G20 watchdog issues recommendations for regulating ‘global stablecoins’

Quick Take

  • The Financial Stability Board (FSB), the G20 supervisory body, has issued ten “high-level” recommendations for regulating “global stablecoins” 
  • The recommendations seek to promote “consistent” and “effective” regulation of global stablecoins, such as Facebook’s Libra 

The Financial Stability Board (FSB), which coordinates rules for the Group of 20 (G20) economies, has issued recommendations for regulating “global stablecoins” such as the Facebook-led Libra project.

The ten “high-level” recommendations, published Tuesday in a 67-page report, seek to promote “consistent” and “effective” regulation of global stablecoins.

“The recommendations aim to mitigate the potential risks with the use of GSCs [global stablecoins] as means of payment and/or store of value, both at the domestic and international level, while supporting responsible innovation and providing sufficient flexibility for jurisdictions to implement domestic approaches,” said the FSB.

​​​​​​​​​​​​The G20 members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, ​South Korea​,​ Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, ​​​Turkey, the U.K., the U.S. and the European Union (EU)​.

The FSB said it aims to bring in regulations that are “proportionate to the risks” posed by global stablecoins - but also taking into consideration how those risks may change over time.

The recommendations apply the principle of “same business – same risks – same rules,” independent of the underlying technology of stablecoins.

Ten “high-level” recommendations

"1. Authorities should have and utilise the necessary powers and tools, and adequate resources, to comprehensively regulate, supervise, and oversee a GSC arrangement and its multi-functional activities, and enforce relevant laws and regulations effectively.

2. Authorities should apply regulatory requirements to GSC arrangements on a functional basis and proportionate to their risks.

3. Authorities should ensure that there is comprehensive regulation, supervision and oversight of the GSC arrangement across borders and sectors. Authorities should cooperate and coordinate with each other, both domestically and internationally, to foster efficient and effective communication and consultation in order to support each other in fulfilling their respective mandates and to facilitate comprehensive regulation, supervision, and oversight of a GSC arrangement across borders and sectors.

4. Authorities should ensure that GSC arrangements have in place a comprehensive governance framework with a clear allocation of accountability for the functions and activities within the GSC arrangement.

5. Authorities should ensure that GSC arrangements have effective risk management frameworks in place especially with regard to reserve management, operational resiliency, cyber security safeguards and AML/CFT measures, as well as ‘fit and proper’ requirements.

6. Authorities should ensure that GSC arrangements have in place robust systems for safeguarding, collecting, storing and managing data.

7. Authorities should ensure that GSC arrangements have appropriate recovery and resolution plans.

8. Authorities should ensure that GSC arrangements provide to users and relevant stakeholders comprehensive and transparent information necessary to understand the functioning of the GSC arrangement, including with respect to its stabilisation mechanism.

9. Authorities should ensure that GSC arrangements provide legal clarity to users on the nature and enforceability of any redemption rights and the process for redemption, where applicable.

10. Authorities should ensure that GSC arrangements meet all applicable regulatory, supervisory and oversight requirements of a particular jurisdiction before commencing any operations in that jurisdiction, and construct systems and products that can adapt to new regulatory requirements as necessary."

Source: FSB

The recommendations follow on from calls by the G20 in June 2019 for the FSB to address regulatory issues.

The FSB’s recommendations are open for public feedback until July 15. The final recommendations, factoring in feedback, will be published in October 2020.

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