The Financial Stability Board has published its work programme for the forthcoming year. The areas upon which it intends to focus are: addressing emerging vulnerabilities in the financial system; working with standard-setting bodies to finalise and opererationalise post-crisis reforms; monitor the completion of reforms implementation; and evaluate the effect of the post-crisis reforms.
As part of the preparation for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, the FCA has agreed MoUs with ESMA and with EU and NCAs, covering supervision, enforcement and information exchange, including in relation to credit rating agencies and trade repositories.
FCA and PRA are consulting on the management expenses levy limit (MELL) for FSCS for the 2019/2020 year. They propose an increase of 2.4% over the current year with a levy for FSCS management expenses of £74.6m and an unlevied contingency reserve of £5m. The consultation includes a breakdown of costs between fee blocks. Responses […]
The Treasury has written to the Treasury Committee enclosing a draft of secondary legislation that would give temporary transitional powers to the UK financial regulators in the event of a no-deal Brexit that would enable firms and the financial markets to function properly while requirements stemming from EU laws are embedded into UK laws. The […]
As the FCA prepares for the extension of SMCR to most solo-regulated firms next December, it is consulting on a few areas regarding the existing regime for banks and large insurers previously identified as wanting attention. The proposals set out in CP19/4 include: excluding the legal function from the scope of SMCR; amend the scope of […]
A set of oral evidence given to the Treasury Committee includes statements from FCA that: it is now content on how to interpret the mortgage affordability test compliantly with the MCD and now plans to consult on changing it from an absolute test to a relative test; it will be carrying out perimeter work on SME lending […]
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.
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 Treasury Committee has welcomed FCA’s new commitment to consulting on rule changes which will allow the estimated 120,000 “mortgage prisoners” who are with unregulated firms and 20,000 with firms that are inactive, to switch to active lenders. FCA has already acted to help the lesser number of mortgage prisoners who were with active firms. The […]
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 […]
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’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 […]
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. […]
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 […]
After investigating a “super-complaint” raised by Citizens Advice that companies were penalising existing customers by charging them higher prices than new customers, the CMA has today published its 8 recommendations to help resolve this issue in 5 markets. “Loyalty penalty” refers to longstanding customers paying a lot more than new customers for the same services. […]
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.
PRA and FCA are consulting on new reporting requirements for mortgage lenders and home finance administrators. Both regulators think there are areas in which they need data from firms additional to that which is currently being reported. The changes will affect the MLAR and PSD returns. Key proposals include that: mortgage administrators should submit PSD […]
A Court has found in favour of the lender in a case brought by a couple who entered into a 5 year interest only loan through a broker, which they met repayments on but were ultimately unable to repay the capital. The claimants said that the lender, Godiva, should have realised that a claim on the […]
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 […]
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 FCA has published the outcome of its thematic review into the treatment of customers with long-term mortgage arrears. While in general it found that firms treated such customers appropriately, it did note areas for improvement and inconsistencies in management practices. The FCA recommends that firms that offer or administer mortgages should read the review, […]
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.
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 […]
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 a super-complaint by the Citizens Advice bureau, the CMA has announced that it is seeking views on concerns about long term customers paying more for goods and services. The CMA has identified four key issues to which it invites responses by 14 October 2018: the existence, impact and root causes of a ‘loyalty penalty’ […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 FCA has published its findings of the review of how Non-deposit Taking Mortgage Lenders (NDTMLs) and Mortgage Third-Party Administrators (MTPAs) handle complaints. In particular the review looked at how NDTMLs and MTPAs treat their customers, whether their complaint handling arrangements pose any potential consumer harm, and how they could handle complaints better. The FCA found that overall […]
The Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking has written to Andrew Bailey of the FCA in the wake of the FCA’s announcement that it was unable to take further action in relation to its investigation of RBS’ treatment of business customers. The letter calls for further information and action on a […]
UK Finance has announced that together with the Building Societies Association and the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association, it has agreed common standards to help existing mortgage borrowers on a lender’s reversion rates to switch to a better deal in certain circumstances. The cross-industry commitment follows the FCA’s Mortgage Market Study interim report, which identified a small […]
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 […]
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 […]
FCA has published a paper looking at how it should approach fairness in price discrimination in financial services. It notes that price discrimination is not in itself unfair as practices such as student discounts are widely accepted. But others are more controversial, such as where longstanding customers receive a worse deal than new ones. Views […]
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. […]
We recently wrote an article for Compliance Monitor setting out themes from recent FCA thematic reviews.
The FCA has published a progress report on its ongoing Strategic Review of Retail Banking Business Models. The purpose of the Review is to consider the sources of competitive advantage that may have helped the major banks retain their market share, and from that analysis consider the potential for change and the impact of that […]
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 […]
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 […]
The FCA’s Director of Supervision, Jonathan Davidson, has delivered a talk on Building Societies and the Future of Retail Banking at the Building Societies annual conference. In his speech, Jonathan raised the issue of whether the historically low repossession rates was actually a concerning indication: whether forbearance should be offered in cases where the borrower […]
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 […]
FCA’s latest Policy Development Update promises over the next couple of months the overdue feedback on fees and levies policy proposals with consultation on rates proposals. No dates are set for any other key papers.
FCA has published its interim report into the mortgage market. Although it is pleased with how competition is working to the benefit of many people, it has made some suggestions for improvement. It found that there are generally high levels of choice for consumers and that consumers engage with their options, with evidence of switching […]
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 […]
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 […]
The FCA and PRA have, separately, published consultation papers on regulated fees and levies for 2018/19. In its consultation paper, the FCA sets out the proposed 2018/19 regulatory fees and levies for itself, the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Money Advice Service, the Pension Wise service and HM Treasury’s illegal money lending expenses. The FCA also […]
The Court of Appeal has recently upheld the judgements of lower courts in a case where a loan was entered into on the express representation from the borrower that the property would not be used as a residence. When the borrower defaulted, it sought to argue that, despite having completed a question on the application […]
The European Banking Authority (EBA) has published a Consultation Paper on the application of the existing Joint Committee Guidelines on complaints-handling to authorities competent for supervising new institutions under the Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD) and the Payment Services Directive (PSD2). The deadline for comments is 27 May 2018.
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 FCA has published a speech by Andrew Bailey, FCA Chief Executive, on transforming culture in financial services. Mr Bailey highlights the following issues: work on firm culture is an important priority for the FCA; essays in the FCA’s Discussion Paper on transforming culture in financial services indicate that culture is about encouraging and incentivising good things, […]
As part of its ongoing work on culture and governance, the FCA has published a discussion paper, comprising a series of essays from academics and industry thought leaders covering: what a ‘good’ culture might look like; the role of regulation and regulators; how firms might go beyond incentives; and how to change behaviour for the […]
As part of its preparation for Brexit, the Government announced in December 2017 that it would, if necessary, introduce legislation to enable a ‘temporary permission’ scheme for EEA firms and funds which, following Brexit, can no longer rely on their passporting rights to do business in the UK. The FCA has published a survey to […]
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.
Andrew Bailey has written to the Treasury Select Committee setting out a summary of the powers “FCA does not have”. It has been asked many questions in the context of the RBS GRG investigation. The letter sets out: FCA’s basic remit over regulated activities and its role as the UKLA as well as its powers […]
The 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 […]
The FCA has published a thematic review (TR18/1) on the fair treatment of existing interest-only mortgage customers. The FCA has been examining the fair treatment of customers with interest-only mortgages and has been looking at how lenders are working to help customers avoid the potential harm of non-repayment at maturity. In summary, the FCA found that: […]
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; […]
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 FCA has published an Insight article that considers who is driving consumer credit growth. Although regulators have relied upon aggregate data from larger lenders to monitor which lenders are driving credit growth, there are important gaps. For example, they do not include less-mainstream products that people with low incomes often rely on; and do not […]
Charles Randell CBE has been appointed the new chair of FCA and the PSR with effect from 1 April.
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 […]
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 announced it is to offer financial support for the development of an application to allow those who rent properties to record and share their rent payment data, with a view to this helping them to improve their credit scores. It is inviting bids to its “Rent Recognition Challenge”, which will open to applications […]
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 published its annual consultation paper on regulatory fees and levies. Key proposals include: the proposed tariff data FCA will use to calculate insurers’ FCA periodic fees and the FOS levies, building on PRA’s proposals; updating its financial penalty scheme; and how to treat consumer hire agreements in relation to credit-related income. FCA also […]
Following the appointment in 2016 by the House of Lords of a Select Committee to investigate financial exclusion and access to mainstream financial services, the Committee published its final report, ‘Tackling Financial Exclusion: A Country that works for everyone‘ in March 2017 (Report). This Report made 22 recommendations to address financial exclusion and access, including […]
On 8 November, the Treasury Committee announced the launch of a new inquiry that will examine problematic indebtedness, inter-generational issues, lifetime financial planning and the effectiveness of the market in financing solutions and products to low income households. The Chair of the Treasury Committee, Rt. Hon. Nicky Morgan, indicated that the scope will include: what […]
For the first time in more than 10 years the Bank of England (BoE) has raised interest rates. At its meeting on 1 November, the BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted by a majority of 7-2 to increase the official bank rate from 0.25% to 0.5%. Although households will face higher mortgage interest payments after the […]
Following its December 2016 consultation for views on how FSCS funding could be reformed, FCA has published a further consultation paper seeking to ensure FSCS continues to provide the right protections, works effectively and is funded fairly. Proposals under consultation include: Merging the Life and Pensions and Investment Intermediation funding classes; Requiring product providers to […]
FCA has published a paper on the purpose and scope of its review of the business models used in the retail banking sector. It is now considering what evidence it can best gather to understand: the state of competition and conduct in the markets; how free-if-in-credit banking is paid for and its effects on different […]
In line with its 2017/18 Business Plan, FCA has begun its thematic review of the debt management sector. FCA has taken a particular interest in this sector, owing to the increased risks faced by (particularly vulnerable) consumers where firms fail to meet their needs. In 2014, FCA declared that debt management firms needed to “raise their game” if they […]
After collecting responses from over 13,000 UK consumers, FCA has revealed the results of its largest tracking survey of consumer behaviour and use of retail financial products and services. Aiming to tell the financial story for six age demographics (and key themes of each life stage), the survey found that 50% of the adult population shows one […]
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 […]
FCA has published an Occasional Paper looking at the ageing population and financial services. FCA’s research has found there is a risk that the financial services needs of older people are not being fully met, and thinks there is potential for firms to do more to help them. It has identified several issues which will […]
FCA’s latest Handbook Notice confirms it has made rules amending: TC to update the qualification table COBS and MCOB in respect of the smarter communications initiative, in particular to address the risks of over-disclosure COBS to enable governance bodies of relevant pension schemes to get information to allow them to assess transaction costs the Listing […]
FCA’s latest Quarterly Consultation Paper covers: amendments to FEES in respect of fees when firms apply for a VOP for provision of payment initiation and account services. FCA needs to charge fees as it has realised it will need to apply more resource to these applications than it does to standard VOPs. DEPP and EG in respect […]
Alex Brazier, Executive Director of BoE delivers a speech entitled: ‘Debt Strikes Back’ or ‘The Return of the Regulator’?
Alex Brazier, Executive Director (Financial Stability) at BoE has delivered a speech in which he considers the recent developments in household debt, how that debt can pose dangers to the wider economy, and the three lines of defence put in place by regulators to guard against those dangers. Mr Brazier observed that in the past […]
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 […]
UK Finance (the new industry association including, among others, the BBA) has updated its Access to Banking Standards in relation to bank branch closures. It is hoped that these changes will help banks provide customers with clear, understandable, accessible documentation and information about that specific closure and how they can continue to bank after the branch has closed […]