Monthly Archives: March 2019

EBA agrees form of MoU between European and UK supervisors

As part of the no-deal Brexit preparations, the Board of Supervisors of the EBA have confirmed that a template MoU has been agreed with the FCA and PRA.  If there is a no-deal Brexit, this template will be used as the basis of the series of bilateral MoUs required between UK and individual EU supervisory […]


ESMA has published a statement in which it outlines its approach, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, to the application of the trading obligations for shares (STOs) under article 23 of MiFIR in the absence of an equivalence decision relating to the UK by the European Commission. The statement makes it clear that the EU’s STOs will apply […]

FCA imposes £27.6 million fine for transaction reporting failures

The FCA has fined UBS AG for transaction reporting failures during the period November 2007 to May 2017.  The FCA reported that a total of 135.8 million errors in reporting were made during this period.  It queried whether UBS had taken reasonable care to organise and control its affairs responsibly and effectively in this respect. […]

JMLSG proposes credit union and brokerage services updates

JMLSG has published proposed revisions to the chapters on credit unions and brokerage services to funds, in part 2 of its guidance. The updates aim to describe in more current terms what risks the sectors face and how to identify who customers are. The changes to the credit union chapter explains the lower risk nature […]

Treasury Committee asks for London Capital inquiry

The Treasury Committee has written to Treasury and FCA asking for an investigation into the events at London Capital and Finance.  FCA had told the firm to withdraw its promotional materials for its mini-bonds in December 2018 as it found them to be misleading, not fair and unclear.  But the Treasury Committee feels there is […]

EP upset over rejected AML blacklist

The European Parliament has called for urgent resolution of the debate between the EU Council and Commission on the new proposed AML blacklist. The EP had previously rejected 2 submissions by the Commission on the grounds they were not sufficiently autonomous and had supported the Commission in the development of its new methodology. It “regrets” the […]

OFSI updates on sanctions approach

OFSI has updated its website to reflect the latest legislation and guidance on how the UK will implement on the one hand EU and on the other UN and domestic sanctions in the event of a no-deal Brexit.  Legislation has been made under SAMLA to take effect on a no-deal Brexit in relation to Burma, […]

WBD boosts expertise with white collar partner

Womble Bond Dickinson is delighted to have expanded its offering in the financial services and insurance sectors with the hire of white collar crime partner, Audrey Koh. Audrey has substantial experience of advising clients across many jurisdictions, in particular those based in the UK, US and Europe.  Further information about Audrey can be found here.

CMA’s Loyalty Penalty Working Group terms of reference published

Following work by both the FCA and the CMA, and the ‘loyalty penalty’ super-complaint, the CMA has published the terms of reference of its recently convened Loyalty Penalty Working Group (LPWG).  The LPWG includes representatives from BEIS, FCA, HMT and Ofcom. These terms of reference include: bolder enforcement and tackling harmful business practice; ‘nudge remedies’ […]

BIS reports on central bank digital currencies

The BIS Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures and the Markets Committee have published a joint report central bank digital currencies (CBDC). The report sets out the findings of research conducted by the committees into the potential implications of CBDC on payment systems, monetary policy implementation and transmission, and the structure and stability of the […]

Debt management sector: second FCA thematic review published

The FCA has published TR19/01, the second set of findings of its review of the debt management sector. The focus of this review was firms that provide debt advice and administer debt management plans, on a for- or a not-for-profit basis. While overall the FCA found that the culture in for-profit firms is appropriately focused […]

Lords Committee praises Bribery Act

The Select Committee on the Bribery Act has published its post-legislative scrutiny report, which concludes the Act is “exemplary”.  Enquiries and evidence have shown it to be a piece of law that works well and that other countries should follow. The only real criticism was to highlight that the Government should give better guidance to […]

FCA publishes investment platforms market study

FCA has published the final report in its Investment Platforms Market Study.  It has concluded that the market is working well for most consumers, but it is proposing changes that will make it less expensive and time-consuming for investors to shop around. The changes aim both to reduce the time and complexity of switching, and […]

FCA Update on Digital Regulatory Reporting

The FCA has updated its webpage on digital regulatory reporting (DRR) by publishing – a video which explains the concept of DRR and outlines the work carried out by the DRR pilot group; a report which sets out an overview of the work and findings of phase I of its DRR pilot, which explored how firms and […]

BCBS Statement on crypto-assets

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has published a statement on crypto-assets. The Committee acknowledges that while the crypto-asset market remains small relative to that of the global financial system, and banks currently have very limited direct exposures, the continued growth of crypto-asset trading platforms and new financial products related to crypto-assets has the potential […]

What the Spring Statement brings for regulation

In the Chancellor’s Spring Statement, the Chancellor referred to the need to ensure financial regulation can adapt to a no-deal Brexit and then, longer term, to the UK’s new constitutional position.

UK pension plan gets fraud victory in US

We have written an article on the litigation involving a UK pension plan and a US entity in which it had invested. The pension plan alleged securities fraud on the part of the investee company, and succeeded in winning compensation for investors.

No-deal for the insurance sector – a look across Europe

We have written a short article on the pan-European view, and the views in certain key jurisdictions in the EU, on the effects of no-deal Brexit on the insurance regulation.

Treasury Committee reports on AML and sanctions

The Treasury Committee has published a report looking at AML supervision and sanctions implementation, as a response to the inquiry into Economic Crime. The report covers the elements of the inquiry that addressed AML and the sanctions regime. It looked both at the scale of crime and how regulation addresses the risks. The report makes several interesting […]

FCA fines Carphone Warehouse for insurance misselling

FCA has fined the Carphone Warehouse over £29 million for misselling its “Geek Squad” mobile phone insurance and technical support product, and acting in breach of its Principles 3,6 and 9.  Following whistleblowing reports, FCA investigated and found the firm did not give its sales staff the right training to enable them to assess customers’ […]

EBA Working Group on PSD2 APIs: first set of clarifications published

Following the first meeting of the EBA Working Group on APIs under PSD2, the EBA has published the first set of issues identified and consequent clarifications. The issues relate to the testing environment mandated by the SCA RTS, technical specification transparency and the identification of qualified trust service providers issuing PSD2 eIDAS certificates.

FCA finalises guidance on SoRs and responsibilities maps

FCA has published its finalised guidance to help firms prepare their statements of responsibility and responsibilities maps under the SMCR. The guidance addresses the rules as they apply to each category of SMCR firm, in each case suggesting questions firms should ask themselves to ensure they complete the forms correctly and gives examples of good […]

FCA confirms FOS increase

FCA has issued a policy statement confirming the increase in the FOS award limit.  From 1 April, the limit that FOS can award against firms will be £350,000. This amount will apply in relation to complaints about actions on or after that date. For claims about actions before 1 April that are referred to FOS […]

FCA makes Directory rules

FCA has made its final rules on its “Directory“. The new public register will enable searches on all directors and senior managers, certification staff and other individuals who require qualifications to undertake business with clients. FCA has made rules that will require all firms to report timely and accurate information about their Directory persons. FCA […]

FCA proposes new rules on disclosing administration charges and transaction costs for personal pension schemes

The FCA is consulting on new rules to require scheme governance bodies to publish and disclose information about administration charges and transaction costs to members of personal pension schemes. Similar provisions in respect of workplace occupational pension schemes came into force in April 2018. FCA rules have required asset managers to report transaction costs and other […]

FCA publishes research on consumer attitudes to cryptoassets

The FCA has published a survey and qualitative research they commissioned to examine UK consumer attitudes to cryptoassets. Although the research revealed a prevailing lack of understanding about cryptoassets, it also indicated a very low level of take-up: only an estimated 3% of consumers have ever bought cryptoassets, and about have of those spent under […]

Council rejects high risk list

The EU Council has unanimously rejected the Commission’s updated list of high risk third countries. It said the proposal was not established in a “transparent and resilient process that actively incentivises affected countries to take decisive action while also respecting their right to be heard”. The Commission will now have to start again.

ESMA speaks on fund priorities

Steven Maijoor has spoken on ESMA’s priorities in fund regulation. He focused on how consumer investments progress over time, and the role of costs, looking at ESMA’s costs and performance report on retail investment products.  He then spoke on the relevance of cost in investment services regulation more widely and the importance of cost disclosure […]

FCA writes to P2P platforms on wind-down plans

FCA has written a Dear CEO letter to loan-based P2P crowdfunding platforms asking them to review their wind-down arrangements.  It has recently carried out a sampling exercise which it says strongly suggests that some firms are falling short of the standard it expects. It is particularly concerned about: systems and controls around wind-down, including the […]

FCA targets high-cost credit firms

FCA has written a “portfolio strategy letter” to firms that provide high-cost lending products such as guarantor loans, high cost short-term credit and unsecured loans for sub-prime customers, home-collected credit, income smoothing products, logbook loans, pawnbroking and RTO. Its strategy also applies to community development finance institutions. FCA notes there are significant variations in size and […]

FCA reviews credit card fees and charges

The FCA has written to credit card firms to request they review their policies and procedures in relation to fees and charges, to ensure they result in fair consumer outcomes and comply with CONC. The letter follows the FCA’s review of the sector, which looked at fees and charges. The review found a number of […]

Access to Cash Review published

The Final Report of the Access to Cash Review (Report) has been published.  The objective of this review was to consider consumer requirements for cash over the next five to fifteen years, to ensure there those consumers who require cash, including those for whom it is an economic necessity (currently about 17% of the UK […]

Insurance MoUs agreed between BoE, FCA, EIOPA and EU supervisors

The UK supervisory authorities have agreed memoranda of understanding with European counterparts, to facilitate the coordinated supervision of insurance entities in the event of a no-deal Brexit.  The MoUs cover supervisory cooperation, enforcement, information exchange and mutual assistance.

EU agrees draft directive to enhance consumer protection

The EU has agreed the terms of a draft directive that, if passed, will amend a number of consumer protection directives, including the consumer rights directive (2011/83/EU), to introduce measures such as: harmonised penalties for breaches of consumer protections, including the power to impose a fine, in certain circumstances, of up to 4% of a […]

FCA introduces rent-to-own price cap

FCA confirmed today that it would be introducing a price cap in the rent-to-own (RTO) market.  The regulator said that it wanted to “bring down prices on RTO agreements where the overall costs to consumers are high compared to other retailers’ prices.” In November 2018, FCA explained in CP 18/35 that it believed its intervention […]

FCA unhappy with motor finance commission models

FCA is likely to propose changes to how commission works in the motor finance sector.  It has carried out a review and has found that commonly used models allow brokers discretion to set the interest rate customers pay.  This means the broker can potentially earn a higher commission and this can lead to conflicts which […]

FCA updates rules

FCA has made a number of amendments to various parts of its rulebook, including: amendments to COBS on information relating to pensions savings, taking effect from November 2019 and April 2020; introducing a Devolved Authorities’ debt advice levy; and exempting unauthorised mutual societies from paying fees.

Up next from FCA

FCA is running behind schedule on some expected publications.  Its latest Policy Development Update highlights the following: consultation and discussion on the Investment Platforms Market Study remedies due in March alongside the final Market Study report; feedback on policy proposals on fees and levies, also due in March, with consultation on rates proposals in April; […]

APP Scam Steering Group announces voluntary code to combat fraud

The Authorised Push Payment (APP) Scams Steering Group announced that it has agreed a voluntary Code of good practice. The Code aims to better protect customers and reduce the occurrence of APP fraud. It sets out the agreed principles for greater protection of consumers and the circumstances in which any customer of a bank or […]

UK CSD to be recognised by ESMA in the event of a no-deal Brexit

ESMA has announced that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the Central Securities Depository (CSD) established in the UK, Euroclear UK and Ireland Ltd, will be recognised as a a third country CSD to provide its services in the EU. ESMA stated that it has adopted this recognition decision in order to allow the […]