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Facebook forms Swiss fintech firm with payments focus

By Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi

ZURICH, May 17 (Reuters) - Facebook has set up a new financial technology company in Switzerland focusing on blockchain and payments as well as data analytics and investing, Geneva's commercial register shows.

Libra Networks, with Facebook Global Holdings as stakeholder, was registered in Geneva on May 2 to provide financial and technology services and develop related hardware and software, plans submitted on the Swiss register reveal.

Facebook, whose social network has more than 2 billion users, did not immediately comment on Libra Networks, which will focus on "investing, payments, financing, identity management, analytics, big data, blockchain and other technologies."

The owner of WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram, each used by more than 1 billion people, has been at the centre of public and regulatory scrutiny over misuse of consumers' personal data. .

The U.S. Senate Banking Committee this month sent an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asking how a new cryptocurrency-based payments system related to legal, regulatory, privacy and consumer protection concerns, following a Wall Street Journal report. https://bit.ly/2vSjH3c

(Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Alexander Smith)