Shearman & Sterling LLP | FinReg | UK Conduct Regulator Calls for Changes to Regulatory Perimeter
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  • UK Conduct Regulator Calls for Changes to Regulatory Perimeter

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published its annual Perimeter Report. The report discusses the FCA's existing remit and highlights areas where potential consumer harm could be mitigated if the regulatory perimeter is amended. The FCA cannot amend the perimeter, this can only be achieved through legislation.

    Areas where the FCA believes legislative change is needed include:
    • Extending the Senior Managers and Certification Regime to payment and e-money firms, recognized investment exchanges and credit ratings agencies. If the SM&CR is extended to RIEs and HM Treasury introduces its proposed SM&CR for market infrastructures, their view is that there would be more consistency for those groups comprising of RIEs and CCPs. Some of these proposals, particularly the extension to RIEs, have proven controversial given the way in which the user-led governance for these self-regulatory organizations differs from that of other firms.
    • Increasing the thresholds for retail investors to qualify as high net worth individuals.
    • Removing the exemption for financial promotions of Non-Transferable Debt Securities. HM Treasury has consulted on expressly making the issuance of NTDS a regulated activity, meaning that firms issuing such a product as a financial business would need to obtain FCA-authorization and meet certain threshold conditions (including having appropriate resources and a suitable business model). In addition, it was also proposed to extend the scope of the Prospectus Regulation to cover NTDS, so that issuers wanting to offer NTDS to the public in the U.K. would have to publish an FCA-approved prospectus. The consultation arises from the recommendation made in Dame Elizabeth Gloster's report on the FCA's regulation of failed investment firm London Capital and Finance plc. The FCA also confirms in the Perimeter Report that it will consult at the end of the year on measures to strengthen the financial promotion regime for high risk investments.
    • ‚ÄčEnsuring that platform operators are subject to clear obligations, including duties relating to paid-for advertising and user-generated content, through the Government's Online Safety Bill.

    The FCA confirms that it will consult this year on changes to the Appointed Representatives regime. The FCA has identified significant lack of oversight by principal firms of their appointed representatives, which could result in harm to investors. HM Treasury is expected to issue a call for evidence on this regime.

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