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Financial Services - Regulatory & Risk

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FCA – feeling the political heat?

Published on 02 February 2016. By Matthew Watson, Associate

The FCA escaped a vote of "no confidence" during last night's debate in the House of Commons, despite facing a barrage of scathing remarks from MPs.

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FCA announces consultation on role of GCs in regulated firms

29 January 2016

We are so accustomed to dissembling by politicians and others in public life that it is heartening to see individuals or institutions that are prepared to acknowledge responsibility for their mistakes.

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FCA announces rejection of change of control application

26 January 2016

It is rare for the FCA's objection to a change of control notification to ever become public.

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The politics of regulation

26 January 2016

Today's news about Andrew Bailey's appointment as CEO of the FCA is a significant and, no doubt, highly political appointment.

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PRA fines and bans former CEO and MD of Co-op Bank

22 January 2016

In its recent action against former senior figures at the Co-op Bank the PRA has highlighted the impact of the Senior Managers Regime on such enforcement cases, even though this was a case brought under the (now discredited) approved persons regime.

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Blog

FX trader fails in third-party rights challenge to FCA

18 January 2016

The Upper Tribunal has rejected the well-publicised complaint by Christopher Ashton that the FCA identified him in two decision notices without giving him the opportunity to make representations - because the Tribunal concluded that he was not identified at all.

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'Dear CEO letter' to debt management firms clarifies FCA's expectations on transfer of customers or their information

29 December 2015

Following ongoing consolidation in the debt management market, Jonathan Davidson, FCA Director of Supervision (Retail and Authorisations), has published a 'Dear CEO letter' which sets out the FCA's expectations of debt management firms when customers or customer information are being transferred.

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Getting ahead of the curve: EBA consults on 'robo-advisers'

17 December 2015

Technology will transform the financial advice world, and this transformation has already begun.

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Show me the money: new capital requirements for PIFs

16 December 2015

Last week the FCA released its Policy Statement PS15/28: Capital resources requirements for personal investment firms (PIFs) updating rules that set the amount of capital to be held by directly authorised PIFs which date back to 1994.

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Blog

Litigation privilege: A tangled web unwoven

Published on 15 December 2015. By Davina Given, Partner

Deception undermines the "dominant purpose" necessary for a claim to litigation privilege in the most recent instalment in the ongoing saga of Property Alliance Group Ltd v Royal Bank of Scotland Plc.

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IFAs quizzed by FCA over insistent clients

Published on 14 December 2015. By James Wickes, Partner

The FCA has asked IFAs to explain how they deal with situations where clients wish to act against advice on pension transfers.

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PRA fines bank for outsourcing failures

10 December 2015

Last week, the PRA announced that it had imposed a fine of over £1.2 million on R. Raphael & Sons plc.

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FCA frustrated by continuing shortcomings in wealth management sector but must accept subtleties of suitability

09 December 2015

The FCA's thematic review report published today expresses concern about some wealth management firms who are still not getting suitability right despite five years of regulatory 'communications'.

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Blog

Delegation of regulated activities – warning from the FCA

Published on 03 December 2015. By Rachael Healey, Partner

Adviser firms delegating regulated activities to unregulated third parties have been removed from the FCA's Christmas card list following a notice issued this week.

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FCA has increasing appetite to use alternative enforcement penalties

03 December 2015

In a recent appearance before the Treasury Select Committee the FCA has hinted that it may make further use of its restriction and suspension powers as an alternative as well as an addition to the power to impose financial penalties.

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Blog

Small businesses; large losses?

Published on 01 December 2015. By Robert Morris, Partner

On Friday the FCA published a wide ranging discussion paper in which it seeks comments on proposed changes to the way in which it, and the FOS, deals with SME businesses.

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POPLA likely to be more popular after Supreme Court rejects parking ticket appeal

16 November 2015

The Supreme Court decision in ParkingEye v Beavis has attracted much attention, not least because it was all about a £85 parking fine.

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Blog

Skilled persons focus on CASS and Conduct in small firms

12 November 2015

The FCA has published statistics on the skilled persons reports commissioned in Q2 2015/16.

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Blog

Privileged Information

Published on 12 November 2015. By Davina Given, Partner

As every lawyer knows, legal professional privilege is a tricky area and can be hotly contested.

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ICO upholds FCA decision not to disclose list of countries posing a high money laundering risk

11 November 2015

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has recently published a decision notice in which the ICO has upheld the FCA's decision to refuse to disclose certain information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) relating to countries which the FCA deems to present a high money laundering risk.

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Blog

Built on sand?

10 November 2015

At the Treasury's request, the FCA has published plans for a 'regulatory sandbox' in which businesses can play with new, innovative products, services and business models without "all the normal regulatory consequences".

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Spooky new powers for the FCA

06 November 2015

We all thought that Halloween was last week, right? Wrong!

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FCA restates commitment to consumer protection with fine against sale and rent back provider

05 November 2015

In the latest of its enforcement actions in the mortgage market, the FCA announced last week the fining of Quick Purchase Limited for breach of Principle 6.

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Back to the Future: FAMR could result in automated distribution, not robo-advice

04 November 2015

'Back to the Future day' prompted myriad summaries of where technology has got us and where we're headed.

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Third party rights relating to Final Notices trump litigation deadlines at the Upper Tribunal

03 November 2015

In its recent decision the Upper Tribunal allowed for a late filing of a reference on third party rights in relation to FCA final notices.

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FCA and PRA up the ante on regulatory references

Published on 02 November 2015. By Emma Griffiths, Senior Associate

The FCA and PRA have announced a consultation in respect of their proposals to introduce a mandatory form of employment reference (known as a "regulatory reference").

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Blog

The Pensions Freedoms and FOS – trends in complaints and enquiries

Published on 29 October 2015. By Rachael Healey, Partner

FOS has published a response to the Treasury's consultation paper looking at early exit penalties, the transfer process and communications with consumers in relation to financial advice on pensions.

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FCA action highlights wider concerns with consumer credit lending practices

29 October 2015

The FCA has recently announced that it has reached an agreement with Dollar Financial UK (Dollar), to refund over £15.4 million to 147,000 customers.

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Blog

"Vote Tracey"

23 October 2015

Acting Chief Executive of the FCA, Tracey McDermott's speech at the Mansion House last night made a good case for appointing her to the role on a permanent basis by appealing to the sector with a warning about pendulum swings and the risk of getting "caught in a loop where we regulate, deregulate, repeat on an infinite cycle".

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Blog

Pension freedoms guidance & advice - Parliament wades in

Published on 22 October 2015. By Rachael Healey, Partner

The Work & Pensions Committee, following a call for evidence in early September, has published a report considering the first six months of the new pension freedoms.

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Blog

HMT extends and radically changes the Senior Managers and Certification Regime

19 October 2015

The Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) along with the Senior Insurance Managers Regime (SIMR) were designed to radically alter the playing field for personal responsibility within banks and insurers.

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Blog

MoJ quietly halts work on new economic crime offence – what does the announcement tell us?

13 October 2015

Recently the Justice minister Andrew Selous MP stated in an answer to a written question submitted by Byron Davies MP, that the Ministry of Justice has decided not to take forward the proposal for a new offence of a corporate failure to prevent economic crime offence.

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Mind the gap: Financial Advice Market Review must focus on consumer responsibility

Published on 12 October 2015. By Simon Laird, Global Head of Insurance

Pension freedoms will mean a bigger advice gap. The burning question is - what are the Treasury and FCA going to do about it?

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FCA blows the starting whistle on new rules

Published on 08 October 2015. By Emma Griffiths, Senior Associate and Joanna Holford, Senior Associate

The FCA and PRA have introduced new rules to build on and formalise the good practice already found in the whistleblowing procedures of large UK-based banks, building societies*, investment firms and insurers.

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Blog

The responsibilities of SIPP administrators and trustees for investments – where are we now?

Published on 05 October 2015. By Rachael Healey, Partner

The Pensions Ombudsman has published a decision rejecting a complaint made against a SIPP administrator in relation to the suitability of investments held within a SIPP.

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FCA fines finance director for failing to blow the whistle

30 September 2015

Approved persons should be open and co-operative with their regulators, as highlighted by the FCA's recent enforcement action against Craig McNeil, former Keydata finance director.

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Is Titan Steel rusting?

29 September 2015

The definition of a 'private person' who can bring a court claim for breach of FCA rules may be extended after a potentially very significant development in the MTR Bailey v Barclays case.

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Update: 'The Catalyst effect' - does the buck stop with the Upper Tribunal?

22 September 2015

I recently blogged on the Upper Tribunal's judgment on the case of Roberts and Wilkins v FCA.

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Blog

Planning for a vote in favour of Brexit

15 September 2015

Recent events have brought into much sharper focus a question that in truth financial services firms should have been asking for some time - what are the implications if the UK votes to leave the EU in the forthcoming referendum?

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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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Pension freedoms - the 5 month report card

Published on 10 September 2015. By Rachael Healey, Partner

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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Risk of AML own goals from football transfers

08 September 2015

European football's summer transfer window closed last week.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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, Partner

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

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