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Financial Services - Regulatory & Risk

Blog

FCA success in the High Court: Compensation of £16.9m awarded to misled investors

Published on 16 April 2018. By Lucy Kerr, Senior Associate

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A five-year court battle between the Financial Conduct Authority ("FCA") and Capital Alternatives Limited concluded on 26 March 2018 when the High Court used its restitution powers under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 to award compensation to investors who lost money invested with Capital Alternatives.

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Blog

ESMA cracks down on the sale of binary options and CFDs to retail investors

Published on 29 March 2018. By Lucy Kerr, Senior Associate

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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has announced its intention to prohibit the sale of binary options to retail investors and to place restrictions on the sale of contracts for difference (CFDs). This is the first use of ESMA's new intervention powers under MiFID II.

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Blog

FCA reviews approach to enforcement and penalties

Published on 28 March 2018. By Ashley Daniells, Associate and Sarah Dowding, Senior Associate

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The FCA has announced plans in its recent consultation paper on enforcement to review how it applies penalties which have gone from record highs to record lows over the past 5 years.

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Blog

Frederick & Others v Positive Solutions Limited – a win for principals on vicarious liability

Published on 14 March 2018. By David Allinson, Senior Associate and Lucy Joyce, Senior Associate

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The Court of Appeal has reinforced the idea that liability will only attach to a principal in cases where a tort committed by an agent can be shown to have been completed as an integral part of the business activities of the principal. Furthermore, all elements composing the tort must take place within the course of the agency. The case thickens the lines defining what conduct of an agent could lead to recovery from the principal.

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Blog

Changes on the horizon - FCA consults on non-workplace pensions

Published on 22 February 2018. By Rachael Healey, Partner

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The FCA has issued a discussion paper targeted at the non-workplace pension market. The paper marks the start of the FCA's work looking at whether there is harm in the non-workplace pension market and to better understand the potential presence, nature, extent and cause of any harm.

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Blog

Privilege: A welcome respite from ENRC?

Published on 05 February 2018. By Davina Given, Partner and Mafruhdha Miah, Trainee Solicitor

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Are interviews held with employees to prepare a report intended to deter a governmental authority from taking legal action privileged?

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Blog

ESMA to use new powers to attack the sale of CFDs and binary bets to retail investors

Published on 25 January 2018. By Lucy Kerr, Senior Associate

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ESMA has launched a public consultation on measures to protect retail investors investing in contracts for difference (CFDs) and binary bets. Potential changes include wide-ranging restrictions on the marketing and sale of CFDs, and a complete prohibition on the sale of binary bets to retail investors. An intervention would mark ESMA's first use of its new powers under MiFID II, which came into force on 3 January.

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Blog

FOS consultation on SME access to Ombudsman service

Published on 23 January 2018. By David Allinson, Senior Associate

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The FCA is currently consulting on proposed new rules to allow larger small and medium sized enterprises to refer complaints to the FOS.

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Blog

The FCA pledges to take action against providers of contracts for difference

Published on 12 January 2018. By Lucy Kerr, Senior Associate

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The FCA has concluded that consumers are at "serious risk of harm" due to the poor practices of some providers and distributors of CFDs. The regulator will take further action against at least one firm in its latest crack-down on these "complex, high-risk" products.

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Blog

Thoughts on the FCA's fund fee transparency proposals

Published on 11 January 2018.

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Alternative investment funds may soon be required to report total cost of ownership in a standardised form. Work on new templates in ongoing, and fund managers need to be aware of the situation and to be involved in this important debate that has so far been largely overlooked.

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Blog

Initial Coin Offerings – the digital financing process under global scrutiny

Published on 08 December 2017. By Rachel Ford, Associate

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In an era of social media platforms and the like, the technological world creeps into its corporate counterpart of today. Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) storm the corporate world by force, but what does the future hold for the new phenomenon?

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Blog

FCA revisits FSCS funding proposals, and abandons plans for significant changes to professional indemnity insurance requirements

Published on 01 November 2017. By Robert Morris, Partner

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The FCA has published a second consultation paper on the thorny subject of FSCS funding. Although not widely reported so far, the new consultation makes it clear that the FCA will not, after all, consult on significant changes to personal investment firms' professional indemnity insurance requirements.

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Blog

FCA allows confidential report to be scrutinised by Treasury Select Committee

31 October 2017

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The FCA has allowed the Treasury Select Committee to review its s.166 report into RBS' Global Restructuring Group (GRG) and has published an interim summary of the report. It is possible that the threat of publication will play on the minds of firms subject to s.166 reports, which may reduce cooperation with skilled persons and therefore the efficacy of this investigatory power.

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Blog

The FCA makes clear its expectations of financial advisers

Published on 18 October 2017. By Charlotte Thompson, Associate

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FCA, regulatory, financial services

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Blog

Are there dark clouds on the horizon for SIPP providers?

Published on 17 October 2017. By David Allinson, Senior Associate

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According to Citywire, the FCA is poised to complete further supervisory work on the SIPP industry with a specific focus on non-standard investments. We understand that the FCA has questioned SIPP providers on the number of high risk investments they hold following a spate of complaints about such products in recent years.

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Blog

FCA criticised by Complaints Commissioner for its handling of enforcement limitation issues

Published on 04 October 2017. By Lucy Kerr, Senior Associate

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The Office of the Complaints Commissioner recently upheld two complaints against the FCA for making a "serious mistake" in its management of limitation issues for two connected investigations. The Commissioner criticised the FCA not only for its mismanagement of the limitation issue, but also for the unnecessary delays in concluding its own internal investigation into these complaints.

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Blog

DB Transfers - now what?

Published on 04 October 2017. By Rachael Healey, Partner

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We know that the FCA is looking closely at defined benefit transfers; we already have the FCA's review of redress methodology and the defined benefit transfer rules. We now have the results of the FCA's review, into defined benefit transfers and it makes for uncomfortable reading for the financial services industry.

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Publication

The FCA: key themes for 2017/18

Published on 29 September 2017. By Lucy Kerr, Senior Associate

A look at key developments for the FCA in 2017 and looking forward to 2018

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Blog

MiFID II & Inducements

Published on 21 September 2017. By Matthew Watson, Associate

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FCA MiFiD Inducements Consultation Paper

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Publication

FCA makes maiden market investigation reference

Published on 20 September 2017. By Lambros Kilaniotis, Partner and Melanie Musgrave, Senior Associate and James Mee, Partner and Alun Marriott, Managing Partner - RPC Consulting

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Blog

A level playing Field?

Published on 31 August 2017. By David Allinson, Senior Associate

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Frank Field's Work and Pensions Select Committee is intending to review the impartiality of defined benefit pension transfer advice. What could this mean for the advisory industry and its PI insurers?

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Blog

SIPP complaints to FOS still on the up

Published on 30 August 2017. By Rachel Ford, Associate

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Complaints to the FOS about SIPPs continue to rise, having sky rocketed in the first quarter of 2017.

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Blog

PSR issues public censure on payment system operator

Published on 15 August 2017. By Charles Buckworth, Partner

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The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has recently announced its first enforcement outcome, as it issued a public censure against a payment system operator.

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Blog

Could 'clickstream data' put firms' websites in the spotlight?

Published on 08 August 2017. By Rachael Ellis, Associate

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Rachael Ellis considers the FCA's use of clickstream data to examine customers' engagement with charges information.

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Blog

No duty of care owed when conducting a redress procedure

Published on 04 August 2017. By Rachael Healey, Partner

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The Court of Appeal has found that banks did not owe a duty of care when conducting a past business review (PBR) of previous sales of interest rate hedging products. Although the decision is in the context of the review procedure agreed between the FCA and banks, the decision is likely to apply to all PBRs, except formal 'consumer redress schemes' under s404 FSMA.

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Publication

New corporate criminal offence

03 August 2017

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Failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion

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Blog

CMA approves new payment systems operator

Published on 25 July 2017. By Charles Buckworth, Partner

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On 12 July 2017, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) approved the consolidation of the operators of Cheque and Credit Clearing Company, Faster Payments and Bacs into a new payment systems operator (NPSO). This consolidation was one of the key recommendations in the PSO Delivery Group's (PSODG) Report of 4 May 2017.

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Blog

High Court sheds light on compulsory jurisdiction of Financial Ombudsman Service

Published on 19 July 2017. By Matthew Evans, Senior Associate

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The High Court has provided some clarification of the scope of the compulsory jurisdiction of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). The decision has left the scope of that jurisdiction open to discussion, and appears to suggest that the courts will take a more mechanical approach to reviewing regulatory decisions.

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Blog

MiFID II Policy Statement: still not had a chance to read it?

Published on 14 July 2017. By Rachael Ellis, Associate

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Rachael Ellis summarises some of the FCA's key new conduct requirements arising from MiFID II now that it has published its final rules.

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Blog

FCA releases its final rules for implementation of MiFID II

05 July 2017

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The FCA has released its final policy statement (PS17/14) detailing aspects of its implementation of MiFID II, including final rules and its response to the six preceding MiFID II consultation papers dating back to 2015.

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Blog

Retail CFD firms face potential EU market-wide restrictions and further criticism from the FCA

Published on 03 July 2017. By Lucy Kerr, Senior Associate

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The European Securities and Markets (ESMA) has announced it is considering imposing restrictions on contracts for difference (CFD) trading that would mean seismic changes for the industry, whilst the FCA has announced its serious concerns about the CFD industry's continued failure to meet expectations regarding the treatment of retail clients.

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Blog

FCA proposes remedies following asset management sector market study

28 June 2017

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The FCA today published the final findings of its asset management market study and it has announced the remedies that will be implemented to address the concerns previously identified.

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Blog

Cowboys beware; the AML Sheriff is on her way

Published on 26 June 2017. By Rachael Ellis, Associate

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With under a year until the first Financial Action Task Force ("FATF") visit to the UK in a decade, the FCA is consulting on proposed changes to its Handbook as the new money laundering regulations ("MLR 2017") come into force today.

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Blog

Will robo-advice mean checkmate for human financial advisers?

Published on 09 June 2017. By George Smith, Senior Associate

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With continuing advances in artificial intelligence and the rise in 'robo-advisers', is financial advice following in the footsteps of chess, where computers have long since outstripped humans in ability? Are human financial advisers nearing checkmate or is the endgame still unclear?

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Blog

FCA review of suitability finds big is best

31 May 2017

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Bigger, restricted firms scored better in the FCA's suitability review and so supervisory focus will be on smaller firms as the FCA plans a follow up review in 2019.

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Blog

FCA examines blockchain technology in financial services in its new discussion paper

12 May 2017

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FCA discussion paper on distributed ledger technology and blockchain technology

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Publication

Private Fund Limited Partnership

Published on 10 May 2017.

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Welcome addition of a new investment funds vehicle

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Blog

The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002: harsh but fair?

Published on 05 May 2017. By Davina Given, Partner

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A recent case highlights the dilemma of businesses whose assets are frozen as suspected proceeds of crime.

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Blog

Warning: Enhanced Penalties for Financial Sanctions

05 May 2017

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Penalties for breaching financial sanctions have increased this week (since 2 May 2017) as HM Treasury brings The European Union Financial Sanctions (Enhanced Penalties) Regulation 2017 (the Regulation) into force.

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Blog

In-specie pension contributions - what's the fuss all about?

Published on 08 March 2017. By Rachael Healey, Partner

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SIPP and SSAS providers and members continue to be left in limbo over potential tax charges arising from in-specie contributions. HMRC has suspended tax relief on contributions whilst it investigates the position, leaving providers and members without tax relief and the risk of tax assessments back to 2009.

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Publication

Has the FCA made settling more appealing?

02 March 2017

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Changes to the Regulatory Enforcement Process

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Blog

Robo-Advice: not so black and white?

Published on 15 February 2017. By Matthew Watson, Associate

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The Chairman of the FCA, John Griffith-Jones has provided an insight into the Regulator's concerns that the advent of technological developments has blurred the distinction between when customers are receiving advice or guidance.

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Blog

The importance of retainer letters

Published on 15 February 2017. By Rachael Healey, Partner

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Court strikes out claim that an adviser owed a duty to point out a claim against a former adviser

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Blog

The long arm of the law: chasing the proceeds of (alleged) crime

Published on 13 February 2017. By Davina Given, Partner

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The English Court has recently upheld a freezing order over the sale proceeds from shares alleged to be a Canadian company's bribes to a Chadian diplomat's wife in the US.

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Publication

Investment funds, January 2017

Published on 19 January 2017.

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Senior Manager’s Regime and its applicability to all regulated firms - The FCA is consulting on extending the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) to all regulated financial services firms in 2018, which will include many managers of investment funds.

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Blog

Peer review: FCA signals tighter regulation for P2P lending platforms

Published on 03 January 2017. By Matthew Wood, Senior Associate

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The FCA has indicated its intention to apply more stringent regulation to the UK's booming peer-to-peer lending sector, amid concerns that increasingly sophisticated lending platforms are outgrowing the current regulatory regime.

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Blog

ECON scrutinises EBA's approach to RTS under PSD2

19 December 2016

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The EBA Chair has recently appeared before ECON to explain the EBA's approach to the development of RTS on strong customer authentication and secure communications under PSD2, and to answer concerns raised by the committee and others about these RTS.

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Blog

Who is going to pay? FCA launches consultation on the funding of the FSCS

Published on 16 December 2016. By Lucy Joyce, Senior Associate

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The FCA's consultation follows on from FAMR and focuses on how the FSCS should be funded going forward.

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Blog

FCA identifies concerns with PI cover for general insurance intermediaries

07 December 2016

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The FCA has announced the results of a review into general insurance intermediaries' professional indemnity insurance. The FCA found sufficient breadth in the market, but also identified some significant concerns about the cover firms had purchased.

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Blog

FCA consults about delaying disclosure of inside information

01 December 2016

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The FCA has issued a consultation on amendments it proposes to make to the Disclosure and Transparency Rules section of the FCA Handbook. The FCA proposes to make these amendments to make the FCA Handbook consistent with ESMA's guidelines on delay in the disclosure of inside information.

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