January 14, 2021
SmartBrief on Risk and Compliance
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Top Stories
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, incoming chair of the Senate banking committee, has expressed eagerness to converse regularly with CEOs of leading banks. While Brown is expected to tighten regulatory focus on the financial sector, he also says he wants to know more about banks' business, adding: "The more we hear from them, the better."
Full Story: CNBC (1/12) 
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Several financial industry associations reportedly are preparing a report that underlines their commitment against climate change. A draft of the report states financial firms "have a clear mandate to intermediate trillions of dollars to new industries, cutting-edge technologies and resilient infrastructure, building on our long-standing commitments to sustainable finance."
Full Story: Politico (1/13) 
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President-elect Joe Biden is expected to name former financial regulator Gary Gensler to serve as chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, sources said. From 2009 to 2014, Gensler chaired the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Full Story: Reuters (1/12),  The Wall Street Journal (1/12) 
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Optimizing Your Remote Business Processes
The global pandemic has shifted much of the world's workforce into a remote setting, but the need to collaborate within - and between - teams remains. Cloud content tools have become a significant solution, but which features and benefits are most needed at this time? This infographic provides insight into what makes a strong collaboration tool
Bloomberg Insights
Machine learning and artificial intelligence hold the promise, or threat, of automating a host of jobs currently occupied by humans. Even surgery and financial analysis in the future may be performed by machines.
Full Story: Bloomberg Professional Services (1/13) 
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BlackRock and Vanguard could be forced to exit billions of dollars in investment because of a US ban on investing in Chinese firms linked to the military. Vanguard has liquidated positions in sanctioned firms, while BlackRock has reduced holdings and continues to do so.
Full Story: Bloomberg (1/12),  Financial Times (subscription required) (1/12) 
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Trading Trends
The resilience of the over-the-counter derivatives market during the COVID-19 pandemic reflected important changes and a significant reduction in counterparty credit risk over the past decade, according to a research paper by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association. The report notes that "the COVID-19 pandemic was the first major test of the regulatory reforms enacted in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis" and the market continued to function without any major issues or dislocations.
Full Story: Futures & Options World (subscription required) (1/13) 
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China has made strides in its efforts to attract more foreign investment into its markets, particularly its futures markets with the introduction of new international products. But the country's progress on becoming a global price setter could remain limited for years to come, analysts say. "As long as China has capital controls and foreign participation is not large enough, China's … global influence in price setting will still be limited," said Citigroup managing director and chief China economist Li-Gang Liu.
Full Story: CNBC (1/12) 
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Assets under management at Vanguard have increased to $7.1 trillion from $6.2 trillion during the past year. Net investor inflows hit $186 billion in 2020.
Full Story: Financial Times (subscription required) (1/13) 
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Operational Efficiencies
Some senior London bank executives say they anticipate Brexit will cause more financial sector jobs and functions to move to the EU, since it may be years before there is an agreement concerning financial services. The relocations are expected to be incremental.
Full Story: Financial News (UK) (tiered subscription model) (1/13) 
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Incoming Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser is creating a unit that combines Citi's private bank with its wealth-management services. "Putting the full force of our firm behind an offering in this way reflects the approach we're taking to transforming our bank," said Fraser and CEO Michael Corbat, who will retire next month.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (1/13) 
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Regulatory Review
Bank regulation largely centers around overseeing human behaviors and must adapt to keep up with the technological developments in finance, writes acting US Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks.
Full Story: Financial Times (subscription required) (1/12) 
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South Dakota-based Anchorage Digital Bank is the first cryptocurrency platform to receive a national trust charter from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, paving the way for the company to collaborate with banks that want to offer their customers stablecoins and crypto assets. Anchorage Digital Bank will not be able to take deposits, as the national trust charter does not require it to carry deposit insurance.
Full Story: American Banker online (subscription required) (1/13),  Law360 (subscription required) (1/14) 
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Research & Analysis
The Federal Reserve's membership in the Network for Greening the Financial System prSarah Bloom Raskinesents an opportunity for US regulators to lead a global approach for sustainable finance, writes Sarah Bloom Raskin.
Full Story: Financial Times (subscription required) (1/11) 
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