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Obtaining a Banking License in the UK is Great. Securing One is the Real Challenge

Obtaining a Banking License in the UK is Great. Securing One is the Real Challenge

Obtaining a banking license in the UK offers a world
of opportunities and advantages, but securing one is no mean feat. The process
involves rigorous scrutiny by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and applying banks must demonstrate
financial stability, robust risk management, and a sustainable business model.
The application process also entails detailed documentation, business plans,
and a comprehensive assessment of key personnel and stakeholders.

And even after all that, upon approval, the
institution must continue to meet regulatory standards, ensuring a resilient
and trustworthy presence in the dynamic landscape of the UK financial sector.

Trust and Credibility

As CEO of Conister
, I however, have just overseen the process of seeing Conister awarded just
such a license.

Obtaining PRA authorization for our UK branch to
accept deposits not only serves as validation of our growth strategy by both
our principal regulator and the UK regulators, it also fosters trust and
credibility for our customers, current and future. While it isn’t an easy thing
to achieve, we believe that the advantages are so great, it’s an effort
worthwhile. These are all advantages that a bank with a UK license can benefit

Delivering Customer Excellence

First and foremost, gaining a banking license in the
UK ultimately allows banks to offer their customers a broader range of
financial services. UK banking licenses give customers greater choice in terms
of where to place their deposits, particularly to sectors that traditionally
are less well served, such as the large UK SME market. This versatility allows
banks to create comprehensive financial services solutions tailored to their clients
and genuinely be customer-centric.

Moreover, UK banking licenses require compliance with
stringent customer protection regulations, ensuring that customers’ funds are safeguarded,
and their rights protected. It is precisely this trust and regulatory
transparency which is paramount in building a loyal customer base. It also means
banks can participate in the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS),
which guarantees deposits up to £85,000 in total across all accounts, offering
an additional layer of protection and confidence to customers.

Greater Access to the UK Payments Network

The UK payments network is highly sophisticated and offers
efficient and seamless transaction services to customers. With a banking license
in the UK, banks gain access to the Faster Payments Service, Bacs, and the
Clearing House Automated Payment System (CHAPS), among others. These systems
enable real-time payments, direct debits, and high-value transactions,
providing a competitive edge in the payments market.

Furthermore, the UK’s commitment to open banking means
that licensed banks can easily integrate with other financial institutions and
payment providers, expanding their reach and enhancing customer convenience.
The ability to offer diverse payment options and convenient transfer methods is
a significant advantage, especially as digital and mobile banking become
increasingly prevalent.

Cashflow and Liquidity

Liquidity is the lifeblood of any organization and
obtaining a banking license in the UK can significantly bolster a bank’s position
to access funds. Deposit-taking privileges mean that banks can create a stable and
sustainable source of funding, which can be used for wider lending and
investment activities.

It also acts as a safety net for customers and ensures
banks have enough readily available funds to handle customer transactions, and
transactions can be smoother and more reliable.

Winning the Race for Talent

Obtaining a banking license allows banks to be more
attractive to the deep pool of experienced and highly skilled financial
services professionals from around the world who have based themselves in the
UK. The adoption and retention of such talent can significantly enhance an
institution’s capacity to innovate, develop new products and services, navigate
regulatory complexities, and provide an outstanding service to customers.

Regulatory Oversight

Regulatory oversight can be a double-edged sword, but
when looked at in the right light, it is a fundamental advantage for banks,
fostering stability and trust within the financial system. It ensures that banks
adhere to stringent rules and standards, safeguarding the interests of
customers and investors. Regulatory bodies like the FCA in the UK, and their
international counterparts oversee compliance, promoting ethical conduct and
risk management. This oversight minimizes the likelihood of systemic shocks and
fraud, bolstering market confidence. Banks with strong regulatory adherence
gain credibility and reliability, attracting more customers and investors. In
an ever-changing financial landscape, regulatory oversight stands as a
cornerstone for transparency and credibility.

Overall, obtaining a banking license in the United
Kingdom is a strategic move that offers a host of benefits. These advantages support
newly approved banks to be competitive and deliver value and service to their
customers in an increasingly digital and interconnected world.

This article was written by Douglas Grant at

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Tokenization Triumph: IMF, World Bank, BIS Forge a Digital Path

Tokenization Triumph: IMF, World Bank, BIS Forge a Digital Path

In the ever-evolving landscape of global finance, the International
Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the Bank for International Settlements
(BIS) have embarked on an unprecedented journey. Together, they are diving into
the realm of tokenization, a move that could reshape the foundations of global
financial systems. This collaboration, including Switzerland’s central bank,
signals a collective push towards digitizing financial instruments and

Tokenizing the Financial World: A Collaborative Initiative

The collaborative effort of the IMF, World Bank, BIS, and Switzerland’s
central bank signifies a pivotal moment in the financial sector’s trajectory.
Their primary focus lies on tokenizing financial instruments, starting with the
digitization of “promissory notes.” This groundbreaking endeavor
seeks to streamline complex processes, particularly those associated with
wealthier nations contributing to the World Bank’s funds aimed at supporting
less affluent regions.

JP Morgan Pioneers On-Chain Finance with Partior Integration

In parallel, JP Morgan, a stalwart in traditional banking, takes a bold
step into the blockchain space
. Going live on Partior, a Singapore-based
blockchain interbank payment network, JP Morgan becomes the sole U.S. bank
participating in such a revolutionary endeavor. Partior, co-founded by JP
Morgan, DBS Bank, Temasek, and Standard Chartered, introduces a multi-bank,
multi-currency system designed for wholesale use. This marks a paradigm shift,
challenging the conventional norms of correspondent banking.

Tokenization Unleashed: IMF, World Bank, BIS, and the Digital Future

The convergence of efforts by the IMF, World Bank, BIS, and Switzerland’s
central bank paints a vivid picture of the future—a future where financial
instruments exist in a digital realm as “tokens.” This shift promises
not only enhanced efficiency in global financial operations but also the
potential to encode policy and regulatory requirements into a common protocol.
The pursuit of an on-chain future gains momentum as these financial powerhouses
delve into the possibilities of tokenization.

JP Morgan’s On-Chain Symphony: A Prelude to Digital Finance

JP Morgan’s integration with Partior marks a prelude to the digital
transformation of traditional banking. While JPM Coin, the bank’s
blockchain-based bank account, brought digital cash movements between JP Morgan
accounts, Partior extends this capability to interbank transactions. The move
hints at a future where on-chain finance becomes a standard practice, enabling
seamless transactions between banks globally. JP Morgan’s presence in Partior
is not just a technological leap; it’s a declaration that the future of finance
is increasingly on-chain.

Correspondent Banking Reimagined: Partior’s Blockchain Evolution

Partior’s role in correspondent banking signifies an evolutionary shift
rather than a revolutionary one. While direct payments without intermediaries
are a hallmark of digital currencies, Partior preserves the correspondent
banking system. Acting as a network of settlement banks, it enables faster,
automated transactions between financial institutions. However, a closer look
reveals that these settlement banks still resort to conventional settlement
methods among themselves, blending the old with the new in a harmonious

Challenges and Opportunities: Navigating the On-Chain Horizon

As tokenization and on-chain finance become buzzwords in the financial
industry, challenges and opportunities emerge. The collaboration between the
IMF, World Bank, BIS, and Switzerland’s central bank faces questions about the
scalability and governance of a tokenized future. Similarly, JP Morgan’s foray
into Partior raises queries about the broader adoption of on-chain finance.
Navigating this on-chain horizon requires addressing challenges while embracing
the vast opportunities that tokenization presents

The Symphony Continues: From Tokenization to On-Chain Finance

The journey from tokenization to on-chain finance continues to unfold
like a symphony. The collaborative efforts of global financial institutions and
the bold steps taken by traditional banking giants set the stage for a
harmonious coexistence of the traditional and the digital. The symphony extends
beyond streamlined transactions; it encompasses the encoding of regulatory
requirements, ensuring trust, transparency, and interoperability in the digital
financial landscape.

This article was written by Pedro Ferreira at

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Financial Scams on the Decline in New Zealand, FMA Finds

Financial Scams on the Decline in New Zealand, FMA Finds

The number
of potential financial scams and activities of unlicensed businesses in New
Zealand has significantly decreased since mid-2022, according to the latest
report published by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). However, there has
been an increase in websites impersonating registered entities that offer
trading and financial services to retail customers.

FMA Publishes 2023 Annual

Det FMA’s
report covers a range of significant issues, including major regulatory
actions undertaken by the watchdog. A notable case involved Validus, promoting
its investment services at offline events. These promotions were found to be
dishonest and misleading. In early May, the FMA issued a permanent stop order
against Validus and its associates.

the prevention and warning against potentially suspicious or unregistered
businesses, the FMA remains one of the most active regulators globally. In
2023, the number of warnings and alerts significantly decreased. There were 47
calls related to suspected scams, down from 105 published in the previous year.
The FMA issued only 17 warnings against unlicensed businesses, compared to 48
in 2022.

the FMA has added a new category, “imposter websites”, to its report,
reflecting a substantial increase in the number of companies and dishonest
actors impersonating licensed firms. Despite issuing 29 warnings in this
category, the total number of alerts in 2023 was 89, a significant decrease
from 111 in 2022.

Given the
continued activity and effectiveness of the regulator in identifying scams,
this trend can be interpreted as an indication of growing safety in the local

partnership with industry, government, and other stakeholders, we are creating
a rock-solid foundation for a genuinely fair financial system, where markets
are trusted based on their integrity and transparency, enabling responsible
innovation and growth,” Samantha Barrass, the Chief Executive of FMA, commented.

FMA Supports Market

its annual report, the FMA published its “Ease of doing business” survey.
This study is based on feedback from key stakeholders and industry
participants, aiming to gauge the effectiveness of their interactions with the
FMA and their perceptions of the FMA’s overall success in fulfilling its

92% of
respondents acknowledged the FMA’s role in supporting market integrity. An
impressive 95% agree that financial markets are effectively regulated under the
FMA’s oversight. Additionally, 89% of the surveyed individuals believe that the
FMA plays a significant role in elevating the standards of market conduct.

One of the
latest cases included in the report is a fine of $900,000 that Tiger Brokers
(NZ) Limited
had to pay for violating anti-money laundering laws.

This article was written by Damian Chmiel at

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Octa Receives Most Reliable Broker Asia 2023 Award at Global Forex Awards 2023

Octa Receives Most Reliable Broker Asia 2023 Award at Global Forex Awards 2023

The international broker Octa (formerly OctaFX) received the ‘Most Reliable Broker Asia 2023’ award at the Global Forex Awards 2023 run by renowned financial awards company Holiston Media. The winners in numerous nominations across various markets were determined by public voting, with tens of thousands of votes cast by traders and industry experts from across the globe.

‘These awards are the biggest of their kind and the most transparent and trustworthy,’ commented Mike Boydell, Director of Holiston Media. ‘This year, we have received more business nominations and votes than ever before, which proves that winning one of these awards is a fantastic mark of trust and success in this highly competitive industry.’

The broker Octa has been operating in the Asia region for 12 years, offering a wide range of financial instruments for CFD trading, including currencies, commodities, indices, stocks, and cryptocurrencies. The company adheres to rigorous security protocols, which include segregated accounts and negative balance protection. Its award-winning customer support boasts a 96% customer satisfaction rate, with an average full request resolution time of three minutes.

To enhance safety, the broker requires identical payment details for both deposits and withdrawals. This precautionary measure prevents unauthorised third parties from withdrawing funds, even if they gain access to a user’s account. Furthermore, Octa employs 3D secure technology for credit and debit card processing, which guarantees the transparency and safety of all Visa transactions.

‘We are thrilled to receive this recognition from traders and the industry. We believe that the trust and reliability of the broker are paramount to a positive trading experience for the client. This award is a testament to our commitment to providing truly secure and trustworthy services to our clients in the Asia region,’ the Octa press office commented.

This year, Octa also received the Best Educational Broker Global award at the Global Forex Awards, which highlighted its efforts to provide free education for traders across multiple mediums and languages.

About Octa

Octa is an international broker that has been providing online trading services worldwide since 2011. It offers commission-free access to financial markets and various services already utilised by clients from 180 countries with more than 42 million trading accounts. Free educational webinars, articles, and analytical tools they provide help clients reach their investment goals.

The company is involved in a comprehensive network of charitable and humanitarian initiatives, including the improvement of educational infrastructure and short-notice relief projects supporting local communities.

Octa has also won over 60 awards since its foundation, including the ‘Best Educational Broker 2023’ award from Global Forex Awards and the ‘Best Global Broker Asia 2022’ award from International Business Magazine.

This article was written by FM Contributors at

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ForexLive European FX news wrap: Dollar remains steady, bond yields slip further

ForexLive European FX news wrap: Dollar remains steady, bond yields slip further



  • JPY leads, AUD lags on the day
  • European equities mixed; S&P 500 futures down 0.4%
  • US 10-year yields down 6 bps to 4.226%
  • Gold down 0.3% to $2,024.61
  • WTI crude flat at $73.07
  • Bitcoin down 0.6% to $41,7979

It was a session mostly swayed by risk flows, as bond yields retreated while equities remain on the softer side after a stuttering start to the new week yesterday. European yields might have been somewhat affected after ECB hawk, Isabel Schnabel, pretty much confirmed a stop to rate hikes. However, it isn’t anything that markets don’t already know if you are to look at the ECB pricing to next year.

Instead, traders doubled down on her remarks as the first ECB rate cut for next year is now moving towards March after having been shifted to April from June just last week.

The euro remains subdued as a result, with the dollar keeping steadier across the board even amid lower Treasury yields. EUR/USD is down 0.2% to 1.0817 with the low earlier touching 1.0805 during the session.

Elsewhere, the dollar held its ground with USD/CAD seen up 0.3% to 1.3575 and AUD/USD down 0.9% to 0.6560 currently. The latter is rattled by the RBA keeping its cash rate unchanged, perhaps being done already in the tightening cycle.

A struggling risk mood is also not really helping commodity currencies on the day, as S&P 500 futures are down 0.4%. That is keeping a lid on any optimism in Europe, with major indices trading more mixed at the moment.

In the commodities space, gold is looking more tepid as well after a sharp reversal in trading yesterday. The precious metal is down 0.2% to $2,024 levels as it is just floating along to the dollar mood.

This article was written by Justin Low at

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AUDUSD Technical Analysis

AUDUSD Technical Analysis


  • The Fed left interest rates unchanged as
    expected at the last meeting with basically no change to the statement.
  • Fed Chair Powell stressed
    once again that they are proceeding carefully as the full effects of policy
    tightening have yet to be felt.
  • Det US Core PCE last
    week came in line with forecasts with the disinflationary progress continuing
  • The labour market is starting to show weakness as Continuing Claims are now
    rising at a fast pace and the recent NFP report
    missed across the board.
  • Det ISM Manufacturing

    last week missed expectations falling further into contraction.
  • The recent US Consumer
    report beat expectations although the
    details about the labour market continued to weaken.
  • The hawkish Fed members recently shifted
    their stance to a more neutral position.
  • The market expects the Fed to start cutting rates
    as soon as Q1 2024.


  • The
    RBA left interest rates unchanged as expected with the central bank
    maintaining the usual data dependent language.
  • The
    recent Monthly CPI report missed expectations across
    the board which is a welcome development for the RBA.
  • The
    RBA Governor Bullock has been leaning on a more hawkish side recently, although
    she remains optimistic on the future outlook.
  • The
    labour market continues to weaken as seen also
    recently with the bulk of jobs added being part-time.
  • The
    wage price index surprised to the upside as wage
    growth in Australia remains strong.
  • The
    recent Australian PMIs fell further into contraction for
    both the Manufacturing and Services sectors.
  • The
    market expects the RBA to start cutting rates in Q4 2024.

AUDUSD Technical Analysis –
Daily Timeframe

On the daily chart, we can see that AUDUSD managed
to rally again into the key trendline but
eventually sold off as the buyers failed to break above it. The sellers piled
in with a defined risk above the trendline to position for a drop into the key support zone
around the 0.65 handle. That’s where the buyers should step in again as they
will also find the confluence with the
red 21 moving average.

AUDUSD Technical Analysis –
4 hour Timeframe

On the 4 hour chart, we can see that the price has
been diverging with the
MACD into the
key trendline. This is generally a sign of weakening momentum often followed by
pullbacks or reversals. In this case, it was another bearish confluence with
the sellers piling in aggressively after the failed breakout. The price found
some support this morning at the recent swing low after the selloff following
the RBA rate decision.

AUDUSD Technical Analysis –
1 hour Timeframe

On the 1 hour chart, we can see that if we
were to get a pullback from the swing low, the sellers should lean on the
downward trendline where they will also find the confluence with the 38.2% Fibonacci
retracement level and the red 21 moving average. The buyers, on the other hand,
will want to see the price breaking higher to position for a rally into the
major trendline and target a breakout again.

Upcoming Events

This week we will see lots of US labour
market data culminating with the NFP release on Friday. Today, we have the ISM
Services PMI and the US Job Openings reports. Tomorrow, we will get the US ADP
data. On Thursday, it will be the time for the US Jobless Claims figures, while
on Friday we conclude the week with the NFP report.

This article was written by FL Contributors at

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The JPY is the strongest and the AUD is the weakest as the NA session begins

The JPY is the strongest and the AUD is the weakest as the NA session begins

The JPY is the strongest, while the AUD is the weakest as the North American session begins.

Overnight, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) decided to keep the cash rate steady at 4.35%. This decision which was expected to be a “hawkish pause”, but instead leaned somewhat dovish. The RBA indicated that future adjustments in monetary policy would depend on incoming data and an evolving assessment of risks. The Board reaffirmed its commitment to bringing inflation back to the target range.

Key observations by the RBA included the following:

  • Domestic economic data since November largely met expectations, but the outlook for household consumption remains uncertain.
  • The October CPI indicator suggested a moderation in inflation, particularly in the goods sector, although there was less clarity on services inflation.
  • Inflation expectations are still aligned with the target.
  • Labour market conditions, while gradually easing, continue to be tight.
  • The RBA also acknowledged uncertainties around the lagging effects of monetary policy changes.

The RBA highlighted that higher interest rates are helping to balance supply and demand in the economy more sustainably. By maintaining the current cash rate, the RBA aims to better assess the impact of recent rate increases on demand, inflation, and the labor market. This approach suggests a cautious stance in managing economic stability while navigating inflationary pressures and market uncertainties.

The USD/JPY currency pair experienced an increase following the release of Tokyo’s inflation data. Although Tokyo’s inflation remains well above the 2% target, it was slightly below expectations.

Bank of Japan policy board members have been in the media this and last week hosing down expectations of any pivot before the Spring wage talks:

Meanwhile, in the Eurozone, ECBs Schnabel, an executive board member of the European Central Bank (ECB), commented on recent inflation trends and monetary policy. She noted that the recent fall in core inflation rates is promising, but cautioned against setting long-term policy directions. Schnabel believes the current level of monetary restriction is adequate and is optimistic about meeting the 2% inflation target by 2025. However, she considers further rate hikes unlikely following the November inflation data, emphasizing the need for gradual progress and warning against declaring an early victory over inflation. She also indicated that there is no expectation of a prolonged recession and suggested that the economy might be starting to recover.

The US Federal Reserve is in its blackout ahead of its December 13 interest rate decision.

Today, the US JOLTs data will be released. The estimates are for job openings to fall to 9.3 million, down from 9.553 million on the last day of the prior month The ISM manufacturing PMI for November is expected to rise to 52.0 from 51.8 last month. Last month the employment index came in at 50.2. The new orders index came in at 55.5.

US stocks are lower after closing lower yesterday to start the trading week. European shares are mostly lower and Asian Pacific shares fell. US yields are lower. Crude oil is down modestly into trading back below $73 after reaching a high of $74.04 overnight. Gold is down modestly after reaching an all-time record yesterday at $2146.79 before backing off and closing lower yesterday.

A snapshot of the markets to kickstart the North American session shows:

  • Crude oil is trading down $-0.14 for -0.22% at $72.93. At this time yesterday, the price was at $73.49.
  • Spot gold is trading down down -$3.37 or -0.17% at $2025.31. At this time yesterday, the price is at $2068.74. The 38.2% retracement of the move up from the October law comes in a $2018.26. That will be a key barometer for both buyers and sellers going forward.
  • Spot silver is trading down $-0.14 or -0.60% at $24.33. At this time yesterday, the price was at $25.16.
  • Bitcoin is trading at $41,794. At this time yesterday, the price was at $41,859.

In the US stock market, the major indices are implying a lower opening after starting the week with declines yesterday

  • Dow Industrial Average is trading down -74 points. Yesterday the Dow Industrial Average fell -41.06 points or -0.11%.
  • S&P index is trading down -16.75 points. Yesterday the S&P index fell -24.87 points are -0.54%.
  • NASDAQ index is down -83 points. Yesterday the Nasdaq Index fell -119.55 points or -0.84%.

In the European equity markets, the major indices are trading mixed.

  • German DAX, is trading up 0.28%. Yesterday the German DAX fell -0.09%.
  • France’s CAC, is trading up 0.36%. Yesterday France CAC fell -0.18%.
  • UK’s FTSE 100, is trading down -0.48%. Yesterday UK’s FTSE 100 fell -0.22%.
  • Spain’s Ibex, up up 0.29%. Yesterday Spain’s Ibex rose 0.37%.
  • Italy’s FTSE MIB, and changed (10 minute delay). Yesterday Italy’s FTSE MIB fell -0.05%.

In the Asia Pacific market major indices all fell:

  • Japan’s Nikkei index, -1.37%
  • China’s Shanghai composite index, -1.67%
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, -1.91%
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX index, -0.89%

In the US debt market, yields are trading :

  • US 2Y T-NOTE: 4.612% -4.0 basis points. At this time yesterday, the yield was at 4.508%.
  • US 5Y T-NOTE: 4.187% -5.2 basis points. At this time yesterday, the yield was at 4.190%.
  • US 10Y T-NOTE: 4.226% -6.0 basis points. At this time yesterday, the yield was at 4.249%.
  • US 30Y BOND: 4.384% -5.3 basis points. At this time yesterday, the yield was at 4.420%.
  • 2 – 10-year spread is trading at -38.8 basis points. At this time yesterday, the spread was at -35.9 basis points
  • 2 – 30 year spread is trading at -23.3 basis points. At this time yesterday, the spread was at -18.9 basis points

In the European debt market, benchmark 10-year yields are trading lower:

This article was written by Greg Michalowski at

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Eurozone October PPI +0.2% vs +0.2% m/m expected

Eurozone October PPI +0.2% vs +0.2% m/m expected

  • Prior +0.5%
  • PPI -9.4% vs -9.5% y/y expected
  • Prior -12.4%

Looking at the breakdown, the increase largely comes from a push higher in energy prices (+1.0%) on the month. There was also an increase in prices for durable consumer goods (+0.1%) while prices remained stable for capital goods. Meanwhile, there were declines in the prices of non-durable consumer goods (-0.1%) and intermediate goods (-0.3%). If you strip out energy prices, producer prices actually declined by 0.2% in October.

This article was written by Justin Low at

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