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Bahrain: Crown Prince Issues Decree to Suppress Financing of Terrorism

(Mar. 5, 2021) On February 19, 2020, the crown prince and prime minister of Bahrain, Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, issued Decree No. 12 of 2021 on the National Terrorism Lists. The decree is aimed at combating the financing of terrorism by establishing the National Terrorism List and the Sanction List, which will be […]

Brazil: Chamber of Deputies Approves Autonomy of Brazilian Central Bank

(Mar. 2, 2021) On February 10, 2021, the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies approved Draft Law No. 19/2019, which grants autonomy to the Brazilian Central Bank (Banco Central do Brasil). The law defines the period for the mandates of the president and directors of the Central Bank, which must not coincide with that of the president […]

United Kingdom: Buy Now, Pay Later Transactions to Be Regulated to Protect Consumers

(Feb. 24, 2021) The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a report on February 2, 2021, about the burgeoning use of interest-free “buy now, pay later” agreements and set out 26 recommendations to the U.K. government, including an urgent call to introduce legislation to regulate the unsecured credit market. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in […]

Sweden: Amendment Requiring Banks to Provide Access to Cash Services Enters into Force

(Feb. 5, 2021) On January 1, 2021, an amendment to the Swedish Act on Payment Services (Lagen (SFS 2010:751) om betaltjänster) requiring banks to provide access to cash services entered into force. The amendment stipulates as follows: 1 § Such credit institutions and branches of foreign credit institutions that supply customers with payment accounts that […]

Argentina: National Digital Payment System Implemented

(Jan. 28, 2021) On December 7, 2020, the Central Bank of Argentina (Banco Central de la República Argentina, BCRA) implemented the first stage in the rollout of a new national digital payment system. The system, named Transferencias 3.0 (Transfers 3.0), will allow any business or company in the country to charge for its services through payments made through […]

Russian Federation: New Bill Defines Cryptocurrency, Proposes Tax Regulations

(Jan. 11, 2021) On December 1, 2020, the government of the Russian Federation introduced to the State Duma (the country’s parliament) Bill No. 1065710-7 on Amendments to Parts One and Two of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation. The bill, proposed in mid-November by the Ministry of Finance, includes provisions that would regulate the […]

European Union: European Court of Justice Rules on Liability of Banks for Unauthorized Low-Value Transactions Using Contactless Payment

(Dec. 21, 2020) On November 11, 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) held that the near-field communication (NFC) functionality of a bank card, also known as contactless payment, in itself is a “payment instrument” as defined in the EU Payment Services Directive 2015/2366 (PSD 2). The CJEU also clarified the meaning […]

Qatar: Minister of Justice Issues Regulation on Lawyers’ Legal Obligations Regarding Anti-money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Requirements

(Dec. 3, 2020) On July 9, 2020, Qatar’s minister of justice issued a regulation laying out lawyers’ legal obligations when developing an anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing program and policies for the lawyers’ organization. Minister of Justice Regulation No. 24 of 2020 was published in Qatar’s Official Gazette following the ratification of the draft by […]

Algeria: National Bank Officially Launches Islamic Banking

(Nov. 23, 2020) On August 4, 2020, Algeria’s National Bank officially launched Islamic banking as the first state-owned bank to practice Islamic banking services in Algeria. The launching of Islamic banking on the level of state-owned banks is in accordance with the government’s efforts to establish a more effective and diversified national financial market. The […]

New Zealand: Mandatory Climate-Related Financial Disclosures Proposed for Financial Sector

(Oct. 12, 2020) On September 15, 2020, the New Zealand Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw, announced that the government would introduce legislation requiring the financial sector to report on climate risks. He stated that “New Zealand will be the first country to introduce a mandatory climate-related financial disclosure regime.” The Ministry of Business, Innovation and […]