April 22, 2021
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SIFMA SmartBrief Operations & Technology
News on the capital markets for operations and technology professionals
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Top Story
A bill that would require the Securities and Exchange Commission to request investor data on a case-by-case basis for the consolidated audit trail has been introduced in the Senate. "We have repeatedly questioned whether the benefit of collecting such information in a single database outweighs the risk of such data being compromised to the detriment of individual investors," said SIFMA President and CEO Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr. "In response to these concerns, we have consistently proposed less risky alternatives designed to fulfill the regulatory purposes of the CAT while providing greater protection to investor [personally identifiable information]."
Full Story: Pensions & Investments (free access for SmartBrief readers) (4/20) 
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Operations Update
HSBC has turned the executive floor at its London headquarters into collaborative space. Executives, including CEO Noel Quinn, are expected to hot desk on a lower floor, moving toward post-pandemic working practices endorsed by Quinn.
Full Story: Financial Times (subscription required) (4/18),  Bloomberg (4/19) 
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Fintech Meetup Is Reinventing Networking
No keynotes or sessions! We cut straight to the most valuable part: building connections with other fintech, finance and banking professionals. We're scheduling 10,000+ 15-min online meetings so you can meet new people. Qualifying Banks & Credit Unions can join free! June 15-17. Buy Ticket
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Technology Update
The upcoming generation of financial traders will need to be fully equipped with quant, data and coding skills, says Sarah Heffron, global co-head of electronic client solutions and program trading for equities at JPMorgan Chase. In a wide-ranging interview, Heffron and fellow JPMorgan executive Joanna Martin discuss the future of trading, along with the necessity of liquidity, the impact of Brexit on their operations and returning to the office after pandemic lockdowns.
Full Story: Bloomberg (4/21) 
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Despite improvements to off-the-shelf offerings of new financial services technology like machine learning, many banks and asset managers still prefer to create their algorithms and models in-house.
Full Story: WatersTechnology (subscription required) (4/16) 
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London's banks and financial institutions need to take advantage of third-party vendors to upgrade outdated technology to keep the city competitive in the global market, according to a City of London report. The report recommends that an independent testing and accreditation regime be established for regtech firms and that regulators push for improved technology standards.
Full Story: Financial News (UK) (tiered subscription model) (4/16) 
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Regulatory and Legislative Update
Financial regulators have stressed workers must continue compliance with rules on fraud, data privacy and market abuse while working remotely. The UK Financial Conduct Authority has warned it will act if necessary.
Full Story: Financial Times (subscription required) (4/15) 
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Legislation to make it easier for the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission to work together on digital asset regulation has passed the House of Representatives. The Eliminate Barriers to Innovation Act of 2021 would establish a joint working group of industry representatives to produce a report and recommendations for addressing the digital assets markets.
Full Story: CoinDesk (UK) (4/21),  The Block (4/21) 
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The Bank of England might have to bolster controls to manage risk from companies' reliance on cloud data providers, Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden says. "We plan to analyze further whether we need even stronger tools to manage the risk that critical third parties, including potentially cloud and other major tech providers, may pose," Ramsden says.
Full Story: Reuters (4/21) 
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The UK Treasury and the Bank of England are studying a central bank digital currency. The institutions say they are forming a task force to coordinate preparations for a digital currency that would "exist alongside cash and bank deposits, rather than replacing them".
Full Story: BBC (free registration) (4/19),  The Block (4/19),  Bloomberg (4/19) 
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SIFMA News
In the latest in SIFMA's podcast series, SIFMA President and CEO Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr. is joined by Chris Killian, SIFMA managing director, securitization and credit, to talk about the need for federal legislation in the transition away from Libor. SIFMA is supportive of federal legislation aligned with recommendations from the Alternative Reference Rates Committee, or ARRC, to address situations where contracts cannot be easily transitioned away from Libor due to legal or regulatory reasons. Listen for more on this important issue.
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As technology evolves, financial services companies are faced with increasing ethical challenges in handling personal data. Join SIFMA on May 13 from noon to 1 p.m. ET to discuss how firms approach emerging data technology, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, biometrics, and deidentification, while also ensuring the ethical treatment of that data.
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April 22 is Earth Day
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