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Financial Services - Regulatory & Risk

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, Partner

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, Partner

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, Partner

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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Blog

Is that your final answer? – FCA introduces "second line of defence" ahead of pension freedoms

Published on 28 January 2015. By George Smith, Senior Associate

In a 'Dear CEO' letter to pension providers published on Monday the FCA set out new protections that will constitute a "second line of defence" for customers seeking to access their pensions.

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Blog

Simplified, retrospective and still inconsistent

23 January 2015

Despite laudable aims, yesterday's FCA guidance on what constitutes regulated advice was published alongside a report on the (perceived) retrospective application of rules ...

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Blog

FCA takes a long hard look at how insurance brokers manage the risks of bribery and corruption…

13 January 2015

Could do better, reports the Financial Crime team of the FCA on the cohort of commercial brokers who were subject to the recent thematic review on managing bribery and corruption risks (TR14/17).

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Blog

'Many eyes' approach to sanctions compliance

13 January 2015

The many eyes approach to sanctions compliance in the Lloyd's market is not just for managing agents but useful guidance for all.

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Blog

Chickens coming home to roost: SFO's first conviction of a company for bribery after contested trial

Published on 07 January 2015. By Davina Given, Partner

Hot on the heels of the SFO's first conviction under the Bribery Act 2010, discussed in George's post, and just as some of us were disappearing for a Christmas break...

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Blog

Complaint trends for 2015

Published on 07 January 2015. By Simon Laird, Global Head of Insurance

The FOS yesterday published its 2015/16 budget consultation. In short, we can expect more of the same.

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Blog

Merry Christmas from the FOS

22 December 2014

With the festive season upon us, the FOS has taken the opportunity to spread some Christmas cheer by reminding everyone of the possible problems that can arise at this time of year, including "faulty presents, storm damage, broken boilers and even a spoilt surprise."

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Blog

Financial Reporting has received its fair share of column inches in recent weeks

Published on 18 December 2014. By Tom Lloyd, Senior Associate

Headlines have, for obvious reasons, been grabbed by issues with Tesco's financial reporting. Indeed, the fallout from the scandal is still being felt -

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Blog

How far will the FCA stretch FIT?

16 December 2014

Yesterday's Burrows final notice is a further sign that the FCA will look at the personal conduct of Approved Persons outside of their roles in financial services in order to assess their fitness and propriety.

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Blog

SFO makes first use of Bribery Act in prosecution for fraudulent UCIS

Published on 11 December 2014. By George Smith, Senior Associate

Earlier this week three individuals were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court following the first prosecution by the SFO under the Bribery Act 2010.

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Blog

An uneasy contrast for the FCA – balancing commercial drive with cultural reform

03 December 2014

Yesterday's speech delivered by Martin Wheatley has reinforced the FCA's increasingly more collaborative approach to its engagement with financial services firms.

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Blog

FCA report on complaints handling more optimistic than many feared

24 November 2014

The FCA has finally published its report on its review of consumer complaint handling at 15 major retail financial services firms.

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Blog

Financial Services: Minimising Risk in a Dawn of Opportunity

Published on 12 November 2014. By Simon Laird, Global Head of Insurance

Over the last few years, firms have been asking themselves how they will make money in the post RDR world.

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Blog

FCA keeps SIPP investments under close scrutiny

Published on 06 November 2014. By George Smith, Senior Associate

We blogged previously on the tougher attitude that the FCA is taking concerning the obligations of SIPP operators, and the increased focus on the suitability of underlying SIPP investments.

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Blog

In the garden but without pay

04 November 2014

Sunrise Brokers LLP v Rodgers is the salutary tale of an equity derivatives broker who gambled in his decision to leave his employer for a competitor.

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Blog

Crestfallen claimants: High Court upholds bank disclaimers in claim for negligent advice

31 October 2014

In the latest in a line of court rulings upholding disclaimers, the High Court, in the recent case of Crestsign v NatWest & RBS, held that, as a result of careful disclaimer wording, the banks did not owe a common law duty of care to their customer not to provide negligent advice.

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Blog

Project Innovate: an incubator for growth?

Published on 29 October 2014. By Tom Lloyd, Senior Associate

The FCA launched its new Innovation Hub yesterday, with the aim of fostering support to businesses looking to benefit consumers in the financial services sector.

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Blog

Arguing until Blue(fin) in the face: Court tells FOS that beneficiaries under a D&O policy are not consumers

24 October 2014

The Financial Ombudsman Service has suffered a major defeat in the Administrative Court which will come as a relief to D&O insurers and brokers.

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Blog

Cultural Revolution: FCA offers re-education in the provinces

17 October 2014

In a speech at Mansion House last night, Martin Wheatley announced a masters degree in regulation in conjunction with Henley Business School which, he said, will "set the global standard".

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Blog

FCA approves 'independent' use of internal specialist advisers

Published on 17 October 2014. By Sarah Dowding, Senior Associate

Ever since RDR 'independence' rules were introduced nearly two years ago, financial advisers have sought clarification on referring clients to internal specialists within their firm for expert advice.

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Blog

Changes to the UK Corporate Governance Code – real change?

Published on 17 October 2014. By Tom Lloyd, Senior Associate

The UK Corporate Governance Code (the Code) sets out principles of good governance for premium listed companies in the areas of board composition and development, remuneration, shareholder relations, accountability and audit.

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Blog

FOS is not unfair; it just doesn't apply the law

16 October 2014

The new CEO of FOS, Caroline Wayman, gave evidence to the Treasury Select Committee yesterday, including (reportedly) in response to a poll that revealed 58% of advisers considered FOS unfair in its decisions on financial advice.

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Blog

Market Misconduct Tribunal gives Tiger Asia the "cold shoulder"

Published on 10 October 2014. By Jonathan Cary, Partner

Hong Kong's Market Misconduct Tribunal (the MMT) has banned Tiger Asia Management LLC (a hedge fund based in New York) and one of its principal officers from dealing in Hong Kong securities for four (of a maximum five) years.

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Blog

Is no news always good news? Drop in complaints may hint at conclusions from over-due FCA complaints review

26 September 2014

The FCA's latest publication of complaints data has revealed a decrease of 5% in the overall number of complaints.

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