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 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 […]
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 […]
BoE and FCA have updated their respective websites with coordinated information on their approach to a hard Brexit. BoE has published a series of materials setting out its updated plans to its supervisory approach to a hard Brexit. The papers cover: transitional relief for firms that will broadly (with exceptions) last for 15 months from exit […]
The High Court has ruled that a European agency cannot terminate the lease of their premises at Canary Wharf on the basis of Brexit being a ‘frustrating event’. Our article provides more detail on this case and its implications.
As part of the preparation for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, the FCA has agreed MoUs with ESMA and with EU and NCAs, covering supervision, enforcement and information exchange, including in relation to credit rating agencies and trade repositories.
As the FCA prepares for the extension of SMCR to most solo-regulated firms next December, it is consulting on a few areas regarding the existing regime for banks and large insurers previously identified as wanting attention. The proposals set out in CP19/4 include: excluding the legal function from the scope of SMCR; amend the scope of […]
A set of oral evidence given to the Treasury Committee includes statements from FCA that: it is now content on how to interpret the mortgage affordability test compliantly with the MCD and now plans to consult on changing it from an absolute test to a relative test; it will be carrying out perimeter work on SME lending […]
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 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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
The FCA has now published final rules confirming the expansion of the jurisdiction of the FOS to include certain SME customers. The new rules will mean that from 1 April 2019, the FOS will be able to hear complaints from SMEs who meet two of the three following criteria – fewer than 50 employees; annual […]
The FCA has published a consultation on proposed guidance to help solo-regulated firms draft their Statements of Responsibilities (SoR) and (for enhanced firms) Responsibilities Maps, in preparation for the SMCR extension in December 2019. Although targeted at solo-regulated firms, the FCA notes that the guidance may also be useful for dual-regulated firms preparing or updating […]
As heralded at the end of last year, the FCA has now published two consultation papers that make provision for operations in the event of a ‘hard’ Brexit next March. The first consultation sets out changes to the FCA’s Handbook and to those EU Binding Technical Standards, which, it is proposed, would be incorporated directly […]
The FCA has opened a consultation that sets out how it will apply the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) to Claims Management Companies (CMCs), following taking over regulation of them from 1 April 2019. The consultation also sets out when SM&CR may apply to CMCs, and what action they will need to take. The […]
In December 2017 the Law Commission confirmed that one of the projects it would be working on was addressing the absence of explicit case law and legislation that has given rise to uncertainty as to the validity of electronic signatures in some cases. Consequently, the Law Commission has now published early conclusions from its review […]
The Financial Stability Board has published the Summary Terms of Reference of a thematic peer review of the implementation of the Legal Entity Identifier. The thematic review seeks feedback from a range of stakeholders on issues such as: awareness and adoption of the LEI in various jurisdictions; types of private sector uses of the LEI; […]
FCA is consulting on rule changes for loan-based crowdfunding platforms, following its post-implementation review. It has noted the market has developed, and models have become increasingly complex, since FCA’s last review of the sector. It has also noticed some poor practices developing. Now it wants to make changes to ensure: investors get clear and accurate […]
The FCA has updated FG 16/5, ‘Guidance for firms outsourcing to the ‘cloud’ and other third party IT services’. This update takes account of the publication of the European Banking Authority’s recommendations, and changes to relevant legislation.
We have written an article on the new corporate governance reporting requirements for certain large private companies. The requirements will come into force on 1 January 2019 applying to financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2019, with reporting effectively commencing in 2020 for the previous year. We also cover the consultation launched on […]
On a new page on its website, ‘Measuring our impact before we intervene‘, the FCA has published a group of documents that aim to provide an indication of how the FCA assesses the likely impact of its policies. These documents consist of: a paper setting out the FCA’s approach to conducting cost benefit analyses for […]
Charles Randell, the recently appointed Chair of the FCA and the PSR, has delivered a speech, in which he discussed the increasing dominance of algorithms in our day to day lives, and noted some of the consequent issues that will need to be grappled with, as the rise of Big Data, AI and machine learning […]
The Treasury, the Bank of England and the FCA have published information about how financial services legislation will be on-shored under the EU (Withdrawal) Act, in particular to ensure the (hopefully unlikely) ‘hard Brexit’ scenario is addressed, if the negotiated implementation period is not able to take effect from March 2019. The Treasury intends to lay […]
FCA’s latest Policy Development Update heralds a policy statement on fees and levies rates in July. Otherwise its timetable is quiet, with a policy statement on the MMF Regulation due at some point together with feedback on an increasing number of proposals from quarterly consultations going back 2 years.
The FOS has published its Annual Review for 2017/2018. Many of the complaints statistics highlight products that are the subject of ongoing regulatory scrutiny and activity: the FOS notes significant increases in complaints in home credit, hiring, leasing and renting, and payday loans: putting to one side PPI, one in four new complaints related to […]
FCA is consulting on guidance for firms setting out what factors under the Consumer Rights Act they should take into account when they are drafting and reviewing variation terms. The draft guidance sets out a list of things FCA says firms should take into account, which would include: how valid the reason for variation is […]
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. […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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. […]
The Treasury Committee has opened an inquiry into small and medium sized enterprise finance, addressing lessons learned from RBS’ Global Restructuring Group, and the state of the market for SME finance. The inquiry seeks to consider: The extent of competition in the SME finance market; The sources of funding available to SMEs, including crowdfunding and […]
Treasury, FCA and EIOPA issue statements regarding continuity of activities and services after Brexit
Along with the PRA’s publication of consultation papers on its intended approach to supervision of third country firms, the Treasury, FCA and ESMA have recently issued statements providing an update on provision to enable firms across Europe to continue to do business after Brexit. The Treasury has announced that if necessary (ie depending on the […]
The Law Commission has announced the programme of reforms it will be working on over the next 3 years. The projects include: Electronic signatures: there is an absence of explicit case law or legislation confirming that documents executed with an electronic signature satisfy statutory requirements for documents to be in writing and/or signed and/or under […]
ESMA has become the latest body to denounce initial coin offerings (ICOs), issuing statements directed at investors and firms highlighting the distinct risks involved. Echoing FCA’s previous warnings , ESMA has focused on the risks of investors to losing all their invested capital, and firms conducting ICOs potentially also carrying on regulated investment activities. Investors are […]
The European Commission (Commission) has published an inception impact assessment on its legislative proposal for an EU framework on crowd and peer to peer finance. The initiative is part of the Commission’s priority of establishing a Capital Market Union, in particular broadening access to finance for SMEs such as innovative companies, start-ups, and scale-ups. The Commission […]
The Bond Dickinson financial services team is delighted to have achieved a Legal 500 ranking. The new directory described the team as providing ‘responsive, practical, commercial and cost-effective’ advice to a wide variety of clients within the retail sector of the financial services industry. It says that “‘Very knowledgeable’ team head Andrew Barber has ‘in-depth […]
The FCA has today made a statement on Initial Coin Offerings or ‘ICOs’. The FCA has said that ICOs, which can vary widely in design, are ‘very high-risk, speculative investments.’ They went further to say that ‘whether an ICO falls within the FCA’s regulatory boundaries or not can only be decided case by case.’ The […]
The European Banking Authority has published a Discussion Paper on its approach to financial technology (FinTech). The EBA sets out in the Discussion Paper the results of the first EU-wide FinTech mapping exercise and its proposals for future work on FinTech. To gain a better understanding of current FinTech activity in the EU, in spring 2017, […]
At FCA’s July Board meeting it made several new rulebook instruments. Key changes are: to make minor changes to approved persons application forms with effect from 12 September; to set the fees payable to the PSR from 21 July; to amend COBS in respect of pension projections from 24 July so firms can prepare risk […]
FSCS has published its annual report and accounts and annual report and class statements 2016/17, which set out its vision and strategy. The publications detail that FSCS paid out for over 37,000 claims 2016/17 in the sum of £375m. The £375m included: £52m for policyholders affected by the failures of Enterprise Insurance Company PLC and […]
FCA’s Annual Report and accounts for 2016/17 sets out its highlights from the past year, and includes specific sectoral reports for competition, enforcement, AML and diversity. FCA regards the year’s highlights as: its asset management market study its PPI work, leading up to proposals for a time limit on claims MIFID 2 and MAR implementation […]
John Griffith – Jones has confirmed that he will leave both the FCA and the PSR at the end of his term of office on 31 March 2018.
The EBA has produced a draft response to the EC’s consultation on ‘Fintech: a more competitive and innovative European Financial Sector.’ The response sets out the EBA’s views on questions in the consultation paper that fall within the scope of the work of the EBA. The EBA provided responses on the following topics: Big data […]
FCA’s latest policy development update provides information on its recent and upcoming publications. Only one key publication is shown as scheduled for June – a policy statement on enhancing conduct of business rules for firms providing cfd products to retail clients. The policy statement on the first CP on IDD implementation is due in September, but there is […]
FCA’s latest quarterly consultation proposes changes to: TC to update the list of appropriate qualifications; SUP to clarify how the requirement to have a client assets report applies to loan-based crowdfunding platforms – primarily to clarify FCA’s expectation that these firms appoint an auditor to prepare and submit a client assets report; and also to […]
ESMA has responded to the Commission’s consultation on Fintech. It sees Fintech as a positive evolution so long as business models continue to aim to improve the customer experience and financial inclusion. It identifies some concerns that it thinks need to be addressed, including: the risks (from a market integrity and investor protection standpoint) and costs […]
On 30 May 2017, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) published a summary of its FinTech and RegTech forum, which was held on 25 and 26 May 2017. The forum discussed developments in FinTech and RegTech, including peer-to-peer transfers, crowdfunding, distributed ledger-technology or blockchain-based services, analytical tools, KYC utilities and digital identity.
On 22 May 2017, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the Committee on the Global Financial System (CGFS) published a report on FinTech credit. FinTech credit – that is, credit activity facilitated by electronic platforms such as peer-to-peer lenders – has generated significant interest in financial markets, among policymakers and from the broader public. Yet […]
ESMA has spoken on how the financial services industry has adopted Regtech. Patrick Armstrong looked at the changes in how we work that have been subject to almost constant change in the past 10 years. Yet, he said, many institutions that survived the financial crisis still have in place antiquated IT systems that are ineffective, […]
FCA’s latest Policy Development Newsletter promises only a policy statement on enhancing COB rules for firms providing CFDs to retail clients following before the end of June. Many other papers are due later in the year, or with a publication date to be confirmed. Strangely (in the version published on 5 May), there is no […]
FCA’s latest Mission and Business Plan contain few surprises, but indicate a lot of work in diverse areas. The Mission, which takes into account stakeholder views, seeks to explain to firms how and why FCA prioritises its focus to meet its statutory objectives. It stresses that it regulates to promote the public interest and with […]
On 10 April 2017, Christopher Woolard, the FCA’s Executive Director of Strategy and Competition delivered a speech at the Innovate Finance Global Summit in London. The speech considers the work of the FCA’s Project Innovate to date including the Regulatory Sandbox initiative. Mr Woolard explained the FCA’s commitment to supporting innovation and its desire for […]
The FCA has published a discussion paper on distributed ledger technology (DLT). The discussion paper describes DLT and acknowledges blockchain as a type of DLT. The FCA invites a discussion on two sets of issues: What new risks and opportunities does DLT present to the FCA’s statutory objectives of market integrity, consumer protection and competition? Can DLT […]
The government’s vision is for UK financial services to be the most competitive and innovative in the world, supplementing existing services with greater choice and value for consumers. The innovation plan covers how financial services regulators are adapting and encouraging new technologies and disruptive business models, and better utilising new technologies to reduce regulatory burdens […]
FCA made several changes to its rulebook at its Board Meeting on 30 March. Key changes include: changes to fees relating to the FOS and periodic fees for exchanges and benchmark administrators; changes to the FSCS management expenses levy limit; implementing the policy proposal for PSR fees; allowing FCA to set fees relating to MiFID […]
The new trade body, which will be formed from the merger of the BBA, CML, Payments UK, the UK Cards Association, the Asset Based Finance Association and Financial Fraud Action UK, is to be called UK Finance. Bog Wigley has now commenced his role as chair, and the new body will launch in the summer.
In a statement made at an ECB Fintech Workshop, Sabine Lautenschläger (Member of the Executive Board of the ECB and Vice-Chair of the Supervisory Board of the ECB) told the audience how the ECB sees some of the following as risks: New players make the market more competitive. And that could squeeze profits and force […]
The Commission has published its Financial Services Action Plan for a “deeper and fairer Single Market”. As ever, the priority is to enhance competition and improve consumer choice, regardless of where and how consumers shop for financial services and products. The plan notes that only 7% of consumers buy financial services from other Member States […]
Simon Kirby, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, spoke at the LSE Global Fintech Investor Forum where he emphasised UK dominance in Fintech innovation. Mr Kirby gave three examples of what others envy in the British system: FCA’s regulatory sandbox, the Bank of England’s Fintech Accelerator and the Fintech Delivery Panel. He also mentioned the Open […]
BoE’s Fintech Accelerator has launched a new community for fintech-related organisations. It wants to help these organisations shares developments and insights, and for them to ensure BoE is engaging with firms from across the sector. It plans between two and four meetings per year with community members, with quarterly networking and knowledge-sharing events. BoE has […]
In the latest co-operation agreement between UK and AsiaPac regulators, FCA has exchanged letters of co-operation with the Japanese Financial Services Agency, under which the regulators will provide a regulatory referral service for innovative firms wishing to enter the Japanese market from the UK and vice versa.
Philip Hammond’s Spring Budget has not sprung any surprises on financial regulation. The Chancellor is required to write to FCA and PRA (to be operated by the Prudential Regulation Committee) each year with recommendations, and has accordingly done so. The letter to FCA applauds FCA’s work to date, and highlights that: the Government is particularly […]
FCA has updated its policy development webpage for March 2017. Key publications due before the summer include: March/Q1 2017: IDD Implementation – CP1 MAR 1 changes: inside information relating to commodity derivatives CP on new rules for firms running crowdfunding platforms CP on redress methodology for pension transfers CP on creditworthiness and affordability in consumer credit […]
European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis spoke at a Fintech and Digital Innovation Conference. He noted the need to keep up with change and for regulators to fully understand new technologies and regulate proportionately without creating market barriers. He said the Commission would shortly be publishing its action plan, which would address measures it would take […]
FCA has written a Dear CEO letter to firms that operate loan-based crowdfunding platforms that facilitate loans to lending businesses. It highlights that if a lending business borrows through a platform and then lends money to others, it may be accepting deposits for the purposes of the RAO, and thereby committing a criminal offence if […]
The Government has announced the date of the 2017 Fintech week. It will take place in the week of April 10, and will include: Innovate Finance’s Global Summit the Government’s first International Fintech Conference; and FCA’s International Innovate Seminar. Treasury plans to use the week as a way of connecting UK Fintech companies with investors […]
FCA is to consult on the extension of the SMR to all authorised firms during the second quarter of 2017.
FCA and the Ontario Securities Commission have signed a co-operation agreement to help Fintech businesses in each other’s jurisdictions get help from the local regulator when seeking to enter their market. The OSC’s “LaunchPad” started last year and complements FCA’s Innovation Hub.
The EU legislative observatory indicates the EP’s report on Fintech is to be debated in committee session in mid-April and in plenary in mid-May. The draft opinion focuses on the benefits of Fintech for SMEs and calls on the Commission to remove barriers that currently prevent the advancement of digital services. Proposed amendments call for […]
If you, like us, have views on FCA’s recently revamped website, you have a chance to let FCA know. It has invited views, in an online survey.
Read the predictions of Bond Dickinson partners Claire Coleman and Simon Richardson on the year ahead for FinTechs.
The Government has published its White Paper on building a new relationship with the EU after Brexit. The paper looks at the basis on which the Government wants to address the 12 principles Theresa May set out on 17 January. However, the Government says it has respected Parliament’s wish that it does not publish detail […]
The European Commission has published a consultation document on the CMU action plan in connection with its planned mid-term review. The consultation provides an opportunity for stakeholders to provide targeted input to update and reframe the programme of actions required. Among actions that the Commission is keen to identify are those that strengthen non-bank sources […]
Industry has reacted to Theresa May’s speech of 17 January, when she confirmed Britain would leave the single market. In her speech, the Prime Minister reiterated that it is for the Government alone to invoke Article 50 and take responsibility for negotiations with the EU, working with the devolved administrations. She confirmed the plan, soon, to […]
FSCS has published its plan and budget for 2017/18. FSCS estimates that firms are likely to have to pay a total levy bill of £378 million to cover its costs. Points of interest include that FSCS: intends to raise supplementary levies relating to general insurance provision (£63 million), life and pensions intermediation (£36 million) and […]
FCA and PRA have issued a joint consultation paper on the management expenses levy limit (MELL) for the FSCS for 2017/18. The MELL provides the FSCS with adequate resources to process compensation claims resulting from the failure of financial services firms. The MELL proposed is £75.54 million, which is the maximum amount the FSCS can […]
The first report of the committee on exiting the EU calls for the Government to publish its Brexit plan by mid-February, and says that plan should set out the Government’s position on membership of the single market and should commit that Parliament will be able to vote on the final Treaty. Among the priorities the […]
The House of Commons Library has published a report looking at how many EU laws are directly applicable in the UK (around 5,000), and will therefore cease to apply in the UK once the European Communities Act 1972 is repealed, unless other provision is made for them. The Government says the so called “Great Repeal […]
The EU Financial Affairs Sub-Committee has published its report on Brexit and financial services. The report says it is critical to agree a transitional period for financial services to avoid a “cliff edge” which could cause UK firms to restructure or relocate working on a “worst case” scenario. It notes that the equivalence provisions in […]
Current laws and regulations weren’t designed with FinTech or InsurTech in mind, so startups must – on top of their business proposition – implement appropriate compliance procedures and grapple with legal uncertainties. Brett Carr discusses the challenges of this in an article just published by Compliance Monitor.
LSB is calling for evidence as part of its Standards Development project to look at firms’ digital capabilities. It asks: What are the main challenges faced when developing products and services for digital channels? When developing a digital customer journey how are specific customer groups accounted for, such as: vulnerable customers? Are there any processes […]
FCA is consulting on policy proposals for regulatory fees and levies in 2017/18. The main areas in which it proposes to increase its fees are to cover its costs of tackling illegal money laundering and of implementing the MiFID 2 package. It notes it will keep under review all its proposals in light of Brexit. […]
The European Parliament has voted to delay application of the PRIIPs Regulation to 1 January 2018, but the EU process must work fast to ensure the official measures are in place before the original implementation date.
The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement contained several statements relevant to financial institutions and insurers – some announcements of initiatives already planned or even implemented, and some new promises. We will be producing articles on the key proposals. In summary, however, the Chancellor spoke of: a review to identify barriers to access to long-term finance for growing […]
Announced as part of the 8th annual UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue at Lancaster House in London this month, the FCA has signed a Co-operation Agreement with the People’s Bank of China in a bid to share information on promoting innovation in financial services. This is the fourth co-operation agreement signed with AsiaPac countries this […]
Treasury has announced the launch of the Department for International Trade’s new FinTech “one stop shop”The service is part of the FinTech bridge program the UK has in place with Singapore, Korea and China. The service will give advice and provide support to UK FinTechs wishing to cross the bridge, and the aim is to […]
FCA has started a discussion on its “future mission”. It sets out how it thinks it should prioritise its energies and resources in terms of ensuring the smooth functioning of markets, protection of consumers, market design and its approach to its objectives, supervision and enforcement. It asks for comments by 26 January 2017.
Treasury is consulting on amending the definition of “giving investment advice” under the Regulated Activities Order to bring it into line with MiFID. The current definition is broader than MiFID, and the Financial Advice Market Review found it was confusing to firms, many of whom were not giving as much “guidance” to customers as they […]
This month’s consumer credit update from FCA includes its publications in two on-going areas of work: crowdfunding and credit cards. The FCA has published a Call for Input for its review of the crowdfunding rules implemented in 2014. This review focuses on loan-based and investment-based platforms, but the areas of concern are wide ranging in scope, from investor protections, to business models, […]
LSB has published a report on how 7 members and key third parties control outsourcing of business covered by the Lending Code. It concludes the sample showed good controls. We think the report has some useful checklists that any oursourcing arrangement could consider.