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By Huw Jones LONDON (Reuters) - Crowdfunding platforms that offer home loans should be regulated like mortgage lenders to improve safety and transparency for customers, Britain's Financial Conduct Authority said on Friday. The FCA was announcing the results of a public consultation into rules it introduced in 2014. "These include more prescriptive requirements on the content and timing of disclosures by both loan-based and investment-based crowdfunding platforms." The FCA said it will consult next year on additional rules to strengthen "wind-down" plans, additional requirements or restrictions on "cross-platform" investment, and extending mortgage-lending conduct standards to loan-based platforms that offer home loans.
Hong Kong's unpopular leader Leung Chun-ying, who has been vilified by critics as a puppet of Beijing, said Friday he would not run again for office after a term marked by anti-China protests and political divisions. Leung said he would step down at the end of his term in July for family reasons after speculation intensified in recent weeks over who would get the nod from Beijing for leadership elections in March. Leung took office in 2012 as concerns were growing that Beijing was tightening its grip on the semi-autonomous city and his opponents have slammed him as a hardline leader overseeing the erosion of Hong Kong's freedoms.