Shearman & Sterling LLP | FinReg
Financial Regulatory Developments Focus
This links to the home page
FILTERS

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.

  • EU Consultation on Requirements for Contractual Provisions for Recognition of Stay Powers
    05/15/2020

    The European Banking Authority has opened a consultation on proposed Regulatory Technical Standards on the contractual recognition of stay powers under the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive. Revisions to the BRRD were published in June 2019. EU Member States are required to transpose the amending Directive into their national laws and to apply the provisions by no later than December 28, 2020, except for provisions relating to the minimum requirement for own funds and eligible liabilities (MREL), which apply from January 1, 2024. The consultation closes on August 15, 2020.

    The BRRD provides resolution authorities with powers to stay the contractual rights of parties in financial contracts. These powers allow resolution authorities, for a limited period of time, to suspend contractual payment or delivery obligations due under a contract with a firm under resolution. In certain circumstances before resolution, a resolution authority may also restrict the enforcement of security interests and suspend certain rights of counterparties, such as rights of close-out, netting, accelerating future payments or terminating financial contracts.

    Read more.
  • UK Joint Money Laundering Steering Group Consults on Pooled Client Accounts Guidance
    05/14/2020

    The U.K. Joint Money Laundering Steering Group has launched a consultation on draft guidance on Pooled Client Accounts. The JMLSG Guidance is provided for firms in the financial sector. A PCA is a bank account opened with a financial institution by a customer, to administer funds that belong to the customer's clients. The customers clients' money will be co-mingled but the customer's clients will not be able to directly instruct the financial institution to carry out transactions. The JMLSG is proposing guidance on the risks, risk assessments, written agreements and due diligence that might be needed when a financial institution opens and administers a PCA for a customer. The consultation closes on June 10, 2020.

    View the consultation paper.
  • Revised ISDA 2006 Definitions Implementing Pre-Cessation Fallbacks Expected in July 2020
    05/14/2020

    The International Swaps and Derivatives Association has published a summary, prepared by the Brattle group, of the responses to the ISDA 2020 consultation on how to implement pre-cessation fallbacks in derivatives. Pre-cessation triggers would cause LIBOR-based derivative contracts to fall back to an alternative reference rate in the event that the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority deemed LIBOR no longer to be representative. ISDA sought views as to whether provisions should be included in its standard documentation specifying that rate options for LIBOR in USD, GBP, CHF, JPY and EUR all contain fallbacks that would apply upon the earlier of: (i) a permanent cessation trigger; and (ii) a 'non-representativeness' trigger.

    The report confirms the preliminary findings, published by ISDA on April 15, 2020. The majority of respondents are in favor of including the pre-cessation fallbacks in ISDA documentation via either an amended version of the ISDA 2006 definitions (for new contracts) or a protocol (for legacy contracts).

    In July 2020, ISDA intends to publish the amended 2006 ISDA Definitions to incorporate the fallbacks for new trades. The protocol will be published at the same time. Both the revised Definitions and the new protocol will come into effect before the end of 2020.

    View the report.

    View ISDA's press release.
  • European Banking Authority to Act on Dividend Arbitrage Trading Schemes
    05/12/2020

    In response to the November 2018 request of the European Parliament to conduct an enquiry into dividend arbitrage trading schemes, the European Banking Authority has published a report (dated April 28, 2020) on the approach of national regulators across the EU to tackle market integrity risks associated with dividend arbitrage trading schemes. The EBA has also published a ten-point Action Plan to address the risks arising from such schemes. Both the report and Action Plan accompanied the EBA's letter to the European Parliament that describes its actions and the steps it intends to take in the future on this issue.

    The report sets out the findings arising from the enquiry, which consisted of surveys of national authorities responsible for anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing and of national prudential regulators. The EBA found that dividend arbitrage trading schemes are not possible in all EU member states and that, where they are possible, they are not always regarded as a tax crime. The EBA concluded that AML and prudential authorities approach dividend arbitrage trading schemes in different ways and there are variations in the extent to which the handling of the proceeds from these schemes by financial institutions constitutes money laundering.

    Read more.
  • FICC Market Standards Board Publishes Report on Data Management
    05/11/2020

    The FICC Market Standards Board has published a report on the critical role of data management in the financial system. The Report is part of the FMSB's Spotlight Reviews, which highlight significant emerging issues in the FICC markets. The Report discusses the principal areas of data risk, which are business continuity, data confidentiality, trading, aggregate exposure, regulatory enforcement, ownership rights and security risks relating to misconduct. The Report also outlines the work of regulators on data governance and analyzes eight key components of data governance, being the data lifecycle, data policies, data taxonomy, mapping data sources, data movement and lineage, data classification, data leakage detection and data quality.

    View the FMSB's report on data management in the financial system.
  • Bank of England Weighs in on LIBOR Transition with a mandatory additional LIBOR collateral haircut
    05/07/2020

    The Bank of England has published a market notice on risk management approaches to collateral referencing LIBOR for use in the Sterling Monetary Framework. The market risk notice applies to GBP LIBOR, USD LIBOR, EUR LIBOR, JPY LIBOR and CHF LIBOR. It states that from April 1, 2021, a haircut add-on will be applied to all LIBOR Linked Collateral maturing after December 31, 2021. LIBOR Linked Collateral is LIBOR Linked Loan Portfolios, Collateral Securities where the coupon pays interest calculated by reference to LIBOR, Collateral Securities where embedded swap payments are calculated by reference to LIBOR and Collateral Securities backed by loans where one or more loans in the portfolio is a LIBOR Linked Loan. The add-on will be 10% from April 1, 2021, 40% from September 1, 2021 and 100% from December 31, 2021.

    The market notice also stipulates that from April 2021, LIBOR Linked Collateral that matures after December 2021 will be ineligible for use in the Sterling Monetary Framework.

    View the market notice.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Confirms Regulatory Rules Allow Electronic Signatures
    04/20/2020

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a statement on its expectations for wet-ink signatures in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The FCA confirms that FCA rules do not require wet-ink signatures for agreements and do not prevent the use of electronic signatures either. However, the FCA stresses the validity of electronic signatures is a legal matter, for which firms should seek legal advice, if appropriate.

    The FCA also states that firms may use electronic signatures in submitting forms.

    View the FCA's statement on wet-ink signatures.

    Details of other regulatory responses to COVID-19 are available on our COVID-19 Research Center.
    TOPIC: COVID-19
  • International Swaps and Derivatives Association Announces Preliminary Results of LIBOR Pre-Cessation Fallbacks Consultation
    04/15/2020

    The International Swaps and Derivatives Association has announced the preliminary results of its consultation on pre-cessation fallbacks for LIBOR-referencing derivatives. The consultation was launched in February 2020, and sought industry responses on ISDA’s proposals to add a pre-cessation trigger to the LIBOR cessation fallbacks ISDA is proposing to implement in its standard documentation. The trigger would cause LIBOR-based derivative contracts to fall back to an alternative reference rate in the event that the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority deemed LIBOR to be no longer representative.

    Read more.
  • G20 Action Plan for COVID-19
    04/15/2020

    The G20 finance ministers and central bank governors have published an Action Plan for the international response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Action Plan covers the healthcare, economic and fiscal responses that G20 members have agreed to undertake, as well as measures to ensure a return to a strong and sustainable global economy, the provision of support to countries in need and the learning of lessons in preparation for future crises.

    Read more.
  • COVID-19: European Central Bank Confirms Easing of Prudential Measures for Large Eurozone Banks
    04/15/2020

    The European Central Bank, Banking Supervision has published a letter addressed to the significant Eurozone banks that it directly prudentially supervises under the Single Supervisory Mechanism. The ECB, Banking Supervision, expresses its support of the EBA's statement dated March 31, 2020 on supervisory reporting and Pillar 3 disclosures. In line with the EBA's statement, the ECB: (i) confirms that significant Eurozone banks may delay by one month the submission of supervisory data for remittance dates between March 2020 and May 2020; (ii) excludes information on the liquidity coverage ratio; and (iii) is allowing firms an additional two months to submit information on funding plans.

    The ECB recommends that Eurozone national regulators should apply the same delays to the smaller Eurozone banks.

    View the ECB's letter to significant banks.

    View details of the EBA's statement on supervisory reporting and Pillar 3 disclosures.

    Details of other regulatory responses to COVID-19 are available on our COVID-19 Research Center.
  • Financial Stability Board Reports to G20 on COVID-19 Response
    04/15/2020

    The Financial Stability Board has published a report to the G20 on the financial stability implications and policy measures taken in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The report provides an overview of the impact on financial stability of the outbreak and describes the policy actions taken by FSB member jurisdictions. The FSB confirms that it is monitoring financial resilience, focusing on the ability of:
    • financial institutions and markets to channel funds to the real economy;
    • market participants to obtain U.S. dollar funding, particularly in emerging markets;
    • financial intermediaries to manage liquidity risk; and
    • market participants and financial market infrastructures, such as CCPs, to manage evolving counterparty risks.

    The report also sets out how the FSB is supporting international cooperation and coordination on the COVID-19 response by: (i) information sharing; (ii) conducting financial stability risk assessments; and (iii) assisting with coordinating responses on policy issues.

    View the FSB's report to the G20 on the COVID-19 response.

    Details of other regulatory responses to COVID-19 are available on our COVID-19 Research Center.
    TOPIC: COVID-19
  • European Banking Authority Updates Guidelines on Equivalence of Non-EU Confidentiality Regimes
    04/15/2020

    The European Banking Authority has published updated Guidelines on the equivalence of confidentiality regimes under the Capital Requirements Directive. The EBA has added one new third-country national regulator—the New York State Department of Financial Services—to the current list of third-country national regulators whose confidentiality regimes can be regarded as equivalent to those in the EU, following an assessment of the professional secrecy and confidentiality frameworks under which they operate. The updated recommendations apply from April 16, 2020. The Guidelines are intended to assist national regulators in the EU in their assessment of third-country equivalence with the aim of facilitating cooperation with third-country supervisory authorities and their participation in supervisory colleges overseeing international banks.

    View the updated Guidelines.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Says Banks Must Have a Senior Manager Responsible for the Unregulated Activity of Lending to Small Businesses
    04/15/2020

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a Dear CEO letter to U.K. regulated banks on lending to small businesses. In the letter, the interim Chief Executive, Christopher Woolard, reminds banks about the importance of ensuring that the benefits of the Government's Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme are passed to the businesses and consumers that need it. The FCA confirms that it and the PRA are monitoring the level of lending to businesses.

    Read more.
  • International Organization of Securities Commissions Highlights Cross-Border Issues in Sustainable Finance
    04/14/2020

    The International Organization of Securities Commissions has published a final report on Sustainable Finance and the Role of Securities Regulators and IOSCO. The report underlines the negative impact on cross-border financial activities and the investor protection concerns caused by the existence of multiple and diverse sustainability frameworks and standards, including sustainability-related disclosure, the absence of common definitions of sustainable activities and greenwashing and other challenges to investor protection.

    As a result of the findings, the IOSCO Board is establishing a Board-level Task Force on Sustainable Finance. The Task Force will aim to: (i) improve sustainability disclosures by issuers and asset managers; (ii) collaborate with other international standard-setters and regulators to avoid duplicative efforts and to enhance regulatory coordination; and (iii) develop case studies and analyses of transparency, investor protection and other issues to demonstrate the practical implications.

    View the report.
  • Financial Stability Board Consults on Global Stablecoins
    04/14/2020

    The Financial Stability Board has launched a consultation on global stablecoin arrangements. The consultation is in response to the G20 mandating the FSB to analyze potential regulatory issues posed by global stablecoins and to advise on multilateral responses. Responses to the consultation should be submitted by July 15, 2020. The FSB's final report is expected to be published in October 2020.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Writes to G20 on COVID-19 Response
    04/14/2020

    The Financial Stability Board has published a letter from Randal K. Quarles, the FSB Chair, to G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on the response to the coronavirus pandemic. The letter highlights that the financial sector needs to respond to a "twin challenge": the increased demand for credit throughout the global economy and the uncertainty around the value of assets. The letter describes how the FSB and its member jurisdictions have responded to the pandemic to support local and global market functioning, discussing in particular, the steps taken to maintaining financial stability and supporting the real economy during the COVID-19 crisis. The letter also outlines the work to promote a global financial system that supports a strong recovery, including the FSB's prioritizing of certain areas, namely non-bank financial intermediation, the orderly transition away from LIBOR, utilizing technological innovation to assist in cybersecurity and promoting efficient and resilient cross-border payments.

    View the FSB's letter.

    Details of other regulatory responses to COVID-19 are available on our COVID-19 Research Center.
  • EU Delays Publication Dates for Annual Transparency Calculations for Non-Equities
    04/09/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has issued a public statement announcing the delay of the publication dates of the annual transparency calculations for non-equity instruments. ESMA's statement is made in response to the impact of the coronavirus. The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation, which became effective on January 3, 2018, introduced pre- and post-trade transparency requirements for equity and non-equity financial instruments. ESMA is postponing the publication of the annual transparency calculation for derivatives, exchange traded commodities, exchange traded notes, emission allowances and structured finance products from April 30, 2020 to July 15, 2020 and their application from June 1, 2020 to September 15, 2020. The transitional transparency calculations will continue to apply until September 14, 2020 (inclusive). The publication and application of the annual transparency calculations for bonds remain unchanged. The new thresholds will be applicable from June 1, 2020.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: COVID-19MiFID II
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Recommends Regulatory Forbearance for Funds’ Periodic Reporting Obligations
    04/09/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has announced its expectation that national regulators should, where possible, deprioritize supervisory action against certain fund managers for failure to comply with periodic financial reporting deadlines for funds they manage for the periods ending from December 31, 2019 to April 30, 2020 (inclusive). The fund managers covered by ESMA’s statement are: (i) undertakings for the collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS) management companies; (ii) self-managed UCITS investment companies; (iii) authorized alternative investment fund managers; (iv) non-EU AIFMs marketing AIFs; (v) European Venture Capital Fund managers; and (vi) European Social Entrepreneurship managers.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: COVID-19Funds
  • UK Prudential Regulator Publishes 2020/2021 Business Plan
    04/09/2020

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has published its Business Plan for 2020/2021, which sets out its strategic goals for the next 12 months and its work plan to deliver them. The PRA has had to tailor its intended Business Plan to take account of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, it has elected to cancel its 2020 annual cyclical scenario stress tests, delay the publication of the results of the 2019 biennial exploratory scenario, postpone less critical aspects of its supervisory program for individual firms and extend consultation periods and implementation timeframes for new initiatives where possible.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Report on Global Enhancement of Cross-Border Payments
    04/09/2020

    The Financial Stability Board has published a report addressed to the G20 on international cross-border payment arrangements, where the sender and recipient of funds are in different jurisdictions. The report forms the first stage of the G20’s three-stage process to develop a roadmap that will enable countries to enhance their cross-border payments systems. The second stage will see the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures set out the building blocks of a system to improve cross-border payments and is due to be submitted to the G20 in July 2020. The third stage will involve coordination between the FSB and CPMI, together with other international organizations, to compile a roadmap for implementing the improvements. A report on the full three-stage process is expected to be delivered to the G20 in October 2020.

    Read more.
  • EU Regulatory Forbearance for Audit Requirements for Interest Rate Benchmark Administrators and Contributors
    04/09/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has issued a public statement asking national regulators across the EU not to prioritize supervisory actions against interest rate benchmark administrators and contributors for failing to comply with the external audit requirements under the Benchmark Regulation, where those audits are carried out by September 30, 2020. The EU Benchmark Regulation requires an interest rate benchmark administrator to have an external audit conducted of its compliance with the benchmark methodology and Benchmark Regulation. Contributors to interest rate benchmarks are required to have an external audit conducted of their input data and compliance with the Benchmark Regulation. ESMA is granting the regulatory forbearance in response to the impact of COVID-19. ESMA states that administrators and contributors that anticipate a delay to the required audits should inform their nation regulator.

    View ESMA's statement.

    Details of other regulatory responses to COVID-19 are available on our COVID-19 Research Center.
  • UK Prudential Regulator Takes Further Steps in Response to COVID-19
    04/09/2020

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has announced two further measures in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The first is the PRA's decision to maintain the systemic risk buffer rates at the rate set in December 2019. The rates determine the amount of additional regulatory capital that must be held by "systemic risk buffer institutions" (i.e. U.K. financial institutions deemed to be systemically important). In scope firms are the so-called "ring-fenced bodies" within the meaning in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and include banks and large building societies holding more than £25bn in deposits. The buffer applicable to each institution is intended to reflect the relative costs to the U.K. economy if the institution in question were to fall into distress. In December 2019, the PRA maintained the rates that had first been set in May 2019. The SRB rates will be re-assessed in December 2021 and the decision taken then will take effect in January 2023.

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Report on Impact of Basel III Reforms
    04/08/2020

    The European Banking Authority has published two reports on the impact of the Basel III liquidity coverage ratio, as implemented in the EU, and the estimated impact of the Basel III credit and market risk, and credit valuation adjustment reforms, which are yet to be implemented by the EU. The reports are based on 2019 data that was collected prior to the outbreak of COVID-19.

    Read more.
  • European Commission Launches Consultation on Sustainable Finance Strategy
    04/08/2020

    The European Commission has launched a consultation on its renewed sustainable finance strategy. The consultation was proposed at the beginning of 2020 as part of the Commission’s next steps for sustainable finance. It poses a series of questions to all EU citizens, public authorities and private organizations, as well as experts with particular knowledge of finance and sustainability, on the aspects of the EU’s renewed strategy. Responses to the consultation should be submitted by July 15, 2020.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Publishes 2020/2021 Business Plan
    04/07/2020

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published its Business Plan for 2020/2021, which sets out its five key priorities for the next one to three years.

    Read more.
  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Announces Further Measures to Alleviate COVID-19 Impact
    04/03/2020

    The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has announced a series of measures designed to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the global banking sector. The latest measures are designed to facilitate bank lending to the real economy and boost banks’ operational capacity to the financial strain of COVID-19. They follow the extension to Basel III implementation deadlines announced by the Group of Central Bank Governors and Heads of Supervision on March 27, 2020.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Publishes Guidance on Senior Managers and Certification Regime for Solo-Regulated Firms in Response to COVID-19
    04/03/2020

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published guidance for solo-regulated firms on adherence to the Senior Managers and Certification Regime in light of COVID-19. The FCA has separately issued joint Guidance with the Prudential Regulation Authority on the SM&CR for dual-regulated firms.

    Read more.
  • UK Regulators Publish Guidance on Senior Managers and Certification Regime for Dual-Regulated Firms in Response to COVID-19
    04/03/2020

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority have published joint guidance for dual-regulated firms on adherence to the Senior Managers and Certification Regime in light of COVID-19. The U.K. regulators intend to be flexible in enforcing SM&CR requirements given the disruption to personnel and operations triggered by the pandemic. The FCA has issued separate guidance for solo-regulated firms subject to the SM&CR.

    Read more.
  • EU Consultation on Standardized Information for Facilitating Cross-Border Distribution of Funds
    03/31/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has launched a consultation on the forms, templates and procedures that national regulators should use to publish information on their websites to facilitate cross-border distribution of funds. The Regulation on facilitating cross-border distribution of funds aims to increase transparency on the rules and procedures applicable to cross-border marketing of investment funds and regulatory fees and charges levied by national regulators. It was brought in at the same time amendments were made to the Directive on Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities and the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive through an amending Directive. Member states are required to transpose the amending Directive into national laws by, and apply those laws from, August 2, 2021. Certain provisions of the Regulation applied directly across the EU from August 1, 2019, while the remaining provisions will apply from August 2, 2021.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Encourages Regulatory Forbearance for Best Execution Reporting in Light of COVID-19
    03/31/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a statement encouraging national regulators to deprioritize supervisory actions against firms that fail to meet best execution reporting deadlines under the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. The MiFID II best execution requirements oblige investment firms to obtain the best possible result for their clients when executing client orders, and require execution venues and investment firms to make data relating to the quality of execution of transactions publically available.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: COVID-19MiFID II
  • European Banking Authority Issues Statements on Addressing COVID-19 Impact for EU Banking Sector
    03/31/2020

    The European Banking Authority has published three statements providing clarity on measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the EU banking sector. The statements are: Statement on supervisory reporting and Pillar 3 disclosures in light of COVID-19: referring to its statement issued on March 12, 2020, the EBA outlines further details on actions that firms, national regulators and resolution authorities can take to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. The EBA stresses the importance of firms providing reliable data for supervisory purposes, particularly given market fluctuations. However, the EBA reiterates that some leeway can be given to firms for certain areas and asks national regulators to consider the extent to which a delay to submission of data may be justified. In general, the EBA suggests that firms should be given an additional month to submit data (with an additional two months given for remittance of data on funding plans), but national regulators should confirm the precise requirements. The EBA excludes from the forbearance information on the liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) and reporting for resolution planning purposes. The EBA also encourages national regulators to be flexible about the deadline for firms to publish their Pillar 3 data. Firms should contact their regulator if they expect that there will be a delay to their Pillar 3 disclosures.

    Read more.
  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Defers Basel III Implementation in Response to COVID-19
    03/30/2020

    The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has delayed the implementation timeline for Basel III to allow firms to focus on tackling the challenges resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Maintains MiFID II Equity Transparency Calculations Application Date
    03/27/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has issued a statement in which it confirms that the existing date for the application of the equity transparency calculations will remain unchanged. The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation, which became effective on January 3, 2018, introduced pre- and post-trade transparency requirements for equity and non-equity financial instruments. On February 28, 2020, ESMA published the transparency calculations that will apply to new instruments from April 1, 2020 until March 31, 2021. Further calculations will be released ahead of that date once the data quality review for those instruments has been completed.

    ESMA's statement confirms that the new calculations will apply from April 1, 2020, as intended, because firms have had to implement new transparency calculations in the past and so do not need to revise their IT systems to comply with the obligation. In addition, ESMA is of the view that a delay could negatively impact those firms that have planned for the new calculations.

    View ESMA's statement.

    Details of other regulatory responses to COVID-19 are available on our COVID-19 Research Centre.
    TOPICS: COVID-19MiFID II
  • UK Financial Conduct Authority Clarifies Senior Manager Responsibility For Work-Related Travel
    03/27/2020

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a statement emphasizing the responsibility of relevant Senior Managers or equivalent persons in prioritizing which of their firm's employees cannot work from home and need to travel into an office or business continuity site to perform their role. The FCA's statement is relevant to all FCA-regulated firms across the U.K. and is made in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. The FCA states that it expects the number of individuals that need to travel into an office or other place of work to be considerably less than would be required for a business-as-usual basis. The FCA provides a list of roles that it considers are capable of being performed from home. These are: financial advisers, staff who can safely and securely trade shares and financial instruments from home, business support staff, claims management companies and those selling non-essential goods and credit.

    View the FCA's statement.

    Details of other regulatory responses to COVID-19 are available on our COVID-19 Research Centre.
  • COVID-19: European Central Bank Recommends Suspension of Dividends by Large Eurozone Banks
    03/27/2020

    The European Central Bank has published an updated Recommendation requiring the largest Eurozone-based banks to suspend the payment of any dividends and buyback of shares until at least October 1, 2020. The Recommendation is addressed to significant institutions that are directly prudentially supervised by the ECB. Eurozone national regulators of smaller banks are expected to apply the Recommendation, as deemed appropriate. The Recommendation applies to both 2019 and 2020 dividends, but does not retroactively apply to dividends that have already been paid for the 2019 financial year. Where a bank believes that it is legally obliged to make a dividend pay-out, it should explain the reasons to its joint supervisory team.

    The purpose of the Recommendation is to ensure that banks are able to maintain their lending and therefore the support of businesses during the current global pandemic.

    View the ECB recommendation here.

    View the ECB press release here.

    Details of other regulatory responses to COVID-19 are available on our COVID-19 Research Center.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Grants Regulatory Forbearance for Financial Reporting in Wake of COVID-19
    03/27/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published guidance for issuers on compliance with their financial reporting requirements in light of the challenges presented by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Under the EU Transparency Directive, issuers of debt securities or shares must publish annual and half-yearly financial reports within four months and three months, respectively, of the end of the relevant reporting period.

    Read more.
  • COVID-19: EU Regulatory Forbearance for Banks and Investment Firms for Reporting Securities Financing Transactions
    03/26/2020

    UPDATE: Further to its statement published on March 18, 2020, the European Securities and Markets Authority has published a clarifying statement to confirm that the regulatory forbearance granted for banks and investment firms subject to the upcoming reporting obligation under the Securities Financing Transaction Regulation also applies to securities financing transactions subject to the backloading requirement.

    ESMA published its initial public statement on steps it is taking to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the EU financial markets. ESMA is granting regulatory forbearance for banks and investment firms subject to the upcoming reporting obligation under the SFTR. Banks and investment banks were due to start reporting SFTs from April 13, 2020. EU banks and investment firms have been rolling out necessary diligence to categorize their clients and confidentiality waivers ahead of the launch, as well as installing new IT systems to report. ESMA's regulatory forbearance delays the reporting obligation for banks and investment firms from April 13, 2020 to July 13, 2020, which is the date from which CCPs and central securities depositories must begin reporting SFTs. Other Financial Counterparties must report from October 12, 2020 and Non-Financial Counterparties from January 11, 2021.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: COVID-19Securities
  • UK Financial Conduct Authority Expectations on Financial Resilience of Firms
    03/26/2020

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a statement reminding firms that they are able to use capital and liquidity buffers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The FCA also stated that firms should plan ahead and ensure that any potential exit from the market is conducted in an orderly manner. The statement is relevant for firms that are solo-regulated by the FCA.

    Firms are encouraged to contact the FCA if they are unable to meet their capital requirements.

    View the FCA announcement.

    Details of other regulatory responses to COVID-19 are available on our COVID-19 Research Center.
  • COVID-19: UK Regulators Issue Joint Statement on Financial Statement Requirements
    03/26/2020

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, the Financial Reporting Council and the Prudential Regulation Authority have announced a number of measures and initiatives to assist firms during the current global coronavirus pandemic. These include:
    • a statement from the FCA on the publishing of audited financial reports for listed companies;
    • guidance from the FRC for companies preparing financial statements to be read in conjunction with PRA guidance on assessing expected loss under IFRS9; and
    • guidance from the FRC for audit firms.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator: COVID-19 Will Not Impact LIBOR Deadline
    03/25/2020

    On March 25, 2020, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority confirmed that COVID-19 is not expected to affect LIBOR preparations and the target date for LIBOR cessation of the end of 2021 still stands. The FCA does acknowledge, however, that some interim LIBOR milestones may not be met as a result of the pandemic, and it will continue to monitor the impact on such timelines carefully.
     
    View the FCA's statement on COVID-19 and LIBOR.
     
    Details of other regulatory responses to COVID-19 are available at our COVID-19 Research Center.
  • COVID-19: European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Statement on Accounting Implications
    03/25/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a statement to ensure the consistent application by issuers of International Financial Reporting Standards within the European Union. In particular, it addresses the requirement for consistent application of IFRS 9 related to the classification of financial assets and liabilities. ESMA considers a range of accounting implications that may arise for Issuers as a result of national governments' and EU bodies' responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Provides Clarity on the Prudential Framework in Light of COVID-19 
    03/25/2020

    The European Banking Authority has released two separate statements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first covering bank prudential regulation and the second dealing with consumer protection and payment services.

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Announces Postponement of Certain of its Activities
    03/25/2020

    In order to ensure that banks are able to focus on key operations throughout the current COVID-19 pandemic, the European Banking Authority has announced a postponement and extension of certain activities.

    Read more.
  • Bank of England Financial Policy Summary and Record of the Financial Policy Committee March 2020 Meetings
    03/24/2020

    The Bank of England's Financial Policy Committee met on March 9 and 19, 2020, a time when the COVID-19 pandemic dominated the news and in turn presented challenges for markets.

    Read more.
  • International Organization of Securities Commissions Publishes Report on Global Stablecoins
    03/23/2020

    The International Organization of Securities Commissions has published a report analyzing the regulatory issues arising from the use of global stablecoins and setting out how the existing IOSCO principles would apply to a global stablecoin, depending on its structure. IOSCO states that global stablecoins, depending on how they are set up, share features with regulated securities and other regulated financial instruments and services. Using a hypothetical global stablecoin case, the report analyzes how the IOSCO Principles and Standards would apply and also considers some of the broader implications. The report also includes an analysis, jointly conducted by IOSCO and the Committee on Payment and Market Infrastructures, of the applicability of the CPMI-IOSCO Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures. The conclusion is that the PFMI will apply to global stablecoin arrangements involving the performance of systemically important payment system functions or other FMI functions.

    View IOSCO's report on global stablecoin initiatives.
  • COVID-19: UK Financial Conduct Authority Confirms No Short Selling Ban (Yet)
    03/23/2020

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a statement confirming that, in the wake to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is working with regulators in the U.S., the EU and elsewhere to ensure that the financial markets can remain orderly and open. Noting the recent volatility in the financial markets, the FCA confirms that the U.K. has not imposed a short selling ban and neither has the U.S. or any other major financial market. The EU has however temporarily reduced the threshold for the reporting of short positions. Net short position holders are required to notify the relevant national regulator of any net short position of 0.1% of the issued share capital of a company and of each 0.1% above that threshold. This also applies to listed shares on UK markets.  It is not necessary to notify existing positions above the new lower threshold that were not previously notifiable, until new trading takes place.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: COVID-19FundsSecurities
  • COVID-19: European Securities and Markets Authority Extends Consultation Deadlines
    03/20/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has announced that it is extending the consultation response dates to assist market participants as they implement arrangements to ensure business continuity during the coronavirus outbreak.

    Read more.
  • COVID-19: European Securities and Markets Authority Clarifies MiFID II Telephone Recording Requirements
    03/20/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a statement on the telephone recording obligations in the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. MiFID II requires records to be kept of all services, activities and transactions undertaken by an investment firm, including recordings of telephone conversations or electronic communications relating to: (i) transactions concluded when a firm deals on own account (proprietary trading); and (ii) the provision of client order services that relate to the reception, transmission and execution of client orders. Firms are also required to implement and maintain a policy for the recording of these telephone conversations.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: COVID-19MiFID II
  • UK Joint Money Laundering Steering Group Consults on Crypto-Asset Exchange and Custodian Wallet Provider Guidance
    03/18/2020

    The U.K. Joint Money Laundering Steering Group has launched a consultation on its proposed new Guidance on how the U.K. Money Laundering Regulations apply to crypto-asset exchange providers and custodian wallet providers. The proposed Guidance will form a new Sector 22 section in Part II of the existing JMLSG Guidance. Comments on the proposed Guidance should be submitted by May 18, 2020.

    Read more.
  • Brexit Negotiations: European Commission Publishes Draft EU-UK Agreement
    03/18/2020

    The European Commission has published a draft of the proposed agreement between the U.K. and the EU to govern the future relationship between the two, including provisions on financial services. The list of in-scope services includes all services under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, the EU Capital Requirements legislation, the European Market Infrastructure Regulation and other legislation. Other provisions of the draft bring market developments in scope and ensure that U.K. financial institutions can provide, subject to certain conditions being met, new services and products in the EU. Notably, the Commission’s draft text provides a carve-out that allows either side to adopt prudential measures for financial stability reasons or for the protection of investors, depositors, policy-holders or persons to whom a fiduciary duty is owed by a financial service supplier. The draft text also includes a commitment by both the EU and U.K. to implement internationally-agreed standards for financial services regulation and supervision, anti-money laundering and counter terrorism and tax evasion.

    View the European Commission's Draft Text of the Agreement on the New Partnership with the United Kingdom.
View All (500+)