UK ring-fencing transition heightens cyber-crime risk: regulator

Ring-fencing rules drawn up after the financial crisis to protect consumer deposits are exposing UK bank customers to fraud and cyber-crime as financial institutions change account information for around a million customers. The Financial Conduct Authority has warned banks and account holders of the potential for indiscriminate attacks by criminals using sophisticated strategies to obtain account details as banks begin transferring more than £25bn to new accounts in retail banking operations legally separated from riskier investment banking activities.

US banks create business to assess third-party technology risks

Major US banks including JPMorgan and Bank of America have established a company to conduct risk assessments on third-party technology vendors and partners. TruSight aims to provide a simple and comprehensive approach to analyse information security, technology, hiring practices and governance, reflecting the increasing number of financial groups that rely on third parties for a wide range of critical internal and client-facing banking services.

CME faces criticism over plans to list bitcoin futures

The head of Interactive Brokers, the largest electronic brokerage firm in the US, has criticised plans by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to list bitcoin futures later this year, arguing that the move could pose a danger to traditional capital markets. In an open letter to market regulator CFTC, Interactive Brokers chairman Thomas Peterffy says any institution that wishes to clear a crypto-currency or derivative should do so in a separate system isolated from other products, arguing that bitcoin’s volatility could have a dangerous impact on other futures products trading on the same market.
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Singapore to offer S$27m in grants for AI development

Singapore will offer S$27m in grants to local financial institutions and technology firms to promote the development and adoption of artificial intelligence and data analytics in the financial services sector. The launch of the grant scheme follows the decision of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Singapore Association of Banks to release the source codes of three successful blockchain prototypes for interbank payments to encourage more banks to experiment with the technology.

Wal-Mart set to overtake Apple in number of mobile payment users

Wal-Mart’s payment app could soon surpass Apple Pay as the most used mobile payments service in the US by number of active users, in a rare instance of a traditional business outpacing an innovative tech firm. The world’s largest retailer launched its Walmart Pay system in December 2015, more than a year after the establishment of Apple’s service, and has been adding tens of thousands of new users a day in recent months.