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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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Blog

A former judge reflects on privacy injunctions

Published on 15 June 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

Mr Justice Eady's interview last month by Joshua Rosenberg -

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Blog

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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Blog

HMRC steps up the pace with new taskforces

Published on 08 June 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

We have already had the offshore disclosure facility, the new disclosure opportunity, the Liechtenstein disclosure facility and the new regime for offshore penalties.

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Blog

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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Blog

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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Blog

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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Blog

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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Blog

A digest of recent news (1) - UK judgments

Published on 30 May 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

For one reason and another, the blog has been unable to report on much of the recent news. This entry is an attempt to remedy the situation. Normal service should be resumed shortly.

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Blog

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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Blog

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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Blog

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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Blog

Christopher Lunn – the saga continues!

Published on 24 May 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

Readers may be familiar with the ongoing saga of Christopher Lunn & Co and HMRC.

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Blog

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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Blog

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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Blog

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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Blog

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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Blog

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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Blog

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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Blog

The Tribunal considers the meaning of 'power' over documents

13 May 2011

An interesting case has just been heard by the First-tier Tribunal ('FTT'). The FTT held that a taxpayer had documents in its 'power', for the purposes of Section 20 Taxes Management Act 1970 (now repealed), despite not holding them or having a legally enforceable right to them.

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Blog

UK close to Swiss tax deal

13 May 2011

There has been much comment and speculation in the media recently on the landmark tax agreement between the UK and Switzerland which is close to signing (finalisation of the agreement is expected before the end of June 2011).

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Blog

Supreme Court decision in Tower MCashback

Published on 13 May 2011. By Daniel Hemming, Senior Associate

The Supreme Court's eagerly awaited decision in Tower MCashback has now been released (the importance of the case is reflected in the fact that it was considered by seven Supreme Court Justices).

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Blog

Are privacy injunctions too restrictive?

Published on 13 May 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

Has privacy law gone too far? It’s not just the editor of the Daily Mail who thinks so.

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Blog

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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Blog

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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Blog

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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Blog

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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Blog

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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Blog

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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Blog

UCIS - unregulated and misunderstood

27 April 2011

The FSA's thematic work on UCIS has reached the enforcement stage, demonstrating the FSA's focus on those that misunderstood the promotion rules.

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Blog

The effect of privacy injunctions on third parties

Published on 21 April 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

In general, an injunction made against a defendant does not affect a third party.

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Blog

Receipt of shares not emolument from employment

Published on 20 April 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The First-tier Tribunal has decided that a transfer of shares to an employee was not an emolument from the individuals' employment for the purposes of section 19 ICTA 1988 because the office or employment was not the "active cause" of the transfer.

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Blog

New light on the Ramsay doctrine

Published on 20 April 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In HMRC v Mayes [2011] EWCA Civ 407,the Court of Appeal was asked to decide whether a taxpayer was entitled to corresponding deficiency relief and/or capital gains tax loss relief under a tax avoidance structure known as "Ships 2".

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Blog

Workplace affairs are private - especially if one half of the couple has children

Published on 20 April 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

The Court of Appeal's judgment in ETK v News Group [2011] EWCA Civ 439 has prompted gasps of horror from some sections of the media.

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Blog

OTS publishes final report on review of tax reliefs

Published on 15 April 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

On 3 March 2011, the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) published its final report on its tax reliefs review.

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Blog

Tribunal finds for taxpayer in SDLT sub-sale partnership avoidance case

Published on 15 April 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The First-tier Tribunal ('FTT') has ruled in favour of the taxpayer in relation to an SDLT avoidance arrangement that relied on the transfer of rights provisions in section 45 of the Finance Act 2003 and the partnership provisions in paragraph 10 of Schedule 15 to the Finance Act 2003 - DVS3 RS Ltd v HMRC [2011] UKFTT 138.

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Blog

Court of Appeal rules no UK relief for US tax paid by parent of tick-the-box company

Published on 15 April 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The Court of Appeal has upheld HMRC's appeal in Bayfine against the decision of the High Court concerning the availability of treaty relief or unilateral relief in the UK – Bayfine v HMRC [2011] EWCA Civ 304.

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Blog

Berry gilt strips tax avoidance arrangement fails on appeal to the Upper Tribunal

Published on 15 April 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The Upper Tribunal (Lewison J) ('UT') has dismissed the taxpayer's appeal against the First-tier Tribunal's ('FTT') decision that he was not entitled to relief for losses suffered as a result of a gilt strip tax planning arrangement – Berry v HMRC [2011] UKUT 81.

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Blog

Phone-hacking is not a hanging offence

Published on 15 April 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

In February Donald Trelford, the respected former editor of the Observer, wrote in the Independent that the phone-hacking saga was a case of "dog eats dog gone barking-mad".

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Blog

Bribery Act systems and controls - start with a risk assessment

14 April 2011

Companies have until 1 July 2011 to put in place anti-bribery systems and controls. There is some confusion though over what this entails.

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Blog

FSA fines increase again - more 'crime'? Or just more 'punishment'?

12 April 2011

The latest twelve-month figure for the total of FSA fines has risen again.

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Blog

Lloyds Banking Group – opportunist knocked?

12 April 2011

The Independent Commission on Banking, chaired by Sir John Vickers, published its long awaited report yesterday.

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Blog

The "half-lives" of celebrities: a theory of phone-hacking

12 April 2011

In today's Independent Dominic Lawson offers an interesting view on how phone-hacking was allowed to take hold at the News of the World.

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Blog

No 'Red Tape Challenge' for financial services

11 April 2011

The Government launched last week its Red Tape Challenge with no mention of financial services regulation.

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Blog

OFT Annual Plan – Focus on economic growth

08 April 2011

The OFT's Annual Plan for 2011/2012, published on 31 March 2011, set out its priorities for the coming year and in the context of budget reductions of 25% over four years.

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Blog

Super Injunctions: committee reporting soon

Published on 08 April 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

By the end of this month we expect the committee investigating super injunctions to publish its report.

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Blog

RPC's Financial Services Update - April 2011

07 April 2011

Our Financial Services Update (April 2011 edition) is now available. It includes:

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Blog

Legal regulation catching up - and fast

07 April 2011

Yesterday saw the first publication of the SRA's "Handbook". The adoption of FSA terminology and approach continues.

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Blog

Who's watching the London Insurance Market?

05 April 2011

As anticipated back in February, the FSA's restructure in anticipation of the new split between the PRA and the FCA came into operation yesterday.

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Blog

Money Advice Service - costs lots of money but provides no specific advice

04 April 2011

The FSA today launched its rebranded Moneymadeclear and Consumer Financial Education Body as the Money Advice Service which will cost the industry £43.7m this year.

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