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Moving with the times – welcome to RPC's Financial Services Blog

04 February 2014

Regulatory change and client demand have prompted us to create a separate Corporate Insurance 'Hub' and re-brand our Regulatory Blog.

This new look "Financial Services Blog" will still comment on insurance issues and will also draw increasingly from our other sister publication, the Professional & Financial Risks Blog. This re-branding is intended to reflect on-going regulatory change, RPC's expanding offerings and the increasing segmentation of our blog audiences.

Henceforth, the Corporate Insurance Hub will host pieces more specifically relevant to the insurance market (underwriters and brokers, companies and Lloyd's, London and international, commercial and consumer).  This better reflects RPC's well-known expertise in insurance and is timed with the FCA's and PRA's increasing focus on the insurance sector.  We have commented here on the on-going conflicts review, market study into general insurance add-ons, the FCA's new approach to insurance supervision, client money problems and CASS 5 reforms and the various thematic reviews already conducted into the general insurance market.  The Hub will provide a more focussed future home for such news and commentary.

The core of this blog will remain the investment sector.  In recognition of that, and the regulator's 'wholesale conduct' agenda and post-RDR implementation review work, we are re-branding as the Financial Services Blog.  Whether it be the advisory or intermediary sector, wealth, investment, asset or fund management, or product manufacture and distribution, the conduct regulator now looks wherever it feels it must in the chain to identify potential causes of consumer detriment or market instability – and now, lack of competition.  RDR is having a significant impact on discretionary managers and product providers.  Wholesale conduct issues are impacting on distribution arrangements and forcing firms of all sizes to take notice.  We will monitor it all and comment from the financial services lawyer's perspective.

We will increasingly call on the expertise of our financial professionals' liability lawyers to comment on systemic risks, risk management and liabilities generally.  The current FCA review into complaints handling – and the anticipated report in Q2 on firms' "approach redress and root cause analysis" – serves as a timely reminder of the increasing significance of complaints handling and the role it plays in the product or service life cycle and 'TCF outcomes'.  Our clients will increasingly need more than expert complaints handling and litigation; firms will need feedback and MI from their complaints to use in their root cause analysis and to demonstrate compliance with the rules and (anticipated) FCA guidance.

I hope you will enjoy these new look blogs.  As ever, please contact the contributor direct about specific issues raised in any items or me if you have any general queries or comments for the editor.

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