The FPC met on 3 October. At the meeting, it continued to assess the risks Brexit presents to the UK financial services sector, noting there had been considerable progress in the UK to address the risks, but not much in the rest of the EU, such that companies no longer have time to mitigate all […]
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 […]
Treasury has published some new draft statutory instruments to be made under the EU (Withdrawal) Act, or announced plans to make them, and also updated existing drafts. New or updated documents include Regulations on : plans for the Solvency II and Insurance measures Bank Recovery and Resolution Credit Rating Agencies (FCA has also published an […]
As heralded at the end of last year, the FCA has now published two consultation papers that make provision for operations in the event of a ‘hard’ Brexit next March. The first consultation sets out changes to the FCA’s Handbook and to those EU Binding Technical Standards, which, it is proposed, would be incorporated directly […]
The FCA and Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Mutual Recognition of Funds, which will allow eligible Hong Kong public funds and UK retail funds to be distributed in each other’s market through a streamlined process. The MoU also establishes a framework for exchange of information, regular dialogue, and regulatory cooperation […]
The FCA is consulting on the introduction of rules to address issues that could arise where open-ended funds with illiquid asset holdings encounter stressed conditions. Following the outcome of the Brexit referendum in June 2016, a number of such funds had to cease trading for a period of time, following a rush by investors to […]
Following the FCA’s Call for Input into the implementation of the PRIIPs Regulation, the Personal Investment Management and Financial Advice Association (PIMFA) has commented that it agrees with concerns about the practical operation and the detailed KID requirements of the regime. In particular, PIMFA has noted that there is a suggestion that UCITS and other […]
ESMA has updated its AIFMD FAQs to include questions on how notification requirements apply to AIFMs managing umbrella AIFs on a cross-border basis.
ESMA has published an update to its Q&As on MiFID II and MiFIR, answering questions relating to investor protection and intermediaries. The answers address: best execution: reporting for firms using a venue’s RFQ system to agree a trade; and investment advice on an independent basis: use of a ‘look-through’ approach. EMSA has also formally withdrawn […]
The CMA has announced that it is bringing forward the date for publishing its final report on its investigation into the supply and acquisition of investment consultancy and fiduciary management services in the UK. Having considered the responses to its Provisional Decision Report, the CMA has announced that it will aim to publish its final […]
ESMA has published its 2019 work programme. As ever, its top priority is supervisory convergence. It will be working particularly on prospectuses, investment funds and MiFID 2 as well as cross-cutting supervisory themes. Of course, all activities will consider Brexit. It also plans to work on improvement of data quality and risk monitoring and further […]
ILPA‘s (the Institutional Limited Partners Association) latest member update includes items on: a comment letter in response to SEC’s proposed Interpretation on the standard of conduct for investment advisers, which among other things suggests that advisers of private equity funds should treat the fund as a whole as its client and not the individual limited […]
The EP has published draft reports on the Commission’s proposals relating to fund marketing. The key concern of the rapporteur, Wolf Klinz, is that while it is a good idea to make pre-marketing to professional investors easier, reverse solicitation should be prevented. As a result, he says that, within 18 months of a pre-marketing, investors […]
Treasury has published guidance for the banking, insurance and other financial services sectors on the impact of what it still describes as an “unlikely” no-deal Brexit scenario. It stresses that increased preparations towards a no-deal were always likely to be necessary the closer Brexit becomes and that accelerating the plans does not mean the Government […]
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; […]
ESMA has responded to some queries EIOPA raised with it on the definition of AIF and leverage in the AIFMD. EIOPA had asked: whether AIFs that use certain borrowing arrangements and derivative instruments under the Solvency II Delegated Regulation considered leveraged for AIFMD purposes. ESMA points out that the AIFMD has no formal definition of […]
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 […]
ESMA has updated its FAQs on the UCITS Directive and the AIFMD. New questions include those addressing when UCITS invest in UCITS with different investment policies and supervision of branches of UCITS management companies or AIFMs that provide MiFID investment services.
The PRA has published an occasional consultation paper on regulatory reporting. The consultation paper sets out proposed changes to the following reporting requirements: discontinuance of Prudent Valuation Return PV001; changes to PRA reporting instructions to align with updated EBA requirements; amendments to Pillar 2 reporting templates and instructions to reflect their application to ring-fenced bodies; […]
We wrote an article for Compliance Monitor on the EU proposals for changes to the way in which AIFs can be marketed.
From 21 July 2018, the EU’s Money Market Funds (MMF) Regulation will require new MMFs to be authorised by national competent authorities. Existing funds that are already branded as, or substantially similar to (for the purposes of the Regulation), MMFs will have until 21 January 2019 to apply for authorisation. Accordingly, in Policy Statement PS18/17, […]
Charles Randell, the recently appointed Chair of the FCA and the PSR, has delivered a speech, in which he discussed the increasing dominance of algorithms in our day to day lives, and noted some of the consequent issues that will need to be grappled with, as the rise of Big Data, AI and machine learning […]
The Bank of England, the PRA and FCA have published a joint discussion paper on its approach to improve operational resilience in the financial sector. The regulators envisage that boards and senior managers can achieve better standards of operational resilience through increased focus on setting, monitoring and testing specific impact tolerances for key business services. […]
FCA has made new rules. The changes affect several parts of the Handbook, including: miscellaneous minor and clarificatory changes, including a change to the application chapter of SYSC to clarify that certain rules in SYSC 4.3A do not apply to an AIFM investment firm that is not a CRR firm; changes to make the Handbook consistent […]
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 […]
HM Treasury has published a speech by Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, which was delivered at the annual Mansion House dinner. In his speech, Mr Hammond focused on Brexit and financial services. He said that the UK needs to ensure that it remains a world leader in innovation, and extend London’s position as the […]
Mark Carney, Governor of the BoE, delivered a speech at the annual Mansion House dinner on how the UK financial system can continue to serve the UK and the world, in the face of major structural changes. In his speech, Mr Carney outlined how the BoE is changing to support the development of the UK […]
ESMA has issued a statement confirming that the six month grace period granted to those required by MiFIR to have a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI), will end on 2 July 2017. ESMA will now work with national competent authorities to develop a supervision action plan which focuses on compliance with LEI reporting requirements.
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 […]