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Webinar

Crypto and digital assets: risks and opportunities

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Andrew Cunningham, Visiting Professor at The London Institute of Banking & Finance (LIBF) and Chair of the Editorial Board, Centre for Governance, Risk and Regulation
Paul Fisher, Visiting Professor at LIBF and former MPC member at the Bank of England
Paul Howard, ACIB, Former CRO and SMF4
Garrett Cassidy, Fintech Entrepreneur and Advisor and Managing Director, Abarta Consulting

The spectacular collapse of crypto exchange FTX in November 2022 led many to predict the demise of crypto finance. After all, FTX was only one (if the biggest) crypto failure last year: In March the 'stablecoin' UST lost 99% of its value, Crypto-lender Voyager Digital filed for bankruptcy in July; Three Arrows Capital, one of the largest cryptocurrency hedge funds shut its doors.

In special report published last November, the Economist magazine questioned whether crypto finance was a cause worth fighting for. 'Why bother with any of this?' the magazine asked its readers, just days after FTX had filed for bankruptcy and its 30-year-old Founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, led away in handcuffs.

Yet amid the lows (and highs) of the crypto-industry, policy makers, standard setters, and financial regulators have been hard at work. They clearly believe that crypto-assets and the technology that underpins them, are not only here to stay, but are going to become increasingly significant in terms both of the financial stability of financial systems and the risk profiles of individual institutions.

This webinar will consider the lessons that traditional banks should learn from the failures of FTX and other crypto firms and will outline how standard setters and regulators are trying to shape the market for crypto-assets and the ways in which its underlying technology is used.

Specifically, the webinar will consider:

  • What we have learned about the risk profile of firms that deal in crypto assets.
  • The latest initiatives and statements by standard setters and regulators, including recent initiatives to create Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).
  • The involvement of large international and regional banks in crypto-assets and blockchain technology.

Who will be speaking?
Andrew Cunningham, Visiting Professor at The London Institute of Banking & Finance (LIBF) and Chair of the Editorial Board, Centre for Governance, Risk and Regulation
Paul Fisher, Visiting Professor at LIBF and former MPC member at the Bank of England
Paul Howard, ACIB, Former CRO and SMF4
Garrett Cassidy, Fintech Entrepreneur and Advisor and Managing Director, Abarta Consulting

Andrew Cunningham is a visiting professor at the London Institute of Banking & Finance (LIBF) where he chairs the Editorial Board of the Centre for Governance, Risk and Regulation. Outside LIBF, Andrew advises banks and non-banks on ways to bring their corporate governance practices into line with international standards, and how to upgrade their risk governance and internal controls.

Paul Fisher is a visiting professor at LIBF and former MPC member at the Bank of England. Initially an academic research economist, Paul served at the Bank of England for 26 years. Since 2016 he has pursued a portfolio career, including as Chair of the London Bullion Market Association, Non-executive Director at UK Debt Management Office and various consultancy and technical assistance roles for central banks and the IMF.

Paul Howard started his career in the UK at RBS, where he became a senior credit analyst. He set up the RBS Risk Review department in the early 1990s. In 1999 he joined Citizens Financial in the USA, eventually holding the position of Group Chief Credit Officer. He returned to the UK in 2010 as a head of risk for the RBS in the Non-Core Division after the UK government bailout. Since leaving RBS, Paul's held interim roles at institutions such as C Hoare & Co and Bank ABC, where he assumed the position of Acting Group Chief Risk Officer. Paul has held 'approved person status' for risk roles with regulators in the Middle East, the USA and the UK.

Garrett Cassidy has spent over 25 years working in the Financial Services and Fintech industries, including payments, lending, capital markets and blockchain businesses across executive leadership, technology, finance and operations. He has a proven track record of developing and delivering innovative strategies and products for both fintech and established financial services businesses, leading complex change initiatives and leading businesses. Garrett co-founded Trezeo, an award-winning business backed by leading investors including Barclays and Techstars. Trezeo was acquired by Monese in 2021.

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