FSB has published a report looking at FinTech market developments in the financial system and what that might mean for financial stability. It is generally excited by the possibilities that FinTech offers and says that: so far, incumbent financial institutions and FinTech firms have a relationship that is largely co-operative and complementary; but there is […]
Following its consultation on general standards and communication rules for payment services and e-money sectors, the FCA has now published final rules and guidance on, among other matters, the extension of the Principles for Business and rules on communication in BCOBS to certain payment service providers and e-money issuers. The new rules and guidance will […]
A group of 29 international regulators and bodies, including the FCA, has opened a cross-border pilot sandbox. Applicants that want to test innovative products and services across international markets are invited to submit applications to the UK part of the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN). The deadline for applications is 28 February 2019.
The Treasury has written to the Treasury Committee enclosing a draft of secondary legislation that would give temporary transitional powers to the UK financial regulators in the event of a no-deal Brexit that would enable firms and the financial markets to function properly while requirements stemming from EU laws are embedded into UK laws. The […]
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 […]
The FCA is consulting on draft guidance on activities that the FCA regulates in this area. Noting that this is an area in which investor activity is on the increase, and where there is still uncertainty about where the regulatory perimeter falls, the guidance will provider greater clarity, and also assist consumers in knowing what […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 FOS has published a consultation on its plans and budget for 2019/2020. It notes that from April 2019, its jurisdiction will be expanded by the addition of two significant areas of work: complaints made by SME customers of financial services, and complaints made by customers of claims management services. The consultation questions include inviting […]
The Financial Reporting Council has published the final version of new Corporate Governance Principles for large private companies. We have published an article that summarises and discusses these Principles.
The EBA has published final Guidelines on the exemption from the fall back mechanism requirement under the RTS on Secure Customer Authentication and Common and Secure Communications (Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/389) (SCA & CSC RTS). This exemption applies to account servicing payment service providers (ASPSP) who meet the four conditions sets out in the […]
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 […]
The FCA has published a speech by Christopher Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA, delivered at the Regulation of Cryptocurrencies event on 20 November 2018. The speech highlights the key issues identified by the Cryptoassets Taskforce (consisting of the FCA, HM Treasury and the Bank of England) in its report published at the […]
The Bank of England and Pay.UK are inviting expressions of interest from senior stakeholders who could represent the payments industry on a newly created Standards Advisory Panel. The new Panel will focus on the implementation of ISO20022, but also cover also payments standards for the UK. The deadline for applications is Monday 10 December 2018.
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: […]
ESMA has published an own initiative report on additional steps it can take to contain the risks for investors arising from ICOs and crypto-assets (noting that there are no obvious related stability risks as yet). The report recommends that: additional guidance is produced by EMSA on the interpretation of MiFID with respect to applicability to […]
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.
The FCA has published a feedback statement on digital regulatory reporting. This follows the FCA’s call for input on smarter regulatory reporting in February 2018. The FCA found that most respondents agreed that there are significant potential benefits to be gained by introducing digital regulatory reporting, with the most commonly cited benefit being increased efficiency. However, […]
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 […]
As part of its implementation of PSD2, the FCA has published a consultation on matters relating to the Regulatory Technical Standards for strong customer authentication and common and secure open standards of communication (SCA-RTS) (CP18/25). Most of the SCA-RTS provisions come into effect from 14 September 2019, and certain provisions relate to measures that regulators […]
The Treasury Committee has published a report, in which it describes its unanimous support for regulation for the “Wild West” crypto-currency market. The report outlines all the problems and dangers the market presents and calls for proportionate regulation, which could improve customer outcomes, reduce some of the risks and see the UK become well placed […]
The FCA has held its annual public meeting, at which it reviews the year past, talks about key priorities for the year ahead and takes questions from the public. Charles Randell, who was chairing his first Annual Public Meeting, opened the meeting by: noting that the demands of Brexit preparation meant that they were forced […]
The joint committee of ESAs has published the results of its monitoring exercise on automation in financial advice. The ESAs found that automation is growing but that there are still only a limited number of firms and customers involved. Moreover, the risks many had identified with the practice have not materialised, not least because most […]
The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and the Singapore Monetary Authority (MAS) have announced that they have entered into an agreement to promote the regulation of innovative businesses. The agreement allows referrals of FinTech firms between the two authorities, provides a framework for sharing information on innovation, and also records a commitment to collaborate on […]
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 has announced the creation of the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), in collaboration with 11 other regulators and organisations. This builds on FCA’s plans for a global regulatory sandbox and will create a new framework for innovative firms interacting with regulators, and regulators sharing information. FCA has now published a consultation seeking views on […]
The International Association of Insurance Supervisors has published a draft issues paper on the increasing use of digital technology in insurance and its potential impact on consumer outcomes. The focus of the paper is on product design, underwriting and distribution. The paper notes the potential for advances in digitalisation to impact fair customer outcomes, including […]
The Payment Systems Regulator has published a report on contactless mobile payments (CMPs). It sees this as a growth area as people become more comfortable with using it, more contactless pay-points are available and functionality improves. As a result, it wanted to be sure it understood relevant issues and the effects of the sector on […]
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 […]
FCA has published its Annual Report and Accounts for 2017/18. The report includes details of: FCA’s work preparing for Brexit; key regulatory changes such as MiFID 2 and PSD 2; work on SMCR extension; thematic work on high cost credit and consumer debt; and the PPI customer information campaign. It also articulates what FCA has done […]
The Financial Stability Board has reported to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on its work in relation to crypto-asset markets. It has worked with the CPMI to set up a framework for monitoring the financial stability implications of market developments, and has been working out the metrics for monitoring that it will […]
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 […]
FATF and the Middle East and North African FATF have held their third plenary meeting. The meeting updated on a wide range of issues, including discussion on several typology reports and discussion of mutual evaluation and follow up reports on a number of jurisdictions. The plenary also discussed the progress Iraq and Venezuela have made […]
We recently wrote an article for Compliance Monitor setting out themes from recent FCA thematic reviews.
We recently wrote an article for Compliance Monitor on strong customer authentication under PSD2 and EBA Guidelines.
Sam Woods has written a “Dear CEO” letter to CEOs of all dual-authorised firms on exposures to crypto-assets. PRA understands firms may already have limited exposure to such assets, and is writing to clarify its expectations of how firms behave, particularly in view of Fundamental Rules 3, 5 and 7. The letter sets out what […]
EIOPA is inviting the insurance industry as well as those not directly active in the insurance value chain to provide views on InsurTech, which they define as ‘technology-enabled innovation in insurance that could result in new business models, applications, processes or products with an associated material effect on the provision of insurance products and services’. The […]
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 […]
The Bank of England (BoE) has published its response to the Treasury’s Call for Evidence on cash and digital payments in the new economy. The BoE welcomes Treasury’s Call for Evidence. Key points include: the usage of cash is evolving, but there is, and is likely to remain for the foreseeable future, a significant public demand […]
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 […]
The Treasury Committee has updated its webpage with the written evidence it has received to its digital currencies inquiry, which was launched in February 2018. The Committee received written evidence from a number of interested parties including the FCA and Bank of England.
Megan Butler has spoken at the AML TechSprint event. She focused on how data and technology can help to detect and disrupt criminal activity and how financial institutions staff can help in the fight against financial crime. She spoke of the insights into criminal behaviour FCA has gained since it introduced the financial crime return. It […]
The first meeting of the UK’s new Cryptoassets Taskforce took place on 21 May 2018. The Taskforce was first announced in April by the Chancellor of the Exchequer as part of the Government’s Fintech Sector Strategy. Senior leaders from the Government and the financial regulators met to agree the Taskforce’s objectives, which include exploring the impact of cryptoassets, […]
Following our successful seminar on 10th May, read our blog updates.
UK Finance, the Financial Data and Technology Association, the Electronic Money Association and techUK have jointly published voluntary guidelines. The guidelines are directed at account servicing payment service providers, account information and payment initiation services and technical service providers. The guidelines seek to increase customer protection in relation to ‘screen scraping’, including by promoting the […]
Treasury has published its response to its consultation on cheque imaging. It received 15 responses, and engaged with 4 other institutions. All agreed that a copy of a cheque should be made available to customers on request, and most agreed that no cheque user should be left out of pocket as a result of any […]
FATF has updated on recent discussions with the FinTech and RegTech sectors. It has recently focused on: using digital IDs for CDD. Institutions increasingly use this, and discussions focused on whether there is any need for change or clarification in the FATF recommendations to support the practice; and the regulatory landscape for crypto-assets. Participants stressed […]
The European Commission has reported that consumers still face some obstacles when trying to compare investment funds, life insurance or personal pensions. The report finds that recent EU measures, such as MiFID 2 and the PRIIPs Regulation, should help, but that consumers find a great variance in costs for similar product categories cross-border. It also says most consumers […]
HM Treasury and the US Treasury Department have announced the formation of a Financial Regulatory Working Group, to formalise engagement on bilateral regulatory cooperation. The group is scheduled to meet twice a year
The Bank of England has announced that TransferWise, an FCA-regulated non-bank PSP has joined Faster Payments as a direct participant. This is the first non-bank PSP to join a UK payment system settling in central bank money. BoE, FCA and the Payment Systems Regulator all heralded the development.
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 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 […]
FCA has clarified its views on the regulation of cryptocurrency derivatives. It has previously explained that cryptocurrencies are, of themselves, not regulated although they may be part of other regulated products or services. Cryprocurrency derivatives, though, may be financial instruments for the purpose of MiFID 2. FCA says those who deal, arrange deals in, advise […]
Please join us for our Fintech and Insurtech Forum in London on 10 May. An expert panel will discuss the latest blockchain trends and breakthroughs. Attendance is free and you can register via our website.
A paper published by the Whitechapel Think Tank, supported by UK Finance, looks at how technology can help the safe validation of identity and verification. It examines how distributed ledger technology can provide a decentralised and secure approach to validating identity and how this could benefit financial services providers and consumers.
The Treasury has published its first Fintech Sector Strategy, setting out the government’s proposals to secure the UK’s place as a preferred location to start and grow a fintech business. The paper announces a number of measures, including: a Cryptoassets Task Force will be established by HM Treasury, the Bank of England and the 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 […]
FATF has reported on its work and priorities to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting. The report covers its recent and future work on key initiatives, including improving transparency in beneficial ownership information, bank derisking, and the risks and opportunities of fintech, regtech and virtual currencies.
In its latest meeting, the Financial Policy Committee focused on: the outlook for UK financial stability generally: it thought these were standard, excepting the Brexit risks, with risks from global vulnerability still being material. Risks from certain markets in the US and in China are elevated, but there seems to be some sign of increasing […]
John Griffith-Jones has reflected on FCA’s first 5 years of operation, since it took over from the FSA. He outlined: highlights – specifying FCA’s engagement with pension exit charges, general insurance renewals, interest-only mortgage work, FX and LIBOR issues and reform, MiFID 2 implementation, the Innovation Hub, market abuse enforcement, fixing PPI, the asset management […]
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. […]
Treasury has announced an inquiry into the role of digital currencies in the UK. It will look at DLT and its potential impact on financial institutions and the infrastructure, and will look at the regulatory response to date.
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has published a report on the implications of fintech developments for banks and bank supervisors. The report assesses how technology-driven innovation in financial services (fintech) may affect the banking industry and the activities of supervisors in the short to medium term.
The Investment Association has announced its new FinTech accelerator for the asset management industry, to be called Velocity. It will launch later this year and will take two cohorts per year of between 4-8 firms, and help them to turn their technology into business-ready solutions.
FCA and the US CFTC have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on FinTech initiatives powered through FCA’s Innovate and CFTC’s LabCFTC processes.
FCA has launched a call for input on using technology to make regulatory reporting easier. It refers to its 2017 “TechSprint” in which it brought together firms and technology companies to look at challenges and solutions. The meeting came up with a proof of concept to make regulatory reporting requirements machine-readable and executable. The Call […]
FCA’s regulatory sandbox has supported 60 firms with innovative ideas since its launch in 2016. To date, it has allowed firms to conduct tests in the UK only, but FCA is now planning to expand it and is seeking views on the creation of a global sandbox. This would allow firms to conduct tests in […]
Andrew Bailey has written to the Treasury Select Committee setting out a summary of the powers “FCA does not have”. It has been asked many questions in the context of the RBS GRG investigation. The letter sets out: FCA’s basic remit over regulated activities and its role as the UKLA as well as its powers […]
The European Commission has announced the launch of an EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum. This aims to: highlight key developments in blockchain technology; promote European participants; and reinforce European engagement with key stakeholders. It is mandated to gather information, monitor and analyse trends, address challenges and explore blockchains’ socioeconomic potential, by facilitating cross border cooperation […]
FCA has opened a consultation on plans to provide more small businesses with access to FOS. The changes proposed would allow FOS complaints redress to approximately 16,000 SMEs, charities and trusts, by changing the eligibility criteria to access FOS. Under the proposals, eligible businesses would be those that satisfy the following criteria: Under 50 employees; […]
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 […]
Following the publication of its discussion paper regarding the risks and opportunities, and characteristics of distributed ledger technology (DLT) in April 2017, the FCA’s feedback statement FS17/4 sets out responses received and the FCA’s next steps. The responses related to the following issues: operational risk, including outsourcing and network security; digital currency, including digital currency […]
Payment Services Regulator requires change to Direct Debit rules regarding switching Facilities Management providers
The Payment Services Regulator (PSR) has published its decision to require the operator of the Bacs payment system, of which the Direct Debit scheme is a part, to change its rules to help clients switch Facilities Management (FM) service providers. Direct Debit FM service providers enable organisations which aren’t specifically approved or sponsored as Bacs […]
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 […]
The European Banking Authority (EBA) has published Slavka Eley’s, Head of Supervisory Convergence Unit at the EBA, speech given at the EBF Cloud banking Conference. Slavka Eley’s speech covered three aspects relating to innovation: the observed changes in the banking landscape mainly driven by technological innovation; the use of cloud computing in banking; and FinTech […]
Megan Butler has spoken on the fundamental importance of co-ordination between national regulators, particularly in dealing with financial crime and cyber-threats. She looked at the particular benefits and risks that machine learning and algorithmic trading have brought. She stressed the importance of firms reporting material breaches, and the need to let FCA know when they […]
The UK government has published the answer to a written question asked of HM Treasury that reveals that they are in the process of negotiating amendments to the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive to bring virtual currency exchange platforms and custodian wallet providers into the AML regulatory framework, thereby bringing them within the scope of relevant […]
Treasury has announced it is to offer financial support for the development of an application to allow those who rent properties to record and share their rent payment data, with a view to this helping them to improve their credit scores. It is inviting bids to its “Rent Recognition Challenge”, which will open to applications […]
Treasury has revealed its “Investment Management Strategy II“, which sets out the Government’s priorities to ensure the UK remains a globally competitive sector for asset management. The approach focuses on six principles: establishing Centres of Excellence to strengthen the talent pipeline continuing to develop Fintech solutions such as blockchain enabled digital funds working to attract international […]
The International Association of Insurance Supervisors has opened a consultation on a draft paper setting out issues on Index-based Insurances. Index Based Insurances involve contracts where a claim is defined with reference to a pre-determined index. These are seen as a possible way forward for claims relating to weather related or natural catastrophe risk event […]
The European Commission has finally adopted the RTS under PSD2 on strong customer authentication (SCA) and common and secure open standards of communication. The key purpose of the RTS is to create stringent security procedures to reduce payment fraud levels and protect confidential data. The key requirement is for at least two independent elements in […]
Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, has delivered the Autumn Budget 2017. Key points for the financial services sector include: Asset management – the Government will publish a new long-term strategy to ensure that the UK asset management industry continues to thrive and deliver the best possible outcomes for investors and the UK economy. This will […]
Following ESMA’s recent warnings to consumers and firms on the dangers of participation in initial coin offerings (ICOs), FCA has continued the regulatory focus on cryptocurrencies by issuing a consumer warning about contracts for differences (CFDs) with cryptocurrencies. CFDs are financial instruments that allow investors to speculate on the price of an asset, and CFDs are […]
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 Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has provided an update on progress in relation to authorised push payment (APP) scams, where fraudsters trick customers into instructing their banks to make a payment to what the customer believes is a legitimate account. Following a Which? super-complaint in September 2016, PSR, FCA and the payments industry developed a work […]
HM Treasury has published a consultation on secondary legislation to support the Image Clearing System (ICS) for cheques. The legislative proposals follow the amendments to the Bills of Exchange Act 1882 introduced by the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, which allowed the introduction of cheque imaging. This aims to cut down cheque clearing times […]
The European Payments Council (EPC) has launched a three month consultation on the Mobile Contactless Single Euro Payments Area Card Payments Implementation Interoperability Guidelines (MCP IIGs). EPC has updated the MCP IIGs with the help of stakeholders from the mobile contactless payment industry, with the aim of standardising a smooth and secure means of mobile contactless […]
The firm is sponsoring the Bristol TechFin 2017 event. Members of our Financial Institutions team will be attending this event, which takes place on 7 November. We hope to see some of you there!