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 […]
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 […]
The Single Financial Guidance Body (SFGB) was launched on 3 January 2019. It brings together three existing providers of financial guidance – the Money Advice Service, the Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise – to form a “one-stop shop”. The SFGB’s core functions will be: pensions guidance on workplace and personal pensions money guidance to […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
The CMA has announced a range of reforms to the investment consultancy and fiduciary management sector after finding competition problems. This follows an extensive market investigation into the sector which started last year, at the request of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The CMA’s final report sets out a number of changes to deal with its […]
The Cost Transparency Initiative (CTI) has been established to deliver templates to help institutional investors to access and assess information on costs. The CTI will run a pilot to test the new cost transparency templates and supporting technical and communications materials until January 2019. Following the pilot, it will roll out the templates to the asset management […]
FCA has published the key findings from its recent information gathering exercise on pension transfer advice. This year it has collected information from an additional 45 firms and visited 18 of them. It found less than half the advice given was suitable and FCA is very disappointed that firms are still failing to give suitable […]
Directors should receive pension contributions in line with the rate given to the majority of the rest of the workforce, according to new Principles of Remuneration published by the Investment Association (IA). The IA has updated its executive pay guidelines in response to investor concerns that companies are not listening, or responding, to shareholders over […]
The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) is consulting on proposals to create an industry-led system of multiple dashboards which will allow millions of people to access their pension facts and figures from most pension schemes in one place online. The government is proposing that the Single Financial Guidance Body (which will replace the Money […]
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 […]
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 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 latest edition of Ombudsman News looks at complaints and trends around pensions. Complaints about pensions make up a very small proportion of all complaints, but as a pension is so important to consumers, FOS has focussed on assessing what it sees as the key rights, and included case studies on complaints involving defined benefit to […]
FCA’s latest Handbook Notice heralds just one set of rule changes. The changes are to COBS, PERG and examination standards in respect of pension advisers providing suitable advice to consumers about whether to transfer from safeguarded benefits to flexible benefits.
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 FCA and the Pensions Regulator have published a joint strategy outlining how they will work together to address changes in the pensions and retirement income sector. The joint strategy sets out four areas of focus: access and participation, funding and investments, governance and administration, and consumer understanding and decision-making. The Regulators have prioritised the […]
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 […]
FCA has published feedback and final rules and guidance following its consultation on improving the quality of pension transfer advice. Since the introduction of “pension freedoms” in 2015 members have had more options available to them in terms of accessing their defined contribution (DC) pension savings. This has resulted in a substantial increase in the number of […]
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 […]
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 […]
The FCA and the Pensions Regulator have launched a joint advertising campaign to raise awareness of pension scams, following research they have conducted which shows that pension scam victims each lost an average of £91,000 in 2017. The campaign, ScamSmart, is aimed at individuals aged 45-65 who are the group most at risk of pension […]
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 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 […]
Treasury is consulting on a proposed ban on cold calling in relation to pensions. The consultation is a technical consultation on the wording of the legislation necessary to implement the ban, as the policy decision has already been taken following earlier consultation. The consultation period lasts only until 17 August, and Treasury hopes to lay […]
CMA has published a report proposing several reforms to allay its concerns over competition in the investment consultancy and fiduciary management sectors. CMA was concerned that: many pension schemes (around half) choose the same provider for fiduciary management that they use for investment consultancy. CMA is concerned the investment consultant can encourage this and it means […]
The FCA has launched a consultation on a package of measures designed to protect consumers, improve engagement and promote competition in the retirement income market. Alongside the consultation, the FCA has published the final report of its Retirement Outcomes Review, an investigation into how the pensions and retirement income sector has been working since the […]
FCA confirms that pension schemes will not need to start clearing OTC derivatives when EMIR exemption expires on 16 August 2018
On 3 July 2018, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a statement on the clearing obligations for pension scheme arrangements under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). EMIR introduced a temporary exemption for certain pension schemes from the obligation to clear their OTC derivative contracts to allow time for a suitable technical solution […]
Charles Randell, the recently appointed Chair of the FCA and the PSR, has delivered a speech, in which he discussed the increasing dominance of algorithms in our day to day lives, and noted some of the consequent issues that will need to be grappled with, as the rise of Big Data, AI and machine learning […]
The Bank of England, the PRA and FCA have published a joint discussion paper on its approach to improve operational resilience in the financial sector. The regulators envisage that boards and senior managers can achieve better standards of operational resilience through increased focus on setting, monitoring and testing specific impact tolerances for key business services. […]
The Government has released a consultation document as part of its programme of change for defined benefit pension schemes. Protecting Defined Benefit Pension Schemes – A Stronger Pensions Regulator contains proposals to give the Pensions Regulator (tPR) increased ability to monitor corporate transactions and sets out “a robust framework for punitive measures to deter and […]
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 […]
The Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission have published an updated bill that proposes an expansion to the concept of insurable interest for life-related insurance. By using the term ‘life-related insurance’, the bill intends to create a wider category of insurance than just traditional life insurance, thereby also covering other forms of insurance which […]
ESMA has issued a statement confirming that the six month grace period granted to those required by MiFIR to have a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI), will end on 2 July 2017. ESMA will now work with national competent authorities to develop a supervision action plan which focuses on compliance with LEI reporting requirements.
The Chief Executive of the Pensions Regulator (TPR), Lesley Titcomb, is stepping down at the end of her four year term in February 2019. Since she became Chief Executive in 2015, TPR has focused on becoming a more visible and proactively engaged regulator with the aim of ensuring that pension scheme members receive the benefits […]
Carillion’s rise and spectacular fall was a story of “recklessness, hubris and greed”. Last week, the Work and Pensions Committee and the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee published the final report of their joint inquiry into the collapse of Carillion – a “giant and unsustainable corporate time bomb”. If, as the report states, Carillion […]
The Upper Tribunal has decided that it is reasonable for the Pensions Regulator to require companies from the corporate group of ITV to provide support for the Box Clever Group Pension Scheme. The scheme has 2,800 members and a funding deficit of around £115 million. Box Clever was formed in 2000 as a joint venture […]
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has agreed to pay contributions of up to £3.5 billion to its pension scheme in readiness for UK ring-fencing legislation taking effect from 1 January 2026. RBS has agreed a Memorandum of Understanding with the trustee of the Main Scheme of the RBS Group Pension Fund under which it will […]