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Financial Services - Regulatory & Risk

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BIS Consultation on 'A Competition Regime for Growth' – evolution or revolution?

16 March 2011

BIS has published for consultation detailed proposals on the reform of the competition regime in the UK.

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Unravelling trust transactions: advisers in the firing line

Published on 16 March 2011. By Simon Laird, Global Head of Insurance

Advisers can no longer expect trustees to mitigate unexpected losses by unravelling transactions under the Re Hastings Bass principle, leaving those advisers exposed to negligence claims.

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Another victim of the FSA's CASS crusade

Published on 15 March 2011.

The FSA today issued a Final Notice against ActivTrades Plc, a foreign exchange broker, that has been fined £85,754 for CASS breaches committed even after the high profile run of CASS cases in June last year.

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Gamekeeping, poaching and revolving doors

15 March 2011

Following on from Steven Francis' comments on the need for the FSA to appreciate the benefits of a revolving-door policy to its recruitment and retention of quality regulators,...

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TSC grills FSA on RDR

15 March 2011

Before the 9 March Treasury Select Committee (TSC) hearing on the RDR, Conservative MP Mark Garnier had promised to give FSA chief executive Hector Sants and chairman Adair Turner "hell".

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Damning criticism of the FSA - by the Chief Executive of the FSA

14 March 2011

In his recent speech on the new regulatory framework, the FSA's Chief Executive, Hector Sants, provided a damning critique of the FSA's past approach to consumer protection, effectively conceding the failure of the FSA's headline TCF initiative.

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Finality. Finally? Don't hold your breath…

Published on 10 March 2011.

Giving evidence to the Treasury Select Committee yesterday, FSA chief executive, Hector Sants conceded that the regulator is willing - if the Committee recommends - to re-examine whether a 15 year long-stop time bar should apply to financial services complaints.

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Gamekeepers and poachers should be friends

10 March 2011

We noted in August 2010 that staff were leaving the FSA in record numbers after the general election, including all three managing directors.

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Fuzzy-matching and the sanctions regimes

10 March 2011

Given the ongoing political unrest in the Middle East and the speed at which individuals, entities and entire regimes can be added to HM Treasury and OFAC's consolidated sanctions lists (most recently, Libya and Tunisia), ...

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Kaupthing arrests: will advisers be liable regardless?

Published on 09 March 2011.

The dramatic news today about dawn raids and nine arrests made by the SFO in London and Reykjavik at the culmination of a year-long investigation into Kaupthing's collapse will, regardless of the outcome of the criminal enquiries, have little bearing on any liabilities faced by advisers for complaints from clients who lost money in the collapse of the Icelandic bank.

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Blog

Going, going, gone concern

09 March 2011

The Chief Executive of the FSA in a recent speech has talked about how the new FCA will approach prudential regulation of those firms for which it is responsible. This includes all insurance brokers.

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The FSA's last risks warning

Published on 04 March 2011. By Richard Burger, Partner

The new FCA's focus will be 'conduct risk', "that is, the risk that firm behaviour will result in poor outcomes for customers."

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OFT promises faster enforcement kick off

03 March 2011

The OFT has published final Guidance setting out its process and procedures when undertaking Competition Act investigations.

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Equal treatment means just that – ECJ confirms invalidity of derogation from Gender Directive

01 March 2011

In a landmark judgment published today, the ECJ ruled that insurers cannot charge different premiums to women and men based on gender. As anticipated by us and the UK insurance market, the ECJ has agreed with the Advocate General's recommendations in the Test-Achats case.

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Gender Directive: will Sheilas' Wheels stop rolling?

Published on 01 March 2011.

The insurance industry anxiously awaits the European Court of Justice (ECJ) judgment in the Test-Achats case expected today.

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Publication of enforcement action: only after Warning Notice but still a bad idea

25 February 2011

On Thursday morning last week, I caused a stir with my reaction to the leaked news (in an FT interview) about the new FCA's planned approach to publication of enforcement cases.

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A slightly happier ending for non-deliberate market abuser

Published on 23 February 2011.

I wrote on 2 February about David Massey and his partial success before the Tribunal.

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Section 404 and the single firm

Published on 21 February 2011.

When the FSA decided against turning the endowments and PPI mis-selling problems into formal s.404 reviews (akin to the Pensions Review), it was assumed s.404 would remain in the regulatory tool-box; an idle threat that the FSA would struggle to put into action.

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Lloyds Bank's £500m problem is the first 'single firm consumer redress scheme'

Published on 21 February 2011.

Lloyds Bank announced today that it has agreed an estimated £500m 'customer review and contact programme' relating to potentially confusing information about the Halifax standard variable mortgage rate between 2004 and 2007.

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FSA does its little bit to help the Middle East

Published on 18 February 2011. By Richard Burger, Partner

Political instability in any country can result in sudden cash or asset movements out of the jurisdiction.

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FSA avoids April Fool!

17 February 2011

The FSA has announced that it will begin the process of reorganisation to create a new prudential business unit and consumer and markets business unit on 4 April.

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Meteor hit by arbitrary FOS decision

Published on 15 February 2011.

The industry press has reported that Meteor Asset Management had a complaint upheld by FOS about advice on Lehmans structured products because they apparently failed to disclose the downgrade in credit rating (to below Standard & Poor’s A+ grade) and, consequently, the advice was unsuitable thereafter.

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A victory for financial services firms who play by the rules

11 February 2011

In the recent case of Michael Duthie Wilson, PS Trustees Ltd v MF Global UK Limited, GNI Limited (In Members' Voluntary Liquidation) [2011] EWHC 138 (QB) it was held that financial investment brokers had complied with the COB rules when the Claimants as 'intermediate customers' and were not liable for trading losses suffered by them.

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Extended warranty cover plans in breach of s.19 FSMA

Published on 09 February 2011. By Richard Burger, Partner

The FSA's recent action in Re Digital Satellite Warranty Cover Ltd to wind up companies with 'public interest' petitions for carrying on insurance business without FSA authorisation, in breach of the general prohibition in s.19 FSMA, demonstrates its willingness to take robust action to tackle those who attack the perimeter by engaging in regulated activities without authorisation.

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An innocent crime? FSA's fine for market abuse halved by Upper Tribunal

Published on 02 February 2011.

The Upper Tribunal has ruled that the FSA was too harsh when fining a former banker for market abuse.

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The FSA sets new standards of professionalism

31 January 2011

The FSA's Policy Statement on professionalism (part of the RDR) was published on 20 January 2011.

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Legal Ombudsman swamped by complaints against claims management companies (CMCs)

Published on 27 January 2011. By Graham Reid, Legal Direcor, Professional Regulation

The Legal Ombudsman, which launched in October 2010 under rules similar to the FOS' DISP regime, recently reported to a professional negligence conference that some 20,000 enquiries were received in its first few months.

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CASS pain for BarCap

Published on 26 January 2011.

The FSA has fined Barclays Capital for client money breaches.

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Nick Clegg champions FoI at FOS

07 January 2011

In a speech today, Nick Clegg championed freedom of information (FoI) at the FOS:

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