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!
On 20 October 2017, the FCA published a report on lessons learned from its regulatory sandbox. As a reminder, the regulatory sandbox allows firms to test innovative products, services and business models in a live market environment, while ensuring that appropriate safeguards are in place. The report contains the FCA’s reflections on how the sandbox […]
After collecting responses from over 13,000 UK consumers, FCA has revealed the results of its largest tracking survey of consumer behaviour and use of retail financial products and services. Aiming to tell the financial story for six age demographics (and key themes of each life stage), the survey found that 50% of the adult population shows one […]
Dr. Manuela Zweimüller, Head of Policy Department at EIOPA, has delivered a speech on what will the future hold? The European insurance industry in times of major disruption. The speech highlights challenges in respect of InsurTech, Brexit and Regulatory stability. EIOPA considers that the insurance industry needs to reinvent itself in respect of InsurTech and […]
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 […]
Andrew Hauser, Executive Director for Banking, Payments and Financial Resilience, has commented on the work of BoE’s FinTech Accelerator programme since its launch in June 2016. The programme sought to improve BoE’s understanding of FinTech products and firms, and also to give these firms an insight into the questions and needs central banks might have, […]
The European Banking Authority (EBA) has today published its annual work programme in which it announced its strategic priorities for next year and beyond. EBA comments on the Commission’s legislative programme for the year, involving a review of the CRR and BRRD developments and the consequences of the BCBS’ revision of the trading book; the implementation […]
Stephen Barclay, City Minister, announced the creation of an Asset Management Taskforce to preserve the UK’s leading position as an asset management hub. Among his comments, he said: the Government sees delegation as key going forwards, and is using the Brexit challenge as a spur to spearhead this; it is critical to maintain gold standard […]
On 21 September 2017, the Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities, published its September 2017 report on risks and vulnerabilities in the EU financial system, identifying Brexit and FinTech as two of the main risks to the EU financial system. Brexit: The UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU and the uncertainties around the […]
The Commission has proposed a package of reforms to further develop the CMU. The package comprises: EU-wide supervisory priorities set by the ESAs, which will also take a greater role in supervising the work of national regulators – in particular in checking how they allow market participants to outsource functions to third countries direct capital […]
The House of Lords Select Committee on the EU has published the uncorrected oral evidence of its heading on financial services supervision after Brexit. The hearing looked at the differences between international standards and EU standards, noting that international standards focus on prudential issues, leaving conduct and investor protection measures more to national regulators. But […]
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 […]
ECB and BOJ publish joint research paper on Payment systems: Liquidity saving mechanisms in a distributed ledger environment
In December 2016, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) and the European Central Bank (ECB) launched their joint research project entitled “Stella”, which studies the possible use of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) for financial market infrastructures. Today, they published their findings. In the first step of their cooperation, the BOJ and the ECB conducted in-depth experiments […]
Much like the recent investigative report from the SEC in the USA in relation to the DAO token issuance, in which it was determined that a token sale amounted to the issuance of securities, this statement from the SFC serves to explain that, depending on the facts and circumstances of an ICO, digital tokens that are […]
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision today released a consultative document on the implications of fintech for the financial sector. The document assesses how technology-driven innovation in financial services, or “fintech”, may affect the banking industry and the activities of supervisors in the near to medium term. Various future potential scenarios are considered, with their […]
This month’s edition of Regulation round-up discusses: the consultation to extend SM&CR to all financial services firms; the Threshold Conditions Team taking enforcement action and cancelling the authorisations of 207 firms; FCA’s agenda and priorities for consumer credit; contingency planning for firms that do not have their MIFID II permissions in place by 3 January […]
The BIS has today released Working Paper No 655 (the FinTech Opportunity) by Thomas Philippon. The paper assesses the potential impact of FinTech on the finance industry. It documents first that financial services remain surprisingly expensive, which explains the emergence of new entrants. It then argues that the current regulatory approach is subject to significant political […]
In November 2015, the FCA published a call for input on ‘Big Data’, ie the use of new or expanded data sets, new technologies to generate, collect and store data, and sophisticated analytical techniques. The call for input focused on its use in retail general insurance, and in particular three main topics: whether the use […]