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Financial Services - Regulatory & Risk

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FSA secures first conviction for boiler room fraud

22 June 2011

The FSA recently secured its first criminal conviction for boiler room fraud. At Southwark Crown Court, David Mason pleaded guilty to:

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Law Society anti-bribery guide useful for non-lawyers

20 June 2011

The Law Society has recently published a guidance note on the Bribery Act 2010 and how its member firms should comply with the Act.

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Treasury plans reduction in burden of the Money Laundering Regulations by decriminalisation

20 June 2011

HM Treasury has recently proposed amendments to the Money Laundering Regulations to encourage a risk based approach to anti money laundering compliance and thereby reduce the regulatory burden on SMEs.

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Lloyd's Managing Agents faced with four separate anti-bribery reporting obligations

20 June 2011

The recent Lloyd's Market Bulletin on the Bribery Act is an excellent guide for Managing Agents, but it suggests that in the event of an incident of bribery (or even suspected bribery) the Managing Agents may need to make as many as four separate reports about their suspicions:

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Financial Services Bill – FOS naming and shaming could harm blameless businesses

17 June 2011

The FOS, under proposed new legislation set out in yesterday’s draft Financial Services Bill, would be required to publish reports on its determinations into consumer complaints, naming and potentially shaming businesses involved.

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National Crime Agency: an FBI for the UK?

16 June 2011

The recent speculation that the SFO would be wound up (as discussed in my earlier blog) has somewhat over-shadowed the plans for a National Crime Agency (NCA).

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Timing is everything... but not in the fight against bribery and corruption!

16 June 2011

With the implementation of the Bribery Act only two weeks away, absolutely the last thing that should have been of concern was the break up of the lead anti-corruption investigator and prosecutor, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

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Resolving PPI complaints – pay them all, defend in Court or request a FOS hearing?

14 June 2011

Barclays announced yesterday that it will reimburse all customers who complained about the sale of their PPI before 20 April in full (plus 8% interest) without any further investigation of the individual claims.

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Cost of 'root cause' rule changes unknown

03 June 2011

The FSA's confirmation that the PPI complaints handling guidance relating to root cause analysis will be applied to all complaints handling from 1 September has clarified what the FSA expects of firms.

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Blog

Richard Burger appointed Partner at RPC

03 June 2011

As Head of RPC's Regulatory Group, I am delighted to announce the appointment of Richard Burger as Partner.

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FOS maximum award limit to rise to £150k

02 June 2011

A month later than planned, the FSA announced on 27 May that the proposals set out in CP 10/21 would be implemented.

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Decline in FSA performance against service standards – as expected

31 May 2011

At a time when financial services firms are not only under more scrutiny from the FSA but also require their regulator to be as effective and efficient as possible, the FSA's level of performance has declined.

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Bank of Scotland fined for root cause failings

27 May 2011

Far sooner than I expected, on Wednesday the FSA sent a strong message to the complaints handlers in every regulated firm that the rules on root cause analysis mean what they say.

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Final responses by 1 June for complaints for over £100k

25 May 2011

There is likely to be a small but not insignificant flurry of final responses sent before 1 June regarding high value complaints as firms try to avoid the likely increase in the FOS award limit from £100k to £150k which will apply from January 2012.

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Director of SFO talks tough on corrupt foreign companies

25 May 2011

Richard Alderman, Director of the SFO, says he will use the Bribery Act to tackle corrupt foreign companies as the SFO's top priority.

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FSA suitability seminar: 'capacity for loss' is key

20 May 2011

Yesterday's FSA Retail Conduct Risk Seminar on assessing suitability went under the title 'Establishing the risk a customer is willing and able to take and making a suitable investment selection'.

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OFT confirms a lack of competition amongst UK auditors

19 May 2011

The OFT announced on Tuesday its provisional conclusion that features of the audit market were not working well, stating its intention to consult further on whether the matter should be referred to the Competition Commission for an in-depth investigation.

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A prudent approach to regulation

19 May 2011

The Bank of England and the FSA have today published a paper explaining the approach the new Prudential Regulation Authority will take to the regulation of deposit takers – banks, building societies, credit unions and investment firms.

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FOS complains about 'entrenched', 'legalistic' positions

18 May 2011

In celebrating the achievement of dealing with a million frontline enquiries, Chief Ombudsman, Natalie Ceeney notes in today's annual review for 2010/11 that there are encouraging signs of improvements in (non-PPI) complaints handling.

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CASS crusade gets personal: CF10 fined and banned

17 May 2011

The FSA's commitment to personal enforcement action as part of its senior management responsibility drive was confirmed today by the publication of the Final Notice against David McGrath, formerly of ActivTrades.

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EU warning to financial services industry to keep its house in order

16 May 2011

EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia today warned that ex ante regulation of the financial services industry is no substitute for competition compliance.

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BBA abandons PPI judicial review

13 May 2011

The BBA statement - that the banks will not appeal the judicial review decision in BBA v FSA & FOS - refers to "matters of important principle which we will be taking forward in other ways with the authorities".

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Meteor launches judicial review of FOS ruling

06 May 2011

I read with interest yesterday's industry press reports that Meteor Asset Management is to launch a judicial review of an adverse FOS award relating to Lehmans structured products - but I wonder if it will get off the ground.

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Lloyds Banking Group sets aside £3.2bn for PPI as rules bite

05 May 2011

Shocking estimates of the likely increased costs to the industry of PPI mis-selling arising from changes to the PPI complaints handling and root cause rules look set to be surpassed.

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Blog

FSA report into RBS - whose report is it anyway?

04 May 2011

The continuing excitement about the FSA's report into the (near) collapse of RBS may be a storm in a teacup but it raises an interesting issue about the rights to similar reports and publicity.

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FOS to award 'distress and inconvenience' compensation for unsuccessful complaints

28 April 2011

Today's Ombudsman News leads with a plea to resolve PPI complaints following the High Court's ruling in BBA v FSA & FOS and includes a note about awarding compensation for 'distress and inconvenience' even where the underlying complaint is not upheld.

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CAT sheathes its claws after final construction appeals

28 April 2011

The Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) has now handed down its judgment in respect of the final three cases in appeals brought by 25 construction companies against fines levied by the OFT.

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UCIS - unregulated and misunderstood

27 April 2011

The FSA's thematic work on UCIS has reached the enforcement stage, demonstrating the FSA's focus on those that misunderstood the promotion rules.

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Bribery Act systems and controls - start with a risk assessment

14 April 2011

Companies have until 1 July 2011 to put in place anti-bribery systems and controls. There is some confusion though over what this entails.

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FSA fines increase again - more 'crime'? Or just more 'punishment'?

12 April 2011

The latest twelve-month figure for the total of FSA fines has risen again.

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Lloyds Banking Group – opportunist knocked?

12 April 2011

The Independent Commission on Banking, chaired by Sir John Vickers, published its long awaited report yesterday.

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No 'Red Tape Challenge' for financial services

11 April 2011

The Government launched last week its Red Tape Challenge with no mention of financial services regulation.

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OFT Annual Plan – Focus on economic growth

08 April 2011

The OFT's Annual Plan for 2011/2012, published on 31 March 2011, set out its priorities for the coming year and in the context of budget reductions of 25% over four years.

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RPC's Financial Services Update - April 2011

07 April 2011

Our Financial Services Update (April 2011 edition) is now available. It includes:

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Legal regulation catching up - and fast

07 April 2011

Yesterday saw the first publication of the SRA's "Handbook". The adoption of FSA terminology and approach continues.

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Who's watching the London Insurance Market?

05 April 2011

As anticipated back in February, the FSA's restructure in anticipation of the new split between the PRA and the FCA came into operation yesterday.

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Money Advice Service - costs lots of money but provides no specific advice

04 April 2011

The FSA today launched its rebranded Moneymadeclear and Consumer Financial Education Body as the Money Advice Service which will cost the industry £43.7m this year.

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FSA warns firms about outsourcing of transaction monitoring

01 April 2011

FSA regulated firms must comply with their transaction reporting obligations and ensure adequate procedures are in place to check the accuracy of their reports to the FSA.

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Complaints data is meaningless out of context

30 March 2011

Statisticians will say that today's publication by the FSA of its half-yearly complaints data on firms provides a useful insight into firms' behaviours.

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Bribery Act guidance finally published

30 March 2011

After several refusals, the Bribery Act guidance has finally made it over the fence. The revised guidance should not come as a great surprise to UK plc; least of all to the FSA regulated sector which has been geared up to tackle the risks of bribery and corruption since at least 2009 and the FSA's thematic reviews in this area.

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CMCs exposed to FOS and FSA attack under MoUs with CMR

29 March 2011

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) published last week between the FOS and the Claims Management Regulator (CMR) may help respondent firms to deal effectively with perceived misconduct by CMCs.

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Lack of controlled IT function - glitch delays FSA implementation of Approved Person rules

28 March 2011

The FSA announced last week it was delaying the implementation of its new rules on Controlled Functions because it had been unable to complete the necessary changes to its Online Notifications and Applications (ONA) system to process the new Controlled Function applications and notifications.

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FSA lays down law for CASS audits

25 March 2011

The FSA has turned its concerns about auditors' client assets reports into action with new rules and a clear policy statement. Client assets will remain a regulatory priority.

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Budget 2011: Focus on tax relief and avoidance / evasion

25 March 2011

As anticipated, this week's budget has targeted high net worth (HNW) individuals through its clampdown on tax relief and avoidance schemes.

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CAT mauls OFT's fining policy

22 March 2011

The OFT suffered a significant setback when the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) recently handed down its judgment on appeals by construction companies against fines levied by the OFT, undermining its 'minimum deterrence threshold'.

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Blog

What is suitability?

21 March 2011

Many mis-selling claims turn on whether or not the investment recommended was suitable.

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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

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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