Fintech and the debt capital markets
Fintech and the debt capital markets

The following Banking & Finance guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Fintech and the debt capital markets
  • What is fintech?
  • What is blockchain?
  • Why is fintech being explored for the debt capital markets?
  • How fintech is regulated
  • Industry body guidance on fintech
  • Relevant publications on fintech
  • How is fintech currently used in the debt capital markets?
  • What is the future for fintech within the debt capital markets?

BREXIT: The UK is leaving the EU on Exit Day (as defined in the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018). This has an impact on this Practice Note. For guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—impact on finance transactions—Brexit planning and impact—key issues for debt capital markets transactions and Brexit—impact on finance transactions—Derivatives and debt capital markets transactions—key SIs.

Innovation and new technologies have had an impact on most industries over the past decade. The evolution of technology is largely driven by a desire to reduce costs and increase efficiency. Within the debt capital markets, to date, the level of technology and innovation disruption has been minimal, largely because of the high barriers to entry including capital requirements and regulatory scrutiny. This is set to change, however, and new technologies are starting to be embraced within the debt capital markets.

What is fintech?

There is no universal definition of ‘fintech’, but it is a term that is broadly used to describe innovation in financial services that is enabled by technology.

Examples of such innovation include:

  1. cryptocurrencies/cryptoassets (eg bitcoin)

  2. blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT)

  3. machine learning

  4. crowd funding platforms

  5. ‘telematics-based’ insurance (eg where data is collected to monitor driving), and

  6. mobile banking

What is blockchain?

Blockchain (which is a type of DLT) is the technology which underlies bitcoin and other virtual currencies. It