Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra Association appoints HSBC’s chief legal officer as first CEO

By Aisling Finn on Thursday 7 May 2020

Digital Banking

Stuart Levey previously worked for the Department of Justice and under both George Bush and Barack Obama in the US Treasury.

Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra Association appoints HSBC’s chief legal officer as first CEO
Image source: Stuart Levey/The Libra Association

 

The Libra Association has appointed Stuart Levey, who has been HSBC’s chief legal officer since 2012, as its first CEO.

Levey has previously worked in the US department of justice and served as the first Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence under both George Bush Jr. and Barack Obama.

He will assume his new role in summer after stepping down from his position at HSBC.

“Technology provides us with the opportunity to make it easier for individuals and businesses to send and receive money, and to empower more than a billion people who have been left on the sidelines of the financial system, all with robust controls to detect and deter illicit financial activity,” Levey said.

Katie Haun, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz and Libra Association board member who led the CEO search committee, said: "Stuart brings to the Libra Association the rare combination of an accomplished leader in both the government, where he enjoyed bipartisan respect and influence and the private sector where he managed teams spread across the globe.”

“Stuart shares our vision for using blockchain technology to deliver a more open, inclusive and high-functioning payment system that puts crypto in the hands of billions around the world,” she added

The news of Levey’s appointment comes just shy of three weeks after Facebook revealed it was scaling down its cryptocurrency offering following push-back from regulators. 

Regulators were concerned that the introduction of a cryptocurrency available to all of Facebook’s 2.5bn users could make money laundering easier and undermine central banks. 

By Facebook distancing itself from the cryptocurrency and appointing a CEO who has previously worked for the US government, specifically leading “financial strategies to counter threats to U.S. national security and protect the integrity of the financial system”, it is hoped the payment service will gain approval and officially open its virtual doors later this year.

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