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.
The FCA has launched a new portal to enable mutual societies complete tasks and submit information to the FCA that was previously done online or by post, such as the submission of annual rules and accounts and applications for rule amendments. Mutuals societies can start to register as users of this portal; the FCA will […]
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 […]
The FCA has published a ‘Dear CEO’ letter in which it provides clarity about the communication and approval of financial promotions by regulated and unregulated businesses. The FCA has published the letter after it has recently become aware that firms have been issuing financial promotions which suggest or imply that all the activities they undertake are […]
The EU Council has confirmed its position on the compromise proposals on a package of changes to the CRR/CRD4 , comprising a Regulation and a Directive, to allow prudential and supervisory requirements to be proportionate to the risk and business profile of regulated firms while ensuring financial stability. The new measures would divide investment firms into: […]
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 […]
FCA has opened the notification window for passporting-in firms. Firms will need to have notified FCA of their intention to seek full UK authorisation to carry on services in the UK before exit day in the event of a hard Brexit. FCA has opened the window from 7 January to 28 March, Its website includes a guide […]
FCA’s latest Policy Development Update highlights a number of publications due before the end of Q1 2019: a policy statement on general standards and communication rules for payment services and emoney providers; consultation and discussion on the investment platforms market study remedies; policy statement on 2019/20 fees and levies; consultation on recovering the costs of […]
ESMA has updated its FAQs on MiFID 2 and MiFIR in respect of: transparency; and commodity derivatives. The updated questions cover, among other things, publication of request for market data transactions and the application of the “price multiplier” field in electricity contract reporting.
The Commission Implementing Regulation on the equivalence of the Swiss regulatory framework for stock exchanges for the purposes of MiFID 2 has been published in the OJEU and applies from 1 January 2019. The SIX Swiss Exchange AG and BX Swiss AG are considered equivalent to regulated markets.
In December 2018, the FCA confirmed that as part of its take over of the regulation of CMCs from April 2019, it would require CMCs to register for temporary permission in order to continue to operate from April, and pending submission and approval by the FCA of a ‘full’ application to continue to do business. […]
ESMA is to renew the current restrictions on the marketing, distribution or sale of CFDs to retail clients for a further three months from February 2019.
BoE has made a statement on the equivalence of the future UK legal and supervisory framework for CCPs and CSDs, following a decision by the European Commission to make implementing acts that will allow UK CCPs and CSDs to be recognised by ESMA. The measures would take effect from 30 March 2019 in the event of a […]
As part of its preparation for onshoring EU legislation, the PRA has published CP32/18. This consultation paper contains two consultations: the first sets out the PRA’s proposals regarding the PRA Rulebook and the Binding Technical Standards (BTS) that are to come within the PRA’s remit; the second relates to BTS that will come within the […]
Following a consultation earlier this year, the FCA has published a policy statement setting out the new rules and fees that will apply to claims management companies (CMCs) from April 2019. From 1 April 2019, the FCA will become the regulator of CMCs that are established or serve clients in England, Wales and Scotland. FOS will […]
Treasury has published a draft statutory instrument setting out the Financial Services Contracts Regime (FSCR) which will provide run-off mechanisms to the various temporary regimes the government and regulators are preparing to put in place for Brexit. The regime will cover firms that currently passport into the UK under FSMA, the PSRs or the EMRs, and […]
The latest edition of Market Watch outlines FCA’s views on industry implementation of MAR. FCA stresses the importance of industry participants properly calibrating their risk assessments to the markets and asset classes they operate in and showing it is responsive to changes. It notes the importance of strong judgment in market abuse compliance and emphasises […]
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.
FCA’s latest quarterly consultation proposes rules that: amend SUP 16 to address FCA’s concern that it does not always hold accurate “firm details” by requiring an annual accuracy check and removing the option some firms currently benefit from to update details other than using Connect; and add the Association of Accounting Technicians to the list of bodies […]
FCA is consulting on permanent rules to restrict the marketing, distribution and sale of CFDs and CFD-like options to retail consumers. The proposals are similar to the ESMA temporary measures, but FCA wants also to cover closely substitutable products and are proposing some different leverage limits. FCA feels the action is necessary because of constant […]
ESMA has published the advice it received from the Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group on amending the PRIIPs KID. The group fully supports the principle of the KID but is disappointed that there are proposals for change so soon after firms spend significant resource to implement the original requirements and also that the consultation period […]
The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union have reached a provisional political agreement on the banking package of reforms that will result in CRD V/ CRR II. Proposed measures include more risk-sensitive capital requirements, in particular in the areas of market risk, counterparty credit risk and for exposure to central counterparties, and […]
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is consulting on its proposed Annual Plan, which sets out its plans and priorities for 2019 to 2020. Subject to the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, the CMA plans to give greater priority to potential market studies and investigations as it considers future work. The themes which it proposes should carry […]
ESMA has added to its EMIR Regulation Q&A document. The updated question relates to Article 41 of EMIR, on margin requirements.
EIOPA has published draft technical advice to the Commission on the integration of sustainability risks and factors in delegated acts under Solvency II and IDD. The proposed amendments include the addition (in the Solvency II Delegated Act) of a responsibility for identifying and assessing emerging sustainability risks to the risk management function, and including any […]
As part of the preparation for a ‘hard’ Brexit, the Treasury has published a Policy Note that accompanies a draft Bill covering in-flight financial services legislation, currently progressing through Parliament. The Policy Note comments that in scope of the Bill are pieces of EU legislation agreed or in negotiation at the point of exit, with implementation […]
The Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates (Working Group) has published a communication pack entitled ‘Preparing for 2022: what you need to know about LIBOR transition’. The pack is designed to inform readers about the transition from LIBOR to SONIA and covers the following areas: the problem with LIBOR; why SONIA is the preferred […]
The Plenary of the Financial Stability Board (FSB) has announced the appointment of Randal K. Quarles (Governor and Vice Chairman for Supervision at the US Federal Reserve) as its new Chair and Klaas Knot (President of De Nederlandsche Bank) as Vice Chair, for a three-year term starting on 2 December 2018. Randal K. Quarles will replace […]
ESMA has released a Public Statement on how central clearing is to be addressed in the event of a no-deal Brexit. ESMA supports continued ability to access UK CCPs and has therefore welcomed the decision to adopt a temporary and conditional equivalence decision. It is now working to plan for recognition of UK CCPs in […]
FCA has published additional proposals on how it will deal with a hard Brexit. The consultation focuses on: more changes to the Temporary Permissions regime; reflecting the new Credit Rating Agency and Trade Repository Regime in the Handbook and FCA’s approach to guidance and forms Key elements of the consultation include: new “cross-cutting” issues that […]
EIOPA Chairman, Gabriel Bernardino, opened their 8th Annual Conference today in Frankfurt with his speech on insurance and pensions: securing the future, which is also the theme of this year’s conference. His speech also looked back at EIOPA’s achievements in the last year and discussed their priorities for 2019. The one day conference will look at […]
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 […]
At its latest Board meeting, FCA has made changes to DISP and its guidance, effective from 8 November, to confirm that firms must not reject relevant regular premium PPI complaints without considering whether recurring non-disclosure is an issue. Separately, FCA has amended Chapter 13 of IPRU(INV) to require personal investment firms to have PII cover […]
ESMA has updated its Q&As on MiFID II and MiFIR, and on the Short-Selling Regulation. The topics addressed by the MiFID II and MiFIR Q&As include making market structures and transparency issues. The Short-Selling Q&A updates a regulatory reference.
As part of the implementation of the Securities Regulation, which begins to apply from 1 January 2019, ESMA has published: draft regulatory and implementing standards on the contents of applications to register with ESMA as a securitisation repository; Final Technical Advice on fees to be charged for registering and supervising securitisation repositories; further guidance to […]
The ECB has published non-binding guidance for banks on its expectations regarding internal capital liquidity adequacy assessment processes. The guides will be applied from 1 January 2019. These guides updated previous guidance from January 2016, and indicate an intensification of the ECB’s supervisory assessments and an increase in the role of ICAAP and ILAAP in […]
ESMA has updated its supervisory briefing for regulators on the suitability requirements under MiFID 2. The briefing covers: when a suitability assessment is needed; information to clients on the assessment; getting information from clients; arrangements necessary to understand products; arrangements necessary to understand the suitability of an investment; suitability report; staff qualifications; and record keeping.
The ESAs are consulting on proposed amendments to the PRIIPs KID. The consultation follows the ESAs’ letter to the Commission on developing guidance on information on investment funds. It also noted the need to make targeted amendments to the PRIIPs delegated Regulation to apply the PRIIPs KID requirements appropriately to UCITS and relevant non-UCITS funds, […]
ESMA has published a report with draft RTS that would amend the 3 Commission Delegated Regulations on EMIR. ESMA is proposing a limited exemption that would facilitate novation of certain non-centrally cleared OTC derivatives to EU counterparties for a specific time-window in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The proposals would allow novation without triggering 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.
CMA has published a consultation paper as part of its review of the investment consultancy and fiduciary management services study. The paper contains draft definitions. The proposals define: “investment consultancy service” and “fiduciary management service” The paper also notes that other terms, such as “pension scheme trustees” and “interconnected body corporate” will need separate definition. […]
As part of its preparation for the contingency of a ‘hard’ Brexit, HM Treasury has published draft onshoring legislation relating to: Payment accounts Financial markets infrastructure insolvency Central securities depositories and Investment funds and managers The changes made under these SIs are unlikely to take effect if an implementation period is agreed.
FCA has written a “Dear CEO” letter on the duties of SIPP operators in respect of due diligence. The letter refers to the judgement in the Berkeley Burke case and several other pending civil claims, and asks firms to consider the potential implications of these cases for them and their customers. The Berkeley Burke case, […]
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: […]
The Bank of England is consulting on the proposed fee for applications for non-UK CCPs that will seek UK recognition both before and after Brexit. Comments and feedback on all aspects of the proposal are sought by 2 January.
HMT has published the latest set of Brexit transition draft and updated draft SIs to be made under the EU Withdrawal Act 2018 in the event of a ‘hard’ Brexit, and accompanying explanatory notes. These cover: Central Securities Depositories Over the Counter Derivatives, Central Counterparties and Trade Repositories Financial Conglomerates and Other Financial Groups (explanatory […]
The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has published a press release following its plenary meeting in Ottawa, in which it reviewed the financial vulnerabilities and deliverables for the G20 Summit. Points of interest include: The Plenary discussed market developments and vulnerabilities in the global financial system. The members considered that, while global growth remained solid, it […]
As part of its Brexit preparations, the FCA has updated its webpage for incoming trade repositories that wish to ensure they can continue to do business in the UK following Brexit. Firms are now able to complete draft application forms for registration as a trade repository. The FCA has also published guidance notes for this […]
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 has today published Evaluation Paper 18/2 on the impact of bringing additional benchmarks into the regulatory and supervisory regime. The paper is the second of a new series of FCA evaluations on its past interventions. Background Misconduct and benchmark manipulation cases and FSA investigations led the Government to ask Martin Wheatley to establish an […]
PIFMA is concerned that the proposed extension of the upper limits of compensation FOS can order firms to pay out, from £150, 000 to £350,000 could put some small firms out of the market as they will be unable to get affordable PII cover. From 1 April, 2019, FCA is proposing to increase the limits […]
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, […]
Climate change is thought to have a significant impact on the UK’s financial services market and has led the FCA to publish its Discussion Paper on climate change and green finance (DP18/8). In its DP, the FCA recognises that the risks from climate change will affect the risks and value to some investments, noting that […]
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 […]
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 […]
AFME has published guidance on financial analysts’ interaction with representatives of private companies and their financial advisers under the revised rules in COBS 12.2.21 which took effect in July. The change stemmed from the MiFID Org Reg, which states that financial analysts should not engage in activities other than the preparation of investment research where […]
ESMA has updated its FAQs on MiFID 2 and MiFIR on market structures and transparency. New questions look at: how derivatives are classified for transparency purposes amending an existing question on the default liquidity status of bonds the scope of the MiFIR pre-trade transparency waiver market making activities and incentives in stressed trading consitions bulk […]
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 […]
Steven Maijoor has spoken on the state of implementation of MiFID 2 and preparing for Brexit. He focussed on the impact of MiFID 2 on non-EU trading venues – in particular looking at the impact of the trading obligation and on secondary markets and transparency. He looked also at the role and increase in market […]
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 […]
ESMA has written to the European Commission on various issues which are relevant in the context of Brexit but also to third-countries generally. There has already been discussion on the MiFID 2/MiFIR requirements on trading venues, and this letter now addresses: how MiFIR treats third country firms providing services and activities to ECPs and per […]
ESMA has confirmed the further extension of the restriction on marketing, distributing and selling CFDs to retail clients, for another three months. Alongside the extension it has updated its FAQs, particularly to clarify how the measures apply to rolling spot forex.
The PRA has published a report examining the impact of climate change on banks in terms of financial risk implications. The report notes that 70% of banks recognise that climate change poses financial risks to their business model, for example, and immediately, exposures to mortgaged homes at risk of flooding or by investments in countries […]
MEPs from ECON have backed the Commission’s proposal for a proportionate regime for smaller, non-systemic investment firms. The proposals suggest that firms’ whose total average monthly assets over a 12 month period exceed €30 bn should be subject to the current capital requirements for banks, but that smaller firms can either be regulated at that […]
FCA’s latest Market Watch focuses on market conduct and transaction reporting issues. It follows up on previous editions, which looked at FCA’s conclusions from a series of supervisory visits on suspicious transaction reporting. FCA had been concerned about over-reliance on “out of the box” alert calibration and that surveillance was not very developed for some asset […]
The FCA has opened a consultation that sets out how it will apply the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) to Claims Management Companies (CMCs), following taking over regulation of them from 1 April 2019. The consultation also sets out when SM&CR may apply to CMCs, and what action they will need to take. The […]
Michael Nascimento, the controlling mind of a £2.8m investment fraud was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment in the Southwark Crown Court. Between July 2010 and April 2014, members of the public were cold-called and subjected to high pressure sales tactics to persuade them to purchase shares in a company that owned land on the island of Madeira. […]
The Treasury is not planning to include EEA market operators in the proposed arrangements enabling incoming firms and businesses to continue to operate immediately after Brexit. Accordingly if EEA market operators are no longer able to rely on MiFID II passporting rights (eg because a transitional deal is not agreed), they may need to have […]
FCA and the Chartered Insurance Institute have worked together to create a re-assessment test of the level 4 diploma in financial planning. The new “Regulated Retail Investment Adviser Re-Evaluation” will be available from October. FCA encourages firms to use the test and may ask them to use it as part of its supervisory activities if […]
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 […]
FCA has confirmed its ban on Arif Hussein following a decision of the Upper Tribunal published in June. Mr Hussein was a derivatives trader with UBS, who engaged in internal chats with a UBS trader-submitter knowing that it would be improper to participate in conduct intended to influence UBS’ LIBOR submissions. FCA found that Mr […]
ESMA has confirmed the ban on binary options will remain in place for a further three months. The current ban, which prohibits marketing, distribution or sale of binary options to retail clients, expires on 2 October. ESMA has reviewed the specific features of certain binary options which make them less risky and as a result […]
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; […]
The FSB, Basel Committee, the CPMI and IOSCO have published a joint consultation on incentives to centrally clear OTC derivatives. The organisations want to look at how the post-crisis measures have worked and whether there is a need to fine-tune them. A post-reform evaluation suggests that there are overall good incentives for using central clearing, […]
FCA has added its own views on selling high-risk speculative investments to retail clients. It fully supports ESMA’s measures and notes that ESMA has also recognised the risks of products similar to CFDs. However, it is concerned firms will try to get around the ESMA product intervention restrictions by selling to retail investors products that […]
ESMA has updated its FAQs on the use of its temporary product intervention measures in respect of CFDs and binary options. New questions: state that turbo certificates are not within the scope of the CFD decision as they have different product features to CFDs, including that they are transferable securities for MiFID purposes and are […]
The PRA has today published its consultation paper (CP) 17/18 on the definition of default. The CP follows the European Banking Authority’s (EBA) Opinion on the implementation of the regulatory review of internal rating based (IRB) models. Background The EBA put together a list of regulatory products for the IRB framework review, with the “aim […]
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 […]
FCA has opened a Call for Input to get firms’ and consumers’ initial experiences of the PRIIPs requirements. It welcomes comments generally, but particularly in respect of: determining whether a product is within or out of scope; and the practical aspects of cost and risk disclosure requirements. The Call for Input usefully summarises the various […]
The FCA has published a discussion paper on price discrimination in the cash savings market. The FCA is concerned that longstanding customers receive lower interest rates on easy access cash savings accounts products than those received by customers who shop around; and that competition is not working well in the cash savings market, particularly for customers that […]
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 […]
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; […]
The ESAs have published some further guidance on KIDs under the PRIIPS Regulation. The additions to the existing guidance provide some additional FAQs and updates to the flow diagrams for risk and reward calculations. New questions include confirmation that a KID must be published on the public section of the manufacturer’s website, and guidance on […]
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 […]
FCA has published the interim findings of its market study on competition in the investment platform market. It has concluded that competition is working well for most consumers, but has identified a few areas that need attention to help consumers. It found: barriers to switching are significant and therefore the pressure on platforms to continue […]
The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has published a statement on reforms to interbank offered rates (IBORs) and the development of overnight risk-free rates (RFRs) and term rates. Points of interest include: to ensure financial stability, benchmarks which are used extensively must be especially robust; the Official Sector Steering Group (OSSG), set up to coordinate […]
The FCA has published a speech by Andrew Bailey, Chief Executive of the FCA, on transitioning from LIBOR to alternative interest rate benchmarks. Although important steps have been taken towards transition, Andrew Bailey commented that the transition is not yet fast enough and there is much further to go. Points of interest in the speech […]