Author Archives: Emma Radmore
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 […]
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 TI is critical of the scarce resources and out of date system […]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 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 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, […]
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 […]
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 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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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: […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 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.
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.
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 has published its final framework setting out how it will measure the impact of its past interventions.
ESMA is to renew the current restrictions on the marketing, distribution or sale of CFDs to retail clients for a further three months from February 2019.
BoE has made a statement on the equivalence of the future UK legal and supervisory framework for CCPs and CSDs, following a decision by the European Commission to make implementing acts that will allow UK CCPs and CSDs to be recognised by ESMA. The measures would take effect from 30 March 2019 in the event of a […]
Following complaints by banks that AML rules are not effectively and consistently supervised, the Council has agreed to give EBA greater powers over supervision, including allowing it to perform risk assessments on competent authorities and addressing decisions directly to individual banks as a last resort. The proposals must now be agreed with the EP.
FCA has fined Santander £32,817,000 for failing effectively to process the accounts and investments of deceased customers. FCA found the bank did not transfer funds totally over £183m to customers when it should have done and did not disclose problems in its probate and bereavement process to FCA once it became aware of them. The […]
Treasury has published a draft statutory instrument setting out the Financial Services Contracts Regime (FSCR) which will provide run-off mechanisms to the various temporary regimes the government and regulators are preparing to put in place for Brexit. The regime will cover firms that currently passport into the UK under FSMA, the PSRs or the EMRs, and […]
The latest edition of Market Watch outlines FCA’s views on industry implementation of MAR. FCA stresses the importance of industry participants properly calibrating their risk assessments to the markets and asset classes they operate in and showing it is responsive to changes. It notes the importance of strong judgment in market abuse compliance and emphasises […]
The Home Office has updated on the first year’s progress against the UK’s anti–corruption strategy. The update concludes that the commitments made have largely been met, and that the UK is on track to deliver its remaining commitments. including those due in 2019, notwithstanding Brexit. The report highlights a number of points of interest to […]
FCA has finally issued its final notice banning Angela Burns from acting as a NED and has fined her £20,000. Ms Burns acted as NED for two mutual societies and was chair of their investment committees. She provided advice on appointing Vanguard Asset Management Limited as investment manager, and the societies believed this advice was […]
FCA has added a page to its website updating firms on what they could and should be doing to prepare for Brexit. The page is for use by UK and EEA firms and takes them through each various practicality they should consider.
We have written an article for Financial Regulation International on financial crime prevention developments in 2018.
EIOPA has published its report on its evaluation of the structure of insurance intermediaries markets in Europe in accordance with IDD requirements. The report notes a very wide diversity of local distribution channels and differences between nationally adopted definitions. It also found divergence in registration and reporting requirements. Generally, the lack of homogeneity makes it […]
FCA has now finalised its guidance on insider dealing and market manipulation within the Financial Crime Guide. It received 8 responses to its consultation, generally positive. However, some respondents raised concerns about: mandating a duty to prevent these crimes; the risk of firms tipping off by taking some of the actions the guidance proposed; where […]
PRA and FCA are consulting on new reporting requirements for mortgage lenders and home finance administrators. Both regulators think there are areas in which they need data from firms additional to that which is currently being reported. The changes will affect the MLAR and PSD returns. Key proposals include that: mortgage administrators should submit PSD […]
FCA has published the latest figures on engagement of consumers with its PPI helpline.
A Court has found in favour of the lender in a case brought by a couple who entered into a 5 year interest only loan through a broker, which they met repayments on but were ultimately unable to repay the capital. The claimants said that the lender, Godiva, should have realised that a claim on the […]
FCA has published the results of its study of cyber-resilience and security in 20 asset management and wholesale banking firms. Its review comprised firms of varying size, scale, operating models and geography. The review comes with many caveats, but the key messages include: Boards and Management Committees still have limited familiarity with the specific cyber-risks […]
The Upper Tribunal has ruled on an application by Mohammad Prodhan, former CEO of Sonali Bank (UK). Mr Prodhan contended that FCA was time-barred from taking action against him. He also applied for a direction for his anonymity in proceedings of the Tribunal and the FCA. Mr Prodhan alleged that FCA had not issued him with a Warning […]
Companies House has announced it now carries on additional checks on certain applicants for registration, to guard against designated persons using economic resources such as companies in an attempt to get round sanctions restrictions. From 12 December, Companies House will check applications from UK companies, European Companies, LLPs and SLPs, to assess the name, address, […]
The Charity Commission has warned charities that operate in Syria or Turkey of the dangers of aid passing through the Bab Al-Hawa crossing. There have been reports that the crossing is under the control of Al Qa’ida which means that charities and their partners that use it could inadvertently be funding that organisation and thereby […]
FCA’s latest quarterly consultation proposes rules that: amend SUP 16 to address FCA’s concern that it does not always hold accurate “firm details” by requiring an annual accuracy check and removing the option some firms currently benefit from to update details other than using Connect; and add the Association of Accounting Technicians to the list of bodies […]
FATF has published the long-awaited mutual evaluation report on the UK’s measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The report notes that, because of the exceptionally large funds flow through the UK financial sector and the risks that some of these have links to crime and terrorism, there is a strong understanding of the […]
FCA is consulting on permanent rules to restrict the marketing, distribution and sale of CFDs and CFD-like options to retail consumers. The proposals are similar to the ESMA temporary measures, but FCA wants also to cover closely substitutable products and are proposing some different leverage limits. FCA feels the action is necessary because of constant […]
ESMA has published the advice it received from the Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group on amending the PRIIPs KID. The group fully supports the principle of the KID but is disappointed that there are proposals for change so soon after firms spend significant resource to implement the original requirements and also that the consultation period […]
FCA has published the key findings from its recent information gathering exercise on pension transfer advice. This year it has collected information from an additional 45 firms and visited 18 of them. It found less than half the advice given was suitable and FCA is very disappointed that firms are still failing to give suitable […]
FCA has published a decision notice setting out its proposal to find Mohammad Prodhan, the former CEO of Sonali Bank (UK) Ltd £76,400 in relation to the bank’s AML systems and controls. Mr Prodhan was responsible for the establishment and maintenance of effective AML systems and controls and FCA considered that between 2012 and 2014 […]
ECB has published its expectations on financial market infrastructures in terms of cyber resilience oversight. Its expectations are based on CPMI/IOSCO guidance and is aimed at providing the FMIs with clear steps on how to operationalise and enhance the guidance as well as providing supervisors with a clear remit for engaging with FMIs and assessing […]
Treasury has made the Sanctions Review Procedure (EU Exit) Regulations 2018. The Regulations, made under SAMLA, come into force on 7 January 2019 and address the mechanics of requesting reviews, variations or revocations of designations made under the Act.
SFO announced that the first DPA, agreed with what is now ICBC Standard Bank plc for breach of s7 Bribery Act, has come to an end after the bank successfully complied with its terms. The DPA lasted for 3 years. Its terms included payment of compensation and disgorgement of profits as well as a fine, and […]
The FIN team was delighted to win two awards at the 2018 Compliance Register Platinum awards, including Best Consultancy/Law Firm – Regulatory Compliance. Thank you to those of you who nominated us and those who were there to share the evening with us.
The Treasury Committee has published the Bank of England’s analysis of the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration. The lengthy document explains how the reduction in openness with reduce the UK economy’s productive capacity and generally its short-term rate of growth – and how a disorderly Brexit will exacerbate this. It also notes that the longer-term […]
BoE has published its latest Financial Stability Report together with the results of the 2018 Stress Tests. The Financial Stability Report found that the UK financial system has good resilience to a range of risks, including Brexit – banks could lend in a scenario more severe than the financial crisis and are prepared and strong […]
FCA has published the results of its survey on tech and cyber resilience, which showed that nearly half of all firms don’t upgrade or retire old IT systems in time, and only just over half say they can measure the effectiveness of their information asset controls. Megan Butler, speaking about the report, said that FCA […]
FCA has published a new modification by consent to allow firms to exclude from their complaints return form those PPI complaints in relation to which the complainant had not in fact bought PPI from the firm. Any firm wanting to take advantage of the waiver must email FCA to apply for it.
The first Commencement Order under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 has been made. It brings into force the majority of the sanctions provisions in the Act that enable Ministers to make and implement sanctions. The rest of the Act, including the repeal of existing legislation, will be the subject of a separate Order, […]
FCA has published additional proposals on how it will deal with a hard Brexit. The consultation focuses on: more changes to the Temporary Permissions regime; reflecting the new Credit Rating Agency and Trade Repository Regime in the Handbook and FCA’s approach to guidance and forms Key elements of the consultation include: new “cross-cutting” issues that […]
Matthew Wagstaff has spoken on SFO’s priorities and resourcing, and the successes of its collaborations with other enforcement agencies, particularly the DOJ. He spoke of SFO’s perception that the s7 Bribery Act offence has been a big success, as has been the ability generally to hold senior management to account. He moved on to discuss […]
Rob Gruppetta has spoken on FCA’s views on the use of innovation, data and algorithms to help it in its supervision of, and approach to, financial crime prevention. He said that FCA is always open to innovation, but that it should not be approached without scrutiny. He highlighted FCA’s TechSprints (or “hackathons”), one of which […]
FCA has published a report looking at how banks and building societies are developing and delivering their commitment to provide prompts to customers. The prompts should increase engagement of consumers with their products and make them aware of switching possibilities and developments in retail banking. The report has identified practices that are helpful, such as […]
FCA is consulting on policy proposals for its proposed regulatory fees and levies for 2019/2020. Among the proposed changes is a plan to streamline the process of setting consumer credit fees by exemption community finance organisations and credit unions. The other main element of the paper discusses how FCA will raise fees from credit rating agencies […]
At its latest Board meeting, FCA has made changes to DISP and its guidance, effective from 8 November, to confirm that firms must not reject relevant regular premium PPI complaints without considering whether recurring non-disclosure is an issue. Separately, FCA has amended Chapter 13 of IPRU(INV) to require personal investment firms to have PII cover […]
Andrew Bailey has written to Nicky Morgan setting out FCA’s plans for improving accessibility and usability of the Financial Services Register, and updating on its recent consultation on the register of individuals.
Sir Brian Leveson and Lisa Osofsky (among others) were listed to give evidence to the Bribery Act Committee. They were expected to be asked questions such as: whether a company that self-reports at an early stage should be offered a DPA as a matter of course; the truth in a belief that some of the […]
ESMA has updated its FAQs on the Market Abuse Regulation, adding new questions on trading restrictions for persons discharging managerial responsibilities.
The Financial Stability Board has published a “cyber lexicon“, comprising a set of around 50 core terms related to cyber security and cyber resilience in the financial sector.
ESMA has updated its supervisory briefing for regulators on the suitability requirements under MiFID 2. The briefing covers: when a suitability assessment is needed; information to clients on the assessment; getting information from clients; arrangements necessary to understand products; arrangements necessary to understand the suitability of an investment; suitability report; staff qualifications; and record keeping.
FCA has completed its first financial crime survey. It intends to carry out the survey annually, using the Financial Crime Return. Over 2,000 firms were required to file the return, and FCA looked to establish: the number of customers that pose a higher risk of financial crime: Firms identified 120,000 PEPs and 11,000 non-EEA correspondent […]
The Foreign Affairs Committee in the Commons has launched an inquiry on the future of UK sanctions policy. Given SAMLA’s Royal Assent, the Committee is to look at different options for the UK’s sanctions policy post-Brexit. It is calling for written submissions on several elements of sanctions regimes, including views on the advantages and disadvantages […]
The ESAs are consulting on proposed amendments to the PRIIPs KID. The consultation follows the ESAs’ letter to the Commission on developing guidance on information on investment funds. It also noted the need to make targeted amendments to the PRIIPs delegated Regulation to apply the PRIIPs KID requirements appropriately to UCITS and relevant non-UCITS funds, […]
Hannah von Dedelszen has spoken on how companies that choose to self-report can engage with SFO. She stressed that being open, honest and transparent is the key. she noted some firms operate “smoke and mirrors”, involving admitting some things but hiding more major issues. She said any firm reporting must do so properly. Going forward, […]
The Treasury Committee in the Commons has launched a new inquiry into consumers’ access to financial services, with a focus on vulnerable customers. Nicky Morgan said the committee will look at FCA’s definition of vulnerability and how practical it is, as well as how financial institutions try to address the problems of financial exclusion and whether vulnerable […]
BoE, Treasury and FCA have hosted what has now become a regular one day exercise to test the financial sector’s resilience to a major cyber incident impacting the UK.
The Law Society has responded to the Law Commission’s consultation on reform of the SARs regime. It says the proposals, in the main, do no more than “tinker around the edges” of the issues. It says some of the more radical proposals, such as adopting a serious crimes approach instead of an all crimes approach, […]
The latest edition of Ombudsman News looks at complaints and trends around pensions. Complaints about pensions make up a very small proportion of all complaints, but as a pension is so important to consumers, FOS has focussed on assessing what it sees as the key rights, and included case studies on complaints involving defined benefit to […]
PRA has fined 2 individuals connected with the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi following its action in 2017 against the bank and MUFJ Securities EMEA. It has fined Akira Kamiya, former Chair of Mitsubishi UFJ Securities International plc £22,700, and fined Takami Onodera, a former NED of the firm, £14,945. The actions occurred before the SMR took […]
EBA has published the results of its 2018 EU-wide stress tests. This year’s test involved 48 banks from 15 countries and generally shows increased resilience and capacity to withstand the shocks the exercise tested. The exercise did not have a defined pass/fail threshold but rather sought to give supervisors a tool to assess banks’ ability […]
The CMA has made a provisional finding that ComparetheMarket includes clauses in many of its contracts with home insurers that breach competition law and could lead to higher premiums for consumers. It says the clauses stop insurers quoting lower prices elsewhere and therefore prevent rival comparison sites and other channels from offering cheaper prices than […]
CMA has published a consultation paper as part of its review of the investment consultancy and fiduciary management services study. The paper contains draft definitions. The proposals define: “investment consultancy service” and “fiduciary management service” The paper also notes that other terms, such as “pension scheme trustees” and “interconnected body corporate” will need separate definition. […]
FCA’s latest Policy Development Update lists a number of publications due before the end of the year: policy statement on regulating CMCs policy statement on RTS and guidelines under PSD2 rates proposals for covering the costs of OPBAS review of permitted links for insurers in relation to Patient Capital and a discussion paper on Patient […]
HMRC has updated its guidance on how it takes civil measures for breaches of AML requirements. The guidance not only sets out HMRC’s approach, which is to promote compliance and prevent non-compliance, but then to respond to any non-compliance in a way that will encourage sustained future compliance but also explains how it will use […]
PRA has updated its “approach” documents in relation to banking and insurance supervision. Key changes to the previous versions include: an update on the changes to supervisory approach following implementation of the SMR and SIMR (and, in the case of insurers, looking forward to the SIMR changing to the SMCR at the end of the […]
UK Finance has submitted a note to the Economic Crime enquiry on how to improve the effectiveness of the sanctions regime. It says its members regard SAMLA as a necessary piece of legislation which is largely as expected. It recognises that operating outside the EU framework might lead to greater flexibility, and makes some suggestions […]
FCA’s latest Handbook Notice heralds just one set of rule changes. The changes are to COBS, PERG and examination standards in respect of pension advisers providing suitable advice to consumers about whether to transfer from safeguarded benefits to flexible benefits.
FCA has published its H1 2018 complaints data, which show that firms received more than 4 million complaints in the period. This was a 10% increase from the previous period. Nearly all the complaints were made to 235 of the more than 3,000 firms which recorded complaints. PPI accounted for 42% of complaints, and then […]
FCA has written a “Dear CEO” letter on the duties of SIPP operators in respect of due diligence. The letter refers to the judgement in the Berkeley Burke case and several other pending civil claims, and asks firms to consider the potential implications of these cases for them and their customers. The Berkeley Burke case, […]
The Cryptoassets task force, led by Treasury, has published its report on the UK’s policy and regulatory approach to cryptoassets. The report looks at the policy and regulatory implications of DLT and cryptoassets and comments on the considerable risks as well as the potential benefits. Now the Task force will consult on a number of initiatives, specifically: […]
FATF has published Guidance to a risk-based approach (RBA) to AML and CFT in the life insurance and securities sectors. The Guidance: outlines the key elements involved in applying a RBA to AML/ CFT associated with life insurance sets out the types of securities providers that may be involved in a securities transaction and their […]
Treasury has updated its periodic AML advisory notice to reflect the conclusions from the FATF plenary meeting. The notice reiterates the expectation that firms will: apply EDD and countermeasures in respect of North Korea apply EDD in respect of Iran and take appropriate measures to minimise risks in respect of the Bahamas, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, […]
The Institute of International Finance has published a short form summary report following a survey it conducted of 59 regulated firms. In particular, the study found that the use of machine learning techniques is spreading across the industry, and is being used to gain greater and faster insights to be reviewed by dedicated AML analysts, […]
At FATF’s latest plenary meeting, in Paris, the US presidency discussed: streamlining FATF; strategic initiatives, such as further statements on monitoring of terrorist funds, amendments to FATF Recommendations to address regulation of virtual assets and future work on proliferation financing; peer reviews and review of jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies. The UK report is expected to […]
The High Court has delivered a judgment in David Lonsdale v National Westminster Bank PLC. The bank had made several SARs in relation to Mr Lonsdale and companies he was involved with and, as a result, had frozen all relevant accounts. After Mr Lonsdale applied to the court, the bank lifted the freeze. The next […]
FCA is calling for the next round of applications for the regulatory sandbox. The deadline for applications to join cohort 5 is 30 October 2018.
PIFMA is concerned that the proposed extension of the upper limits of compensation FOS can order firms to pay out, from £150, 000 to £350,000 could put some small firms out of the market as they will be unable to get affordable PII cover. From 1 April, 2019, FCA is proposing to increase the limits […]
The FPC met on 3 October. At the meeting, it continued to assess the risks Brexit presents to the UK financial services sector, noting there had been considerable progress in the UK to address the risks, but not much in the rest of the EU, such that companies no longer have time to mitigate all […]
Treasury has enabled a regime to implement the EU Regulation on financial sanctions against persons, entities and bodies involved in proliferation and use of chemical weapons. There are not any designated persons on the list as yet.
The EU has adopted a Directive on criminal sanctions for money laundering. The Directive: sets minimum requirements for Member States’ laws on defining criminal offences and sanctions in relation to money laundering; imposes a maximum 4 years’ imprisonment with the possibility for additional civil and administrative sanctions; introduces the possibility of holding legal entities liable […]
Treasury has published some new draft statutory instruments to be made under the EU (Withdrawal) Act, or announced plans to make them, and also updated existing drafts. New or updated documents include Regulations on : plans for the Solvency II and Insurance measures Bank Recovery and Resolution Credit Rating Agencies (FCA has also published an […]
Treasury has set out its plans for a temporary transitional tool for the UK regulators to use that will enable them to phase in the requirements for UK firms that will change under the raft of onshoring legislation consequent on Brexit. The EU Withdrawal Act provides the enabling powers for Treasury to make the various […]
FATF has published its updated consolidated assessment ratings, based on reviews of its members AML/CFT measures after the 4th round of reviews. All countries are graded on methodology and technical compliance. The UK does not yet feature in the table as the 4th round report for it has not yet been published.