The Council of the EU has agreed a negotiating mandate for progressing the Commission’s proposals on cross-border marketing of funds. It has also published compromise texts based on the Commission’s originals to form the basis for negotiations with the European Parliament.
The PRA has issued PS12/18 and SS5/18, which sets out the PRA’s expectations of a firm’s risk management and governance of algorithmic trading. The SS applies to all algorithmic trading activities of a firm, including in respect of unregulated financial instruments such as spot foreign exchange. It should be read in conjunction with other applicable requirements, including […]
HM Treasury and the Bank of England have announced that Bradley Fried has been appointed as Chair of the Court of the Bank of England, with effect from 1 July 2018. He will replace Sir Anthony Habgood who has been Chair since 2014.
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 […]
ESMA has updated its FAQs on the application of the UCITS Directive. The additions look at how to apply remuneration disclosure requirements to staff or the delegate of a UCITS management company who have been delegated investment management functions.
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 The draft guidance sets out a list of things FCA says firms should take into account, which would include: how valid the reason for variation is […]
ESMA has created a new portal for checking the authorisation status of investment firms, trading venues and DRSPs authorised under MiFID 2, UCITS management companies and AIFMs and also funds managed or marketed in the EU.
BEIS is consulting on reforms to the laws governing Scottish Limited Partnerships to address the illegitimate uses to which some SLPs have been put. The Government has found evidence that SLPs have been exploited by money launderers, including one scheme that used over 100 SLPs to move up to $80bn. The proposals include introducing safeguards […]
FCA (in one case together with FOS) has made several instruments amending the Handbook. Changes include: changes to FEES (from 1 April) to ensure better mapping of tariff data and that Directive and non-Directive insurers are treated consistently. Further change creates a new fee-block for consumer credit lending as a mechanism for collecting the levy for […]
Andrew Bailey has given a regulatory perspective on asset management. His speech considered: market-wide risks: he looked at the growth in the asset management sector and particularly the increase in proportionate growth of the asset management sector over others. open-ended funds: he considered the risks of funds offering daily redemption in illiquid assets which also […]
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 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 […]
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published a summary of the roundtable that it held, on 12 February 2018, with asset managers. The roundtable was held as part of CMA’s work on the market investigation into the supply and acquisition of investment consultancy services and fiduciary management services to and by institutional investors and employers in the UK.
FCA has released several documents resulting from its asset management market study. The key documents are: final rules focussing on the duties of fund managers as agents of the fund investors. The changes will require fund managers to make an annual assessment of value and to appoint at least 2 independent directors comprising at least 25% of […]
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 has published a draft of its approach to enforcement and supervision. The documents follow its publication of its Mission, in which it committed to publishing a series of documents setting out how it carries out its main activities. The approach to supervision explains FCA’s commitment to being forward-looking and pre-emptive, focusing on firms’ cultures […]
FCA has updated on its work reviewing potential closet tracker funds and closet constrained funds – funds that look like and charge fees in the same way as active funds do, but are managed like passive funds. Closet constrained funds do make active decisions, but on a restricted basis around their benchmarks. FCA is concerned […]
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 […]
The Commission has published a new package of proposals that it wishes to see adopted by mid-2019. The proposals will ‘put in place all building blocks of the Capital Markets Union’, and comprise: legislative proposals on facilitating cross-border distribution of investment funds, to boost the cross-border market for investment funds; a legislative proposal on covered […]
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 CMA has published an update of its progress on its market investigation into investment consultants and fiduciary managers. Since it started its reference last September, it has, among other things, visited three large investment consultants and held hearings with a range of providers and stakeholders. It has also completed a large quantitative survey of […]
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.
The European Commission is carrying out a survey on how the AIFMD has worked in practice and how it has met its objectives. Anyone can respond to the online survey.
The European Commission has updated its website to provide information on how Brexit will affect banking and finance rules. Separate pages address: markets in financial instruments banking and payment services post-trade issues asset management credit rating agencies insurance and reinsurance and statutory audit Each page looks at the impact of withdrawal on authorisations, contracts and […]
The FCA has published a report of the independent review into the effectiveness of its Board. The review was undertaken by Independent Audit Limited. The review involved interviews with Board members, a review of documentation and observance of Board and committee meetings. The report also sets out the following broad themes: aligning of activities into […]
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; […]
FCA’s latest Policy Development Update promises, among other things: policy statement on regulatory fees and levies by the end of March; the delayed policy statement on further implementation of the FAMR; consultation on the Money Market Funds Regulation in January; the final policy statement and near final IDD rules, also in January; and consultation in […]
Charles Randell CBE has been appointed the new chair of FCA and the PSR with effect from 1 April.
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 […]
FCA has published updated guidance on reporting Annex IV transparency information under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). The document details: Transparency reporting requirements (pursuant to both the AIFMD and the FCA Handbook); How this information is submitted to the FCA (via the Gabriel system); The form of report (AIF001 Manager Report and AIF002 Fund Transparency Report); and […]
In December, the Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA) issued the first in a series of model documents to be produced through its Limited Partnership Agreement (LPA) Simplification Initiative. The Model Subscription Agreement (MSA) seeks to streamline fundraising, increase clarity and improve the efficiency of capital formation by providing a balanced, off-the-shelf subscription document solution which […]
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 Securities and Markets Authority has published 2 new questions relating to the prohibition on dealings by persons discharging managerial responsibilities during a closed period in its updated MAR Questions and Answers. Please read our briefing for more.
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 […]
There has been concern about the anticipated regulatory capital impact when International Financial Reporting Standard 9 is implemented from January 2018, resulting from some firms seeing a significant increase in expected credit loss provisions. In response, the EU Council has published the text of a Regulation that, amending the Capital Requirements Regulation, sets out a […]
FCA has investigated the operations of Park First Limited in relation to airport parking investment schemes. It believed the firm, which is not authorised, was operating a CIS. The firm has agreed to offer investors the choice of getting their investments back or moving into a new scheme which is not a CIS. In the […]
Megan Butler has spoken on assessing the value of financial advice. She spoke of the growing importance of financial advice as increasing numbers of people need help making “sense” of their choices. Recent FCA studies have shown that, in 2015, 93.1% of advice on investments, pension accumulation and retirement outcomes was suitable. This figure was […]
FCA has issued a statement of objections to 4 asset managers who it believes may have acted in breach of competition law. The statement (which has not been published) is the first time FCA has brought a case using its competition enforcement powers. It says that Artemis Investment Management LLP, Hargreave Hale Ltd, Newton Investment […]
The Chancellor announced in his Budget statement that he intends to bring gains made by non-UK residents from the disposal of UK commercial property within the UK tax net. Our briefing looks at the details of the proposed change, and its effects on managers of real estate funds.
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 […]
The ESAs have updated the FAQs on the PRIIPs KID to include a number of new questions, including guidance on: confirming that the categorisation of a retail investor should follow the MiFID 2 definition and not take account of any national categories of “semi-professional” investor or similar; how to categorise credit-linked notes in terms of their […]
ESMA has updated its MiFID II Q&As to clarify the application of the trading obligation for shares to trade certain instruments on-venue. ESMA confirms that all EU investment firms that are part of a chain of transmission should ensure that the ultimate execution of the order complies with the trading obligation requirements under article 23(1) […]
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 Security and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published the responses received to the Consultation on Guidelines on certain aspects of the MiFID II suitability requirements. The draft Guidelines are intended to implement enhanced provisions to ensure investor protection. The consultation was therefore of particular relevance to investment firms and credit institutions providing investment advice or discretionary portfolio management services. […]
The Commission’s consultation on cross border distribution of investment funds closed on 9 October, and the Commission has now published the 62 responses it received.
The Commission has published its formal request to the ESAs to report to it on the cost and past performance of the main categories of retail investment, insurance and pension products. It notes the reporting should be based on what is required under key EU legislation, and appreciates the amount of work is such that […]
Steven Maijoor has spoken on the state of European financial markets. He spoke not only about Brexit, focussing on the need for a strong supervisory culture, but also on the importance of building the CMU and improving understanding of trends, risks and vulnerabilities in the financial markets. He spoke about the continuing lack of trust […]
Linda Woodall has spoken at an event to launch FCA’s Occasional Paper on the ageing population. FCA has for some years been aware that the financial services needs of older consumers are generally not being met. Not all older consumers are disadvantaged and not all have the same needs. But, while there is no “one-size-fits-all” […]
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’s latest Policy Developments Update lists several key publications due before the end of the year: policy proposals for next year’s fees and levies policy statement on FSCS funding policy statement on the second part of FAMR implementation policy statement on the second IDD implementation consultation (in December, with the policy statement on the third […]
The PRA has outlined proposals on groups policy and double leverage in its latest consultation paper. Groups policy speaks to the distinction between individual legal entities (and the particular jurisdiction they are in) and the broader multi-jurisdictional banking groups of which they form a part, and the difficulties inherent in the PRA regulating both. Groups policy is […]
ESMA has updated its FAQs on the AIFMD and UCITS. The AIFMD additions look are remuneration issues, and updates to both sets of guidance look at periodic reporting under the SFTR.
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 […]
Meghan Butler has spoken on how FCA is clarifying its supervisory approach to asset managers. She looked at FCA’s mission and its recognition of the importance of the asset management industry. She spoke of the findings of the asset management review and said FCA is still working through responses. In the meantime, the CMA has […]
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 […]
CMA has announced an investigation into the supply and acquisition of investment consultancy and fiduciary management services following a referral by FCA. FCA has decided to reject the undertakings in lieu offered to its by the three largest investment consultants, as it believes the market will benefit from an in-depth review. There were also concerns from […]
The Hedge Funds Standards Board has changed its name to the Standards Board for Alternative Investments, to reflect the evolution of the alternative investment industry.
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 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, […]
Andrew Bailey’s speech today on the future of LIBOR discussed the recent developments that had been made and interestingly, the decision to move away from the benchmark and towards one that is based on factors such as the price of term funding. The FCA has had conversations with market participants, which led it to examine alternative benchmarks and make […]
The long-awaited consultations on the extension of the SM&CR have been released: CP17/25 – Individual accountability – extending the Senior Managers and Certification Regime to all FCA firms. Banks are told to read Chapters 9 and 10 in the CP about the extra SM&CR regulations that will affect the banking sector. CP17/26 – Individual accountability – extending […]
On 20 July ESMA published its opinion on asset segregation and the application of depositary delegation rules to central securities depositaries (CSDs). In the opinion, ESMA outlines its view on: the optimal approach to asset segregation under the AIFMD and the UCITS Directive frameworks; and how the depositary delegation rules should apply to CSDs. ESMA believes […]
FCA’s review of fund suspensions and pricing adjustments following the Brexit vote has indicated that property funds should plan better to take external events into account so they can deal with liquidity risks. It found that some daily-dealt property funds suspended dealing or applied pricing adjustments in the immediate aftermath of the vote because they […]
FCA has published MS17/1.1 as part of its assessment into the potential competition issues outlined in the Asset Management Market Study interim report and in its 2016/17 Retail Investment Sector View. FCA was concerned that because platforms are a significant and growing distribution channel, especially in the direct-to-consumer area, they are vulnerable to manipulation and it is […]
The Financial Markets Law Committee has published its views on the legal uncertainties related to the future classification of the UK as a third country in respect of the EU. The purpose of the paper is not to make recommendations, but to highlight legal issues. The paper focuses on: activities for which there is no […]
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 […]
The Government presented the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill to Parliament on 13 July for its first reading. The Bill seeks to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 on the day when the UK leaves the European Union (EU). It also includes provisions for: EU legislation to continue to have effect in domestic law, on and after the […]
ESMA has updated its FAQs in relation to UCITS and the AIFMD. The additions relate to: on the AIFMD, reporting requirements for loans purchased on the secondary market, conversion of total value of AUM and currency of the net asset value and on UCITS, issuer concentration and group links, independence and cooling off periods.
Property Funds can be either closed ended or open ended. In a closed ended fund (such as a Real Estate Investment Trust or “REIT”), the amount of equity invested is fixed and investors may gain liquidity by selling their shares in the market. In an open ended fund, units or shares are created and cancelled […]
IOSCO is consulting on recommendations and good practices in liquidity risk management for funds, and has accompanied the consultation with examples of good and bad practices. The consultation builds on a report in 2013 and addresses structural vulnerabilities the FSB has identified. The papers covers: investor disclosure alignment between asset portfolio and redemption terms availability […]
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 […]
Treasury has published the responses it received to its consultation on creating a single financial guidance body. The new body has now been legislated for under the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill and will: be a non-departmental body sponsored by DWP to replace the MAS, TPAS and Pension Wide provide money guidance, and pensions guidance […]
EBA launches consultation on implementation of EBA Guidelines on methods for calculating contributions to DGSs
Article 13(3) of the Deposit Guarantee Schemes Directive (DGSD) requires the EBA to issue guidelines on methods for calculating DGS contributions by 3 July 2015, to ensure that the DGSD is consistently implemented in relation to risk based contributions. The deadline to implement the guidelines was 31 May 2016, with the EBA to review the […]
The World Federation of Exchanges said it was encouraged by the Commission’s consultation on FinTech as it believed that it was important to get policy right in this area to avoid the rush to regulate. These comments came following the WFE’s response to the Commission’s consultation document “FinTech: a more competitive and innovative European financial sector”, which was published […]
FCA has published the final findings of its asset management market study. As part of this, FCA set out a package of remedies to address the concerns identified. Alongside the market study, FCA has published a consultation paper on implementing the asset management market study remedies and changes to the Handbook. FCA conducted analysis of over 20,000 shareclasses […]
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.
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 […]
The EP has published a draft report on the Action Plan for retail financial services. The report: says the EU retail financial services market is still underdeveloped and fragmented, but recognises that such a market will work only if it delivers real customer value; welcomes the Commission’s action plan working towards a single technology-enabled market; […]
ESMA has published a set of principles that the regulators in the “EU27” should follow when assessing applications from UK institutions seeking an EU authorisation post-Brexit. Key principles include: that no authorisation will be automatically “grandfathered”; that no institutions should be able to operate as a “letter-box” – so all outsourcing and delegation must be […]
ESMA has updated its FAQs on the AIFMD and the UCITS Directive. Both address the exemption for intra-group transactions for the purposes of EMIR. The AIFMD set also addresses notifications of AIFs domiciled in another Member State and on reporting to supervisors on the breakdown between retail and professional investors.
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 has updated its website with examples of products it considers will, and will not, be PRIIPs, and explaining the duties of manufacturers, distributors and advisers in relation to them.
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 has made the rules that will change disclosure requirements on application of the PRIIPs Regulation, which should be from 1 January 2018. FCA has provided as much clarity and certainty as it can, to help firms prepare for the changes. The paper includes feedback on FCA’s consultation, and guidance on whether certain products will […]
FCA has published the first set of complaints data (covering the second half of 2016) that firms have reported since last year’s rule changes that give firms 3 days to address a complaint to a consumer’s satisfaction but the data reflects all complaints. Because of the change in complaints captured, the figure (3.04m) is higher […]
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 has published an occasional paper that looks at the behaviour of consumers and the consequences it has on their reaction to financial promotions. The paper considers: how consumers will look for and find promotions how ways of presenting information may play on consumers’ behavioural biases and have the potential to mislead how certain techniques […]
FSCS has announced its levy for 2017/18. The £363m is less than forecast in the FSCS’ 2017/18 Plan and Budget in January, but more than the 2016/17 levy. The 2017/18 levy includes: no change to the £100m levy on life and pensions advisers; £5m more to be paid general insurance intermediaries than FSCS forecast in January; and […]
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 […]
ESMA has published a report on notification frameworks and home-host responsibilities under the UCITS and AIFMD regimes. It carried out a study looking at the cross-border management and marketing activities of UCITS and their managers. It found many examples of good practice by supervisors and firms. A similar study looking at the mirroring activities of […]
ESMA has updated its FAQs on AIFMD and UCITS. The additions focus on: clarifying that the AIFMD marketing passport under Article 32 AIFMD can be used only for marketing to professional investors as defined in AIFMD and cannot include any additional categories of investor that individual Member States have introduced (such as “qualifying” or “semi-professional”); and […]