Category Crowdfunding

FCA consults on Statements of Responsibilities and Responsibilities Map guidance

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 […]

FCA publishes Brexit consultations following HMT Guidance

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 […]

FCA consults on applying SM&CR to CMCs

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 […]

Law Commission confirms status of electronic signatures

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 […]

FSB launches peer review of LEIs

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 plans changes for loan-based crowdfunding

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 […]

FCA updated guidance for firms outsourcing IT

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.    

Corporate governance reporting and the impact on large private companies

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 […]

FCA publishes intervention approach documents

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 […]

FCA and PSR Chair discusses potential future algocracy

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 […]

HMT, Bank of England and FCA set out approach to onshoring financial services legislation

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 […]

Up next from FCA

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.

FOS Annual Review published

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 consults on consumer contract variations

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Complaints Commissioner concerned about information sharing between FOS and FCA

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 […]

FCA Discussion Paper on transforming culture in financial services

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 […]

FCA surveys firms passporting into UK

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 […]

Commission unveils Fintech and crowdfunding action plan

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. […]

SME finance inquiry launched by Treasury Committee

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 […]

Law Commission to address electronic signatures and smart contracts in 13th Programme of Law Reform

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 warns investors and firms on dangers of ICOs

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 […]

Legislative proposal for an EU framework on crowd and peer to peer finance

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 […]

Bond Dickinson financial services team ranked in Legal 500

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 […]

FCA warns on risks of ‘ICOs’

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 […]

eba publishes fintech discussion paper

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, […]

FCA makes new rules

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 annual report and accounts 2016/17: compensation costs total £375m

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 publishes annual report

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 leaving the FCA

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.

EBA provides draft response to EC consultation on Fintech

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 […]

Up next from FCA

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 publishes quarterly consultation

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 responds on Fintech

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 […]

FATF FinTech and RegTech forum 2017

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.

FSB and CGFS publish joint report on the functioning of FinTech credit markets

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 speaks on Regtech

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, […]

Up next from FCA

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 publishes Mission Statement and Business Plan

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 […]

FCA speaks on the next phase of Project Innovate

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 […]

FCA publishes discussion paper on distributed ledger technology

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 […]

HMT issues regulatory innovation plan

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 makes new rules

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 […]

Super trade body gets a name

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.

“Same business, same risks, same rules” – ECB comments on regulation of Fintech

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 […]

European Commission publishes FS action plan

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 […]

Treasury speaks on Fintech

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 Fintech Accelerator launches new community

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 […]

UK and Japan to co-operate on innovator firms

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.

Spring budget recommendations for regulators

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 […]

In the FCA pipeline

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 speaks on Fintech

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 writes to P2P CEOs

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 […]

Government announces Fintech week

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 to consult on SMR extension

FCA is to consult on the extension of the SMR to all authorised firms during the second quarter of 2017.

FCA and Ontario regulator sign up to innovation cooperation

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.

EU Fintech report to be debated in May

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 […]

FCA invites views on website

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.

Our FinTech predictions for 2017

Read the predictions of Bond Dickinson partners Claire Coleman and Simon Richardson on the year ahead for FinTechs.

Government publishes Brexit White Paper

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 […]

Commission consults on CMU action

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 […]

May confirms Brexit Plan

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 publishes plan and budget

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 […]

PRA and FCA consult on FSCS levy limit

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 […]

Brexit Committee calls for Parliamentary vote on Brexit deal

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 […]

House of Commons looks at legislating for Brexit

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 […]

Parliament urges FS transition after Brexit

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 […]

Article: FinTech firms navigate regulatory uncertainty

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 calls for data on digital

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 consults on regulatory fees and levies

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. […]

EP votes on PRIIPs delay

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.

Autumn Statement financial services round up

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 […]

FinTech bridge to China agreed

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 […]

Government launches FinTech one stop shop

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 sets out its mission

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 consults on financial advice amendment

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 […]

FCA’s August Consumer Credit update

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 reports on outsourcing

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.