Monthly Archives: January 2019

New Financial Services head at Womble Bond Dickinson

We are delighted that Jonny Williams has joined the financial services regulatory team at Womble Bond Dickinson UK. More information on Jonny and his appointment can be found here.

FCA confirms Keydata individual fines

FCA has published its final notices banning Stewart Ford and Mark Owen from performing any function in relation to any regulated activity and fining them £76 million and £3,240,787 respectively. Mr Ford held the CF1, 3 and for some time 8 positions in respect of Keydata Investment Services Limited  Mr Owen held the CF1, CF16 […]

New FCA portal for mutual societies

The FCA has launched a new portal to enable mutual societies complete tasks and submit information to the FCA that was previously done online or by post, such as the submission of annual rules and accounts and applications for rule amendments. Mutuals societies can start to register as users of this portal; the FCA will […]

SAR numbers increase but TI unimpressed

The NCA has reported a rise in SARs from the private sector in the past year.  It reports nearly 464,000 SARs received and processed in the year covered by its report.  However, Transparency International says this should not mask the failings in the system. TI is critical of the scarce resources and out of date system […]

HMRC updates MLR help pages

HMRC has updated its website in respect of money laundering supervision. The updates include the addition of webinars on firms’ obligations and how HMRC applies its supervisory duties.

JMLSG updates guidance for MLR changes

JMLSG has updated its guidance to take account of changes to the MLR 2017 that came into force on 10 January. The changes ban firms from setting up anonymous accounts and passbooks or providing anonymous safe-deposit boxes, and direct that CDD take place on all anonymous accounts, passbooks and safe-deposit boxes in existence on that date, […]

Economic Task Force meets and pledges SARs reform

The first meeting of the Government’s task force on economic crime has been chaired by the Home Secretary and the Chancellor. The Government plans that the Economic Crime Strategy Board will meet twice a year and will include senior representatives from Barclays, Lloyds and Santander as well as from UK Finance, the NCA, SRA, Accountants […]

Evaluation of Consumer Credit Directive

The European Commission has opened a consultation to invite views from a range of stakeholders on the functioning of the Consumer Credit Directive (CCD). The purpose of the evaluation is to consider whether the CCD is still fit for purpose given  market developments in the ten years since its adoption in 2008. Responses are invited […]

Treasury Committee publishes SME reports

In October, the Treasury Committee reported on SME finance, making several recommendations including setting out its views on the availability of FOS and the Tribunal for SME disputes, and the suggestion that commercial lending be regulated to protect SMEs. The Government and FCA have now responded to the report. The Government has refused to bring […]

FCA publishes sector views

FCA has published its “Sector Views” setting out its observations from monitoring its 7 selected sectors of: retail banking retail lending general insurance and protection pensions and retirement income retail investments investment management and wholesale financial markets It produces this review to inform its overall approach and ultimately its business plan. The studies identify where […]

Commission reports on AIFMD

The European Commission has published a report showing how the AIFMD has significantly contributed to creating an internal market for AIFs. It says most of its provisions have achieved their intended objectives, although there are some areas that require further analysis. The Commission is due to present a report on the functioning of the legislation […]

Treasury Committee welcomes new move for mortgage prisoners

The Treasury Committee has welcomed FCA’s new commitment to consulting on rule changes which will allow the estimated 120,000 “mortgage prisoners” who are with unregulated firms and 20,000 with firms that are inactive, to switch to active lenders. FCA has already acted to help the lesser number of mortgage prisoners who were with active firms. The […]

UK Finance wants to stay in SEPA

UK Finance has applied on behalf of the UK to stay in SEPA. SEPA is operated by the EPC outside the EU institutional framework.  UK Finance says the SEPA community would support it staying, and its own members want to do so. The final decision will be made on 7 March, but UK Finance anticipate […]

PRA plans CRM eligibility clarification

PRA is proposing changes to its Supervisory Statement on credit risk mitigation, to clarify how financial collateral is eligible as funded credit protection under the CRR. The CRR sets criteria for recognising collateral as eligible for CRM, which include that “the credit quality of the obligor and the value of the [financial] collateral shall not […]

FCA ‘Dear CEO’ letter on misleading financial promotions

The FCA has published a ‘Dear CEO’ letter in which it provides clarity about the communication and approval of financial promotions by regulated and unregulated businesses. The FCA has published the letter after it has recently become aware that firms have been issuing financial promotions which suggest or imply that all the activities they undertake are […]

ESAs advise on crypto approach

ESMA and EBA have published papers on ICOs and crypto-assets. The ESMA paper clarifies which crypto-assets currently qualify as financial instruments and provides its views on gaps and risks. The paper identifies several of these: where assets do not fall within the scope of MiFID financial instruments, there are substantial investor risks.  ESMA says that […]

Council agrees investment firms prudential standards change

The EU Council has confirmed its position on the compromise proposals on a package of changes to the CRR/CRD4 , comprising a Regulation and a Directive, to allow prudential and supervisory requirements to be proportionate to the risk and business profile of regulated firms while ensuring financial stability. The new measures would divide investment firms into: […]

FCA consults on Brexit contractual continuity provision

At the end of last year, the the Treasury published draft regulations making provision for contractual certainty for firms currently passporting into the UK in the event of a ‘hard’ Brexit. Following this, the FCA has published CP19/02 on Brexit and contractual continuity.  This consultation paper is aimed at such incoming firms.  It consults on […]

ESAs report on sandboxes

The ESAs have published a joint report on regulatory sandboxes and innovation hubs. The report shows that 24 EEA Member States have developed hubs but only 5 have regulatory sandboxes. As a result of the study the ESAs have recommended some statements of best practice for national authorities to follow in designing and operating their […]

Brexit and Immigration Law seminar series

One of the most fundamental ways in which Brexit is likely to affect many businesses, is the impact on immigration law.  This is particularly the case for the financial services and insurance sectors, which have long drawn on talent from across the world. Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is putting on a series of seminars […]

FCA opens temporary permissions notification window

FCA has opened the notification window for passporting-in firms. Firms will need to have notified FCA of their intention to seek full UK authorisation to carry on services in the UK before exit day in the event of a hard Brexit.  FCA has opened the window from 7 January to 28 March, Its website includes a guide […]

Single Financial Guidance Body launched

The Single Financial Guidance Body (SFGB) was launched on 3 January 2019. It brings together three existing providers of financial guidance – the Money Advice Service, the Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise – to form a “one-stop shop”. The SFGB’s core functions will be: pensions guidance on workplace and personal pensions money guidance to […]

Up next from FCA

FCA’s latest Policy Development Update highlights a number of publications due before the end of Q1 2019: a policy statement on general standards and communication rules for payment services and emoney providers; consultation and discussion on the investment platforms market study remedies; policy statement on 2019/20 fees and levies; consultation on recovering the costs of […]

ESMA updates MiFID 2 FAQs

ESMA has updated its FAQs on MiFID 2 and MiFIR in respect of: transparency; and commodity derivatives. The updated questions cover, among other things, publication of request for market data transactions and the application of the “price multiplier” field in electricity contract reporting.

Swiss equivalence decision published in OJ

The Commission Implementing Regulation on the equivalence of the Swiss regulatory framework for stock exchanges for the purposes of MiFID 2 has been published in the OJEU and applies from 1 January 2019. The SIX Swiss Exchange AG and BX Swiss AG are considered equivalent to regulated markets.

Government updates Blocking Order regulations

The Extraterritorial US Legislation (Sanctions against Cuba, Iran and Libya) Protection of Trading Interests)(Amendment) Order 2018 will take effect on 1 February 2019. It updates a 1996 order to reflect updates to the EU Blocking Regulation – which makes it an offence for EU companies and individuals to comply with US sanctions imposed on Cuba, Iran […]

FCA opens window for CMCs to register for temporary permission

In December 2018, the FCA confirmed that as part of its take over of the regulation of CMCs from April 2019, it would require CMCs to register for temporary permission in order to continue to operate from April, and pending submission and approval by the FCA of  a ‘full’ application to continue to do business. […]