Monthly Archives: March 2018

FCA SPEECH ON BREXIT: TRANSITION AND FINANCIAL REGULATION

The FCA has published a speech by Andrew Bailey, Chief Executive of the FCA, on Brexit, following the agreement reached between the UK and EU on a transition period. Key issues highlighted by Mr Bailey include: the importance of a transitional period for everyone involved in financial services on both sides; the need for continuing authorisation for […]

PRA and BoE’s approach to authorisation and supervision in preparation for Brexit

The Bank of England (BoE) has published a press release setting out its regulatory approach to preparations for Brexit, including its approach to the authorisation and supervision of international banks, insurers and central counterparties (CCP). The update follows the agreement between the UK and EU27 that there should be an implementation period until the end of 2020 as […]

EBA consults on extending complaints-handling guidelines

The European Banking Authority (EBA) has published a Consultation Paper on the application of the existing Joint Committee Guidelines on complaints-handling to authorities competent for supervising new institutions under the Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD) and the Payment Services Directive (PSD2). The deadline for comments is 27 May 2018.

FCA PUBLISHES POLICY STATEMENT AND FINALISED GUIDANCE ON STAFF INCENTIVES, REMUNERATION AND PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT IN CONSUMER CREDIT

The FCA has published a Policy Statement (PS18/7) and Finalised Guidance (FG18/2) on staff incentives, remuneration and performance management in consumer credit. The Policy Statement sets out final rules for staff incentives, remuneration and performance management in consumer credit firms. The Finalised Guidance sets out examples of good and bad practice observed by the FCA […]

FCA PUBLISHES GUIDANCE CONSULTATION ON FINANCIAL CRIME SYSTEMS AND CONTROLS

The FCA has published a Guidance Consultation on amending the FCA’s guidance on financial crime (GC18/1). The proposed changes include the addition of a chapter on insider dealing and market manipulation, and making miscellaneous changes as a result of recent regulatory changes to ensure the guide remains up to date. The deadline for comments on the proposals is […]

ECB Annual Report on supervisory activities

The European Central Bank (ECB) has published its Annual Report on its supervisory activities for 2017. The Annual Report sets out the ECB’s key achievements for 2017. In addition, the ECB published a speech on the Annual Report given by Daniele Nouy, Chair of the ECB’s Supervisory Board, which includes focus areas on general developments in the […]

FCA publishes policy statement on pension transfers advice

The FCA has published a Policy Statement on pension transfers advice (PS18/6). This follows the FCA’s June 2017 consultation, which looked at improving the quality of pension transfer advice. The policy statement sets out new rules on pension transfer advice (most of which come into force on 1 April 2018) and seeks views on additional changes, […]

HM Treasury launches first Fintech Sector Strategy paper

The Treasury has published its first Fintech Sector Strategy, setting out the government’s proposals to secure the UK’s place as a preferred location to start and grow a fintech business. The  paper announces a number of measures, including: a Cryptoassets Task Force will be established by HM Treasury, the Bank of England and the FCA, […]

Council of the EU approves EU-US insurance agreement

Following the announcement in September last year that the EU and the USA signed a bilateral agreement on insurance and reinsurance prudential measures, the Council of the EU has now formally adopted a decision to conclude this agreement.  This agreement can now provide legal certainty  to EU and US insurers in the application of regulatory […]

Complaints Commissioner concerned about information sharing between FOS and FCA

In a recent report the Complaints Commissioner expressed concern about the absence of published information about how and in what circumstances information about live ombudsman cases may be shared between the FOS and the FCA. The complaint alleged that the FCA illegally influenced the FOS in its handling of complaints against a firm represented by […]

FCA sets out supervision and enforcement approach

FCA has published a draft of its approach to enforcement and supervision. The documents follow its publication of its Mission, in which it committed to publishing a series of documents setting out how it carries out its main activities. The approach to supervision explains FCA’s commitment to being forward-looking and pre-emptive, focusing on firms’ cultures […]

Joint call for input on regulating the pensions and retirement income sector published

The Pensions Regulator and FCA have published a Joint Call for Input on their strategic approach for regulating the pensions and retirement income sector. The strategic approach will set out how the FCA and Pensions Regulator will work together to tackle the key risks facing the pensions sector over the next 5-10 years. Roundatables will be held in 3 […]

Andrew Bailey speaks on transforming culture in financial services

The FCA has published a speech by Andrew Bailey, FCA Chief Executive, on transforming culture in financial services. Mr Bailey highlights the following issues: work on firm culture is an important priority for the FCA; essays in the FCA’s Discussion Paper on transforming culture in financial services indicate that culture is about encouraging and incentivising good things, […]

Government heralds Brexit transition progress

The Department for Exiting the EU has published a draft Withdrawal Agreement following the conclusion of a key set of negotiations.  David Davis and Michel Barnier both welcomed the progress.  Mr Davis heralded the agreement, which provides (among other things) that international agreements that arise as a result of the UK’s membership of the EU will […]

FATF reports to G20

FATF has reported on its work and priorities to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting. The report covers its recent and future work on key initiatives, including improving transparency in beneficial ownership information, bank derisking, and the risks and opportunities of fintech, regtech and virtual currencies.

SFO speaks on DPAs and investigations

Camilla de Silver of the SFO has spoken on prosecutors’ priorities. She started by noting the role of her audience in getting in place policies and procedures that would be adequate to provide a defence to an allegation of breach of s7 Bribery Act.  She commented that, to date, SFO has not come across a […]

FCA speaks on affordability

Jonathan Davidson has spoken on getting affordability right in consumer credit. He said that as the UK consumer credit sector is growing, so are concerns about excessive debt. FCA does not consider the sector has yet reached levels of debt that are likely to be harmful to lenders. His focus was on harm to borrowers, […]

BSB publishes annual review

The Banking Standards Board has published its annual review.  Its key point is that, last year, it carried out the largest ever survey of behaviours, competence and culture in UK banking. It noted that the scores to its 36 questions improved in comparison with the previous year for 25 of the questions, and declined for […]

BoE outlines 2018 stress test

The BoE has published the scenario against which it will stress-test banks in 2018. As confirmed by the FPC, the basis of the test will be the same as the 2017 version, but the hurdles will evolve such that: banks will be held to higher standards the more systemically important they are; hurdle rates will […]

FPC updates financial stability outlook

In its latest meeting, the Financial Policy Committee focused on: the outlook for UK financial stability generally: it thought these were standard, excepting the Brexit risks, with risks from global vulnerability still being material. Risks from certain markets in the US and in China are elevated, but there seems to be some sign of increasing […]

FCA updates on motor finance

FCA has updated on its work reviewing the motor finance sector. So far, it has drawn several comforting conclusions, including around general default rates. But the 3% of customers who have the lowest credit ratings have higher arrears and default rates. It also notes that commission arrangements could lead to dealers arranging more expensive than […]

FCA outlines approach to authorisation

Sarah Rapson has spoken of FCA’s approach to authorising firms. She focused on FCA’s use of authorisation as a way to prevent harm, and its focus on using it proportionately. As a result, the information it asks firms for, and the degree of scrutiny it gives it, has to be linked to its assessment of […]

FCA looks back on past 5 years

John Griffith-Jones has reflected on FCA’s first 5 years of operation, since it took over from the FSA.  He outlined: highlights – specifying FCA’s engagement with pension exit charges, general insurance renewals, interest-only mortgage work, FX and LIBOR issues and reform, MiFID 2 implementation, the Innovation Hub, market abuse enforcement, fixing PPI, the asset management […]

Treasury calls for evidence on digital payments

Treasury has published a call for evidence on the role of cash and digital payments in the new economy. It asks for views by 5 June to help it explore how it can support digital payments, support transition from cash economies while maintaining support for cash payments for that that need it, and of course […]

ABI writes to FCA on Brexit issues

The ABI has written to Andrew Bailey highlighting the issues its members are facing in meeting their duty to treat customers fairly, in the context of communications with customers over Brexit.  The letter welcomes the December communications on authorisation of EEA branches of insurers, and says members will assume this will happen, even though it […]

FCA focuses on closet trackers

FCA has updated on its work reviewing potential closet tracker funds and closet constrained funds – funds that look like and charge fees in the same way as active funds do, but are managed like passive funds. Closet constrained funds do make active decisions, but on a restricted basis around their benchmarks. FCA is concerned […]

PSR reports record payment services activity

The Payment Systems Regulator’s annual report says 2017 was a record-breaking year for new participants, and it expects many more PSPs to join in 2018. Its early projections suggest 11 PSPs could become direct participants in CHAPS, Faster Payments and Bacs during the year, as opposed to 4 new joiners in 2016. It also reports […]

Treasury Committee asks FOS for answers

The Treasury Committee has written to Caroline Wayman, Chief Executive of FOS, following an episode of “Dispatches” that suggested FOS was staffing cases with individuals with inadequate training or understanding of financial products, and claimed some cases had been decided in favour of banks without a proper reading of the files. Nicky Morgan’s letter asks […]

High Court approves Barclays ring-fencing transfer application

On 9 March 2018, the High Court considered an application for the sanction of a ring-fencing transfer scheme (RFTS) made by Barclays Bank plc in the case of Re Barclays Bank plc and another [2018] EWHC 472 (Ch). As this was the first application for the sanction of an RFTS under section 111 of the Financial […]

Commission publishes Delegated Regulation on RTS on strong customer authentication and common and secure communication under PSD2

The Commission has published the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/389, supplementing the revised Payment Services Directive with regard to regulatory technical standards (RTS) for strong customer authentication and common and secure open standards of communication. It will  apply from 14 September 2019, with the exception of Article 30(3) and (5), which will apply from 14 March […]

FCA Discussion Paper on transforming culture in financial services

As part of its ongoing work on culture and governance, the FCA has published a discussion paper, comprising a series of essays from academics and industry thought leaders covering: what a ‘good’ culture might look like; the role of regulation and regulators; how firms might go beyond incentives; and how to change behaviour for the […]

European Commission publishes plans to accelerate delivery of Capital Markets Union

The Commission has published a new package of proposals that it wishes to see adopted by mid-2019. The proposals will ‘put in place all building blocks of the Capital Markets Union’, and comprise: legislative proposals on facilitating cross-border distribution of investment funds, to boost the cross-border market for investment funds; a legislative proposal on covered […]

EU Council confirms IDD delay

Following the publication of the provisional Directive text postponing the date of application of IDD to 1 October 2018, the Council has now confirmed that the directive has been adopted, and applies with retroactive effect from 23 February 2018.

FSB publishes final version of supplementary guidance on sound compensation practices

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has published the final version of its Supplementary Guidance to the FSB Principles and Standards on Sound Compensation Practices.  It consulted upon this guidance in June 2017, as part of its work on misconduct risk management. The Guidance is aimed at ‘significant’ firms and supervisors, and provides a framework to […]

JMLSG publishes proposed sector revisions

The JMLSG has published proposed revisions to the text of sector 12 (Asset Finance) and sector 17 (Syndicated Lending).  The proposed revisions update the descriptions of how the sectors work, how to assess the risks in the sectors and how to identify who customers are. As the proposed changes are considered relatively minor, the period […]

FCA surveys firms passporting into UK

As part of its preparation for Brexit, the Government announced in December 2017 that it would, if necessary, introduce legislation to enable a ‘temporary permission’ scheme for EEA firms and funds which, following Brexit, can no longer rely on their passporting rights to do business in the UK. The FCA has published a survey to […]

EU Commission communicates Action Plan for financing sustainable growth

The EU Commission has published a communication on its action plan for financing sustainable growth. The action plan aims to: reorient capital flows towards sustainable investment in order to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth; manage financial risks stemming from climate change, resource depletion, environmental degradation and social issues; and foster transparency and long-termism in financial […]

Commission unveils Fintech and crowdfunding action plan

The European Commission has published an action plan aimed at making Europe a global hub for Fintech. The plan is to make markets safer and easier for new players to access while enabling the financial sector to make use of new technologies. It wants to encourage a cross-border infrastructure for blockchain but using pilot projects. […]

Chancellor speaks on financial services and Brexit

Philip Hammond gave his long-awaited speech on financial services and the future.  He referenced: that financial services is not just a London business and that two-thirds of financial services jobs in the UK are outside London Theresa May’s speech setting out what the UK wants from a partnership with the remaining EU his challenge to […]

ABI publishes framework for the management of ‘gone-away’ customers in the life and pensions market

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has produced a framework designed to help firms operating in the life and long-term savings market to better identify, trace, verify and manage those customers with whom they have lost contact (‘gone-aways’). The voluntary framework, which consists of 11 principles, is intended to support providers in developing, maintaining and […]

Treasury Committee welcomes Co-op review

Nicky Morgan has welcomed the “long overdue” review into the Co-op Bank. She had written to Andrew Bailey in February to ask why the review, announced by George Osborne in November 2013, had not yet started. The response from FCA confirmed that the review had to wait until enforcement action had concluded and noting the […]

Wolfsberg updates Correspondent Banking DDQ

The Wolfsberg Group has published the updated version of its Correspondent Banking Due Diligence Questionnaire and related guidance material. It also notes that it has become aware that institutions have been using the CBDDQ for other purposes and has now produced a shorter, more basic, “Financial Crime Questionnaire” which it hopes industry will find helpful.

Treasury approves JMLSG amendments

Treasury has approved the revised JMLSG Guidance that the JMLSG submitted in December 2017.

FCA bans former Co-Operative Bank Chair, Paul Flowers from the financial services industry

The FCA has published a final notice, issued to Paul Flowers, the former Chair of the Co-Operative Bank between 15 April 2010 and 5 June 2013, banning him from the financial services industry. The FCA found that Mr Flowers’ conduct, during his time as chair, demonstrated a lack of fitness and propriety required to work […]

BoE speech on the future of money

The Bank of England (BoE) has published a speech by Mark Carney, BoE Governor, in which he considers the future of money. In particular, Mark Carney looks at how the developments in money and payments technologies could transform the economy (in ways good and bad).        

LMA updates market model agreements for GDPR and Criminal Finances Act 2017

In light of the Criminal Finances Act, which already has effect, and GDPR, which applies from 25 May 2018, the Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) has updated the following market model agreements: Binding Authority Agreement – LMA3113 Consortium Agreement – LMA3145 TPA Agreement – LMA9008A On the same webpage, the LMA has also published model endorsements for […]

Insurance Europe publishes position paper on the consequences of Brexit on existing contracts

Insurance Europe has published a position paper on the consequences of Brexit on existing insurance contracts. The paper discusses: existing (re)insurance contracts that may be affected by Brexit and how customers may be affected; what is currently permitted by passporting rights; when grandfathering is the only solution for existing contracts; and how to allow for […]

Council of EU publishes provisional text of Directive amending IDD transposition date

Further to the European Parliament’s vote on 1 March 2018, the Council of the EU has published the provisional text of the Directive amending IDD as regards the date of application of Member States’ transposition measures (the Directive). The Directive is intended to apply with retrospective effect from 23 February. The next steps will be […]

Treasury publishes AML supervision report

Treasury has published its AML and CTF supervision report for 2015-2017. It notes the two most critical legislative developments during the period as the CFA and MLRs 2017, and notes the strengthened supervision that OPBAS will bring. The report shows many successes, such as non-compliance levels in no more than 5% of entities reviewed, with […]

FCA fines and bans former trader for benchmark manipulation

FCA has fined Guillaume Adolph, a former short-term interest rate derivatives trader with Deutsche Bank, £180,000 and banned him.  It had originally issued its warning notice in early 2014 but proceedings were stayed because of SFO investigations. FCA found Mr Adolph had improperly influenced several of the bank’s LIBOR submissions over a period of nearly […]

FCA updates on product governance

FCA has provided an update on its work on product governance in small and medium sized retail banks.  Its recent review looked at 2 year fixed rate savings products and how firms’ product governance frameworks help them to identify and manage the ongoing conduct risks of their products. It specifically wanted to assess how firms […]

PM speaks on Brexit and Financial Services

Theresa May, speaking at Mansion House, set out her vision for the future economic partnership between the UK and the EU. In relation to financial services, she explained why existing models will not work. For example, the Norway model would keep the UK in the single market but would mean having to implement new EU […]

LMA publishes IDD guidance for UK coverholders

The Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) has published guidance on the IDD for UK coverholders. The guidance covers some aspects of IDD, including: product oversight and governance; product information (including the IPID); identifying client needs and advising; and information requirements. While certain part of the guidance are specific to the Lloyd’s market, the LMA has discussed […]

FCA publishes second set of data on general insurance value measures pilot

Following on from the general insurance add-ons market study, FCA piloted the publication of value measures data, which includes claims frequencies, claims acceptance rates and average claims pay-outs by an insurer in respect of certain general insurance products. The pilot was designed for FCA to develop and assess the impact of the value measures data. […]

EIOPA publishes final set of advice to the Commission on Solvency 2 Delegated Regulation

The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), has published its second and final set of advice to the European Commission on the Solvency Capital Requirement (SCR) formula under the Solvency 2 Delegated Regulation. Highlights include: EIOPA recommends further simplifications and improvements to the calculation of capital requirements, including for fire risk and mass accidents […]

FCA writes to CEOs on second charges and responsible lending

FCA has written a Dear CEO letter to firms that enter into regulated second charge mortgage contracts, asking them to review their lending processes and confirm to FCA that the firm is acting responsibly when lending and has systems, processes and controls to ensure this. FCA is worried, following a review it carried out to […]