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Fintech Regulation in the UK

November 19, 2018

Thank you to Ian Mason and Penny Sanders of Gowling WLG for an excellent webinar on FinTech regulation in the United Kingdom. 

Webinar recording and slides can be found on Member Center.

The rapid rise of interest in blockchain is meaning more and more industries are looking for use cases for the technology to improve transparency, efficiency and speed. Yet as developments and uses of the technology increase, legislation is struggling to keep up. At Gowling WLG's roundtable discussing blockchain's impact on the financial services industry earlier this year, it was claimed that "There has been a huge global legislative force to get all derivatives trading onto the same playing field, so the blockchain concept is of enormous interest to that part of financial services. If blockchain’s efficiencies became of paramount importance in this area then I could see there would be scope for regulators insisting on using it.”  Now it seems as if the regulation of ICO issuers and crypto-currency exchanges, at the very least, will soon be incorporated into the UK regulatory and legal framework.

Helping banks, start-ups, board members, fund managers and more find their way through the regulatory maze, Gowling WLG financial regulation experts, Ian Mason and Penny Sanders advise clients on issues including whether the scope of FCA regulated activities and whether FCA authorisation is required, financial crime, market abuse, payment services, e-money, Brexit and cross-border regulatory issues. In this webinar, Ian Mason and Penny Sanders of Gowling WLG will be covering the regulation of:

  • Financial services businesses or products based on blockchain and distributed ledger technology
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Crypto derivatives
  • Initial coin offerings
  • Loan based ("peer-to-peer") and investment based crowdfunding platforms


Ian Mason
Partner - Head of UK Financial Services & Regulatory, Gowling WLG

Ian Mason has more than 20 years' experience as a financial services regulatory lawyer providing advice on a broad range of matters, including FCA/PRA authorisation, supervision and enforcement. He is a former Head of Department in the Enforcement Division at the financial services regulator, as well as having worked in-house, and advising firms and individuals in private practice. He advises on a broad range of financial services regulatory issues, both non-contentious and contentious. He has significant experience in regulatory investigations, both in enforcement and on the defence side, representing firms and individuals such as CEOs, Heads of Compliance, MLROs and Heads of Trading. Ian's clients have included banks, asset and fund managers, inter-dealer brokers, listed companies, senior bankers, traders and Board members. Ian has significant expertise in advising on market abuse and financial crime issues, both in an enforcement and compliance context. Ian's non-contentious practice includes advising on the regulatory aspects of corporate and finance transactions, financial promotions and regulatory perimeter issues, MAR, AIFMD, MiFID II, EMIR, suitability client money and custody, senior management responsibility, Brexit and advising on cross-border regulatory issues. Ian also advises on the regulatory aspects of FinTech, including ICOs, crypto-currency and blockchain developments.

Penny Sanders
Director - UK Financial Services Regulation, Gowling WLG

Penny Sanders has been supporting clients in the financial services industry since 2001: from initial considerations of whether a business needs authorisation to operate, through the authorisation process to acting as a trusted adviser on regulatory matters as the firm gets down to the business of building profits and a sound reputation. Penny’s clients include investment and retail banks, insurers, exchanges, platforms, fund managers and intermediaries, challenger banks, blockchain based financial services providers, ICO issuers and retail credit providers. An active Member of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment and industry working parties, Penny remains immersed in the financial services sector as it evolves under the impact of European, UK and global regulation. Penny was recognised in 2017’s prestigious Acritas Stars database as a ‘star lawyer’ and has written various articles that have been published in the media. Penny also contributed to Gowling WLG’s recent research report discussing the impact of blockchain on the financial services market and is a frequent speaker at Fintech events.