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Financial Services - Regulatory & Risk

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Morrison fined by the FSA

25 August 2011

At first sight, headlines about a hefty fine meted out by the FSA on a former director of a supermarket chain may have led people to presume that Sir Ken Morrison had incurred the wrath of the Food Standards Agency rather than the Financial Service Authority.

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The CASS alarm bells continue to ring

17 August 2011

The FSA's latest pronouncements about CASS make it all the more likely that insurance intermediaries will press for 'risk transfer' in their terms of business agreements with insurers to avoid CASS altogether.

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Double immunity - the PRA and FCA will remain untouchable

16 August 2011

On reading reports recently about criticism of the FSA's handling of an unauthorised investment scheme which left 800 investors £11.5 million out of pocket

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Those who live in glass houses... UK's anti-bribery controls to be subject to UN peer review

11 August 2011

Timing is everything. Just as the Bribery Act 2010 beds in, it has been announced that the UK will be subject to peer review under the UN Convention against Corruption.

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Unravelling trust transactions – the party’s still on in Jersey

Published on 11 August 2011. By Simon Laird, Global Head of Insurance

I previously reported on the English Court of Appeal’s decision in the combined appeals of Futter v Futter and Pitt v Holt which clarified (or so we thought) the approach to setting aside transactions for mistake under English law.

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FOS believes respondent firms should be seen but not heard

03 August 2011

Tucked at the end of Ombudsman News edition 95 in a little Q&A section about recent queries to its technical advice desk is a bold statement about the FOS' reluctance to hold oral hearings.

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CMCs - why not cut out the middle man?

25 July 2011

A joint note from the MoJ, FSA, FOS and FSCS issued last week sets out the role that CMCs play in financial services complaints and highlighted the potential drawbacks of engaging a third party in the complaints procedure.

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RDR: To delay or not to delay, that is the question

21 July 2011

The Treasury Select Committee recommended in its recent report that the implementation of RDR be delayed for one year (until January 2014).

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EIS and VCT promotions: suitability not guaranteed

19 July 2011

The FSA's explicit warning about Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Venture Capital Trust (VCT) financial promotions will do little to help financial advisers defend complaints about such investments if FOS makes a habit of disregarding their 'preferential tax status'.

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News Corp/BSkyB – a blow to an independent competition regime

14 July 2011

In my letter to the editor in today's Financial Times, I reported on the dangers of mixing politics with regulation.

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Insurance intermediaries must take care with CASS

13 July 2011

The FSA's avowed intention to zero in on insurance intermediaries' client money systems and controls should set alarm bells ringing.

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FSA wealth management review deadline only a month away

11 July 2011

By 9 August, wealth managers must respond to the FSA's Dear CEO letter to confirm they are currently meeting the FSA's suitability requirements for client portfolios and mitigating the risk of future non-compliance.

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Accountability without liability

08 July 2011

Last week the FSA laid the foundations of the FCA with the publication of "The Financial Conduct Authority - Approach to Regulation".

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FOS does not breach human rights

07 July 2011

The FOS' compliance with fundamental principles of justice was thrown into the spotlight by last week's ECHR decision in the cause célèbre case of Heather Moor & Edgecomb Limited (HME) v UK (FOS).

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Is it time to regulate MPs like other professionals?

05 July 2011

I am delighted to announce that Sam Bishop, who joins RPC as a trainee in September, won ARDL's 2011 Marion Simmons QC Memorial Essay Prize.

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Promotion of competition at the centre of new FCA's remit

05 July 2011

Last week the FSA published - "to inform public debate and facilitate stakeholder engagement" - the initial thinking behind how the new FCA, which is expected to be established by end-2012, will approach delivery of its objectives.

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Eight things you need to know about the Bribery Act

01 July 2011

As we have already posted, the Bribery Act comes in force today.

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Bribery Act goes live today - but it's never too late

01 July 2011

The birth of the Bribery Act 2010 today represents a new chapter in corporate criminal liability, but the requirements to have anti-bribery systems and controls in place should not surprise any FSA regulated firm.

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The world (of complaints handling and redress) according to FOS

30 June 2011

Yesterday Natalie Ceeney, Chief Ombudsman, set out her vision for how the financial services complaints and redress system can be improved. Her speech came at an interesting time as the performance and powers of FOS are under scrutiny as never before.

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Mortgage fraud against lenders: FSA's report on how lenders manage the risk

Published on 29 June 2011. By Paul Castellani, Partner

The FSA recently published a report on how lenders manage the risk posed by mortgage fraud.

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Corporates facing criminal penalties need certainty when self-reporting

24 June 2011

On Monday of this week I reported in the Financial Times the increasing reliance by the OFT on whistleblowers who come to the OFT through its leniency programme to reveal details of anti-competitive arrangements in exchange for immunity from civil fines and criminal penalties.

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Industry seeks to put FOS in its place - and FOS fights back

23 June 2011

In recent weeks the performance and powers of the FOS have been under intense scrutiny with its own Annual Review, the BBA's judicial review of the PPI complaints rules and FSA announcements about award limits and rule changes.

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Audit – a global market requires global thinking

23 June 2011

The OFT has finally dared to lift the lid on the UK's audit market to peer inside what is likely to be a Pandora's box of complex issues.

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FSA secures first conviction for boiler room fraud

22 June 2011

The FSA recently secured its first criminal conviction for boiler room fraud. At Southwark Crown Court, David Mason pleaded guilty to:

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Law Society anti-bribery guide useful for non-lawyers

20 June 2011

The Law Society has recently published a guidance note on the Bribery Act 2010 and how its member firms should comply with the Act.

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Treasury plans reduction in burden of the Money Laundering Regulations by decriminalisation

20 June 2011

HM Treasury has recently proposed amendments to the Money Laundering Regulations to encourage a risk based approach to anti money laundering compliance and thereby reduce the regulatory burden on SMEs.

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Lloyd's Managing Agents faced with four separate anti-bribery reporting obligations

20 June 2011

The recent Lloyd's Market Bulletin on the Bribery Act is an excellent guide for Managing Agents, but it suggests that in the event of an incident of bribery (or even suspected bribery) the Managing Agents may need to make as many as four separate reports about their suspicions:

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Financial Services Bill – FOS naming and shaming could harm blameless businesses

17 June 2011

The FOS, under proposed new legislation set out in yesterday’s draft Financial Services Bill, would be required to publish reports on its determinations into consumer complaints, naming and potentially shaming businesses involved.

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National Crime Agency: an FBI for the UK?

16 June 2011

The recent speculation that the SFO would be wound up (as discussed in my earlier blog) has somewhat over-shadowed the plans for a National Crime Agency (NCA).

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Timing is everything... but not in the fight against bribery and corruption!

16 June 2011

With the implementation of the Bribery Act only two weeks away, absolutely the last thing that should have been of concern was the break up of the lead anti-corruption investigator and prosecutor, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

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Resolving PPI complaints – pay them all, defend in Court or request a FOS hearing?

14 June 2011

Barclays announced yesterday that it will reimburse all customers who complained about the sale of their PPI before 20 April in full (plus 8% interest) without any further investigation of the individual claims.

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Cost of 'root cause' rule changes unknown

03 June 2011

The FSA's confirmation that the PPI complaints handling guidance relating to root cause analysis will be applied to all complaints handling from 1 September has clarified what the FSA expects of firms.

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Richard Burger appointed Partner at RPC

03 June 2011

As Head of RPC's Regulatory Group, I am delighted to announce the appointment of Richard Burger as Partner.

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FOS maximum award limit to rise to £150k

02 June 2011

A month later than planned, the FSA announced on 27 May that the proposals set out in CP 10/21 would be implemented.

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Decline in FSA performance against service standards – as expected

31 May 2011

At a time when financial services firms are not only under more scrutiny from the FSA but also require their regulator to be as effective and efficient as possible, the FSA's level of performance has declined.

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Bank of Scotland fined for root cause failings

27 May 2011

Far sooner than I expected, on Wednesday the FSA sent a strong message to the complaints handlers in every regulated firm that the rules on root cause analysis mean what they say.

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Final responses by 1 June for complaints for over £100k

25 May 2011

There is likely to be a small but not insignificant flurry of final responses sent before 1 June regarding high value complaints as firms try to avoid the likely increase in the FOS award limit from £100k to £150k which will apply from January 2012.

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Director of SFO talks tough on corrupt foreign companies

25 May 2011

Richard Alderman, Director of the SFO, says he will use the Bribery Act to tackle corrupt foreign companies as the SFO's top priority.

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FSA suitability seminar: 'capacity for loss' is key

20 May 2011

Yesterday's FSA Retail Conduct Risk Seminar on assessing suitability went under the title 'Establishing the risk a customer is willing and able to take and making a suitable investment selection'.

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OFT confirms a lack of competition amongst UK auditors

19 May 2011

The OFT announced on Tuesday its provisional conclusion that features of the audit market were not working well, stating its intention to consult further on whether the matter should be referred to the Competition Commission for an in-depth investigation.

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A prudent approach to regulation

19 May 2011

The Bank of England and the FSA have today published a paper explaining the approach the new Prudential Regulation Authority will take to the regulation of deposit takers – banks, building societies, credit unions and investment firms.

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FOS complains about 'entrenched', 'legalistic' positions

18 May 2011

In celebrating the achievement of dealing with a million frontline enquiries, Chief Ombudsman, Natalie Ceeney notes in today's annual review for 2010/11 that there are encouraging signs of improvements in (non-PPI) complaints handling.

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CASS crusade gets personal: CF10 fined and banned

17 May 2011

The FSA's commitment to personal enforcement action as part of its senior management responsibility drive was confirmed today by the publication of the Final Notice against David McGrath, formerly of ActivTrades.

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EU warning to financial services industry to keep its house in order

16 May 2011

EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia today warned that ex ante regulation of the financial services industry is no substitute for competition compliance.

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BBA abandons PPI judicial review

13 May 2011

The BBA statement - that the banks will not appeal the judicial review decision in BBA v FSA & FOS - refers to "matters of important principle which we will be taking forward in other ways with the authorities".

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Meteor launches judicial review of FOS ruling

06 May 2011

I read with interest yesterday's industry press reports that Meteor Asset Management is to launch a judicial review of an adverse FOS award relating to Lehmans structured products - but I wonder if it will get off the ground.

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Lloyds Banking Group sets aside £3.2bn for PPI as rules bite

05 May 2011

Shocking estimates of the likely increased costs to the industry of PPI mis-selling arising from changes to the PPI complaints handling and root cause rules look set to be surpassed.

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FSA report into RBS - whose report is it anyway?

04 May 2011

The continuing excitement about the FSA's report into the (near) collapse of RBS may be a storm in a teacup but it raises an interesting issue about the rights to similar reports and publicity.

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FOS to award 'distress and inconvenience' compensation for unsuccessful complaints

28 April 2011

Today's Ombudsman News leads with a plea to resolve PPI complaints following the High Court's ruling in BBA v FSA & FOS and includes a note about awarding compensation for 'distress and inconvenience' even where the underlying complaint is not upheld.

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CAT sheathes its claws after final construction appeals

28 April 2011

The Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) has now handed down its judgment in respect of the final three cases in appeals brought by 25 construction companies against fines levied by the OFT.

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