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Financial Services - Regulatory & Risk

Blog

New FCA handbook and FS register: Welcome to the 21st Century

11 September 2015

The FCA has updated and consolidated its Handbook and FS register.

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Blog

Pension freedoms - the 5 month report card

Published on 10 September 2015. By Rachael Healey, Legal Director

As children head back to school, what would the pension freedoms' report card look like 5 months in from the April reforms?

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Blog

Risk of AML own goals from football transfers

08 September 2015

European football's summer transfer window closed last week.

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Blog

Time is running out… clarity on time bar at FOS?

03 September 2015

New DISP pro forma final response language seems to allow firms to be more confident when time barring complaints.

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Blog

Regulatory censure of the Co-op really does send a message

28 August 2015

The FCA and PRA jointly censured The Co-operative Bank plc for various regulatory breaches.

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Blog

The Catalyst effect: ping pong between the FCA and Upper Tribunal?

21 August 2015

The recent judgment of the Upper Tribunal in relation to the conduct of two directors of Catalyst Investment Group Limited serves as a reminder to those working in the financial services sector about the potential ramifications for individuals should consumers be misled.

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Blog

Reminder: new GAP insurance rules in force from 1 September 2015

18 August 2015

The FCA's new rules on the sale of Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) insurance will come into force in a fortnight's time on 1 September 2015.

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Blog

FCA's new referral criteria: Are they really that transparent?

14 August 2015

An updated set of enforcement referral criteria has been published by the FCA in response to recommendations made by HM Treasury at the end of last year.

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Blog

Financial Advice Market Review – Bridging The "Advice Gap"?

Published on 11 August 2015. By Matthew Watson, Associate

HM Treasury have embarked on what they call a "major new review to radically improve access to financial advice".

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Blog

Complaints handling: Key amendments announced by the FCA

07 August 2015

Our recent blog highlighted the key changes made to DISP rules by the ADR Directive.

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Blog

Transfers, exit fees and financial advice - what next for the pension freedoms?

Published on 05 August 2015. By Rachael Healey, Legal Director

What do exit charges, the pension transfer process and financial advice all have in common?

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Blog

Power to the Pensioners?

Published on 31 July 2015. By Drew Naylor, Senior Associate

It has been customary in recent years for George Osborne to pull a proverbial rabbit out of his red ministerial box.

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Blog

ADR Directive: the key changes to the DISP rules

22 July 2015

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has amended the Dispute Resolution: Complaints sourcebook (DISP) in the FCA Handbook.

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Blog

Senior Managers Regime - How many will fall foul of the new framework?

14 July 2015

The FCA and PRA have now published a number of documents setting out some of the final rules for a new accountability framework for individuals working in 'relevant firms' ...

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Blog

By George! A Budget full of surprises?

Published on 13 July 2015. By Ben Roberts, Senior Associate

Last week's "summer" Budget, the first by a (solely) Conservative government for nearly two decades, included a number of surprises.

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Blog

Pension Transfers – seeing the wood for the trees – Part 2

Published on 10 July 2015. By Rachael Healey, Legal Director

This is the second of two blogs addressing the issues raised in the FCA's paper on the changes to the pension transfer regulations.

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Blog

FCA's figures for authorisation applications leave many unanswered questions

09 July 2015

Amongst the many topics covered within the FCA's annual report there is a frustratingly short section concerned with the efforts being made to deal with all of the applications for authorisation by consumer credit firms.

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Blog

Pension Transfers – seeing the wood for the trees – Part 1

Published on 09 July 2015. By Rachael Healey, Legal Director

The FCA has published changes to its regulations affecting advice on pension transfers.

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Blog

Beyond the headlines some positive developments for depositors

03 July 2015

The PRA has today announced the existing level of deposit protection (£85,000) will be reduced to £75,000 after 31 December 2015.

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Blog

If you insist… a review of the FCA's position on insistent clients

Published on 02 July 2015. By David Allinson, Senior Associate

On 8 June, the FCA published a fact sheet intended to provide a 'helpful reminder' of its position on 'insistent clients' (the full title being: Fact sheet 035. Pension reforms and insistent clients).

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Blog

sPIFfing! New capital requirements for Personal Investment Firms

01 July 2015

Can the PIF pay? Personal Investment Firms (PIFs) are advisory firms responsible for around half of all regulated investment and pension sales.

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Blog

Taking the credit: FOS tackles broking and middlemen

30 June 2015

The impact of FCA rules on credit brokers has been significant, with a number of credit brokers having left the market since April 2014.

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Blog

UCIS in focus at FOS

Published on 26 June 2015. By George Smith, Senior Associate

FOS' latest edition of Ombudsman News contained some interesting insights into its approach to complaints concerning advice relating to UCIS investments.

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Blog

RPC responds to PRA's consultation paper concerning powers over auditors and actuaries

Published on 29 May 2015. By Davina Given, Partner

In a recent blog we noted that the PRA had outlined in a consultation paper its plans to introduce two significant changes for auditors and actuaries.

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Blog

Is credible deterrence really working? And other questions arising from a mixed week for the FCA

28 May 2015

Even though the FCA was able to trumpet that it had imposed its highest ever fine and that it had been successful in two decisions handed down by the Upper Tribunal, things have not gone entirely the regulator's way in the past week or so.

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Blog

Record FRC fine slashed on appeal

Published on 21 May 2015. By Tom Lloyd, Senior Associate

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has long followed the trend amongst financial regulators for increasing scrutiny of firms' financial and professional compliance.

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Blog

FOS by numbers

Published on 20 May 2015. By George Smith, Senior Associate

The FOS has published its 2014/15 annual review, setting out a plethora of fascinating statistics about the service.

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Blog

New law and regulation adding to insurers' regulatory woes

18 May 2015

The publication of the FCA's report on the impact of consumer credit regulation on the retail general insurance market adds another interesting dimension to a sector already under increasing regulatory scrutiny following recent legal developments, such as the imminent coming into force of the Insurance Act 2015.

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Blog

FCA Authorisation team should share its findings from P2P applications

15 May 2015

The FCA's authorisation process is quite opaque and does not give the regulator much latitude to comment upon individual applications.

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Blog

Spot the Difference? Uncertainty continues for SIPP administrators and trustees in the wake of the Berkeley Burke decision

Published on 14 May 2015. By Rachael Healey, Legal Director

Please see our latest legal alert following the recent Pensions Ombudsman decision on the duties of SIPP Trustees when it comes to SIPP investments.

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Blog

FCA approval times for firms expanding into new business lines up by 85% in two years

11 May 2015

Based on information obtained from the FCA the time taken to authorise a financial services business adding an additional business line has increased by 85% in the last two years - 18.5 weeks in Q4 2014, up from 10 weeks in Q1 2013.

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Blog

Attest in haste, repent at leisure

06 May 2015

The FCA has recently published another final notice issued to a large bank arising from LIBOR-related misconduct.

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Blog

A test of skill

Published on 05 May 2015. By David Allinson, Senior Associate

Last week, the Administrative Court granted permission to judicially review the s.166 process for reviewing redress awarded as part of the interest rate hedging product scheme.

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Blog

Justice for taxpayer where tax charge "repugnant to common fairness"

Published on 29 April 2015. By Tom Lloyd, Senior Associate

The Upper Tribunal of the Tax and Chancery Chamber has upheld a taxpayer's appeal against a £383,000 tax charge which potentially left him facing bankruptcy.

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Blog

Pyrrhus defeats the FCA

29 April 2015

The Upper Tribunal has directed the FCA to prohibit former insurance broker Stephen Allen from performing any function in relation to a regulated activity.

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Blog

Bringing EU regulation home – a sign of things to come?

Published on 28 April 2015. By Davina Given, Partner

A short recent judgment is a reminder of the need for financial institutions to keep an eye not only on what their home regulator is doing, but also European regulators.

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Blog

Under pressure: will the FOS provide Accelerated Dispute Resolution?

17 April 2015

The FOS will soon be under increased pressure to reduce the time it takes to reach its decisions following the implementation of the EU Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) directive in three months' time.

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Blog

Have the pension reforms lived up to eggs-pectations?

Published on 08 April 2015. By Lucy Joyce, Senior Associate

It was widely reported that this Easter anyone over the age of 55 would be considering their nest eggs, rather than chocolate ones, in the wake of the new pension reforms which came into force on Monday.

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Blog

Firms in danger where data breach causes distress

07 April 2015

Hot on the heels of the launch of the pensions wave of the FCA's ScamSmart (as discussed by Sam's post), last Sunday a Daily Mail expose revealed that private pension data is being passed on by data firms without their customers' knowledge.

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Blog

Professional Indemnity insurance for financial advice: is the market broken?

Published on 01 April 2015. By Simon Laird, Global Head of Insurance

In yesterday's New Model Adviser, Mark Neale has urged advisers to put pressure on professional indemnity insurers to fix a market he has described as a 'broken reed'.

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Blog

Extending the PRA's powers over auditors and actuaries

Published on 27 March 2015. By Davina Given, Partner

Auditors and actuaries are used to being overseen by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC).

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Blog

Pensions, pensions, and yet more pensions in the FCA's Business Plan

Published on 27 March 2015. By Rachael Healey, Legal Director

The FCA has published its Business Plan for 2015/2016.

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Blog

Registering the effects of the MLRs

Published on 26 March 2015. By Davina Given, Partner

A recent case is a stark reminder of the wide-reaching impacts of the Money Laundering Regulations 2007.

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Blog

Do not-so smart pension reforms mean FCA wants pensioners to be ScamSmart?

24 March 2015

Less than two weeks after Martin Wheatley's speech identifying April's 'big bang' pension reforms as "[t]he defining challenge of our time" ...

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Blog

Unrealistic expectations? - FCA research highlights investors' lack of understanding of structured products

Published on 13 March 2015. By George Smith, Senior Associate

Findings published by the FCA beg the question, are firms are doing enough to ensure that customers understand structured products before investing?

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Blog

New Senior Managers' Regimes to kick off in early March 2016

10 March 2015

The FCA and PRA have taken their most significant step to date in the relentless pursuit of greater accountability of senior management and the promotion of good governance and culture.

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Blog

Competing agendas? How the FCA, PSR and CMA plan to work together

04 March 2015

In mid-February, the UK investment and corporate banking sector braced itself for yet another regulatory investigation, as the FCA announced its plans to launch a wholesale market study into the industry in Spring 2015.

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Blog

Pensions Freedoms and the Second Line of Defence – some flesh on the bone

Published on 02 March 2015. By Rachael Healey, Legal Director

In late January the FCA issued a Dear CEO letter to pension providers, proposing new protections to be provided to consumers seeking to access their pension pot when the new pension freedoms are introduced from 6 April 2015.

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Blog

A step closer to ring-fencing of banking activities?

Published on 23 February 2015. By Matthew Watson, Associate

The Government has taken some tentative steps towards ensuring ring-fenced banks cannot become liable for the pension schemes of other entities.

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Blog

SFC provides further guidance on Corporate Professional Investor Regime

Published on 09 February 2015. By Jonathan Cary, Partner

As noted in my blog dated 3 October 2014 concerning the SFC's conclusions on professional investors and client agreements (link), the SFC is looking to enhance the protection afforded to professional investors who are not institutional investors.

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