Swiss Financial Watchdog Says Its Ready To Work With Intl. Players On Libra Project Despite Risks

Swiss financial markets watchdog (FINMA) says it is ready for international cooperation as well as oversight on modalities to regulate the expected Facebook’s crypto project, Libra.

Speaking in an interview with a local media outlet Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), FINMA director Mark Branson explained that it was difficult for a solitary country to regulate a project of Libra’s magnitude and there was a need for the international community to cooperate.

Branson explained that while majority of regulators have described Libra as controversial, it is not the role of FINMA to expedite the fulfilment of the project. He said that the role of the watchdog is to explain as well as apply the laws and rules as they exist.

The director also stated that if his country was to achieve its objective of becoming a crucial financial hub in the world, it will have to cope with the various risks that emanate from working with big projects like Libra that attract international attention.

Branson stated that major finance projects like Libra are linked with reputational risks and is the case in the entire world. He however said that Switzerland should not settle for second-class financial hub in order to avoid such risks. According to the FINMA director, the decisive factor should be if the country has the right legal and regulations regime as well as supervision to deal with such players in the industry.

Although Libra has come under immense attack and pressure from different quarters who view it as a financial risk, Branson stated that FINMA was not under any pressure to use stringent rules on Libra. He explained that Libra has huge ambitions and that FINMA did not require any international pressure to realize this, pointing to the successful and large corporations behind the project.

According to CoinDesk over the last couple of weeks, lawmakers and policy makers from the US have travelled to Switzerland to discuss the Libra project and the expected regulation of the project. One of them is Maxine Waters who is the chair of the House Financial Services Committee who stated that there were doubts about the Libra project after holding talks with the Swiss regulators.


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