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Financial Services - Regulatory & Risk

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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'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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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SIPPs: FCA announces new capital framework

18 September 2014

SIPP Operators will be forced to hold an extra £18m in reserve capital under new rules outlined by the FCA last month.

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Slapdash SIPPs told to sharpen up by FCA

15 September 2014

SIPP Operators have repeatedly been in the headlines since the FCA completed its second thematic review in 2012.

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Bank backs another winner in interest rate swaps saga – but is it luck or judgement?

11 September 2014

Despite their costly on-going review work and redress exercises, banks that sold interest rate swaps are still facing parallel court claims.

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Blog

Credit where credit's due

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

The controversy surrounding payday loans looks set to continue as the FOS has issued a warning to consumers about payday loan middlemen.

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FOS respondents still at risk of further action despite Clark v In Focus ruling

28 August 2014

When Lady Justice Arden handed down her judgment in the Court of Appeal case of Clark v In Focus ...

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HMRC closing the gap on tax avoidance

07 August 2014

Anyone who has invested in, promoted, or advised on any form of tax mitigation scheme may be feeling slightly nervous following the latest announcement from HMRC concerning the on-going saga of tax avoidance. And understandably so.

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Blog

CoCos go pop!

Published on 05 August 2014. By Drew Naylor, Senior Associate

In the wake of the banking crisis, the Financial Services Act 2012 gave the FCA a range of new and enhanced powers with which to pursue its regulatory objectives.

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Has the FOS decided Lehman's collapse was not foreseeable; or is that too remote a hope?

Published on 15 July 2014. By Lucy Joyce, Senior Associate

Nearly six years have elapsed since we first saw the iconic photographs of Lehman Brothers' employees filing out of the former bank's worldwide headquarters, carrying their belongings in cardboard boxes.

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Enhancing Supervision: How will the FCA's new regulatory model work in the real world?

Published on 10 July 2014. By Drew Naylor, Senior Associate

Readers may recall the FSA's 'close supervision' of firms, which could arise after an ARROW visit if significant failings were identified.

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Tax 'tsunami': will litigation wave crash over tax advisers and IFAs as Revenue uses new powers?

10 July 2014

New powers which will be introduced via the Finance Act 2014 are leading to investors in tax schemes crystallising their tax losses much sooner than anticipated.

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Pre-packs – improving a bad reputation?

Published on 03 July 2014. By Rachael Healey, Legal Director

Pre-packs involve the pre-determined sale of a business before it enters administration, allowing a sale within days of an administrator's appointment.

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FOS in the D&Ock

02 July 2014

FOS is back in Court defending its latest jurisdictional land grab.

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FOS: for free or not for free?

27 June 2014

Should consumers pay a fee to bring a complaint to FOS? FOS handled 2.3m initial enquiries and complaints from consumers in 2013/2014.

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Are long stops still a long shot

Published on 25 June 2014. By Amy Winterbourne , Associate

The long-running debate surrounding long stop time bars rumbles on, with articles appearing in the financial press this week which raise some interesting new points.

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Swap horror – not 'knowledge' for civil limitation

Published on 18 June 2014. By David Allinson, Senior Associate

A recent High Court decision (Kays Hotels Ltd v Barclays Bank Plc) has ruled that a firm cannot rely merely on the terms of an interest rate hedging product going against the customer to trigger "knowledge" under section 14A of the Limitation Act 1980 and thus time-bar a civil claim.

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Ignorance of the lawyer is no excuse

28 May 2014

Unsurprisingly, the Court of Appeal has found that inadequate legal representation, like ignorance of the law, is no excuse.

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Battle for better regulation continues with parliamentary inquiry

27 May 2014

In an apparent continuation of the Government's push to make regulators and regulation more cost-effective and business-centric, the Regulatory Reform Committee, a House of Commons select committee controlled by the Government, has announced an inquiry into the Government's Better Regulation framework.

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Osborne keeps up the pressure on the FCA and PRA with enforcement review

20 May 2014

A month after bringing the Regulator's Code into force as statutory guidance, George Osborne has announced that the Treasury will undertake a major review of enforcement decision-making at the FCA and the PRA.

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