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Financial Services - Regulatory & Risk

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Restrictive covenants – good paperwork is only part of the solution

25 September 2012

It feels that the economic pie continues to shrink. And with that backdrop, most businesses are trying just to hold on to market share.

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UCIS of death

21 September 2012

The FSA’s relentless drive to impose personal responsibility on senior management took another significant step recently...

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Sporting decisions? Promotion, relegation and writing the rules of the game

21 September 2012

Two recent rulings demonstrate the need for sports regulators such as the English and Welsh rugby unions to lay down clear and sufficiently comprehensive rules governing their sports that do not restrict competition.

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The first and final stop for exemplary damages?

21 September 2012

Exemplary damages and competition law are not obvious bedfellows.

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Tough times, tough talk, tough regulator

21 September 2012

At the FSA’s final Enforcement Conference on Monday, Tracy McDermott, the acting director of the FSA’s Enforcement and Financial Crime Division, issued a scathing attack on the financial services industry and gave an indication as to the interventionist future planned for the FSA’s successor, the FCA.

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Cable may tie down Goodwin, despite his eluding the FSA’s net; Turner and Sants call for smaller holes

21 September 2012

In response to the October 2008 failure of RBS, news reports suggest that Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, may apply for an order to disqualify Fred Goodwin from being able to hold any future directorship of a UK company.

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Binary causation arguments could be turned into percentages as ‘loss of chance’ principle gains judicial support in investment loss case

21 September 2012

The High Court recently considered whether it would be appropriate for FOS to make an award on the basis of an investor’s lost opportunity to decide – with the benefit of proper advice – whether or not to enter into a recommended investment scheme.

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Keeping up with competition law reform – don’t rush

21 September 2012

In March 2012, the Government confirmed its plans to merge the functions of the OFT and the Competition Commission into a single competition law body, the Competition and Markets Authority.

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OFT gives provisional green light for in-depth review of private motor insurance market

21 September 2012

The OFT announced last week its provisional decision to refer the private motor insurance market to the Competition Commission (CC) for in-depth review.

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FSA roars as SFO reveals itself to be a paper tiger

21 September 2012

In the same week that the SFO was criticised for its failure to act in two high profile cases and its failure to conduct a single raid in the last financial year, the FSA meted out its largest ever fine for an individual in a non market abuse case.

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Breaching the perimeter – twice could be enough to be ‘by way of business’

21 September 2012

The Court of Appeal has held that an individual who accepted deposits on two separate occasions, that were over 18 months apart, may be liable to conviction for carrying on an unauthorised regulated activity, contrary to the general prohibition (s.19 and 23 FSMA 2000).

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Blog

Directors & Officers beware - the SFO gets serious

Published on 03 May 2012. By James Wickes, Partner

Following the collapse of various high profile cases and the subsequent inquiry into its practices, change is clearly rife at the Serious Fraud Office.

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Not so credible deterrence

26 April 2012

The FSA's Enforcement Guide states that taking action against individuals sends an important message about the FSA's regulatory objectives and priorities and the FSA considers that such cases have important deterrent values.

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Friday 13th brings bad news for CMCs

13 April 2012

The Law Society Gazette has today revealed (following a FoI Request) that in the twelve months to March 2012, 734 CMC businesses were 'cancelled' by the MoJ.

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First it was insurance brokers and now it's investment bankers... FSA tests anti-bribery and corruption controls at investment banks

13 April 2012

The FSA recently published the findings of its thematic review of anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) systems and controls at 15 investment banks.

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Hector Sants’ resignation will throw finance sector into confusion

16 March 2012

Hector Sants’ resignation this morning is surprising given that his remit was to deliver an orderly transition to the government’s new twin peaks regulatory structure.

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It ain't broke, but… - Government finally confirms how it proposes to fix the UK competition regime

15 March 2012

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills today published its long-awaited response to its consultation on reforming the UK competition regime.

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Blog

Back to the beginning – root cause analysis re-booted by de facto PPI past business review

13 March 2012

The FSA's guidance to firms on contacting PPI customers that have not complained marks a resumption of hostilities in the PPI arena and amounts, in effect, to an industry-wide direction to conduct a past business review (PBR).

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FRC plans to focus on disciplinary action

08 March 2012

The FRC has published its Draft Plan & Budget for 2012/13.

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PPI – end of an era or a new chapter?

Published on 08 March 2012. By James Wickes, Partner

The FOS recently released its latest six-monthly figures showing the types and levels of complaints received by financial institutions.

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Blog

Was Lehmans' collapse unforeseeable?  The High Court said it was - but FOS disagrees

05 March 2012

The courts and FOS are now headed down very different paths in their approach to credit crunch losses suffered by clients of regulated firms.

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Blog

FSA delivers on AML promise

02 March 2012

Following its thematic review and report on "Banks’ management of high money-laundering risk situations" published in June last year, the FSA on Monday announced that it has fined Coutts £8.75 million for anti-money laundering (AML) control failings.

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Blog

Supreme Court widens scope of 'client money'

01 March 2012

The Supreme Court yesterday ruled that client money held in un-segregated accounts should be treated the same as client money held in segregated accounts, ...

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Leading regulatory and corporate crime silk to lead the AADB

01 March 2012

Yesterday the FRC announced the appointment of Gareth Rees QC to the position of Executive Counsel to the Accountancy and Actuarial Discipline Board (AADB).

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MoU between FCA and FOS: will complaints handling become more risky?

29 February 2012

The FOS published a draft MoU with the future FCA that has blurred an already hazy line between the ombudsman and regulator.

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Blog

Inquiry into the SFO better late than never

23 February 2012

Following the collapse of some high profile cases, Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General, has ordered an inquiry to review the SFO's casework and broader issues, including how the SFO chooses which cases to investigate.

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Blog

Causation - the multi-billion pound question

Published on 21 February 2012. By Simon Laird, Global Head of Insurance

The FSA's £1.5m fine imposed on Santander UK plc yesterday raises again the question of whether causation should be required for firms in the financial services industry to be liable to their clients.

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FOS undeterred in its plans to publish firm names in Ombudsman decisions, despite concerns

06 February 2012

The FOS has released a summary of responses to its September 2011 paper "publishing ombudsman decisions: next steps" confirming its plan to publish all Ombudsman decisions.

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Einhorn not pleased as Punch with insider dealing fine of £7.2m

03 February 2012

If you honestly believe that information given to you is not inside information but the FSA thinks your belief is unreasonably held, then you lay yourself open to sanctions for market abuse, notwithstanding that you have no intention to commit market abuse.

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Dividends paid to 'innocent' shareholders by 'criminal' companies vulnerable to civil recovery

17 January 2012

When Mabey & Johnson Limited's parent received a dividend, little did it think that it would be vulnerable to civil recovery following the conviction of its subsidiary's employees for corruption and breaches of UN sanctions.

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FOS supplementary PPI case fee suggests inefficiencies of scale

13 January 2012

The National Audit Office's report published yesterday into the FOS' 'efficient handling of financial services complaints' challenged FOS to 'achieve efficiencies of scale' but, ...

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The 22 more free FOS cases of Christmas

06 January 2012

On the twelfth day of Christmas, our Ombudsman service gave to us a proposal that would see smaller and medium sized firms given many more free complaints before a case fee applies.

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'Tentacles across the system':  Joint Committee believes in monsters too…

05 January 2012

The report published in December by the Joint Committee on the Draft Financial Services Bill offered no festive cheer:

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Happy New maximum award limit

23 December 2011

It is a sobering thought that FOS complaints made from January will be subject to the increased maximum award limit of £150k.

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No more nodding NEDs - FSA to make non-execs consumer champions

19 December 2011

NEDs (and their D&O insurers) will be increasingly exposed to regulatory risk because of the FSA's new guidance.

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Box on, ITV: OFCOM knocks out TV advertising industry review and regulatory change

16 December 2011

In contrast to this week's OFT decision that it was an 'administrative priority' to conduct a market study into aspects of the UK private motor insurance industry, OFCOM has declined to launch a similar market investigation into TV advertising for reasons of proportionality.

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OFT gives green light to market study into private motor insurance

14 December 2011

The OFT has this morning confirmed that it is launching a market study into the UK private motor insurance industry following the call for evidence made in September.

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Blog

You can't rely on it, but you can't ignore it!

12 December 2011

In furtherance of its statutory objective to reduce financial crime, on Friday the FSA has published a policy statement on financial crime - PS11/15 (the Guide) which has immediate effect.

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Blog

Underneath the mistletoe… UCIS review due in 2012

09 December 2011

Another Christmas treat the industry will be glad to put off until the New Year was revealed by the publication of the FSA's Board minutes for July.

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Old business, old customers, old liabilities - and HSBC is still paying

08 December 2011

In today's news it is reported that HSBC will not only have to meet the costs of four file reviews, the FSA Enforcement process, the resulting fine of £10.5m and compensation of nearly £30m

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Blog

Bans, bans and more bans

07 December 2011

For the fourth time in as many weeks, the FSA has curtailed the selling of a product under the guise of guidance.

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Making the punishment fit the crime

06 December 2011

The FSA's Final Notices are now littered with directors of financial services firms personally fined and made the subject of prohibition orders, not only for dishonesty but also for lacking competence and capability in the management of their businesses.

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Blog

If at first you don't succeed, give up

05 December 2011

Not deterred by the Court of Appeal's recent ruling that the names of junior AML staff are not disclosable under standard disclosure, Messrs Shah and Mahabeer continued their appeal against the following decisions.

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FSA's insistence on senior management responsibility tested before the Tribunal

05 December 2011

Two years on from the FSA's £8 million fine of UBS AG for systems and controls failures in breach of Principles 2 (skill, care and diligence) and 3 (adequate risk management systems)

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What a difference a week makes

Published on 02 December 2011. By Rachael Healey, Legal Director

This week has seen a number of unwanted early Christmas presents for the IFA industry.

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Blog

A reasonable approach to insuring your cat?

01 December 2011

The FSA has taken RBS' insurance firms to task under the UTCCR for the terms of their pet insurance. RBS' wordings had said they would not pay "any costs that we do not consider reasonable or necessary".

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Traded life policy ban – FSA jumps the gun

30 November 2011

I commented earlier in the month on the FSA guidance on product design covering payment protection and structured products.

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RPC evidence submitted to Joint Committee on the Draft Financial Services Bill

29 November 2011

Following up on our concern about FSA proposals to change the law of causation insofar as it applies to financial services ...

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Bribery Act sentence misses the mark

23 November 2011

The much reported first prosecution under the Bribery Act proved to be all but an irrelevance.

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Blog

LO, LO, LO…

21 November 2011

The Legal Ombudsman (LO) is reaching its long arm into law firms – and is not afraid to use its truncheon!

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