Monthly Archives: April 2018

BEIS consults on SLP reform

BEIS is consulting on reforms to the laws governing Scottish Limited Partnerships to address the illegitimate uses to which some SLPs have been put. The Government has found evidence that SLPs have been exploited by money launderers, including one scheme that used over 100 SLPs to move up to $80bn. The proposals include introducing safeguards […]

Treasury responds on cheque imaging

Treasury has published its response to its consultation on cheque imaging. It received 15 responses, and engaged with 4 other institutions. All agreed that a copy of a cheque should be made available to customers on request, and most agreed that no cheque user should be left out of pocket as a result of any […]

FCA publishes PAD linked services list

FCA has published the final list of the most representative services linked to a payment account and subject to a fee for the purposes of the Payment Accounts Regulations. Firms will have to use the terminology from 31 October. There are 15 defined services: maintaining the account arranged overdraft unarranged overdraft refusing a payment due […]

PRA publishes model risk management principles for stress testing

PRA has published a policy and supervisory statement setting out its expectation of the model risk management practices firms should adopt when using stress test models. It expects firms to apply the principles proportionately, with the larger firms applying them in full. The principles require banks: to have an established definition of a model, and […]

MLD5 final text published

Ahead of its adoption, the Council and Parliament text of MLD5 was published on 26 April. After formal adoption it will need to be published in the Official Journal, and it will come into force 18 months after that. Austria and the Commission both expressed disappointment that the transparency provisions were not more onerous.

EU updates on withdrawal plans

The European Commission has updated its website with notices on plans for Brexit in several industry sectors including financial services. The latest news reports a request from the Commission and Treasury to the ECB and BoE to convene a technical working group on risk management in the transition period. There are also some terms of […]

FCA makes new rules

FCA (in one case together with FOS) has made several instruments amending the Handbook. Changes include: changes to FEES (from 1 April) to ensure better mapping of tariff data and that Directive and non-Directive insurers are treated consistently. Further change creates a new fee-block for consumer credit lending as a mechanism for collecting the levy for […]

Barnier speaks on Brexit

Michel Barnier has spoken to Eurofi. He described Brexit as a lose-lose situation, with no added value.  He said: there can be no frictionless trade outside the Customs Union and Single Market so businesses will be faced with barriers and checks that are not in place today and this will have an impact on value […]

FCA speaks on asset management

Andrew Bailey has given a regulatory perspective on asset management. His speech considered: market-wide risks: he looked at the growth in the asset management sector and particularly the increase in proportionate growth of the asset management sector over others. open-ended funds: he considered the risks of funds offering daily redemption in illiquid assets which also […]

EC VP speech highlights risks arising from Brexit

In a recent speech, Vice-President of the EC, Valdis Dombrovskis, warned of the consequences arising from the fact that the transition period agreed at a European level was part of the overall future withdrawal agreement.  Therefore, if finalisation of the withdrawal agreement was compromised due to issues such as the Irish border and governance of […]

Andrew Bailey of the FCA discusses open financial markets

The FCA has published a speech by its Chief Executive, Andrew Bailey, in which he spoke about open markets through the prism of Brexit, including the prospects and reasons for a transition period and what the steady-state future could look like. Bailey highlighted the paramount need for financial stability and argued that this would be […]

FATF discusses FinTech and RegTech

FATF has updated on recent discussions with the FinTech and RegTech sectors. It has recently focused on: using digital IDs for CDD. Institutions increasingly use this, and discussions focused on whether there is any need for change or clarification in the FATF recommendations to support the practice; and the regulatory landscape for crypto-assets. Participants stressed […]

EU updates on retail product distribution

The European Commission has reported that consumers still face some obstacles when trying to compare investment funds, life insurance or personal pensions. The report finds that recent EU measures, such as MiFID 2 and the PRIIPs Regulation, should help, but that consumers find a great variance in costs for similar product categories cross-border. It also says most consumers […]

Wyman report on debt advice funding published

Peter Wyman’s report on a review of debt advice funding has been published. The report makes several recommendations, including: face-to-face advice should still be widely available but there should be general and phased shifts by free-to-client providers from face-to-face to phone and then to webchat; free-to-client providers should commit to 20% efficiency savings over the next 2 financial years, […]

TI writes to SFO on DPAs

Robert Barrington, Executive Director of Transparency International, has written to David Green at the SFO warning that DPAs, while a useful tool that TI supports must nevertheless be used properly, so as not to become a “soft option” for those guilty of corruption. TI is concerned that discounted DPA settlements will give that impression. The […]

Claims Management regulations published for consultation

As part of the proposed process of transferring the regulation of Claims Management Companies to the FCA, HM Treasury is consulting on draft regulations  that will form part of a final statutory instrument creating a new framework of regulation for Claims Management Companies (CMCs). The draft regulations set out the proposed permissions that CMCs will […]

Barclays make statement over Staley investigations

Barclays has confirmed that FCA and PRA have issued draft warning notices in respect of their investigations into the the bank and its group CEO Jes Staley in respect of an attempt by Mr Staley to identify the author of an anonymous letter. The regulators propose a fine for breach of Individual Conduct Rule 2 […]

Chancellor calls for international approach to tackling corruption

Philip Hammond is to use the G7 and IMF meetings in Washington this week to call for: international agreement on denying North Korea access to finance. He wants all jurisdictions to push their banks and insurance companies to be more alert to spotting new methods of deception that attempt to bypass restrictions; and the IMF to target global corruption. He […]

FCA gives application guidance

FCA has updated its website on pre-application stages for firms wishing to become authorised. The changes focus on what asset managers should consider.

UK and US announce working group creation

HM Treasury and the US Treasury Department have announced the formation of a Financial Regulatory Working Group, to formalise engagement on bilateral regulatory cooperation. The group is scheduled to meet twice a year

EP publishes MLD5 text

Following its vote to approve MLD5, the EP has now published the provisional version of the approved text.

FCA creates new basic advice page

FCA has created a new page on its website explaining the basic advice regime under MiFID 2 and the IDD. It explains it needed to update its guidance to firms to explain the impact of these pieces of legislation. In particular, it addresses how it needed to apply some MiFID 2 requirements (or “at least […]

FCA publishes latest complaints data

The latest complaints data from FCA shows 3.76m complaints were received by firms in the second half of 2017. This is a significant increase on the previous half year, with 1.55 million complaints relating to PPI – 40% more than the previous half year and the highest level for over 4 years. Similarly, firms paid […]

FCA writes to CEOs on irredeemable preference shares

FCA has written a “Dear CEO” letter on irredeemable preference shares and similar instruments. FCA is looking to ensure investors have all the information they need to assess the risks and rewards of certain fixed income shares and is particularly concerned about those described or implied in some way to be permanent. It therefore wants […]

RBS to pay £3.5bn to pension scheme ahead of ring-fencing

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has agreed to pay contributions of up to £3.5 billion to its pension scheme in readiness for UK ring-fencing legislation taking effect from 1 January 2026. RBS has agreed a  Memorandum of Understanding with the trustee of the Main Scheme of the RBS Group Pension Fund under which it will […]

EP votes through MLD5

The European Parliament adopted in plenary session on 19 April  the proposals for MLD5. In an EP press release prior to the vote: the proposals to require public access to beneficial ownership information, to introduce registers for beneficial ownership of trusts and for banks accounts and safe deposit boxes were highlighted as important measures; EP […]

Non-bank PSP joins Faster Payments

The Bank of England has announced that TransferWise, an FCA-regulated non-bank PSP has joined Faster Payments as a direct participant. This is the first non-bank PSP to join a UK payment system settling in central bank money. BoE, FCA and the Payment Systems Regulator all heralded the development.

Financial crime prevention breakfast briefing 16 May

We are pleased to be hosting and speaking at a breakfast briefing for MLROs.com, giving an update on financial crime prevention laws and regulations and related developments.  Attendance is free, but please register through MLROs.com, where you will find further details of the event.

FCA looks at confirmation of payee development

FCA has published an insight article looking at the ongoing problems for victims of APP scams. The article looks at initiatives to minimise the risks of falling victim to these scams and, in particular, how the advent of Faster Payments brings both advantages and bigger risks to consumers. The article considers the potential safety feature […]

Updating the Financial Crime Guide

We have written an article on FCA’s proposals for updating the Financial Crime Guide.

BEIS publishes Green Paper on modernising consumer markets

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is consulting on proposals which, among other issues, seek to to improve the consumer experience in regulated markets for utilities, telecommunications and financial services and to ensure consumers buying and selling online benefit from new technology and business models, and have appropriate protection for their personal data. […]

PRA publishes ‘Dear CEO’ letter on capital extractions by insurance firms in run-off

The PRA has published a ‘Dear CEO‘ letter which addresses capital extraction requests from insurance firms in run-off, and firms not supplying sufficient information to the PRA. It reminds firms of the need to closely consider Supervisory Statement 4/14 on capital extractions, and sets out illustrations of the types of information they expect to see […]

ESAs report on key risks for H2 2017

The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities has published its report for the second half of 2017.  This report highlights the following potential sources of instability: repricing of risk premia uncertainties regarding the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU; cyber attacks; and climate change. The report urges firms and supervisory authorities to seek […]

PRA consults on Solvency II

The PRA has today published two consultation papers relating to Solvency II. The first consultation paper “Solvency II: External audit of the public disclosure requirement” sets out the PRA’s proposals rule that requires the external audit of parts of the Solvency and Financial Condition Report, under Rule 2 of the External Audit part of the […]

FCA and PRA publish business plans

The FCA and the PRA have both published their business plans for 2018/2019. The FCA’s business plan shines a spotlight on consumer protection, including in relation to pension products and high-cost credit, as an area of concern for the forthcoming year, as well as ongoing programmes such as Brexit, and firms’ culture and governance (including […]

ECB consults on cyber resilience oversight expectations

The European Central Bank (ECB) has launched a consultation on cyber resilience oversight expectations. The consultation contains a draft document which defines the ECB’s expectations in terms of cyber resilience, based on existing global guidance published by the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures and the Board of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (CPMI-IOSCO) […]

FCA SPEECH ON PSD2 AND OPEN BANKING

The FCA has published a speech, by Karina McTeague, Director of Retail Banking Supervision, on opportunities offered by the Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and open banking. Highlights of the speech include: the FCA has a real interest in the Open Banking Implementation Entity’s successful delivery of the Competition and Market Authority’s open banking application programming interface […]

FCA and PRA consult on 2018/2019 regulated fee and levy rate proposals

The FCA and PRA have, separately, published consultation papers on regulated fees and levies for 2018/19. In its consultation paper, the FCA sets out the proposed 2018/19 regulatory fees and levies for itself, the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Money Advice Service, the Pension Wise service and HM Treasury’s illegal money lending expenses.  The FCA also […]

ECB PUBLISHES ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2017

The European Central Bank (ECB) has published its annual report for 2017. The annual report sets out the ECB’s activities in the economic and financial environment of 2017. Amongst other things, the report focuses on: the economic recovery in the euro area; the ECB’s monetary policy decisions, which lead to the ECB recalibrating its asset […]

ECON DRAFT REPORT ON FINANCIAL SERVICES REGULATION AND SUPERVISION RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EU AND THIRD COUNTRIES

The European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) published its draft report on the financial services regulation and supervision relationship between the EU and third countries. The draft report contains a motion for a European Parliament resolution and includes, amongst other things calls: on the European Commission to adopt a legislative act establishing […]

CMA to continue insurance price comparison website investigation

The CMA has confirmed that it has decided to continue the investigation into a price comparison website’s (PCW) use of certain ‘most favoured nation’ clauses in its contracts with home insurance providers. In the context of PCWs, ‘most favoured nation’ clauses require the provider of a product  that wishes to offer their product on the […]

CMA PUBLISHES SUMMARY OF ROUNDTABLE WITH ASSET MANAGERS

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published a summary of the roundtable that it held, on 12 February 2018, with asset managers. The roundtable was held as part of CMA’s work on the market investigation into the supply and acquisition of investment consultancy services and fiduciary management services to and by institutional investors and employers in the UK.

The future of the defined benefit system

The funding deficits of defined benefit (DB) pension schemes have made news headlines in recent times, following the difficulties encountered by the British Steel Pension Scheme and some high profile business failures. The Government’s response was to issue a Green paper suggesting ways in which the funding and security of members’ pensions could be improved. […]

Up next from FCA

FCA’s latest policy development update does not promise anything particularly new.  Key deadlines for the next quarter include: policy statement on regulatory fees and levies, with consulation on rates – during April; changes to rules and guidance in SUP under the PSR – now overdue; and possibly a policy statement on the FSCS funding review.  

FCA clarifies cryptocurrency regulatory status

FCA has clarified its views on the regulation of cryptocurrency derivatives. It has previously explained that cryptocurrencies are, of themselves, not regulated although they may be part of other regulated products or services. Cryprocurrency derivatives, though, may be financial instruments for the purpose of MiFID 2. FCA says those who deal, arrange deals in, advise […]

FCA publishes package of asset management remedies

FCA has released several documents resulting from its asset management market study. The key documents are: final rules focussing on the duties of fund managers as agents of the fund investors. The changes will require fund managers to make an annual assessment of value and to appoint at least 2 independent directors comprising at least 25% of […]

EU Exit Committee sets out key Brexit tests

The Commons Committee for Exiting the EU has published a report setting out the key tests it says any deal agreed by October must meet. From the financial services perspective, the report notes the critical importance of UK providers being able to continue to sell their products into EU markets as they currently do and […]

Blockchain: Game Changer or Game Over?

Please join us for our Fintech and Insurtech Forum in London on 10 May. An expert panel will discuss the latest blockchain trends and breakthroughs. Attendance is free and you can register via our website.

Court finds for lender on RMC argument

The Court of Appeal has recently upheld the judgements of lower courts in a case where a loan was entered into on the express representation from the borrower that the property would not be used as a residence. When the borrower defaulted, it sought to argue that, despite having completed a question on the application […]

UK Finance looks at DLT and identity validation

A paper published by the Whitechapel Think Tank, supported by UK Finance, looks at how technology can help the safe validation of identity and verification. It examines how distributed ledger technology can provide a decentralised and secure approach to validating identity and how this could benefit financial services providers and consumers.

Treasury Committee starts economic crime inquiry

The Treasury Committee has announced a new inquiry into economic crime.  One part of the inquiry will look at the AML and sanctions regimes in the UK and how firms, individuals and the wider economy are impacted by them and the UK legislative and regulatory framework around them.  The other will look at the economic […]

FCA updates on Capital Alternatives

FCA has reported that the defendants in its case against Capital Alternatives have been ordered to pay compensation and that it has obtained new undertakings from or injunctions against some of the defendants to protect against the risk of dissipating or diminishing assets.

FCA cross over insurance renewals

FCA has warned firms it is prepared to take action against those who have failed to implement rules that have now been in force for a year designed to clearly show customers who are due to renew their general insurance the premium they paid the previous year. RAC has just agreed to contact customers after […]

Government responds on financial regulation post Brexit

John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, has responded to the Lords EU Financial Affairs Sub-Committee’s January report on the future of financial regulation and supervision post-Brexit. The response, which was prepared before the most recent developments on the Brexit arrangements,  notes that the Government is alive to many of the issues the report raised and sets out […]