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Financial Services - Regulatory & Risk

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The FCA – a "very different animal", that bites harder

23 July 2013

Two notable recent fines, £2.8m levied against Policy Administration Services for poor complaints handling in relation to mobile phone insurance and £7.38m levied against Swinton for aggressive selling of add-on insurance, have a key common feature.

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FCA confirms market study into general insurance 'add-ons'

19 July 2013

The nascent Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) confirmed on 9 July 2013 that it will undertake its first market study since becoming responsible for the promotion of competition in the financial services industry1.

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Register of beneficial company ownership

Published on 18 July 2013.

The "Transparency and Trust" discussion paper published by the Business Secretary Vince Cable earlier this week outlines various proposed measures to help improve corporate transparency.

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Hong Kong regulator takes second shot at Asian Tiger

Published on 18 July 2013. By David Smyth, Senior Consultant

Hong Kong's principal regulator (the Securities and Futures Commission) has confirmed that it has launched proceedings before the Market Misconduct Tribunal (MMT) against Tiger Asia Management LLC and three of its principal officers.

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FOS publishes first decisions naming insurers

12 July 2013

The FOS has today published 110 of its insurance (non PPI) decisions on its website.

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Another speech, another thematic review – this time into conflicts management

04 July 2013

The insurance sector has been informed through another speech by the FCA of plans for a potentially very important thematic review.

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General insurance conduct supervision takes shape

02 July 2013

Thematic reviews are not new but, since April, the production of thematic review reports by the FCA is.

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Regulatory rope? FCA guidance on 'super-complaints' offers firms chance to condemn themselves to a public hanging

27 June 2013

FCA Guidance published on Wednesday invites firms to make 'comprehensive and robust' reports about their own 'regular' failures where they give rise to consumer detriment and to require the FCA to publish its planned response, with a copy of the firm's original report.

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Blog

What does crime have to do with it…?

21 June 2013

Two important recent developments touch upon a crucial issue: to what extent should misconduct or misbehaviour in the City sound in the criminal law?

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FCA winning its battle to name and shame

20 June 2013

Last week the Court of Appeal handed the FCA a significant fillip in what has become a notable goal of the regulator – to see that those subject to its disciplinary proceedings are exposed to public scrutiny.

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Blog

Tempered approach by Singaporean regulator into LIBOR equivalent reveals inconsistencies in approach to global rate rigging scandal

19 June 2013

On Friday 14 June, the Monetary Authority of Singapore ("MAS") announced that it had completed its year-long review into the Singaporean equivalent of LIBOR – the Singapore Interbank Offered Rate ("SIBOR").

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Blog

Punched drunk by ICOBS and CIDRA? FCA proposes sobering detox

17 June 2013

There has been surprisingly little fuss about the new Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012 (CIDRA) that came into force 6 April.

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Competition and cartel law reform edges closer

05 June 2013

After more than two years of Government consultation, the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 was finally published in May, having received Royal Assent in April. Full implementation is anticipated within a year.

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Blog

Blog editor promoted to Partnership

24 May 2013

I am pleased to announce that Robbie Constance has been promoted to Partner, adding further depth and breadth to our Regulatory Group.

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Blog

Regulator's pursuit of market misconduct in Hong Kong – Top court delivers written judgment

Published on 23 May 2013. By David Smyth, Senior Consultant

As noted in my blog of 30 April, the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong ("the CFA") abruptly dismissed the appeal in Tiger Asia Management LLC & Ors v Securities and Futures Commission ("the SFC"), FACV Nos. 10, 11, 12 and 13 of 2012.

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Blog

FCA launches thematic probe into 'transition management' in asset management sector

Published on 09 May 2013. By James Wickes, Partner

It has been reported in the FT overnight that the FCA is swooping on the London offices of the world’s biggest banks and asset managers in a new probe aimed at a widespread (and lucrative) business known as "transition management".

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Blog

Clark v In Focus appeal – watch this space

18 April 2013

In Focus has now been granted permission to appeal against the decision of the High Court in Clark v In Focus.

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Blog

Dawn raids: regulatory inspections of your IT equipment and storage media

08 April 2013

The European Commission has recently affirmed its current practices for searching IT equipment and storage media during a 'dawn raid' inspection of business premises where it suspects a breach of EU competition law.

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Blog

LeO maximum monetary award increases – but at least it's final

01 February 2013

The Legal Ombudsman – or LeO to its new friends – has today been granted the power to award £50k (up from £30k).

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Blog

FSA market study into insurance add-ons 'shines a light' on competition

15 January 2013

The FSA has recently announced details of a market study into general insurance add-on products in a bid to 'shine a light' on how competition operates within the 'relevant markets' for such products.

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Blog

FOS: Pit stop on the road to court?

10 January 2013

As I reported in December, following the case of Clark v In Focus Asset Management and Tax Solutions, a complainant may now accept a maximum monetary award from FOS and then bring a civil claim through the courts to sue for the balance of their loss.

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Blog

Suing for the balance – High Court tips the scales the other way

20 December 2012

In a shocking about-turn, the High Court yesterday handed down judgment holding that a FOS complainant may accept a maximum monetary award and then bring a civil claim in court to claim for the balance.

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RDR – from commission bias to service bias?

10 December 2012

This morning’s research from Which?, that reveals continuing pressure within the big banks to sell, lays bare one of the fundamental shortcomings of RDR:

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Blog

FOS six-month time limit upheld by High Court

10 December 2012

The High Court confirmed on Wednesday that a decision of the FOS that a complaint against a bank was outside the six-month time limit for bringing a complaint could not be impugned as irrational or unlawful.

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Blog

Watch the Regulatory panel session at the Xchanging Conference

10 December 2012

The Xchanging London Market Conference 2012, one of the London insurance market’s biggest annual events, will be taking place all day on Tuesday 6 November.

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Blog

The FSA’s ‘Journey to the FCA’ embeds competition in the FCA’s regulatory approach

10 December 2012

Following the June 2011 FSA publication “The Financial Conduct Authority: Approach to Regulation“, which placed the promotion of effective competition at the centre of the new FCA’s remit (discussed here), the FSA has now published ‘Journey to the FCA‘, which provides further detail on what that will mean in practice.

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Blog

Cosy chats out, prosecutions in

10 December 2012

We always suspected that the arrival of David Green at the SFO in April would herald a new era at the beleaguered agency.

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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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Blog

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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Blog

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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Blog

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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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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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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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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