The European Commission has reported that consumers still face some obstacles when trying to compare investment funds, life insurance or personal pensions. The report finds that recent EU measures, such as MiFID 2 and the PRIIPs Regulation, should help, but that consumers find a great variance in costs for similar product categories cross-border. It also says most consumers […]
As part of the proposed process of transferring the regulation of Claims Management Companies to the FCA, HM Treasury is consulting on draft regulations that will form part of a final statutory instrument creating a new framework of regulation for Claims Management Companies (CMCs). The draft regulations set out the proposed permissions that CMCs will […]
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
FCA has created a new page on its website explaining the basic advice regime under MiFID 2 and the IDD. It explains it needed to update its guidance to firms to explain the impact of these pieces of legislation. In particular, it addresses how it needed to apply some MiFID 2 requirements (or “at least […]
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is consulting on proposals which, among other issues, seek to to improve the consumer experience in regulated markets for utilities, telecommunications and financial services and to ensure consumers buying and selling online benefit from new technology and business models, and have appropriate protection for their personal data. […]
The 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 […]
FCA has reported that the defendants in its case against Capital Alternatives have been ordered to pay compensation and that it has obtained new undertakings from or injunctions against some of the defendants to protect against the risk of dissipating or diminishing assets.
The FCA has published a Policy Statement on pension transfers advice (PS18/6). This follows the FCA’s June 2017 consultation, which looked at improving the quality of pension transfer advice. The policy statement sets out new rules on pension transfer advice (most of which come into force on 1 April 2018) and seeks views on additional changes, […]
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 […]
The Pensions Regulator and FCA have published a Joint Call for Input on their strategic approach for regulating the pensions and retirement income sector. The strategic approach will set out how the FCA and Pensions Regulator will work together to tackle the key risks facing the pensions sector over the next 5-10 years. Roundatables will be held in 3 […]
John Griffith-Jones has reflected on FCA’s first 5 years of operation, since it took over from the FSA. He outlined: highlights – specifying FCA’s engagement with pension exit charges, general insurance renewals, interest-only mortgage work, FX and LIBOR issues and reform, MiFID 2 implementation, the Innovation Hub, market abuse enforcement, fixing PPI, the asset management […]
As part of its ongoing work on culture and governance, the FCA has published a discussion paper, comprising a series of essays from academics and industry thought leaders covering: what a ‘good’ culture might look like; the role of regulation and regulators; how firms might go beyond incentives; and how to change behaviour for the […]
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 Association of British Insurers (ABI) has produced a framework designed to help firms operating in the life and long-term savings market to better identify, trace, verify and manage those customers with whom they have lost contact (‘gone-aways’). The voluntary framework, which consists of 11 principles, is intended to support providers in developing, maintaining and […]
The Bank of England (BoE) has published a speech by Mark Carney, BoE Governor, in which he considers the future of money. In particular, Mark Carney looks at how the developments in money and payments technologies could transform the economy (in ways good and bad).
FCA’s latest Handbook Notice confirms changes to: FEES to ensure the life and pensions intermediation class can still benefit from support from the retail pool SUP to align the Financial Crime Annual Return to the MLRs and PEP guidance. The changes seek to make the terminology in the various measures consistent and guard against firms […]
FCA has published a policy statement setting out its feedback on what is a “personal recommendation” in relation to retail investments, as part of its work on the FAMR. The new guidance, which will be in PERG, is aimed in part at reassuring firms that there is information they can give clients, and can even […]
PRA has published an update on responses to certain parts of its CP18/17 Occasional consultation. The update explains how PRA prepared to bring into force rulebook changes relating to the implementation of the Benchmark Regulation, MiFID 2 and the IDD, pending completion of relevant legislative changes.
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 Bank of England has published a report on its supervision of financial market infrastructures (FMI). The report measures performance against its 2017 annual report, as well as looking ahead. The report: Defines FMIs and their importance; Explains BoE’s supervisory role and BoE’s interaction with national and international regulators; Reports on BoE’s supervision over the […]
UK Finance reports that initial impressions of MiFID 2 implementation are that it has been smoother than expected. While there have been some teething problems and outstanding issues, firms seem, generally, to have been able to adapt within the implementation deadline.
The Investment Association has announced its new FinTech accelerator for the asset management industry, to be called Velocity. It will launch later this year and will take two cohorts per year of between 4-8 firms, and help them to turn their technology into business-ready solutions.
FCA has published a “Dear CEO” letter setting out its comments on the quality of prudential returns. It is concerned that a significant number of firms are submitting returns that contain inaccurate or incomplete data and, as a result, feels it needs to ask CEOs of IFPRU and BIPRU firms to review their firms’ regulatory […]
FCA has published a letter from Megan Butler reminding firms of FCA’s expectations when they are advising on pension transfers. The letter contains details of key publications from FCA on the topic.
FCA’s new-look update on its service standards shows that it met most of its targets for various regulatory tasks, including authorisations, passport notifications, dealing with queries and customer satisfaction. However, it did fall slightly short on some applications, particularly consumer-credit related ones, and some of its work on passports.
The three ESAs (consisting of the European Securities and Markets Authority, the European Banking Authority and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority) issued a warning to consumers on the high risks of buying and/or holding virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, Ether and Ripple (VCs). The warning follows the fact that there has been an increasing number […]
ESMA has published its Risk Assessment Work Programme for 2018, in which it establishes priorities for assessing securities market risks. ESMA will complement ongoing market monitoring through its semi-annual Report on Trends, Risks and Vulnerabilities, and its Quarterly Risk Dashboards, by launching an annual series on EU derivatives markets (based on EMIR data) and an […]
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 Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by a customer of a spread-betting company (IG Index), who claimed IG Index’s failure to close out in accordance with its terms of business caused him to incur greater losses than need have been the case. IG Index’s terms said, among other things, that it had absolute […]
Andrew Bailey has written to the Treasury Select Committee setting out a summary of the powers “FCA does not have”. It has been asked many questions in the context of the RBS GRG investigation. The letter sets out: FCA’s basic remit over regulated activities and its role as the UKLA as well as its powers […]
ESMA has updated its Q&As on transparency and market structure issues under MiFID 2. The latest additions cover pre-trade transparency waivers.
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 published a statement following concerns raised about the performance scenarios in the PRIIPs KID. Some firms have noted that occasionally this information may appear to optimistic and risk misleading consumers. FCA says that where a manufacturer is worried the scenarios in their KID are too optimistic, it may provide explanatory materials to put […]
The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) has published official translations of guidelines under the IDD relating to insurance-based investment products (IBIPs) which incorporate a structure that makes it difficult for the customer to understand the risks involved. In so doing, the guidelines seek to minimise risks of consumer detriment arising from mis-sold IBIPs. […]
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 has published a policy statement in response to feedback received from a consultation on depositing client money in unbreakable deposits. The consultation responded to difficulties faced by investment firms in depositing client money at banks. This was deemed to be partly due to the combined effects of the liquidity rules applicable to banks and […]
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published an extended version of MiFID II/MiFIR transitional transparency calculations (TTC) for equity and bond instruments. ESMA has added the applicable TTC for: equity instruments, traded for the first time on a trading venue between 13 September 2017 and 2 January 2018 (included); and bond instruments (except ETCs […]
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has published its Plan and Budget for 2018/2019. The Plan and Budget outlines the FSCS’s expected management costs and initial levy forecasts financial services firms will pay next year. The FSCS expects to levy the industry £336m, for the nine months to 31 March 2019, up from £320m in […]
The PRA postpones the introduction of its reporting proposals set out Pillar 2 liquidity consultation paper
The PRA has updates its webpage relating to its consultation paper on Pillar 2 liquidity (CP13/17). In its consultation paper, the PRA set out its proposals on a cash flow mismatch risk framework and other methodologies for assessing firms’ liquidity risk under the Pillar 2 liquidity framework. It also proposes drafting reporting rule changes and the […]
On 16 January 2018, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) published a report on the operational efficiency of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) crisis management for banks. The report states that although the ECB has established a substantial framework for crisis management and resources for the assessment of bank recovery plans and the supervision of […]
The EBA’s final Guidelines on disclosure requirements of IFRS 9 Following its consultation in July 2017, the European Banking Authority (EBA) has today published its final Guidelines on disclosure requirements of International Financial Reporting Standard 9 (IFRS 9) or expected credit losses (ECLs) transitional arrangements, specifying a uniform disclosure template institutions should use when disclosing […]
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 […]
Following its review of the contracts for difference (CFD) market, the FCA has written to the CEOs of providers and distributors of CFDs to highlight specific concerns. The letter warns that there are areas of serious concern regarding the following areas: target market identification, and alignment to the characteristics of the product; communication, oversight and […]
The FCA has published a legislative instrument that amends its Enforcement Guide to reflect the implementation of the Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products Regulation (PRIIPs Regulation). The changes to the Enforcement Guide outline the FCA’s approach to enforcement of the PRIIPs Regulation, and came into force on 4 January 2018.
AFME has published a revised post-trade due diligence questionnaire to help global custodians. The new version harmonises and simplifies the DD process and now includes 20 additional questions to the original 2016 questionnaire.
ESMA has published several lists of documents and information relating to MiFID 2. It has published: a public register of derivative contracts subject to the MiFIR trading obligation a list of trading venues temporarily exempted from open access under MiFIR and a first set of position management controls for commodity derivatives. It has also decided […]
The FCA has fined former Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) interest rate derivatives trader, Neil Danziger, £250,000 and has prohibited him from performing any function in relation to any regulated financial activity. The FCA found that Mr Danziger, who formerly worked at RBS trading products referenced to Japanese Yen LIBOR, was knowingly concerned in RBS’s failure to […]
Charles Randell CBE has been appointed the new chair of FCA and the PSR with effect from 1 April.
The FCA has published a consultation paper on aligning the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) levy time period (CP18/1). The FCA recently made changes to the FSCS funding arrangements as part of a broader review of FSCS funding, including to align the FSCS compensation levy year with the financial year. The FCA has since become […]
The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have published a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) setting out: the respective statutory regulatory responsibilities of the FRC and FCA; the arrangement for co-operation between the two bodies; and the exchange of relevant information. In addition, the MoU aims to aid, through clarity and transparency, understanding of the above […]
MiFID 2 implementation date has finally arrived. We have written an article to remind firms of the key changes and action points. FCA has also published a series of updates covering: transitional arrangements for trading venues, which confirms FCA has agreed a transitional arrangement for ICE Futures Europe and LME, such that the open access […]
The Commission has ruled the Swiss Exchange AG and BX Swiss AG as equivalent to regulated markets under MiFID 2.
Treasury has published the Building Societies (Restricted Transactions) (Amendment to the Limit on the Trade in Currencies) Order 2017. This Order increases the limit set out in section 9A of the Building Societies Act 1997 at which building societies can convert currency from £100,000 to £3 million, in order to better reflect the nature and […]
The European Securities and Markets Authority has published three consultation papers on draft technical standards implementing the Securitisation Regulation that is expected to be published by the end of this year. The matters addressed by the draft technical standards include requirements for the content and format of underlying exposures and investor report templates, and operational […]
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 advance of the implementation date for MiFID II on 3 January 2018, ESMA has issued a public statement that provides a form of 6 month transitional period for certain trading venues and certain legal persons, to support the introduction of Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) requirements. This includes provision that trading venues whose non-EEA issuer […]
The European Commission is proposing an overhaul of the prudential requirements for investment firms by bringing in a two track system. The largest, more systemically important firms will be subject to the same rules and requirements as banks; the other firms will be relieved from these more onerous requirements. The changes will be introduced by […]
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 (ESMA) has today published updated versions on its Questions and Answers (Q&As) relating to topics under the MiFID II Directive (2014/65/EU) and the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (Regulation 600/2014) (MiFIR). ESMA has added new Q&As covering: transparency and market structures; MiFID II and MiFIR investor protection and intermediaries […]
UK Finance has published guidance for firms on product governance and retail costs and charges under MiFID 2. The guidelines on product governance look at the “target market” criteria, which include recommendations on information exchange between manufacturers and distributors. UK Finance notes that MiFID 2 will have the effect of creating industry-wide renegotiations and has […]
The Commission has recognised a number of trading venues in the US, Australia and Hong Kong as equivalent for the purposes of the MiFID 2/ MiFIR share trading obligation. This follows publication in the OJEU of the decision of equivalence in relation to certain US swaps markets.
FCA has written a Dear CEO letter, expressing its concerns on the continued practice of “payment for order flow”. Despite FCA having criticised the practice in the past, it is aware that many brokers are still doing it, and are devising strategies to get round the even stricter MiFID 2 restrictions. FCA warns firms that […]
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.
The latest edition of Market Watch looks at: a reminder that an investment firm’s transaction report must reflect the transaction from its own perspective, reporting its immediate counterparty or client (whether or not subject to MiFIR). Whether to report at block or allocation level depends on what the immediate counterparty confirms as “executions” a reminder […]
The PRA has today published a policy statement on Pillar 2A requirements and disclosure (PS30/17), which provides feedback to the responses to the consultation paper ‘Pillar 2A requirements and disclosure’ (CP12/17). The PRA has also set out the final amendments to – the Supervisory Statement (SS) 31/15 ‘The Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process (ICAAP) and […]
At FCA’s Board meeting on & December, it made several new rule instruments, covering (among other things), several changes to take effect from 3 January 2018: minor changes relating to MiFID 2 implementation, including a new definition of “high frequency algorithmic trading technique”, amending various definitions relating to derivatives to ensure they reflect changes to […]
The Basel Committee has endorsed the final set of reforms to Basel III (referred to by some as Basel IV). These reforms will mainly affect the affect the methodologies used by banks in calculating risk weighted assets. It is expected that many banks will have increased capital requirements as a result. However, to soften the […]
The government has published the Risk Transformation Regulations 2017 (Regulations), which come into force on 8 December 2017, following publication of the draft text by HM Treasury in July. The Regulations enable the creation of a new form of body corporate: a “protected cell company,” which can act as a special purpose vehicle in Insurance […]
Megan Butler has spoken on the fundamental importance of co-ordination between national regulators, particularly in dealing with financial crime and cyber-threats. She looked at the particular benefits and risks that machine learning and algorithmic trading have brought. She stressed the importance of firms reporting material breaches, and the need to let FCA know when they […]
The UK government has published the answer to a written question asked of HM Treasury that reveals that they are in the process of negotiating amendments to the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive to bring virtual currency exchange platforms and custodian wallet providers into the AML regulatory framework, thereby bringing them within the scope of relevant […]
The decision to consider the legal and supervisory framework of the USA applicable to designated contract markets and swap execution facilities as equivalent to MiFIR standards under MiFIR has been published in the OJEU. The Annex to the decision names over 20 markets which are equivalent to EU trading venues.
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 […]
Treasury has made the PRIIPs Regulations 2017, which will come into force on 1 January 2018. The Regulations: designate FCA as the competent authority for the PRIIPs Regulation gives FCA powers where a person has infringed the PRIIPs requirements and sets out the extent of those powers and the procedure for using them provide for […]
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 […]
The International Association of Insurance Supervisors has opened a consultation on a draft paper setting out issues on Index-based Insurances. Index Based Insurances involve contracts where a claim is defined with reference to a pre-determined index. These are seen as a possible way forward for claims relating to weather related or natural catastrophe risk event […]
Two individuals have been found guilty of various offences relating to carrying on regulated activities without authorisation, false and misleading impressions and being a company director contrary to the Theft Act, in relation to an investment scheme which mis-sold shares to often vulnerable investors. Samrat Bhandari and Muhammed Mirza’s convictions follow the guilty pleas of […]
FCA’s latest Policy Development Update promises the following publications before the end of 2017: Policy Statement on formalisation of the debt concession for smaller credit unions Policy Statement on market infrastructure providers’ fee rates Policy Statement on the second consultation on FAMR implementation Policy Statement on the second IDD implementation consultation (with a PS on […]
FCA has announced the start of civil proceedings against Avacade Limited, which traded as Avacade Investment Options, and Alexandra Associates (U.K.) Limited, trading as Avacade Future Solutions, and against Craig Lummis, Lee Lummis and Raymond Fox. FCA says the firms provided a “pension report service” which, among other things, promoted SIPPs and alternative investments such […]
ESMA has published the results of its peer review on the guidelines on certain aspects of the compliance function under MiFID 1. The review covered a 2 year period and assessed the approaches of 31 NCAs. It included some on-site visits. While ESMA found some divergences in practice, it assessed 27 NCAs positively on their […]
The Bank of England (BoE) has published its financial stability report, issue number 42. The report sets out the Financial Policy Committee’s (FPC), a sub-committee of the BoE’s Court of Directors, views of the outlook for UK financial stability, including the assessment of the resilience of the UK financial system and the main risks to […]
The International Association of Insurance Supervisors has extended the deadline for submitting comments on various insurance core principles (ICPs) and the ComFrame material integrated with ICPs to: 15 January 2018 in respect of Revised ICP 8 (Risk Management and Internal Controls) and additional ComFrame material integrated with ICP 8; and 31 January 2018 in relation to revised ICPs […]
The FCA has confirmed that all 20 of the panel banks for LIBOR (the London Interbank Rate) have agreed to support the LIBOR benchmark, ensuring the sustainability of the rate until 2021. The confirmation follows Andrew Bailey’s, FCA Chief Executive, speech in July 2017, on the need for a transition period for LIBOR until the […]
We’ve written a briefing on recent regulatory warnings about ICOs, and how they may fall within the UK’s regulatory perimeter.
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 […]
ESMA has updated the FAQs on MAR. New questions address the requirements around managers’ transactions.
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 […]
ABI publishes guide to help firms identify and support vulnerable customers in the long term savings market
ABI has published a guide to help firms operating in the long term savings market better understand, identify and support customers who may be vulnerable, to ensure all customers are supported through the whole customer journey. The guide sets out principles, good practice and case studies. ABI recommends that firms: implement a vulnerability policy or […]
ESMA has issued: a further update to its FAQs on market structure issues under MiFID 2, including on DEA and tick sizes an update to its transparency FAQs, including new questions on a range of pre- and post-trade transparency issues and on third countries; and an update to its FAQs on MiFIR data reporting.
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) […]