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Financial Regulatory Developments Focus
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The following posts provide a snapshot of the principal U.S., European and global financial regulatory developments of interest to banks, investment firms, broker-dealers, market infrastructures, asset managers and corporates.

  • UK Climate Financial Risk Forum Publishes 2020 Guide
    07/29/2020

    The U.K. Climate Financial Risk Forum has published its first guide providing practical recommendations for the financial services sector on how to respond to climate-related financial risks. The CFRF was established by the U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority and is made up of industry representatives from the banking, insurance and asset management sectors, as well as others such as the London Stock Exchange Group and the Green Finance Institute. The CFRF aims to build capacity and share best practice across the finance industry in order to improve the financial services sector's response to the financial risks arising from climate change.

    Read more.
  • Outcome of European Supervisory Authorities’ Review of PRIIPs Technical Standards Published
    07/21/2020

    The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities has published a letter addressed to the European Commission informing it of the outcome of the ESAs’ review of the Regulatory Technical Standards (Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/653) on the presentation, content, review and revision of a standardized “key information document” and the conditions for fulfilling the requirement to provide a KID. The RTS supplements the Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products Regulation, which introduced a requirement for manufacturers of PRIIPs to produce a KID with the intention of improving retail investors’ understanding of the financial products they were purchasing.

    Read more.
  • UK Proposals to Extend Regulatory Perimeter to Capture Promotion of Unregulated Crypto-Assets
    07/20/2020

    HM Treasury has released proposals to amend the U.K.’s financial promotion rules to subject unregulated crypto-assets to the financial promotions regime. The Government proposals aim to enhance consumer protection, ensure market integrity and fight against financial crime. Responses to the consultation can be submitted until October 25, 2020. The Government is separately consulting on limiting the ability of authorized firms to approve financial promotions of unauthorized without consent from the Financial Conduct Authority.

    Read more.
  • UK Proposals to Tighten Financial Promotion Rules By Unauthorized Firms
    07/20/2020

    HM Treasury has released proposals to amend the U.K.’s financial promotion rules to provide increased consumer protection from misleading advertisements and a lack of suitable information. The U.K. financial promotion rules provide that a person may not communicate a financial promotion—an invitation or inducement to engage in an investment activity—unless the communication is exempt, the firm is authorized to carry on a regulated activity or the communication is approved by an authorized firm. Only financial promotions that are not real-time may be approved by an authorized person, and any approval must comply with the Financial Conduct Authority’s financial promotion rules. Any communication must be fair, clear and not misleading.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Consults on Extending Certification and Conduct Rules Implementation Deadlines
    07/17/2020

    Following the announcement of the extension for solo-regulated firms of the deadline for completion of firms' first assessments of the fitness and propriety of their Certified Persons. from December 9, 2020, to March 31, 2021, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has opened a consultation on extending certain other implementation deadlines for the Certification Regime and Conduct Rules. The extension of the deadline for firms' first fitness and propriety assessments was agreed to by HM Treasury in light of the continuing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Read more.
  • HM Treasury Provides Guidance on Application of EU CRR Quick Fix Package During Brexit Transitional Period
    07/16/2020

    HM Treasury has published a statement on the application of the EU CRR Quick Fix package during the Brexit transitional period. The EU CRR Quick Fix package consists of a Regulation amending the Capital Requirements Regulation (and also amending the Regulation amending the CRR, known as CRR2) and it was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on June 26, 2020. The Regulation forms part of the EU's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Read more.
  • Final EU Guidelines for Securitization Repositories Assessing Data Completeness and Consistency
    07/10/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a final report and final guidelines on securitization repository data completeness and consistency thresholds. The guidelines will apply to EU securitization repositories that are registered with and supervised by ESMA. From January 1, 2021, ESMA will consider the guidelines in its supervision of securitization repositories.

    Read more.
  • EU Consultation on Guidelines for SFT Position Reporting by Trade Repositories
    07/09/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a consultation paper on proposed Guidelines on the calculation of positions in Securities Financing Transactions by trade repositories under the EU Securities Financing Transactions Regulation. The consultation closes on September 15, 2020. ESMA intends to finalize the Guidelines for publication in Q4 2020 or Q1 2021.

    The proposed Guidelines aim to ensure consistency of position calculation by trade repositories to national regulators, including the time of calculations, the scope of the data used in calculations, the treatment of outliers, the recordkeeping of data and the calculation methodologies. They also aim to ensure a consistent methodology is used under SFTR and the European Market Infrastructure Regulation.

    View the consultation paper.
  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Finalizes Credit Valuation Adjustment Risk Framework
    07/09/2020

    The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has published final revisions to the credit valuation adjustment risk framework under the Basel III standards. The updated international standard sets out the proposed regulatory capital treatment of CVA risk for derivatives and securities financing transactions. The CVA risk framework is designed to manage the risk of banks incurring mark-to-market losses from deterioration in the creditworthiness of counterparties in derivatives or SFTs. The framework was last revised in December 2017, partly to align it with the Basel Committee's market risk framework. The latest revisions include:
     
    1. The reduction of certain risk weights;
    2. The introduction of new index buckets and revised aggregation of CVA capital requirements;
    3. An amendment to the scope of portfolios subject to CVA risk capital requirements. SFTs, where the CVA risks stemming from such positions are not material, are excluded and certain client-cleared derivatives are exempt; and
    4. Revision of the overall calibration of the CVA risk framework, covering both the standardized and the basic approach.

    View the updated CVA standard.
  • Financial Stability Board Makes Recommendations to Support LIBOR Transition
    07/09/2020

    The Financial Stability Board and Basel Committee on Banking Supervision have published a report to the G20 on supervisory issues associated with benchmark transition. The report focuses on the transition away from using LIBOR, but is relevant to other Interbank Offered Rates. The report presents the findings of a survey on the status of the move from using LIBOR, whose usage U.K. regulators are attempting to cease from the end of 2021, and sets out recommendations for relevant authorities and supervisors. 

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Report on Implementation of EU Prudential Framework During COVID-19
    07/07/2020

    The European Banking Authority has published a report on the implementation of certain prudential policies introduced by the EBA to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report focuses on two areas in particular: implementation issues around the EBA's Guidelines on legislative and non-legislative moratoria on loan repayments and the criteria that institutions should follow for the identification and treatment of operational risk events and losses.

    Read more.
  • UK Resolution Authority Provides Clarity on Impact of LIBOR Transition on Bail-In and Stays Clauses
    07/07/2020

    Following the letter published on December 18, 2019, to the Chair of the Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates, which provided clarification on the impact that the LIBOR transition is likely to have on the prudential requirements for banks, the Prudential Regulation Authority has published a statement providing clarity on the implications of LIBOR transition for contracts in scope of the PRA’s rules on Contractual Recognition of Bail-In and Stay in Resolution. The PRA states that, where the sole purpose of an amendment to a liability or a financial arrangement is to cease using LIBOR, the amendment should not be considered a material amendment under the PRA rules. 

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  • UK Conduct Regulator Statement on Open Access Regime for Exchange-Traded Derivatives
    07/06/2020

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published an updated statement on the open access regime for trading and clearing exchange-traded derivatives. The Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation provided a temporary opt-out from the open access requirements for trading venues and clearing houses in relation to ETDs. The opt-out was due to expire on July 3, 2020. However, in light of COVID-19, the EU has announced it is postponing the implementation of the open access regime for ETDs until July 3, 2021. The FCA's statement acknowledges the EU's postponement of the regime and states that the amended open access regime will form part of retained EU law that will be transposed by the U.K. post-Brexit and will continue to apply in the U.K. after the end of the transition period.

    Read more.
  • UK Government Publishes Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020
    07/06/2020

    HM Treasury has published the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020, a new piece of U.K. legislation designed to target those involved in serious violations of human rights. The Regulations come into force on July 6, 2020. They apply to relevant conduct by any person across the whole of the U.K. but also have extra-territorial effect, additionally applying to conduct by U.K. persons (including U.K. incorporated companies and overseas branches of such companies) outside the U.K. and by any person in the territorial sea adjacent to the U.K.

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  • EU Notice on Postponement of Open Access Provisions for Exchange-Traded Derivatives
    07/03/2020

    A notice of information has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union, postponing the entry into application of open access provisions for exchange-traded derivatives under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation until July 3, 2021.

    MiFIR requires a trading venue to provide open and non-discriminatory access to a CCP so that a CCP can clear trades in transferable securities, money market instruments and ETDs concluded on a trading venue of their choice. There is a reciprocal requirement on CCPs to provide open and non-discriminatory access to a trading venue that wishes to clear financial instruments through a particular CCP. These provisions have been in force for over-the-counter products (i.e. those not traded on a regulated market) for some time. The European Securities and Markets Authority published a statement in June 2020 setting out the circumstances in which trading venues and CCPs may refuse requests for access, acknowledging the strain placed on trading venues and CCPs by COVID-19, which may impact their ability to deal with such requests.

    Read more.
  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Publishes Final Updated AML Guidelines
    07/02/2020

    The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has published final updated guidelines on the "Sound management of risks related to money laundering and financing of terrorism". The updated guidelines apply to all banks, banking groups and relevant regulators.

    The updated guidelines include detailed guidance on the interaction between prudential and AML/CFT supervision to enhance the effectiveness of the supervision of banks' AML/CFT regimes. The updated guidelines also merge and replace two other Basel Committee documents, namely Customer due diligence for banks (October 2001) and Consolidated KYC risk management (October 2004). The guidelines should be read in conjunction with other Basel Committee papers, such as the Core principles for effective bank supervision, as well as relevant guidance published by the Financial Action Task Force.

    View the updated guidelines.
  • Financial Stability Board Statement on COVID-19 Impact on Benchmark Reform
    07/01/2020

    The Financial Stability Board has published a statement on the impact of COVID-19 on global benchmark reforms. Although the FSB acknowledges some aspects of benchmark reform will be delayed due to the effects of COVID-19, many areas can go on as planned and the FSB considers that firms should continue to make wider use of risk-free rates to reduce reliance on IBORs. Firms should also ensure their transition programs facilitate a transition away from LIBOR before the end of 2021. The FSB will publish a report on the remaining challenges for benchmark transition later in July.

    View the FSB's statement on the impact of COVID-19 on LIBOR benchmark reform.
  • Final EU Guidelines on the Treatment of Structural FX Under Capital Requirements Regulation
    07/01/2020

    The European Banking Authority has published final guidelines on the implementation of the structural FX provision under the Capital Requirements Regulation. The CRR requires institutions to calculate their net open positions in currencies according to specified formulae but permits institutions to exclude positions that have been taken for hedging purposes and that are structural. The guidelines will apply to both firms and national regulators from January 1, 2022, to allow firms time to comply with the new framework.  However, regulators should review, update or revoke permissions already granted before the guidelines apply.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Announces Expectations for Approved Persons Regime for Benchmark Administrators During COVID-19
    06/30/2020

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has announced its expectations for benchmark administrators and firms using Appointed Representatives that are subject to the Approved Persons Regime during COVID-19. The APR has been superseded by the Senior Managers and Certification Regime for most solo- and dual-regulated firms. However, as benchmark administrators were a new category of authorized firm, they were granted a one-year extension from the roll-out of the SM&CR and so remain subject to the APR until December 7, 2020, when the SM&CR for benchmark administrators that do not undertake other regulated activities will be implemented.

    Read more.
  • Financial Action Task Force Consults on Updating Guidance for Proliferation Financing Risks
    06/30/2020

    The Financial Action Task Force has opened a consultation on amendments to Recommendation 1 and its Interpretive Note. Recommendation 1 provides guidance on assessing risks and applying a risk-based approach to money laundering and terrorist financing risks. The FATF is proposing to update the Recommendation to require countries and the private sector to identify and assess risks of potential breaches, non-implementation or evasion of the targeted financial sanctions obligations referred to in Recommendation 7 linked to proliferation financing risks. Responses to the consultation may be submitted until August 31, 2020. The FATF intends to consider the feedback at its plenary session in October 2020.

    View the consultation paper.
  • UK Prudential Regulator Statement on EU CRR ‘Quick Fix’ Package
    06/30/2020

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has published a statement on the EU Capital Requirements Regulation ‘Quick Fix’ package, confirming that it applies directly to all PRA-regulated firms. The CRR Quick Fix package has applied across the EU since June 27, 2020. The CRR Quick Fix package is part of the EU’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

    In its statement, the PRA confirms that U.K.-regulated banks already applying the CRR transitional arrangements for IFRS 9 must implement the revised calculations as a result of the Quick ix package, which extended by two years the transitional measures for the implementation of IFRS 9. In addition, a bank contemplating ceasing to apply the IFRS 9 transitional measures must first obtain PRA approval to do so. The PRA is encouraging those banks to submit their requests by July 31, 2020, which requests must include a written explanation of the basis on which senior management has satisfied itself with the continuing adequacy of the bank’s financial resources.

    Read more.
  • Extension of Fitness and Propriety Assessments for UK FCA-Regulated Firms
    06/30/2020

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has announced the extension for solo-regulated firms of the deadline for completion of firms’ first assessments of the fitness and propriety of their Certified Persons. In light of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on financial institutions, HM Treasury agreed to extend the deadline from December 9, 2020, to March 31, 2021, although the legislation to formalize the extension is yet to be finalized. The FCA states that firms that are able to carry out their assessments before the March 2021 deadline, should do so.

    Read more.
  • UK Legislation Made to Onshore EMIR 2.2
    06/26/2020

    The U.K. has published Over the Counter Derivatives, Central Counterparties and Trade Repositories (Amendment, etc., and Transitional Provision) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 to onshore the new EU regime for third-country CCPs introduced by amendments to the European Market Infrastructure Regulation, known as EMIR 2.2. EMIR 2.2, which has applied since January 1, 2020, is part of the EU’s push to enhance the regulation of CCPs amid concerns regarding potential CCP failures given their increasing systemic importance and is widely regarded as a direct response to Brexit, given that three of the largest European CCPs are based in the U.K.

    Read more.
  • EU Banking ‘Quick Fix’ Regulation Published
    06/26/2020

    A new EU Regulation amending the Capital Requirements Regulation (and also amending the Regulation amending the CRR, known as CRR2), has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. It is known as the CRR Quick Fix package and applies from June 27, 2020. The Regulation forms part of the EU’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

    Read more.
  • International Organization of Securities Commissions Proposes Artificial Intelligence Requirements for Market Intermediaries and Asset Managers
    06/25/2020

    The International Organization of Securities Commissions has issued a consultation on proposed guidance on the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning by market intermediaries and asset managers. The draft guidance is intended to assist IOSCO member jurisdictions to develop appropriate regulatory frameworks to mitigate the risks arising from the increased use of AI and ML by financial institutions. Comments on the draft Guidance can be submitted until October 26, 2020.

    Read more.
  • EU Amends Technical Standards on Prudent Valuation in Response to COVID-19
    06/25/2020
    An EU Regulation amending the Regulatory Technical Standards on prudent valuation has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The amending Regulation amends Delegated Regulation (EU) No 101/2016 (which supplements the EU Capital Requirements Regulation) by increasing the aggregation factor applicable to the core approach from 50% to 66% until December 31, 2020, with the aim of it applying for the June 30, 2020, COREP reporting. The amending Regulation applies from June 26, 2020.

    View the amending Regulation.
  • EU Sustainable Finance Taxonomy Regulation Published
    06/22/2020

    A new EU Regulation on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment (commonly referred to as the Taxonomy Regulation) has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Taxonomy is a classification system for sustainable activities that is designed to provide a shared understanding of the environmental sustainability of activities and investments. The Regulation sets out the environment objectives for the Taxonomy and the criteria for determining whether an economic activity qualifies as environmentally sustainable. It also makes various amendments to the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, including requiring the European Supervisory Authorities to develop regulatory technical standards specifying the content and presentation of information demonstrating that a given investment does not significantly harm relevant environmental objectives. 

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Consults on Permanent Ban for Marketing Speculative Illiquid Securities to Retail Investors
    06/18/2020

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has launched a consultation on its proposals to make permanent its ban on the mass-marketing of speculative illiquid securities to retail investors. The FCA’s temporary product intervention measures, restricting the sale of speculative illiquid securities to retail investors other than sophisticated or high net worth investors, came into force on January 1, 2020 for a period of one year. The FCA’s consultation sets out the FCA’s plan for making the measures permanent and extending them to include listed bonds with similar features to speculative illiquid securities that are not regularly traded. Responses to the consultation should be submitted by October 1, 2020.

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Publishes Amended Draft Technical Standards for Passport Notifications
    06/18/2020

    The European Banking Authority has published amending draft Regulatory Technical Standards and Implementing Technical Standards on passporting notifications under the fourth Capital Requirements Directive. CRD4 requires an EU bank wishing to establish a branch in another EU Member State to notify the national regulator of its home Member State of certain information. In the event of any changes in the information supplied, the relevant bank must notify the national regulators of both the home and host Member State at least one month prior to the change coming into effect. In 2014, the EBA produced RTS on the information to be provided to the national regulators in connection with the exercise of these passporting rights, and ITS on the forms, templates and procedures for such notifications.

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Extends Payments Moratoria Guidelines
    06/18/2020

    The European Banking Authority has extended the applicability of its Guidelines on legislative and non-legislative loan repayments in light of the ongoing effects of COVID-19. The Guidelines were originally published in April 2020 and stated that, where payment moratoria were based on national law or a private-sector initiative broadly applied by credit institutions in response to COVID-19, they would not be classified as forbearance or distressed restructuring measures. The Guidelines as originally published applied to moratoria applied before June, 30 2020. That deadline has now been extended to moratoria applied before September 30, 2020.
     
    View the EBA's updated statement on its Guidelines on payments moratoria.
     
    View details of the EBA's original statement on its Guidelines on payments moratoria.
  • European Banking Authority Publishes Peer Review of Deposit Guarantee Scheme Stress Test Results
    06/17/2020

    The European Banking Authority has published the results of its peer review of EU deposit guarantee schemes. The EU Deposit Guarantee Scheme Directive establishes requirements for EU DGSs, including that Member States conduct stress tests of their DGSs. Member States were required to report on their stress tests by July 3, 2019, and the EBA has based its peer review report on the results of the tests. The report is intended to assess the resilience of EU DGSs and identify good practices and areas for improvement.

    Read more.
  • UK Publishes Post-Brexit Cyber Sanctions Regulations
    06/17/2020

    The U.K. Government has published the Cyber (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 and an explanatory memorandum. The Regulations are made under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018, which was introduced to enable the U.K. Government to implement international sanctions following its departure from the EU. The majority of the SAMLA provisions entered into force on November 22, 2018. The purpose of the Regulations is to ensure that the U.K. has an effective cyber sanctions regime at the end of transitional period (currently scheduled for December 31, 2020) as part of the U.K.'s exit from the EU.

    Read more.
  • UK Payment Systems and Conduct Regulators Publish Joint Statement on Access to Cash
    06/16/2020

    The U.K. Payment Systems Regulator and U.K. Financial Conduct Authority have published a joint statement on their approach to maintaining access to cash for those that need it in light of bank branch and cash machine closures due to COVID-19. The regulators have adopted a series of actions, including mapping which regions have seen branch and cash machine closures, working with banks, building societies, the Post Office and Link to ensure access to these facilities is re-established as soon as possible and focusing on the needs of vulnerable consumers who require ongoing access to cash. In the longer-term, the regulators will work to ensure reasonable access to cash is maintained, including through use of shared services and local community initiatives, and anticipate additional powers to preserve access to cash from upcoming legislation announced in the U.K. Government’s 2020 budget.
     
    View the PSR's statement on access to cash.
     
    View the FCA's statement on access to cash.
     
    Details of other regulatory responses to COVID-19 are available on our COVID-19 Research Center.
  • EU Working Group on Risk-Free Rates Publishes Recommendation on Voluntary Compensation for Swaptions
    06/16/2020

    The EU Working Group on Risk-Free Rates has published its recommendation on voluntary compensation for swaptions affected by the CCP discounting transition from EONIA to €STR. The recommendation follows the Working Group’s March 2020 consultation on the topic. The Working Group recommends that counterparties exchange voluntary compensation for relevant legacy swaption contracts and that market participants contact their swaption counterparties promptly to determine whether compensation is required. 

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Call for Input on Impact of De-Risking on Financial Institutions and Consumers
    06/15/2020
    The European Banking Authority has launched a call for input to understand why financial institutions choose to “de-risk” (meaning they elect not to service a particular customer or category of customers on the basis of higher money laundering and terrorist financing risks) instead of managing the risks of working with those customers. Responses are sought from financial institutions and end users by September 11, 2020. The call for input will inform the EBA’s Opinion on the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing affecting the EU’s financial sector.
     
    View the EBA's call for input.
  • European Securities and Markets Regulator Publishes 2019 Annual Report and Updated 2020 Work Program
    06/15/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published its 2019 Annual Report together with an updated version of its 2020 Work Program, incorporating changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
     
    ESMA’s 2019 Annual Report discusses ESMA’s work in 2019, which included: (a) the entry into force of EMIR 2.2, including significant new responsibilities for ESMA in the authorization and supervision of CCPs; (b) ESMA’s common supervisory action on the application of the revised Markets in Financial Instrument Directive’s requirements on the assessment of appropriateness, for which ESMA will consider whether any follow-up work is needed in 2020; (c) reviews of MiFID II and the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation, including on fair access to, and lowering the cost of, market data and the consolidated tape; and (d) sustainable finance, including technical advice delivered to the European Commission on the integration of sustainability risks for investment firms and investment funds into relevant EU legislation, a report on undue short-termism in securities markets and contributions to the technical expert group on sustainable finance which is due to deliver technical advice on delegated legislation relating to the EU Benchmarks Regulation.

    Read more.
  • UK Government Amends Sanctions Legislation
    06/13/2020

    HM Treasury has published the Sanctions (EU Exit) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations and the Sanctions (EU Exit) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No. 2) Regulations, amending certain aspects of the U.K. sanctions regime. The legislation is made under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018, which was introduced to enable the U.K. Government to implement international sanctions following its departure from the EU. The majority of the SAMLA provisions entered into force on November 22, 2018.

    Read more.
  • European Commission Consults on Proposed EU Green Bond Standard
    06/12/2020

    The European Commission has published a consultation on the establishment of an EU Green Bond Standard. The EU's GBS initiative forms part of the European Green Deal, which aims to increase the EU's climate action and environmental policy ambitions. The proposed GBS will establish standards and labels for green financial products and instruments. In June 2019, the EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance published a report on the proposed GBS, setting out ten recommendations for the substance of the GBS and for how market participants and regulators could support and monitor it. In March 2020, the TEG also published a Usability Guide to the GBS, setting out the TEG's views on its application, including confirming its view that the GBS should be voluntary. The TEG's March 2020 report also included a series of recommendations for the secondary legislation to be published in connection with the EU's proposed Taxonomy Regulation. The Commission and TEG recently published joint FAQs on the EU taxonomy and GBS.

    Read more.
  • FICC Markets Standards Board Publishes Case Studies for Managing LIBOR Transition Conduct Risks
    06/11/2020

    The FICC Markets Standards Board has published a Spotlight Review on case studies for navigating conduct risks during the LIBOR transition, which is due to be completed by the end of 2021. The Review will be of interest to all market participants, including sell-side, buy-side and corporates. It is intended to assist in the identification and management of conduct risks related to the LIBOR transition. The Review assesses risks to market fairness and effectiveness that could arise during the LIBOR transition and discusses how market participants could tackle these risks. Using practical case studies, the Review draws attention to how uncertainties might lead to decision-making challenges for market participants offering new products to clients or changing performance benchmarks.

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority published a statement in November 2019 setting out its expectations of firms relating to governance and accountability, replacing LIBOR with alternative rates in existing contracts, offering new products with alternative rates, communicating with customers about the transition from LIBOR and best practice for firms investing on behalf of clients.

    View the FMSB Spotlight Review on case studies for navigating LIBOR transition conduct risks.

    View the FCA's statement on conduct risks.
  • European Commission Publishes Draft Delegated Regulation on Fees Charged to Third-Country Central Counterparties
    06/11/2020

    The European Commission has published a draft delegated regulation on the fees charged by the European Securities and Markets Authority to central counterparties established in third-countries that are recognized by ESMA and able to provide clearing services in the EU. The draft regulation will supplement the European Market Infrastructure Regulation. EMIR was revised twice during 2019. The second revision (known as EMIR 2.2) introduced changes to the procedures and authorities involved in the authorization of CCPs and the requirements for the recognition of third-country CCPs. EMIR 2.2, is part of the EU’s push to enhance the regulation of CCPs amid concerns regarding potential CCP failures given their increasing systemic importance and is widely regarded as a direct response to Brexit, given that three of the largest European CCPs are based in the U.K. Feedback on the draft delegated regulation can be submitted until July 9, 2020.

    Read more.
  • EU Statement on Open Access Requests for Exchange-Traded Derivatives
    06/11/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a statement on the open access provisions for exchange-traded derivatives under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation.

    MiFIR requires a trading venue to provide open and non-discriminatory access to a CCP so that a CCP can clear trades in transferable securities, money market instruments and ETDs concluded on a trading venue of their choice, which will in turn allow the members of a trading venue to select the CCP they wish to use for clearing. There is a reciprocal requirement on CCPs to provide open and non-discriminatory access to a trading venue that wishes to clear financial instruments through a particular CCP. These provisions are controversial since they mean that valuable intellectual property and IT systems developed by exchanges effectively must be made available to competitors or new market entrants. It has been argued that the open access requirements make the EU unattractive as a location for exchange businesses due to the commercial disadvantages that result for those exchanges which have successfully invested in innovation.

    Read more.
  • European Commission Publishes Draft Delegated Regulations on Criteria for Tiering of Third-Country CCPs and on Comparable Compliance
    06/11/2020

    The European Commission has published two draft delegated regulations, the first is on the criteria for determining whether a third-country CCP is systemically important and the second is on the minimum elements to be assessed by the European Securities and Markets Authority when assessing third-country CCPs’ requests for comparable compliance and the modalities and conditions of that assessment. The draft regulations will supplement the European Market Infrastructure Regulation. EMIR was revised twice during 2019.  The second revision (known as EMIR 2.2) introduced changes to the procedures and authorities involved in the authorization of CCPs and the requirements for the recognition of third-country CCPs. “EMIR 2.2” is part of the EU’s push to enhance the regulation of CCPs amid concerns regarding potential CCP failures given their increasing systemic importance and is widely regarded as a direct response to Brexit, given that three of the largest European CCPs are based in the U.K. Feedback on the draft delegated regulations can be submitted until July 9, 2020.

    Read more.
  • Bank of England Confirms Daily Compounded SONIA Index
    06/11/2020

    Following the discussion paper published on February 26, 2020, the Bank of England has announced that it will begin publishing a daily compounded Sterling Overnight Index. It is expected that this will start in early August, although the BoE will confirm the date in due course. The daily compounded index would represent the return on an investment earning daily interest at the SONIA rate; market participants could calculate the interest payable on their instruments by reference to the change in the index between two dates. The BoE has decided not to proceed with publishing the proposed SONIA period averages due to lack of industry consensus on the usefulness of such data and the underlying conventions. The BoE will consider producing this data if market participants are able to reach a more united view.

    Read more.
  • European Commission Publishes FAQs on Sustainable Finance Initiatives
    06/10/2020

    The European Commission has published Frequently Asked Questions on the EU taxonomy and Green Bond Standard. The EU taxonomy is a classification system that will create a common language for sustainable activities, to help determine whether an economic activity is environmentally sustainable. The Green Bond Standard establishes labels for financial products that are judged to be "green". The taxonomy and Standard are two products of the Commission's 2018 Action Plan on Financing Sustainable growth. 

    Read more.
  • UK Regulators Acknowledge European Systemic Risk Board Recommendation on Financial Institution Distributions
    06/08/2020

    The Bank of England and U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority have publicly acknowledged the ESRB's Recommendation on the restriction of distributions during COVID-19. The ESRB recommends that EU financial institutions refrain from making dividend distributions, entering into buy-backs of ordinary shares or creating obligations to pay variable remuneration to material risk takers where those actions reduce the quantity or quality of own funds at the EU group level and sub-consolidated or individual level. The BoE and PRA note that the Recommendation applies to U.K. authorities during the Brexit transition period.

    View the BoE and PRA's joint statement on the ESRB's Recommendation.

    View details of the ESRB's Recommendation.

    Details of other regulatory responses to COVID-19 are available on our COVID-19 Research Center.
  • European Systemic Risk Board Announces Further Actions to Combat Impact of COVID-19
    06/08/2020

    The European Systemic Risk Board has announced a series of further actions designed to combat the impact of COVID-19 on European financial markets. The actions relate to the five priority areas already identified by the ESRB as requiring particular focus in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as follows:
    • Implications for the financial system of guarantee schemes and other fiscal measures to protect the economy: the ESRB has published a Recommendation introducing minimum requirements for national monitoring of the financial stability implications of the various debt moratoria and guarantee schemes introduced by Member States to support economies through COVID-19 (Recommendation A); national regulators are also advised to regularly report information on these schemes to the ESRB in accordance with reporting templates to be published by the ESRB by June 30, 2020 (Recommendation B); national regulators implicated by the Recommendation should communicate the actions they have taken, or intend to take, in response to the Recommendation A by July 31, 2020 and Recommendation B by December 31, 2020;
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  • Final EU Guidelines on Compliance Function Requirements Under MIFID II
    06/05/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published final guidelines on the compliance function requirements that are set out in the revised Markets in Financial Instruments package. The final guidelines replace ESMA's 2012 guidelines issued under MiFID I.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: MiFID II
  • UK Conduct Regulator Publishes Guidance on Branch Access During COVID-19
    06/04/2020

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published guidance for banks on continuing to make branch access available for essential services. In considering reopening and operating branches, banks should balance the needs of their customers against the safety and welfare of their staff. Maintaining access to essential services for vulnerable customers, such as access to cash, telephone banking and in-person payments, should be a particular priority. Firms should also prioritize the reinstatement of access to cash and essential services in local areas which have lost access to bank branches as a result of the pandemic, and, where this is not possible, should ensure they communicate clearly with customers through websites and physical signs at branches to point them to alternatives, including Post Office services.
     
    View the FCA's guidance on branch access during COVID-19.
     
    Details of other regulatory responses to COVID-19 are available on our COVID-19 Research Center.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Update on COVID-19 Response and 2020 Expectations
    06/04/2020

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority’s Executive Director of Supervision for Investment, Wholesale and Specialists, Megan Butler, has given a speech setting out the FCA’s current priorities, its expectations of firms during the COVID-19 pandemic and the outcomes it is focusing on for the wealth management sector, as well as the future priorities for financial regulation.
     
    The FCA initially prioritized immediate relief for firms and consumers, including on mortgages and unsecured lending products, at the outset of the COVID-19 crisis, but is now looking at how it will respond to the challenges of COVID-19 on a more long-term basis. This longer-term approach includes ensuring a good level of operational resilience (in line with the FCA’s ongoing consultation on that topic), that markets can continue to function well, that customers are treated fairly and protected from scams and that the FCA understands firms’ financial resilience so that they can fail in an orderly manner. 

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  • UK Prudential Regulator Publishes Further Guidance on IFRS 9 and Capital Requirements
    06/04/2020

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has published a “Dear CEO” letter providing further guidance on IFRS 9 and capital requirements in the context of COVID-19. The PRA published a “Dear CEO” letter in March 2020, advising firms on the application of certain key concepts (including the definition of "default" in the Capital Requirements Regulation and expected credit loss accounting under IFRS 9). This guidance related in large part to payment holidays, many of which are now coming to an end. The PRA’s latest guidance therefore focuses on exits from those initial payment deferrals. 

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