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UK Central Bank Advances Systemic Stablecoin Framework Following New Legislation


In a significant regulatory development, the United Kingdom has taken decisive steps to establish a comprehensive framework for systemic stablecoins, with the Bank of England (BoE) at the forefront. The enactment of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2023 has empowered the BoE to initiate a systemic stablecoin regime, marking a pivotal moment in the country's approach to digital currencies.


A recently published consultation response on Monday reaffirmed the BoE's commitment to implementing a systemic stablecoin framework. This response outlines the central bank's intention to move forward with its plans, shedding light on key aspects of the proposed regime and the collaborative regulatory oversight it entails.


Under the proposed framework, systemic stablecoins would be subject to supervision by both the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This cooperative approach to oversight garnered positive feedback from respondents to the consultation, as it reflects a holistic and robust regulatory mechanism designed to address the unique challenges posed by systemic stablecoins.


A noteworthy aspect resonating well with stakeholders pertains to extending the accountability framework. This framework, which assesses the adaptability and future readiness of regulatory approaches, is set to be expanded to encompass systemic stablecoins. The reception of this expansion suggests recognising the importance of proactive and forward-looking regulation in the rapidly evolving landscape of digital finance.


Regarding the issue of primacy in cases of insolvency for future systemic payments entities, opinions were largely favourable. The proposed regime's emphasis on addressing potential insolvency scenarios was widely accepted among respondents. This recognition underscores the regime's aim to bolster the resilience of systemic stablecoins and instil confidence in their operation.


However, the consultation response also revealed specific concerns expressed by stakeholders. In particular, some respondents highlighted apprehensions about introducing a new objective centred around returning customer funds for all systemically important payment entities. These concerns were rooted in the potential for this objective to overshadow the imperative of ensuring operational continuity, especially in times of acute stability risks.


Acknowledging these concerns, the UK government remains committed to engaging with regulators to assess and refine the approach meticulously. This collaborative and adaptive approach to policymaking underscores the government's dedication to balancing safeguarding customer interests and maintaining operational stability.


The passage of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2023 has bestowed the Bank of England with the authority to establish the envisioned systemic stablecoin regime. With this legislative backing, the BoE is actively gearing up to release the regulatory rules governing systemic stablecoins later this year. This forthcoming regulatory framework aims to provide clarity, guidance, and predictability to market participants, promoting a more secure and transparent environment for systemic stablecoin operations.


In conclusion, the United Kingdom's resolute steps toward establishing a systemic stablecoin regime under the auspices of the Bank of England mark a significant milestone in the evolution of digital finance regulation. The collaborative supervision involving the BoE and the Financial Conduct Authority demonstrates a commitment to robust oversight. While specific concerns have been raised, the government's dedication to refining the approach ensures a comprehensive and balanced regulatory framework. As the BoE prepares to unveil the regulatory guidelines, the systemic stablecoin landscape is poised for transformation, fostering innovation while upholding stability.

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