institutions, with in-depth sessions on ensuring effective compliance with regulations such as the FRTB and SA-CCR, adapting to climate risk, enhancing capital planning, and meeting macroeconomic challenges. These hands-on sessions will be delivered by best-in-class practitioners who are uniquely equipped to pass on their expertise in this field. This guidance will enable banks to rise to the challenge of the new regulatory and macroeconomic conditions, and further develop their capital management and risk frameworks.

Attending This Premier marcus evans Conference Will Enable You To:

  • Overcome regulatory and macroeconomic constraints to optimise capital efficiency
  • Understand and adapt to the Standardised Approach for measuring Counterparty Credit Risk (SA-CCR)
  • Align with Basel IV from a business perspective
  • Link organisational practices and procedures to new regulatory demands
  • Capital Management: Usability of Basel Buffers
  • Unravel the complexities in capital optimisation

Best Practices and Case Studies from:

  • Johannes Langthaler, Senior Group Regulatory Transformation Manager, Raiffeisen Bank International
  • Andrea Cremonino, Head of Portfolio and Pricing Management Analysis and Strategy, UniCredit
  • Barbara Polak-Labit, Capital Management Lead, NatWest Group
  • Brightwell P Zhezi, Head of Economic Capital: Treasury and Capital Management, Standard Bank Group
  • Muhammad Rehan Nasir, Head, ICAAP and Model Validation, Dubai Islamic Bank
  • Thomas Rohold, Head of Financial Resource Management, Senior Vice President, Danske Bank

Special discounts available to Treasury XL subscribers! For more information please contact Ria Kiayia, Digital Media and PR Marketing Executive at [email protected] or visit: https://bit.ly/3M2gpQ0


 


Discussion LinkedIn poll | The impact of recent interest rate increases on treasury

Welcome to the second edition of this newsletter where we discuss the latest treasuryXL poll on current issues in corporate treasury. We will take you through what treasurers think about a current topic by their votes, and a couple of treasury experts will explain their views on the subject. In this edition, we discuss what treasurers should do first to control against sharp increases in interest rates.

We have invited Niki van ZantenJeremy Tumber and Vincenzo Masile ACT ICM ICA ACAMS to share their views on the topic.

25-07-2022 | treasuryXL LinkedIn |

Poll Results

Geen alternatieve tekst opgegeven voor deze afbeelding


We clearly notice that the majority of the treasurers are of the opinion that the first thing to do to control sharp interest increases is to reconsider the investment strategy of excess cash. We asked a number of treasury experts to explain why they voted for the other options than for a reconsideration of the investment strategy.

Views of treasuryXL experts

Niki van Zanten

 

“Place excess cash in USD requires a holistic approach, the right time and knowledge, but if applied correctly, will manage your cash like a pro”

 

Geen alternatieve tekst opgegeven voor deze afbeelding

Niki voted for the option to move excess cash to USD.

 

Treasurers want to manage certain risks, and often there is a silo approach. Liquidity risk is managed with loans and deposits, Interest risk (and returns) are managed with products such as interest rate swaps and FX is managed with FX spot, forwards and swaps. Once the incoming data (think bank balances, forecasts, markets rates) is structured, the data becomes information and is sufficient to act as treasurer with clear objectives (these are often defined in the above silos).

The next step would be to validate whether the approach meets the objectives. So, far nothing to worry about….until the market exhibits unexpected behavior. For example, a disconnect between FX swap points and underlying interest rate differentials (Jan 2015 USDCHF as a reference), or perhaps a need to optimize interest rates. In this case (and when provided time and knowledge is available), a holistic approach to FX, interest rates and cash can provide the opportunity to place excess cash in a higher-yielding currency without adding FX risk to your portfolio.

In short, it may make sense to place excess cash in USD if it does not shift FX risk or if this shift is managed by FX swaps and the pricing between swaps and deposits is compared. Again, this requires a holistic approach, the right time and knowledge, but if applied correctly, will manage your cash like a pro.

Some considerations may be to look at the efficiency of FX swaps versus deposits, as FX swaps tend to be more efficient, automation of solutions, and tracking and identifying market behavior.

 

Jeremy Tumber

 

 “Analyze how your company is exposed to the economic cycle ”

 

Geen alternatieve tekst opgegeven voor deze afbeelding

Jeremy voted for the option to choose something else.

 

First, analyze how your company is exposed to the economic cycle – a study I saw in the early 2000s showed that the best position for airlines was to be 100% floatig, because their business was effectively in lockstep with the business cycle.

In theory, when an entity is part of an industry that is closely aligned with the economic cycle, it has a natural hedge for its interest rate exposure, in that it can afford to pay higher interest rates when the economy is booming, and get some relief from lower interest rates when the economy is slowing. The study I’m referring to involved a major German airline; at the time, the airline’s funding was 80% fixed, and their comments at the time were not very favorable to switching to such a large floating exposure. Fast forward 15 years, or so, and I checked their Financials. They were 85% floating at the time, so they had clearly stepped into the results of the study.

The biggest risk for them would be an extended period of Stagflation, so I hope they do well in the current circumstances!

 

Vincenzo Masile

 

“My view here is that a treasurer should take a conservative approach”

 

Geen alternatieve tekst opgegeven voor deze afbeelding

Vincenzo voted for the option to move excess cash to USD.

 

Macro themes continue to drive financial markets. One does not have to look much further than the inverted US yield curve or the collapse in copper to understand that investors continue to re-price global growth prospects lower.

This is possibly because: (a) European activity is more exposed to the Russian energy supply shock and b) the U.S. economy has entered this global tightening cycle with more momentum and a positive output gap.

Inverted yield curves are typically bad news for pro-growth currencies (commodity exporters + Europe & Asia ex-Japan) and typically good news for the dollar, the Japanese yen, and the Swiss franc. This environment looks set to continue over the summer months as the Fed continues its tightening policy.

Recall that the German Bundesbank estimated that the Germany economy could take a 5% GDP hit if gas is rationed. It now appears that we are now not far from such a scenario. The pressure on European growth has caused the Eurostoxx benchmark equity index to fall 22% year-to-date, versus -20% for the S&P 500. The question will be how much more the ECB can tighten before the growth valves come down.

My view here is that a treasurer should take a conservative approach and assume that there are no large loans to be repaid to the banks, existing cash in excess should be moved to USD or to CHF or to JPY at least until the end of this year.

Sooner or later, Ukraine and Russia war will come to an end, so the cycle will reverse and EUR will become more attractive for investors and for treasurers.


Would you like to explain your own vote for this poll? Join the discussion in the comments. And above all, don’t forget to give your opinion on our latest question!

What is a yield curve or interest rate curve? (Dutch Item)

25-07-2022 | Erna Erkens | treasuryXL | LinkedIn |

Valutacoach en currency specialist Erna Erkens legt uit wat er met een yieldcurve of rentecurve wordt bedoeld. Grijp op je winst door er meer kennis over te vergaren. En nog belangrijker, wanneer je er goed naar moet kijken, en hoe!

Oorspronkelijke bron



Met de yieldcurve of rentecurve wordt bedoeld de rente van de korte naar de lange rente. In een grafiek wordt op de X-As (horizontaal) de looptijden van de rentes weergegeven. Het begint met de of 3 maands rente en het eindigt op de X-As met de 30 jaars rente. Op de Y-as staat het rentepercentage.

Vaak komt de yieldcurve of de rentecurve ter sprake bij vermogensbeheer. Het gaat dan meestal over obligaties. Vaak staatsobligaties. Maar wat betekent dit eigenlijk? Waarvoor wordt de yieldcurve gebruikt? In dit artikel leggen we uit wat de yieldcurve precies is, hoe je deze curve interpreteert en waarvoor het wordt gebruikt.

  1. Wat is een yieldcurve?
  2. Waar wordt een yieldcurve voor gebruikt?
  3. Welke soorten yieldcurve zijn er?
  4. Zo gebruiken de banken de rentecurve/ yieldcurve
  5. Welke factoren bepalen de rentestructuur?
  6. Hoe interpreteer je een yieldcurve?

Wat is een yieldcurve of rentecurve?

De yieldcurve kent meerdere benamingen. Hij wordt ook wel rentecurve of rentegrafiek genoemd. Het is een  grafiek van de korte rente naar de lange rente. Vaak van staatsobligaties. In dat geval gaat het om de rendementen. Maar het komt ook ter sprake bij financieringen van bedrijven. Als je een keus moet maken voor een periode van de financiering is het een leidraad van hoe de rentetarieven per periode liggen.

Volgens het woordenboek betekent yield: opbrengst, productie, oogst, rendement. Het rendement op obligaties, inclusief de jaarlijkse rentebetalingen, de aankoopprijs en de tijd tot de afloop van de obligatie. Een obligatie  met een hoge rente zal meer waard worden op het moment dat de marktrente zakt. Een obligatie met een hoge rente zal minder waard worden op het moment dat de marktrente verder stijgt. Dus soort van tegengesteld. Dat klinkt ingewikkeld en dat is het ook.

In de grafiek wordt het verloop van de rente van 3 maanden (korte rente) tot 30 jaar (lange rente) weergegeven. De horizontale X as geeft de looptijd aan en de verticale Y-as het rentepercentage.

Waar wordt een yieldcurve voor gebruikt?

Om te bepalen wat de contante waarde van een bedrag in de toekomst waard zal zijn gebruikt men de yieldcurve. Dit is een korte uitleg voor eigenlijk iets heel ingewikkelds waar we in dit artikel niet dieper op in gaan. Wil je hier meer over weten? Neem dan gerust even vrijblijvend contact met mij op, dan leg ik het graag uit.

De twee elementen in de curve worden afgeleid van de rente van de Centrale Banken. Zij bepalen de hoogte van de korte rentes. Voor de Eurolanden is dit de ECB, maar indirect ook onze eigen Centrale Bank, De Nederlandse Bank (DNB). Wij hebben ook nog onze eigen staatsleningen, maar natuurlijk worden die ook afgeleid van de rente van de ECB. Maar soms hebben sommige Eurolanden een groter risico. Zoals 10 jaar geleden Griekenland en nog meer Zuid Europese landen. Dan krijg je meer rente, maar loop je wel een groter risico dat je je geld niet terugkrijgt als je in deze leningen investeert of belegt. Daarnaast zegt de rentecurve of yieldcurve iets over de renteverwachting van de markt.

Welke soorten yieldcurve zijn er?

Hoe langer de looptijd van de rente, hoe moeilijker het is om de toekomst in te schatten van deze rente en hoe hoger de vergoeding zou moeten zijn om te compenseren voor dit hogere risico. Hoe korter de looptijd, zoals binnen een jaar, hoe kleiner de kans op grote verschillen in deze rente ten opzichte van de huidige situatie.
In een ‘normale rentecurve’ is de korte rente het laagst en stijgt de rente naarmate de looptijd langer wordt. Die stijgende rente voor langere looptijden komt in principe omdat jaarlijks in ieder geval de inflatie gecompenseerd wordt en door onzekerheid over de toekomstige renteontwikkeling.

De componenten in de rentecurve zijn de reële rente, de inflatieverwachting en de renterisicopremie

We kennen de volgende yieldcurves:
1. De vlakke yieldcurve
2. De normale yieldcurve
3. De omgekeerde of inverse yieldcurve

De vlakke yieldcurve

Als de rentes van de verschillende looptijden ongeveer gelijk zijn, spreken we van een vlakke rentecurve. Je ziet een vrijwel gelijke horizontale lijn in de grafiek.

Voor de banken is dit geen gunstige rentegrafiek. Zij verdienen meestal geld aan het kort aantrekken van spaargelden en het uitzetten van gelden voor een langere periode, bijvoorbeeld door hypotheken met een lange vast rente. Een vlakke yieldcurve komt ook niet vaak voor, meestal is er een normale rentestructuur waarbij de lange rentes hoger zijn dan de korte rentes. Als een vlakke rentecurve weer naar een normale rentecurve gaan met lage korte rentes en hogere lange rentes is dat een teken dat de economie weer aantrekt na economische krimp, waarbij een vlakke yieldcurve of zelfs een inverse yieldcurve geen uitzondering is.

De normale yieldcurve

Een normale yieldcurve ontstaat als de markt verwacht dat er inflatoire druk zal optreden. De rente is naast compensatie voor het risico ook voor de geldontwaarding. Om te zorgen dat de koopkracht aan het einde van de looptijd gelijk is zal degene die het geld uitleent compensatie willen.
Als inflatie stijgt kun je minder kopen voor 1 euro dan voorheen. Daardoor is er dan een hogere rente nodig. Op dat moment worden er lang(er)lopende obligaties verkocht. Dit zorgt weer voor een daling van de koersen van de obligaties en een verhoging van de rentevergoedingen ten opzichte van de koers. Het effectief rendement, de rente, zal dus stijgen. In de grafiek zie je dat de lijn linksonder begint en rechtsboven eindigt.

De omgekeerde of inverse yieldcurve

Bij deze yieldcurve zie je dat de lijn in de grafiek linksboven begint en rechtsonder eindigt. Dat betekent dat de korte rente hoger is dan de lange rente. Dit is wel een uitzonderlijke situatie en duurt meestal niet zo heel lang. Een langere looptijd heeft meer risico’s waardoor de rente vaak hoger is. Een omgekeerde rentecurve zie je vaak als de economische onzekerheid toeneemt. Er worden in de nabije toekomst economisch zwaardere tijden verwacht.

Zo gebruiken de banken de rentecurve

Bij een normale rentecurve kunnen de banken geld verdienen aan deze rentecurve. Zij geven consumenten rente voor hun spaargeld. Dat geld lenen zij vervolgens tegen een hogere rente uit aan anderen. Het verschil tussen de korte rente, de lange rente minus de gemaakte kosten is de winst voor de bank. Als de korte rente hoger is dan de lange rente lijdt de bank dus verlies met een negatieve marge. Dat was van 2013 tot 2021 een groot probleem voor de banken.

Welke factoren bepalen de rentestructuur?

Er zijn veel factoren die de rentestructuur bepalen. We bespreken hier de drie belangrijkste:

  1. De verwachtte ontwikkeling van de rente:
    Als er een rentestijging wordt verwacht kan de yieldcurve sneller gaan stijgen. Dit komt omdat langer lopende leningen worden verkocht door beleggers. Als men verwacht dat de rente zal dalen kan dat een vlakke of omgekeerde/ inverse yieldcurve tot gevolg hebben.
  2. Liquiditeit:
    Door de grote liquiditeit wordt de korte rente lager. Hiermee wordt het inflatierisico namelijk ook beperkt.
  3. Kredietwaardigheid:
    De uitgever van een obligatie is een debiteur. De kredietwaardigheid van de debiteur heeft invloed op een eventuele rente-opslag, (creditspread) die door de beleggers worden geëist. Nederland en Duitsland zijn landen die veiliger worden geacht dan bijvoorbeeld Griekenland. Griekenland zal daardoor waarschijnlijk een hogere rente moeten betalen voor hun staatsobligaties dan Nederland.

Hoe interpreteer je een yieldcurve?

Een rentecurve is echt een momentopname. Wat je vandaag ziet kan morgen weer heel anders zijn. Maar heel snel zal een rentecurve geen grote veranderingen laten zien. Het is niet zoals bij valutakoersen. Deskundigen kijken naar de ontwikkeling van de curve en anticiperen daarop met hun beleggingen en investeringen.
Als ondernemer kun je de yieldcurve gebruiken om een gevoel te krijgen van de economische ontwikkeling van de markt. Met een omgekeerde yieldcurve is de verwachting dat er economisch zware tijden aankomen. Vaak hebben we daarna te maken met een vlakke yieldcurve waarbij je ziet dat de economie weer langzaam aantrekt. Is de yieldcurve stijl met een lage korte rente en een hoge lange rente, dan zitten we in een groeiende economie met redelijk normale rentestanden.


Owner at EEVA

Vacancy | Treasury Manager – Rotterdam

22-07-2022 | Treasurer Search | treasuryXL | LinkedIn |

 

Treasurer Search has a new vacancy: Treasury Manager – Rotterdam

The ideal candidate for this position has a relevant bachelor’s degree and at least 4 years of experience in corporate treasury. As a person you are communicative, analytical, and detail-oriented. You enjoy being responsible for a broad range of tasks, combining hands-on with the analytical-strategic. Experience with a TMS is a plus. Speaking English is a must, comprehension of Dutch is a plus.

APPLY HERE


Tasks

In a team of two you will act as the right hand to the Group Treasurer. As the treasury team is new, you will help setting up the treasury policies and processes. Tasks include:

  • Bank account management;
  • Head Office payments;
  • Intercompany loans;
  • FX management;
  • Establish procedures and policies;
  • Leading improvement projects.

Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate for this position has a relevant bachelor’s degree and at least 4 years of experience in corporate treasury. As a person you are communicative, analytical, and detail-oriented. You enjoy being responsible for a broad range of tasks, combining hands-on with the analytical-strategic. Experience with a TMS is a plus. Speaking English is a must, comprehension of Dutch is a plus.

Our Client

Very young and fast growing Global Technology & Marketing Services company, serving international and well known clients. They have the option to work in their Rotterdam and/or in their London office and offer a hybrid working model.

Remuneration and Process

The indicated base salary for this position is €75K (with some room for more experienced candidates). For interested candidates who qualify further information is available.

Did you know that you can update your profile online and apply easily for this vacancy via the button ‘apply’ below? Read more about practical aspects of applying in this blog. Some of our clients ask candidates to take the Treasurer Test.

Location

Rotterdam

Contact person

Kim Vercoulen
T: +31 850 866 798
M: +31 6 2467 9339

Zeroing in on 4 Specific Ways Treasurers’ Can Improve Cash Forecasting

21-07-2022 | treasuryXL | GTreasury | LinkedIn |

Particularly with continued financial headwinds, accurate-as-possible cash forecasting and visibility are more critical than ever. But, according to a recent survey of hundreds of global treasurers, the process of generating forecasts has been either “somewhat difficult” or “extremely difficult.”


Jo Stevens, a senior product manager at GTreasury, wrote for Treasury & Risk on four specific best practices around how treasurers can improve cash forecasting and optimize their use of sophisticated forecasting technologies. Jo discusses how to capture more accurate data, how to best process that data with machine learning, how to approach cash visibility, and, crucially, how to continually adapt to meet ongoing forecasting challenges.


The Working Capital Forum Europe | Amsterdam 2022

20-07-2022 | treasuryXL | The Working Capital Forum | LinkedIn |

 

MANAGING WORKING CAPITAL IN CHALLENGING TIMES

 

 

On 1st December 2022, Working Capital Forum Europe brings together leaders in treasury, procurement, and payments to share ideas and techniques for better working capital management across supply chains.

That’s never been so important as in these times of rising interest rates, inflation, and supply chain shocks, when managing working capital is everyone’s concern.

From supply chain finance to accurate cash forecasting, solutions for every component of working capital management will be discussed on stage, demonstrated in our information area, and examined in our workshops at the world’s largest specialist working capital and supply chain finance event.

We’re delighted to return to Amsterdam for this one-day live event, with main stage keynote sessions, panel debates, and breakout workshops and demos.

If you’re interested in optimising working capital in your organisation, you need to join us in Amsterdam for the most productive day you’ve had in years.

Among the topics we will be covering are:

  • Cash forecasting and cash visibility
  • Payables finance
  • Receivables finance
  • Optimising receivables – get paid faster
  • Inventory management and inventory finance
  • Supply chain finance
  • ‘Deep tier’ supply chain finance
  • Funding options for trade and supply chain finance
  • Using working capital tools for ESG objectives
  • Credit insurance
  • Disclosure rules on supplier finance
  • Ratings agencies and their view of working capital solution

USE YOUR COUPON CODE VIA TREASURYXL

  • Banks, fintechs, and other solution providers can get 25% off the cost of a ticket using this TreasuryXL code: TXL2225
  • Corporate Treasurers can apply for a free ticket using this Treasury XL code: TXL22CG

TO REGISTER AND FIND OUT MORE VISIT:  WORKING CAPITAL FORUM EUROPE 

Visit the Working Capital Forum: https://www.workingcapitalforum.com/

Join our events here: https://www.workingcapitalforum.com/events

Enter the Working Capital and Supply Chain Finance 2022 Awards here: https://www.workingcapitalforum.com/awards.html

 

 

marcus evans | 8th Annual Retail Deposit Optimization And Strategic Management | 12–14 September | Toronto

19-07-2022 | treasuryXL | marcus evans | LinkedIn |

We are excited to announce our media partnership with marcus evans for the 8th Edition of Retail Deposits & Strategic Optimization – Canada. In this edition of the conference, the delegates will find out the latest trends in customer experience and pricing in times of high-interest rates.

Toronto, Canada

12 – 14 September 2022 



This premier GFMI event will bring together leading industry experts in retail banking and digital transformation from across Canada to address the current challenges and best practices for acquiring and retaining retail deposits. More specifically, Haventree Bank, RBC, BMO, First Ontario Credit Union, SBI Canada Bank, Innovation Credit Union, and many others be discussing how to manage the excess liquidity levels obtained during the pandemic, establish customer loyalty in a highly competitive rate environment through personalization and digital transformation, and improve your bottom line through optimizing deposit revenue through dynamic pricing strategies.

 

Key Themes:

  1. Reviewing the impact of macroeconomic conditions on retail deposit optimization: how are rates and regulation changing strategies?
  2. Sourcing and retaining sticky deposits in a highly volatile rate environment 
  3. Utilize product and pricing strategies to stay on top of the competition
  4. How to handle liquidity levels in a rising rate environment
  5. Taking digital transformation to the next level by centralizing focus and innovation on customer experience

Interested in joining this exclusive event? Then contact Mr. Ayis Panayi at [email protected] for discounts available or visit the website https://bit.ly/3HY6v16.

 

Looking forward to welcoming you at the event!


 


EU crypto regulation: towards global cooperation?

19-07-2022 | Carlo de Meijer | treasuryXL | LinkedIn |

 

Finally, after two years of intensive deliberations, EU legislators have reached a provisional agreement on its landmark Markets in Crypto Assets (MICA) directive, that is aimed to govern the crypto space in Europe for the years to come.  



The recent crypto market crash shows how highly risky and speculative crypto currencies are. It confirmed the urgent need for enhanced regulatory and law enforcement frameworks in the EU. So far, digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies, have been largely out of the scope of EU legislation, while divergent laws exist in the member states.

But what may we further expect? Is this the start of further regulatory co-operation worldwide or will it trigger growing regulatory competition between the various countries, especially the US and UK, that are presently dominating the crypto market.

The deals

The deal reached on 30 June consists of two elements: the Markets in Crypto Assets or MICA regulation and a Bill on the Transparency of crypto asset transfers. Both laws are put in place to set clear common rules for a harmonized market in the EU.

The aim of the regulation is to put an ’end to the crypto wild life’ by creating a comprehensive regulatory framework for the crypto-asset market in a balanced way that supports innovation and harnesses the potential of crypto-assets while preserving financial stability and protecting investors.

Such a regulation should provide legal clarity for the crypto business including crypto asset issuers, guaranteed equal rights for asset service providers, as well as ensuring high standards for consumers and investors.

While MICA will put new requirements on exchanges and issuers of stable coins, and provide legal certainty for crypto-asset issuers, guarantee equal rights for service providers and ensure high standards for consumers and investors, the Transparency Bill will force crypto asset service providers(CASPs) to gather information about the transfers they operate to prevent money laundering in crypto.

New provisions

The proposed EU regulation is especially targeting so-called crypto asset services providers(CASPs) and aims to provide a consistent approach across all 27 member states and covers issues like authorisation and supervision, transparency, disclosure and authorisation and supervision of transactions by crypto asset service providers (CASPs) as well as consumer and investor protection, stablecoins and environmental considerations.

License

MiCA will change the registration and authorization process for crypto asset services providers in Europe. Under the provisional agreement they will need an authorization in order to operate in the EU. National authorities will thereby be required to issue authorisations within a timeframe of three months. Regarding the largest CASPs, national authorities will transmit relevant information regularly to the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

These CASPs will have to be licensed by national authorities and must be based in the EU and have their office within the European Union by a legal person, with a predetermined capital base and adhere to consumer protection safeguards, and be listed on a register held by the European Securities and Markets Authority.

This license will give issuers of crypto assets and providers of related services a “passport” to issue and sell digital tokens in the EU \nd serve clients across the EU from a single base.

Public register

To avoid any overlaps with updated legislation on anti-money laundering (AML), which will now also cover crypto-assets, MiCA does not duplicate the anti-money laundering provisions as set out in the newly updated transfer of funds rules agreed on 29 June.

The new framework will put ESMA in charge of a public register where all non-compliant crypto providers who offer services without authorization will be listed. This to reduce anonymity to tackle money laundering and evasion of sanctions.

EU cryptocurrency exchanges will be obliged to identify users and track suspicious transactions. Entities issuing crypto assets will have to disclose basic information such as a description of the issuer, the project and the use of the funds. This “identity card” will be backed up by details of the rights, obligations and risks associated with these digital assets. National authorities will be notified of all of this information.

Crypto-asset service providers, whose parent company is located in countries listed on the EU list of third countries considered at high risk for anti-money laundering activities, as well as on the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes, will be required to implement enhanced checks in line with the EU AML framework. Tougher requirements may also be applied to shareholders and to the management of the CASPs, notably with regard to their localisation.

White Paper: transparency

CASPs will also be obliged to be more transparent about their financial position as well as the tokens they offer. The regulation makes it a legal obligation for crypto projects to issue a White Paper on all tokens, with all the characteristics and risks  and submit it to the regulatory authorities, although the submission will be merely declaratory and the regulatory authorities do not enjoy the power to authorise or reject crypto projects, other than stablecoins.

The list of information that crypto projects are required to share with the public is relatively slim and does not include many aspects that are already customarily included in white papers. Most importantly, the regulation does not require white papers to explain the project’s ‘tokenomics’.

Consumer and investor protection

This regulatory framework also aims to provide an appropriate level of consumer and investor protection against some of the risks associated with  the investment in crypto assets. Consumer protection standards adopted in the regulation will legally protect consumer funds against cyber-attacks, theft or misuse which are within the responsibility of the cryptocurrency exchanges.

Crypto companies will be held more accountable for investor protection and for investor losses. They must act ‘fair, honest, professional in the best interest of their clients and provide such clients or potential clients with fair and not misleading information’.

Once implemented, the law will require crypto asset service providers (CASPs) to adhere to certain requirements aimed at protecting investors as well as warn clients about the potential risk associated with investing in a volatile crypto market, and publish their pricing policy on their website.

Although these regulations will not provide protection against all of the risks associated with cryptocurrencies, individuals’ own knowledge and analyses will therefore continue to be a key method of consumer protection.

Un-hosted wallets

Unhosted wallets, also known as cold storage or self-custody that enable the user to maintain a cryptocurrency balance outside of an exchange, are mostly excluded from regulation. Transfers between exchanges and so-called “un-hosted wallets” owned by individuals will need only to be reported when transfers are made to a person’s own wallet, and when the value tops the 1,000-euro threshold. This move is designed to reduce anonymity, and thus money laundering, through crypto transactions.

Stablecoins

Stablecoins, which the regulation calls ‘asset-referenced’ tokens’, are also subject to strict regulatory standards of transparency, operation, and governance.

When the regulation comes into force, existing stablecoins will have to seek authorisation from the regulatory authorities to be traded within the EU. Issuers of these so-called asset referred stablecoins will need to have a registered office in the EU to ensure the proper supervision and monitoring of offers to the public of asset-referenced tokens. Most importantly, the regulation prohibits the issuance of interest to e-money tokens. The authorisation requirement applies also to stablecoins already in circulation.

Reserves will have to be “legally and operationally segregated and insulated” and must also be “fully protected in case of insolvency.” Stablecoins that become too large/big also face being capped at 200 million euros in transactions a day under the new regulation.

Holders of stablecoins will be offered a claim at any time and free of charge by the issuer, with all stablecoins be supervised by the European Banking Authority (EBA), with a presence of the issuer in the EU being a precondition for any issuance.

 

Environment

MiCA will also address environmental concerns surrounding crypto. Crypto asset providers will be required todeclare information on their environmental and climate footprint and disclose their energy consumption to regulators as well as the environmental impact of digital assets they choose to list, using the EU regulatory standards as a basis.

The ESMA is now developing draft regulatory technical standards on the content, methodologies and presentation of information related to principal adverse environmental and climate-related impact.

Oversight of the crypto industry

The new EU regulation of the crypto market will primarily be enforced by national regulatory authorities designated by the member states. They will employ national procedural rules and impose remedies foreseen in national law, including criminal remedies where applicable, when they enforce the regulation.

While EU member states will be the main enforcers of the rules, the regulation also gives the European Banking Authority and the European Securities and Markets Authority significant supervisory and investigative powers.

ESM will be responsible for oversight of the industry, while a new legal framework will seek to regulate public offers of crypto assets to protect market integrity. ESMA will thereby be given powers to step in to ban or restrict crypto platforms if they are seen to not properly protect investors, or threaten market integrity or financial stability.

In the meantime the European Council reached an agreement to form an anti-money laundering body that will have the authority to supervise certain CASPs. And will  probably get the name of AMLA.

Reactions from the cryptomarkets

 

How ate crypto firms reaction? Overall, crypto industry players are reacting positively to the EU’s MiCA efforts, and largely welcomed this outcome that heralds the end of several months of negotiations.

As such a harmonized, comprehensive framework could give market participants regulatory the desired clarity to make sure their activities are compliant with AML regulations and crypto end-users key projections and market-wide assurances. The rules would underpin the development of a robust and well-functioning market, within which they could safely operate their businesses further driving crypto innovation and adoption in the EU region.

Some called the rules “a significant milestone”, while others said the comprehensive new framework was “exciting”, providing regulatory certainty to the market, and raising industry standards.

Crypto expansion in Europe

These regulatory developments haven’t stopped firms within the digital asset space from planning their expansion in the EU. Several industry insiders see the move as a positive step and believe Europe could lead the way on crypto regulation saying the EU framework represented a “significant milestone’.

A growing number crypto firms operating or planning to expand into Europe have already taken steps ahead of schedule to ensure compliance. Such as cryptocurrency exchange STEX, that  has partnered with KYC and AML platform Ondato in March 2022 to ensure the exchange’s continued customer growth within a compliance environment of imminent new EU regulation of crypto-assets. But also Coinbase, that already holds authorisation  from Germany and Ireland, as well as  other crypto platforms are seeking licenses in several Eurpean countries.

How to progress?

We are not there yet! The provisional agreement will now move to be approved by the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, and should be rubber-stamped by the European Parliament before being translated into legislative text and gazetted in the EU’s Official Journal. The European capitals will then have 18 months to implement them in the national legislation. This process could thus take until 2024 for states to implement MICA and the EU crypto regulation effectively be working.

Some loose ends 

There are still a number of regulatory open issues that should be taken into account in a future revision of the EU crypto regulation such as NFTs, the environment, supervision .etc. An additional problem is that legislation is always lagging behind practice, this especially goes for crypto where technological developments are very rapid. In the meantime EU policymakers are already planning MICA2 to tie up any legal loose ends.

NFTs

Members of the European Parliament have proposed that NFT trading platforms should be made subject to the EU anti-money laundering (AML) laws and should be brought in the scope of MiCA, with authorization and supervision of crypto firms at member state level. They have been tasked with determining whether NFTs require a separate regulatory framework to address the emerging risks of such new market.

Environmental impact

Another issue that should be solved is the question how to address the environmental impact of crypto assets. The final version of the new directive mandates co-legislators to take into account the environmental impact of crypto assets in a future review. The European Commission would assess the energy footprint of crypto assets. Within two years, the European Commission will have to provide a report on the environmental impact of crypto-assets and the introduction of mandatory minimum sustainability standards for consensus mechanisms, including the proof-of-work.

Some concerns

But there are still a number of concerns that should be taken into account before the new regulation becomes law and is fully implemented..

Regulatory overlap

The ECB has warned EU member states about the necessity of harmonizing the different crypto regulations across EU member states until MICA becomes law and is fully implemented. The ECB is concerned about the different crypto regulations across member states and the possible regulatory overlap between respective central banks in the EU and crypto companies during that period.

The ECB is set to warn countries in the eurozone of the dangers of national regulators getting ahead of MiCA and proposing new rules that may affect the future harmonization of rules. The ECB is concerned that countries start providing crypto-related licenses to traditional banks when there is not yet a pan-European framework in place.

The central bank wants to discuss the need to harmonize the provision of these licenses across countries before MiCA is fully implemented. Regulators from 19 EU member states will reportedly attend a supervisory board meeting in July to discuss MiCA and its possible implementation.

Regulatory competition or cooperation

The much-anticipated EU crypto regulation is expected to completely change the crypto landscape. But how and at what scale will greatly depend on the attitude of regulators in both the US and the UK.

The provisional agreement by EU regulators is a welcome step in the right direction. It is still questionable if other regulators will follow suit and work together with industry leaders to deliver a clear and effective global framework which will allow the sector to flourish.

What is sure is that the rules plant Europe firmly ahead of the major crypto centres US and the UK in the race to regulate crypto.  These countries have yet to approve similar rules. The Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee has called for “enhanced regulation” of the crypto asset market to mitigate against potential risks.

The question if they are prepared to cooperate or if they use crypto regulation as a way to compete in this promising market is still open. Here is a great task for international bodies like the G7, the G20, the BIS and others to teak a lead.

 

Thanks for reading!


 

Carlo de Meijer

Economist and researcher

 

 

 

 

Source

Cross border movements of Treasurers and what drives them

18-07-2022 | treasuryXL | Pieter de Kiewit | Treasurer Search | LinkedIn |

 

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