Category Archives: World

FCA proposes stronger protection for consumers in financial markets

The FCA has today set out plans for a new Consumer Duty, which will set a higher level of consumer protection in retail financial markets for firms to adhere to.

Firms are already bound by FCA rules and principles to treat customers fairly and many firms are delivering the right outcomes for consumers, including good products and services at fair prices, supported by high standards of customer service and clear communications.

The FCA has seen evidence of practices that cause consumer harm, including firms providing information which is misleadingly presented or difficult for consumers to understand, hindering their ability to properly assess the product/service. This may provide some insight into why 1 in 4 respondents to the FCA’s 2020 Financial Lives Survey said they lack confidence in the financial services industry and only 35% of respondents agreed that firms are honest and transparent in their dealings with them.

As part of the FCA’s ongoing work to monitor and address behaviour that could lead to poor outcomes for consumers, the FCA is proposing to expand its existing rules and principles to ensure firms provide a higher level of consumer protection consistently which will enable consumers to get good outcomes.

The new Duty will drive a shift in culture and behaviour for firms, meaning that consumers always get products and services that are fit for purpose, that represent fair value and are clearly communicated and understandable. This will help, rather than hinder, consumers to make good choices and be confident that they will receive good customer service.

Sheldon Mills, Executive Director of Consumers and Competition at the FCA, said: ‘The package of measures we are proposing will enhance our existing rules and is designed to tackle the harms we see in financial services markets, and their causes, as well as put consumers in a stronger position to make good decisions.

‘We want firms to be putting themselves in the shoes of consumers and asking ‘would I be happy to be treated in the way I treat my customers?’. We want consumers to be able to advance their financial wellbeing and build positive futures for themselves and their families.’

The Consumer Duty, which firms will have to follow or face regulatory action, including enforcement investigations if they fail to do so, will have 3 key elements:

  1. The Consumer Principle, which will reflect the overall standards of behaviour the FCA expects from firms. The wording being consulted on is: ‘a firm must act in the best interests of retail clients’ or ‘a firm must act to deliver good outcomes for retail clients’.
  2. Cross-cutting rules which would require 3 key behaviours from firms, which include taking all reasonable steps to avoid foreseeable harm to customers, taking all reasonable steps to enable customers to pursue their financial objectives and to act in good faith.
  3. It will also be underpinned by a suite of rules and guidance that set more detailed expectations for firm conduct in relation to 4 specific outcomes – communications, products and services, customer service and price and value.

The consultation is open for comment until 31 July 2021. The FCA expects to consult again on proposed rule changes by the end of 2021 and make any new rules by the end of July 2022. The FCA is also consulting on the potential benefits of attaching a private right of action to the new Duty, and what any unintended consequences of this might be.

Read CP21/13: A new Consumer Duty

MAS Launches Global FinTech Hackcelerator for a Greener Financial Sector

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced the launch of the 6th edition of the Global FinTech Hackcelerator, with the theme “Harnessing Technology to Power Green Finance”. The competition, supported by Oliver Wyman, seeks to unlock the potential of FinTech in accelerating the development of green finance in Singapore and the region.

2.      FinTech firms and solution providers around the world are invited to submit innovative solutions to address over 50 problem statements that have been collected from financial institutions and green finance industry players. These problem statements focus on three key challenges: (i) Mobilising Capital; (ii) Monitoring Commitment; and (iii) Measuring Impact.

3.      Up to 15 finalists will be shortlisted for a virtual programme where they will be paired with a Corporate Champion [1] to develop customised prototypes on the API Exchange (APIX) [2] . Each finalist will also receive a S$20,000 cash stipend and be eligible for a fast-tracked application for the MAS Financial Sector Technology and Innovation Scheme Proof-of-Concept Grant of up to S$200,000.

4.      Finalists will pitch their solutions at the Demo Day held at this year’s Singapore FinTech Festival [3] . Up to three winners will be selected, with each receiving S$50,000 in prize money.

5.      Mr Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer of MAS said, “Green FinTech can be an important enabler to accelerate Asia’s transition to a low carbon future. It can provide much needed innovative solutions, and develop the crucial technology stack, which can help promote green financial services, catalyse efficient allocation of green capital, and facilitate trust in the green data value chain. I encourage all innovators to make use of this platform and showcase their Green FinTech solutions to the world.”

6.      All FinTech firms and solution providers are encouraged to submit their applications for the MAS Global FinTech Hackcelerator here  by 11 June 2021.

***

  1. [1] Corporate Champions are teams from Singapore-based financial institutions or organisations that mentor finalists during the Hackcelerator, working with them to refine and contextualise the solution.
  1. [2] APIX (www.apixplatform.com ), a product of the ASEAN Financial Innovation Network, is a not-for-profit entity formed by the MAS, the International Finance Corporation and the ASEAN Bankers Association, with the objective of supporting financial innovation and inclusion around the world.
  1. [3] Singapore FinTech Festival is the world’s largest FinTech festival and a global platform for the FinTech community comprising FinTech players, technopreneurs, policy makers, financial industry leaders, investors including private equity players and venture capitalists and academics. It will be held on 8 to 12 November 2021.

ASIC commences civil proceedings against Westpac for insider trading

ASIC has today commenced proceedings in the Federal Court against Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac) for insider trading, unconscionable conduct and breaches of its Australian financial services licensee obligations.

The allegations relate to Westpac’s role in executing a $12 billion interest rate swap transaction with a consortium of AustralianSuper and a group of IFM entities (Consortium). The transaction occurred on 20 October 2016 and was associated with the privatisation of a majority stake in the electricity provider Ausgrid by the NSW government. The transaction remains the largest interest rate swap transaction executed in one tranche in Australian financial market history.

At about 7am on 20 October 2016, the Consortium signed an agreement with the NSW Government for the acquisition of Ausgrid.

ASIC alleges that by about 8:30am on 20 October 2016, Westpac knew, or believed, it would be selected by the Consortium to execute the interest rate swap transaction on that morning. ASIC alleges this was inside information. When the market opened at 8:30am, whilst in possession of the alleged inside information, Westpac’s traders acquired and disposed of interest rate derivative products in order to pre-position Westpac in anticipation of the execution of the swap transaction.

ASIC alleges that Westpac’s trading occurred while it was in possession of information that was not generally available to other market participants including those that traded with Westpac that morning. Prohibitions against insider trading are a fundamental tenet of market integrity.

The Consortium, via a special purpose vehicle, executed the interest rate swap transaction with Westpac at 10:27am.

ASIC alleges that Westpac’s trading on the morning of 20 October 2016 had the potential to impact the price of the swap transaction to the detriment of the Consortium or the special purpose vehicle.

In addition to the insider trading allegation, ASIC also alleges that the circumstances surrounding Westpac’s trading on the morning of 20 October 2016, including its failure to provide to the Consortium full and informed disclosure about its intention to pre-position its trading books prior to and with notice of the execution of the swap transaction, amounted to unconscionable conduct.

ASIC is committed to improving market practices in the institutional and Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities (FICC) markets. This matter serves as an important reminder that the insider trading prohibitions apply equally across all financial markets.

ASIC is seeking declarations and pecuniary penalties for Westpac’s alleged contraventions s1043A of the Corporations Act and s12CB of the ASIC Act, a declaration for Westpac’s alleged contravention of s912A of the Corporations Act, and ancillary orders.

FCA stops FXVC offering CFDs to UK customers

The FCA has acted to stop a Cypriot based firm, Finteractive Limited (trading as FXVC), from offering high risk contracts for difference (CFDs) to UK investors.

FXVC used a variety of inappropriate techniques, including misleading financial promotions which appeared to offer consumers the opportunity to purchase shares in a well-known company and failed to mention that they were actually promoting CFDs.

Many of the FXVC’s customers were unclear about the nature of the investments that they were being persuaded to make and the risks involved in trading in CFDs. The firm used pressure tactics, described by one customer as ‘relentless’, to encourage consumers to invest ever increasing sums of money. Some customers were even encouraged to declare they were professional investors despite not meeting the necessary criteria for such categorisation.

The FCA has stopped FXVC conducting any regulated activities in the UK and required the firm to close all trading positions and return the money to customers.

FXVC operates in the UK under the Temporary Permission Regime (TPR) put in place for firms who used to operate in the UK under a passport and who wish to continue to operate here following the UK’s exit from the European Union. These firms operate under the TPR until their application for full authorisation by the FCA can be considered.

CFTC Orders New York Man to Pay More than $1 Million for Role in Fraudulent Binary Options Scheme

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today issued an order filing and settling charges against Glenn Olson formerly of Brooklyn, New York, for his role in a binary options fraud that harmed U.S. customers involving Blue Bit Banc, a United Kingdom company, and Blue Bit Analytics, Ltd, located in Turks and Caicos.

The order requires Olson to disgorge all of his ill-gotten gains, totaling $241,070. He is also ordered to pay restitution of $846,405, a joint obligation with others found liable and enjoined by a federal court in a prior CFTC enforcement action. [See CFTC v. Kantor, No. 18-cv-2247-SJF-ARL (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 23, 2019) and CFTC Press Release No. 8069-19] Olson is also ordered to cease and desist from further violating the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations, from trading on or subject to the rules of any CFTC-registered entity, and from engaging in any activities requiring registration with the CFTC. 

Case Background

The order finds—and Olson admitted—that from approximately April 2014 through March 2018, he was affiliated with Blue Bit Banc and related entities, selling binary options to customers for Blue Bit using alias names and also supervising other sales staff at Blue Bit’s Manhattan office. Olson also admitted that, as part of the scheme, he and others misrepresented the profitability of trading through Blue Bit, manipulated or fabricated purported trades in their customers’ accounts to the customers’ disadvantage, prevented customers from withdrawing funds, and misappropriated customer funds.

The order states that Olson also admitted he knowingly made false statements, omitted statements of material fact, and took other actions to defraud customers, while receiving disbursements totaling $241,070.30. In addition, Olson was involved in the conversion of some customers’ Blue Bit account holdings into ATM Coin, a worthless cryptocurrency that was represented as being worth substantial money. According to the order, at least 27 customers lost a total of $846,405 as a result of the fraudulent scheme.  

The CFTC cautions victims that restitution orders may not result in the recovery of money lost, because wrongdoers may not have sufficient funds or assets. The CFTC will continue to fight vigorously for the protection of customers and to ensure the wrongdoers are held accountable.

The Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Susan Padove, Joseph Patrick, David Terrell, Scott Williamson, and Robert Howell.

CFTC’s Binary Options Fraud Advisories

The CFTC has issued several customer protection Fraud Advisories that provide the warning signs of fraud, including the Binary Options and Fraud Advisory, which alerts customers to this type of fraud and list simple ways to spot it.

The CFTC also strongly urges the public to verify a company’s registration with the Commission before committing funds. If unregistered, a customer should be wary of providing funds to that entity. A company’s registration status can be found using NFA BASIC.

Customers can report suspicious activities or information, such as possible violations of commodity trading laws, to the CFTC Division of Enforcement via a toll-free hotline 866-FON-CFTC (866-366-2382) or file a tip or complaint online.

ASIC bans the sale of binary options to retail clients

ASIC has made a product intervention order banning the issue and distribution of binary options to retail clients.

The ban will take effect from Monday 3 May 2021 after ASIC found that binary options have resulted in and are likely to result in significant detriment to retail clients.

ASIC reviews in 2017 and 2019 found that approximately 80% of retail clients lost money trading binary options. ASIC found that binary options are likely to result in cumulative losses to retail clients over time because of their product characteristics:

  • the ‘all or nothing’ payoff structure, where one of the two possible outcomes for a binary option contract is that the retail client will lose their entire investment amount;
  • short contract duration (the average contract duration of binary options traded with one provider was less than six minutes); and
  • negative expected returns (that is, the present value of the expected payoff for a binary option contract is lower than the initial investment).

Commissioner Armour said, ‘Binary options’ product characteristics make them incompatible with investment or risk management use by retail clients. ASIC’s product intervention order will protect retail investors from these harmful products at a time of heightened vulnerability.’

ASIC estimates that retail clients’ net losses from trading binary options were around $490 million in 2018. The size of the market in Australia has since reduced significantly after ASIC issued a warning in April 2019 against providing unlicensed or unauthorised services to clients located in several foreign jurisdictions. Australian retail clients are estimated to have made net losses of more than $6.7 million in 2019.

ASIC’s binary options ban brings Australian requirements into line with prohibitions in force in comparable markets and follows the commencement on 29 March 2021 of ASIC’s product intervention order imposing conditions on contracts for difference offered to retail clients.

The order will remain in force for 18 months, after which it may be extended or made permanent. Civil and criminal penalties apply to contraventions of the product intervention order.

Background

A binary option is a cash-settled, over-the-counter (OTC) derivative entered into by two counterparties—the binary option issuer and the client. The ‘all-or-nothing’ payout under a binary option contract is determined by the occurrence or non-occurrence of a specified event in a defined timeframe. This can include an event related to movements in the price of a financial product or a market index (for example, the price of gold increasing in 30 seconds) or an economic event (such as a central bank interest-rate decision).

Regulatory Guide 272 Product intervention power provides an overview of ASIC’s product intervention power, when and how ASIC may exercise the power and how a product intervention order is made.

On 22 August 2019, ASIC released CP 322, seeking feedback on proposals to use its product intervention power to address significant detriment to retail clients resulting from binary options and CFDs (refer 19-220MR). CP 322 attracted more than 400 responses from consumers, consumer groups, CFD issuers, industry bodies and other stakeholders.

On 23 October 2020, ASIC made a product intervention order imposing conditions on the issue and distribution of contracts for difference (CFDs) to retail clients (refer 20-254MR). From 29 March 2021, ASIC’s order strengthens consumer protections by reducing CFD leverage available to retail clients and by targeting CFD product features and sales practices that amplify retail clients’ CFD losses.

In addition to the product intervention orders, ASIC’s actions to address concerns about binary options and CFDs include:

  • enforcement action to address misconduct
  • public warning notices and other statements
  • surveillance projects and thematic reviews
  • stronger regulations
  • extensive retail client education campaigns and guidance for binary option issuers.

More information about ASIC’s supervision and enforcement work is available on our website. ASIC’s Moneysmart website has further information about binary options.

ASIC’s CFD product intervention order takes effect

ASIC’s product intervention order imposing conditions on the issue and distribution of contracts for difference (CFDs) to retail clients takes effect from today.

The order strengthens protections for retail clients trading CFDs after ASIC found that CFDs have resulted in, and are likely to result in, significant detriment to retail clients.

ASIC’s order reduces CFD leverage available to retail clients and targets CFD product features and sales practices that amplify retail clients’ CFD losses, such as providing inducements to become a client or to trade. It also brings Australian practice into line with protections in force in comparable markets elsewhere.

The maximum CFD leverage available to retail clients will range from 30:1 to a 2:1, depending on the underlying asset class. Before now, a retail investor’s CFD exposure could be as much as 500 times their original outlay.

ASIC Commissioner Cathie Armour said ‘We will closely monitor compliance with the product intervention order and won’t hestitate to take appropriate action to enforce the order.’

‘We are also paying careful attention to changes in CFD providers’ reported holdings of retail client money and any mis-classification of retail clients as wholesale clients, which would risk denying them important rights and protections. Protecting retail investors from harm, particularly at a time of heightened vulnerability, is a priority for ASIC,’ Commissioner Armour said.

The maximum penalty for a contravention of a product intervention order is five years’ imprisonment for individuals and substantial pecuniary penalties of up to $555 million for corporations.

If a court finds that a person has contravened a product intervention order, a retail client may recover the amount of loss or damage suffered because of the contravention.

The product intervention order will remain in force for 18 months, after which it may be extended or made permanent.

Background

A CFD is a leveraged derivative contract that allows a client to speculate in the change in value of an underlying asset, such as foreign exchange rates, stock market indices, single equities, commodities or cryptoassets.

Regulatory Guide 272 Product intervention power provides an overview of ASIC’s product intervention power, when and how ASIC may exercise the power, and how a product intervention order is made.

On 22 August 2019, ASIC released Consultation Paper 322 Product intervention: OTC binary options and CFDs (CP 322) seeking feedback on proposals to use its product intervention power to address significant detriment to retail clients resulting from over-the-counter (OTC) binary options and CFDs (refer 19-220MR). CP 322 attracted over 400 responses from consumers, consumer groups, product issuers, industry bodies and other stakeholders.

On 23 October 2020, ASIC made a product intervention order imposing conditions on the issue and distribution of contracts for difference (CFDs) to retail clients (refer 20-254MR).

In addition to the product intervention order, ASIC’s actions to address concerns about CFDs include:

  • enforcement action to address misconduct (for example, refer 21-051MR20-246MR, and 20-161MR)
  • public warning notices and other statements
  • surveillance projects and thematic reviews
  • stronger regulations
  • extensive retail client education campaigns and guidance for binary option issuers.

More information about ASIC’s supervision and enforcement work is available on our website. ASIC’s MoneySmart website has further information about forex trading and CFDs.

ASIC’s proposal in CP 322 to ban the issue and distribution of binary options to retail clients is still under consideration and a decision has not yet been made.

FCA starts criminal proceedings against NatWest Plc

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today announced that it has commenced criminal proceedings against National Westminster Bank Plc (NatWest) in respect of offences under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 (MLR 2007).

The FCA alleges that NatWest failed to adhere to the requirements of regulations 8(1), 8(3) and 14(1) of MLR 2007 between 11 November 2011 and 19 October 2016.

These regulations require the firm to determine, conduct and demonstrate risk sensitive due diligence and ongoing monitoring of its relationships with its customers for the purposes of preventing money laundering.

The case arises from the handling of funds deposited into accounts operated by a UK incorporated customer of NatWest. The FCA alleges that increasingly large cash deposits were made into the customer’s accounts. It is alleged that around £365 million was paid into the customer’s accounts, of which around £264 million was in cash.

It is alleged that NatWest’s systems and controls failed to adequately monitor and scrutinise this activity.

NatWest is scheduled to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 14 April 2021.

This is the first criminal prosecution under the MLR 2007 by the FCA and the first prosecution under the MLR against a bank.

No individuals are being charged as part of these proceedings.

Philip Lowe: Opening remarks at the Melbourne Business Analytics Conference

Good morning and welcome to this year’s Business Analytics Conference.

I am very pleased to be able to join you, not least because of the theme of this year’s conference: Driving Recovery and Growth through Data Analytics. This theme brings together 2 issues that are very close to my heart – the recovery of the Australian economy from the pandemic and the critical role that investment in IT and data can play in sustaining that recovery. So I congratulate you on your choice of topic and I look forward to hearing your ideas.

The challenges facing us all are large. At the Reserve Bank, we are seeking to support the economic recovery and a stronger labour market that is consistent with achieving the inflation target. And most of you at this conference are seeking to find new ways of using data to help businesses and organisations innovate, compete and succeed.

These challenges are complementary. We will each be more successful if the other is successful. A stronger economy will provide businesses with the confidence and the resources to make the investments that are needed for our future. And conversely, our economy will be stronger because of your work, since the best decisions are those based on data, evidence and analysis. So our causes are linked.

I will come back to this idea, but first a few words about the economic recovery.

As a nation, we have responded very well to the pandemic. Australians have pulled together and been prepared to do what is necessary to contain the virus and support one another. Businesses have adapted quickly and innovated, with many making more progress on the digital front in a matter of months than they would have made in years. Governments also responded quickly and decisively, with extensive income support, increased spending on infrastructure and a large wage subsidy program. And monetary policy has also helped, reducing the cost of borrowing to historically low levels and supporting the supply of credit.

The result has been a quicker and stronger economic recovery than was expected. In the December quarter, GDP increased by 3.1 per cent and we are now within striking distance of the pre-pandemic level of GDP. The number of people in jobs has also almost returned to the level before the pandemic. Looking across the range of indicators, Australia is doing much better than most other advanced economies.

This, however, does not hide the fact that we still have a long way to go. The unemployment rate of 6.4 per cent is too high and the economy is operating well short of its capacity. Inflation and wages growth are also both lower than we would like. While we are expecting further progress to be made towards full employment and the inflation target, it is going to take some time before we reach our goals.

One piece of the recovery that is yet to click into gear is business investment. Understandably, last year many firms deferred their investment plans and sought to reduce risk on their balance sheets. Late in the year there was a welcome pick-up in investment in machinery and equipment, but there is still a long way to go to get back to the level of investment before the pandemic, which itself was low by historical standards. If we are to have a strong and durable recovery, it is important that the recovery in business investment continues and broadens.

Looking across the economy, there are investment needs and opportunities in many areas. The one I would like to focus on today is investment in IT, digitisation and data science. Investment in these areas is critical to lifting our nation’s productive capacity.

In many ways data is the new oil of the 21st century. Investing in data and our digital capability are critical to our future prosperity. These investments allow better decision making and a faster response to the changes in our economy and society. These investments are also crucial to organisations delivering the more personalised goods and services that many people are seeking.

There are opportunities for digital innovation in every sector of our economy. Almost every organisation needs a strong digital capability to perform well, to innovate and lift their productivity. Technology and data analysis also hold the keys to solving many of the great challenges of our times, including controlling the pandemic, dealing with climate change and responding to increasing cyber threats. This all means that the discussions you are having at this conference are really important.

If, as a nation, we are to capitalise on your work and the growing opportunities, we need to keep investing in the skills and knowledge of our people. This conference is a good example of this investment. Developing a strong digital workforce with skills in areas like predictive analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence is just as important as investing in the hardware and software needed to support the digital economy. As part of our journey we also need to think about how our organisations function and make decisions, so that our people can work in more agile and flexible ways as they grapple with complex problems. It is by investing in both physical and human capital that we can boost our productivity, create employment and drive Australia’s future prosperity.

The importance of investing in the digital economy has been recognised by our governments. The Australian Government has a strong focus on this and is making additional investments in skills and training, streamlining regulatory processes and strengthening the nation’s cyber security. The consumer data right, to give consumers greater access to and control over their data, will also help. This access has started with open banking, which will make it easier for Australians to switch between financial institutions and access financial products that better suit their needs. In time, Australians will benefit from this being extended to other areas.

At the RBA, we are also investing significantly in digital infrastructure and data. The importance of this to us is reflected in the decision to make ‘harnessing the power of data’ one of our internal strategic focus areas for the next few years.

We view data as a strategic asset, and are investing in the processes, technology and people to enhance the value we get from data. We have established an enterprise data office with responsibility for data management, for ensuring that our staff have the right skills and that we are using leading data technologies and methods in our analysis. This includes the use of machine learning and ‘big data’.

We are seeing the benefits from this focus on data in our analysis of the economy and financial system. For example, the Bank’s staff use loan-level large datasets from securitisations to better understand developments in the market for housing loans and use detailed settlement data to measure bond market liquidity. They also use machine learning techniques to extract measures of sentiment from news articles as an economic indicator.[1] And during the pandemic, we have been able to access and analyse a broader range of data to obtain real-time readings of economic conditions in a way that wasn’t possible in the past.

At the RBA, we also see the power of new technologies and data in our central banking operations. The RBA has played a significant role in building the New Payments Platform (NPP), a critical piece of national infrastructure, which enables us all to make fast payments on a 24/7 basis. As a provider of banking services to the Australian Government, the RBA has been working with its government banking clients as they modernise their payment systems using the NPP. As an example, Services Australia now routinely uses the NPP to make emergency welfare and disaster relief payments in real time to Australians in need. Payment messages through the NPP can also carry richer data, opening up opportunities for more efficient business processes and new digital services in the future. As an example of this, NPP will be able to support the adoption of e-invoicing, which will lower the cost of doing business.

Another example where technology and data are opening up new possibilities is in the area of digital currencies. The RBA is conducting research on the technologies and policy implications of a potential wholesale central bank digital currency. This could use distributed ledger technology to support the settlement of transactions in the interbank payment system. Some of this work is taking place in the RBA’s in-house Innovation Lab, where we are collaborating with external parties on a proof-of-concept. We look forward to sharing more details in due course.

The Bank and the Payments System Board are also strongly supportive of forms of digital identity that can be used in both the public and private sector. An effective system of digital identity is important in promoting competition, security and innovation in the digital economy. The Australian Government is also supporting digital identity services for conveniently and securely accessing government services online.

I would like to conclude by returning to the idea that the challenges facing the RBA and those of you attending this conference are complementary.

The RBA is doing what it can to support the recovery from the pandemic and will maintain that support until we have achieved our goals for full employment and inflation. A strong economy will make for a more conducive environment for investments in data and technology. Similarly, your investments in data, technology and human capital will help make the economy stronger and more dynamic. We need these investments to develop the industries of the future and to equip Australians with the skills needed for that future. Australia needs your ideas, your ingenuity and your energy so that organisations across our country can seize the opportunities that will help deliver our future prosperity.

I wish you the best for the conference and look forward to your insights on how we can best drive the recovery and growth through investment in data analytics.

Thank you.

Jens Weidmann re-elected as Chair of the BIS Board of Directors

  • Deutsche Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann re-elected as Chair of the BIS Board of Directors.
  • Mr Weidmann’s third three-year term will start in November 2021.
  • BIS Directors thank Mr Weidmann for his contribution.

The Board of Directors of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has re-elected Jens Weidmann, President of the Deutsche Bundesbank, as Chair of the BIS Board for a third three-year term.

The term will commence on 1 November 2021, after Mr Weidmann’s current term of office expires. He first assumed his responsibilities as Chair of the BIS Board on 1 November 2015.

The Directors thanked Mr Weidmann for his leadership during this challenging period and welcomed his continued service to the Bank.

The Board is responsible for determining the strategic and policy direction of the BIS, supervising BIS Management, and fulfilling the specific tasks given to it by the Bank’s Statutes. It meets at least six times a year and has 18 members.