Shearman & Sterling LLP | Financial Regulatory Developments Focus
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.

  • UK Parliamentary Committee Calls For Urgent Regulation of Crypto-Assets
    09/21/2018

    The U.K. House of Commons Treasury Committee has published a report calling for crypto-assets to be regulated in the U.K. as a matter of urgency. The Treasury Committee considers that the current "ambiguity of the UK Government and regulators' position is clearly not sustainable" and is recommending that an amendment be made to the Regulated Activities Order to bring crypto-assets within the U.K. regulatory perimeter, supervised by the Financial Conduct Authority. The Committee does not specify in the report the activity related to crypto-assets that should go into the RAO, but recommends that it should at least include the issuance of crypto-assets through Initial Coin Offerings and the provision of crypto-exchange services. This will, according to the Committee's report, address anti-money laundering risks and consumer protection, aligning investor protections with those adopted in the U.S.

    The Committee is also seeking various actions by the Government and the U.K. regulators.

    Read more
    TOPICS: SecuritiesFinTech
  • US Agencies Issue Multiple Digital Asset-Related Enforcement Orders
    09/20/2018

    The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority have issued three digital asset-related enforcement orders, and the SEC also suspended trading in two securities that track the value of digital assets. The orders mark an uptick in digital asset enforcement from previous months.

    Crypto Asset Management, LP

    On September 11, 2018, the SEC alleged that hedge fund manager Crypto Asset Management (CAM) had caused its Crypto Asset Fund (CAF) to fail to register as an investment company based on its digital asset investments, marking the first time the SEC has invoked the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the 1940 Act) in an enforcement proceeding against the managing member of a pooled investment vehicle that invests in digital assets.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: EnforcementFinTech
  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Provides Brief Update on Various Workstreams
    09/20/2018

    The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has published a press release summarizing the outcome of its meeting on September 19-20, 2018. The Committee committed to consider Pillar 1 and Pillar 3 measures to prevent banks adjusting their balance sheets around regulatory reporting dates to manipulate reported leverage ratios. In addition, the Committee intends to further analyze banks' exposures to crypto-assets to reach a conclusion on whether action is needed to address the risks that these assets may present.

    The Basel Committee will publish the following before the end of the year:
    • an updated 2018 list of global systemically important banks, along with the high-level indicator values of all the banks that are within the G-SIB assessment exercise;
    • final revisions to the market risk framework (towards the end of the year);
    • a consultation paper (in October 2018) on whether the exposure measure should be revised to alleviate its impact on client clearing, including presenting options for revising this; and
    • the revised Principles on Stress Testing (in October 2018).

    The Basel Committee also published responses to Frequently Asked Questions on the treatment of settled-to-market derivatives under the Liquidity Coverage Ratio and Net Stable Funding Ratio.

    View the press release.

    View the FAQs.
  • International Standards Body Encourages Regulatory Clampdown on OTC Leveraged Products
    09/19/2018

    The International Organization of Securities Commissions has published a report on retail OTC leveraged products, alongside a statement warning retail investors of the risks of investing in illegal or fraudulent binary options. This step at international level follows the temporary prohibition of the marketing, distribution or sale of binary options and the restrictions on the marketing, distribution or sale of CFDs to retail clients introduced in the EU earlier this year, which the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority fully supported.

    The report covers rolling spot forex contracts, CFDs and binary options offered and sold on a domestic and cross-border basis by intermediaries to retail investors. The report includes three toolkits providing guidance to IOSCO member jurisdictions on methods for mitigating the harm to retail investors investing in these products.

    Read more
  • UK Regulators Ask Large Banks and Insurers for LIBOR Transition Plans
    09/19/2018

    The Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority have published letters addressed to the CEOs of the largest banks and insurers supervised in the U.K. asking for confirmation of each firm's preparations for transition from LIBOR to risk-free rates. The regulators are requesting these firms to provide the following by December 14, 2018:
    • A summary of the firm's assessment of key risks relating to LIBOR discontinuation and details of actions the firm intends to take to mitigate those risks, approved by the board; and
    • The names of the Senior Manager(s) responsible for the provision of the firm's response to the letter and for implementing its transition plans.

    The letter relates to the ongoing global benchmark reform effort instigated by the Financial Stability Board, in particular, the transition from LIBOR to alternative rates by the end of 2021. Firms that have not received the letter are not subject to the information request, but the regulators ask those firms to nevertheless consider their LIBOR transition plans, where relevant.

    View the letters.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • European Central Bank Consults on Part 2 to Guide to Licensing Credit Institutions
    09/14/2018

    The European Central Bank has opened a consultation on a draft Part 2 to its Guide to Assessments of Licence Applications by banks. The ECB published the Guide to Assessment of Licence Applications in March 2018, which applies to all license applications to become a credit institution within the meaning of the Capital Requirements Regulation.  The ECB developed the Guide, which is not legally binding, to promote awareness and enhance the transparency of the assessment criteria and processes for establishing a credit institution within the Single Supervisory Mechanism.

    The consultation on the draft Part 2 of the Guide focuses on assessment criteria for capital requirements and business plans, including initial capital, own funds, location, operations and structural organization, banking group and outsourcing.

    The consultation closes on October 25, 2018.

    View the consultation paper

    View the consultation webpage

    View details of the Guide to Assessments of Licence Applications.
  • UK Regulator Publishes Application Requirements for EEA Market Operators Seeking Recognition
    09/14/2018

    The Financial Conduct Authority has published a direction on how EEA market operators can apply for recognition as an overseas investment exchange in preparation for Brexit. EEA market operators operating a regulated market, a multilateral trading facility or an organised trading facility currently use passports granted under the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive to give their U.K.-based members access to their markets. Once the U.K. has left the EU, those passports will no longer be valid and the U.K. Government does not intend to establish a temporary permissions regime in the event of a "no deal" outcome to the EU-U.K. Brexit negotiations or without an agreed implementation period. EEA market operators that engage in regulated activities when providing their U.K. members with access to their markets will need to apply for ROIE status, unless they can rely on the U.K.'s overseas persons exclusion. The FCA's direction sets out the FCA's expectations for EEA market operators.

    View the FCA's statement.

    View the FCA's Direction
  • US and Singaporean Regulators Sign FinTech Collaboration Agreement
    09/13/2018

    The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Monetary Authority of Singapore today signed a cooperation arrangement on FinTech innovation, which is to be supported by the agencies' respective FinTech initiatives, LabCFTC and the MAS Financial Technology & Innovation Group. The arrangement will facilitate inter-agency cooperation on FinTech innovation and referrals for innovators that wish to enter the other regulator's market. In addition, it will provide an information sharing framework between the agencies focused on FinTech market trends and developments, innovations and best practices within their respective jurisdictions. The arrangement also calls for joint events, proofs of concept, trials and innovation competitions where permitted, along with periodic meetings to discuss FinTech issues of common interest.

    CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo in a statement said that he believes this collaboration with the MAS will "enhance global awareness of the critical role of regulators in 21st century digital markets," while Ravi Menon, Managing Director of the MAS, said that he hopes the arrangement will "create more opportunities for firms in both jurisdictions, especially in developing innovative business models for the derivatives market."

    The arrangement follows a similar agreement reached by the CFTC and the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority this past February, and reflects the global nature of FinTech markets and the importance of cross-border collaboration between regulators.

    View the cooperation agreement.

    View the CFTC/FCA agreement.
    TOPIC: FinTech
  • Working Group Recommends Replacement of EONIA With New Euro Short-Term Rate
    09/13/2018

    The European Central Bank has announced its recommendation of the Euro short-term rate - ESTER - as a euro risk-free rate by a private sector working group. The group also recommends that ESTER replaces the Euro overnight index average, EONIA, because EONIA no longer complies with the EU Benchmark Regulation and will be restricted from January 1, 2020. The recommendations of the working group are not legally binding.

    According to the ECB, ESTER will also provide a basis for developing fallbacks for contracts referencing the EURIBOR because the reformed ESTER methodology will be assessed for compliance with the Benchmark Regulation in 2019. ESTER reflects wholesale Euro unsecured overnight borrowing costs of Euro area banks and will be produced by ECB by October 2019, at the latest.

    Read more.
  • EU Delegated Regulation on Settlement Discipline Published
    09/13/2018

    A Commission Delegated Regulation on settlement discipline has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Delegated Regulation sets out Regulatory Technical Standards on settlement discipline as required under the Central Securities Depository Regulation. The RTS cover measures for preventing settlement fails through automated matching, a hold and release mechanism and partial settlement. The RTS also provide measures for monitoring and addressing settlement fails, such as a mechanism for cash penalties and a buy-in process. The RTS will apply directly across the EU from September 14, 2020.

    View the RTS.
  • European Commission Proposes Enhancements to the European Banking Authority's Supervisory Powers for Anti-Money Laundering
    09/12/2018

    The European Commission has published a Communication setting out a broad strategy for strengthening the EU's framework for anti-money laundering supervision. The Communication is accompanied by a fact sheet setting out Questions and Answers on the strategy.

    The Commission notes that, despite the recent strengthening of the EU's framework, through the Fourth Money Laundering Directive (4MLD) and the forthcoming Fifth Money Laundering Directive (5MLD), there are concerns that gaps remain in the EU's supervisory framework. The Commission highlights that there is no clear articulation between the prudential and anti-money laundering rules for financial institutions. It identifies shortcomings in the reaction time of national supervisors and in the level of cooperation and information sharing both between prudential and anti-money laundering supervisors and on a cross-border basis between EU supervisors and other supervisors based both within and outside the EU. While the Commission recognizes that 5MLD will remove certain obstacles to cooperation between anti-money laundering and prudential supervisors, it also notes that further steps are necessary to ensure effective supervisory cooperation, especially where financial institutions operate across borders.

    Read more.
  • UK Government Consults on Transposition Measures for the EU Bank Creditor Hierarchy Directive
    09/12/2018

    HM Treasury has published a consultation on the U.K. Government's proposed approach to implementing the EU Bank Creditor Hierarchy Directive (also known as the Insolvency Hierarchy Directive) into U.K. domestic law. Member states are required to transpose the BCHD into national law by December 29, 2018 and must apply the laws from the date of transposition.

    The BCHD is part of a package of reforms aimed at further strengthening the resilience of EU banks. It lays down harmonized rules for the insolvency ranking of unsecured debt instruments for the purposes of the EU recovery and resolution framework. The BCHD introduces statutory subordination across the EU, by amending the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive so as to require Member States to create a new class of non-preferred senior debt in their creditor hierarchy. Instruments meeting the relevant criteria to fall within the new class will be eligible to meet subordination requirements under the provisions of the Total Loss Absorbing Capacity (TLAC) term sheet and its EU equivalent, the requirement for Minimum Requirement for Own Funds and Eligible Liabilities (MREL). HM Treasury explains in the consultation paper that the statutory subordination introduced by the BCHD will not prevent the U.K.'s preferred approach, which is to require structural subordination (i.e. subordination within the terms of capital instruments).

    Read more.
  • UK Prudential Regulator Consults on Revisions to Supervisory Reporting Requirements
    09/12/2018

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has launched a consultation on changes to the PRA's reporting requirements to reflect proposed changes set out by the European Banking Authority in EBA consultations launched in August 2018. The EBA proposes a number of revisions to the existing Implementing Technical Standards on the supervisory reporting requirements under the Capital Requirements Regulation. These include proposed revisions to the financial reporting (FINREP) annexes of the ITS, which add new reporting requirements for non-performing and forborne exposures, amend the reporting of profit or loss items (in particular on expenses) and amend the reporting on leases following International Financial Reporting Standard 16. Proposed revisions to the common reporting (COREP) annexes relate to the Liquidity Coverage Requirement for credit institutions.

    Read more.
  • Bank of England Governor to Stay on Until Brexit
    09/11/2018

    HM Treasury has published a press release announcing that Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will remain in his position for an extended term until January 31, 2020. The extension of Dr. Carney's term will ensure continuity at the BoE until Brexit is completed. A new governor would be appointed during Autumn 2019 after the terms for the U.K.'s withdrawal and the framework for the future U.K.-EU partnership have been agreed.

    Sir Jon Cunliffe, BoE Deputy Governor with responsibility for financial stability, has also been re-appointed for a term from November 1, 2018 to October 2023.

    View the HM Treasury press release.

    View the correspondence between Dr. Carney and the Chancellor of the Exchequer
    TOPIC: People
  • Post-Brexit UK Secondary Legislation Published For Temporary Permissions Regime For Payments Services
    09/05/2018

    HM Treasury has published draft statutory instruments on the regulation of payments and e-money and on access to the Single Euro Payments Area in preparation for the U.K.'s withdrawal from the EU - the draft Electronic Money, Payment Services and Payment Systems (Amendment and Transitional Provisions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 and the Credit Transfers and Direct Debits in Euro (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018. The draft Regulations are relevant to all Payment Service Providers and registered Account Information Service Providers. The draft Regulations will amend the Payment Services Regulations 2017, Electronic Money Regulations 2011 and the SEPA Regulation to:
    • Create a temporary permissions regime for EEA payment firms
    In line with the proposed temporary permissions regime for EEA firms regulated under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (covered by the draft EEA Passport Rights (Amendment, etc., and Transitional Provisions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018), HM Treasury is proposing a TPR for payments. EEA firms operating under the TPR for payments will need to establish a U.K. subsidiary at the end of the proposed three-year TPR period. This provision should give firms the time to fully operationalize their new U.K. subsidiary.

    Read more.
  • UK Financial Conduct Authority Appoints New Director of Competition
    09/05/2018

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has issued a press release announcing the appointment of Sheldon Mills as its new director of competition. Mr. Mills is currently senior director, mergers and state aid at the Competition and Markets Authority. Mr. Mills will take up his role in November 2018.

    View the FCA press release.
    TOPIC: People
  • European Supervisory Authorities Report on Automation in Financial Advice
    09/05/2018

    The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities has published a joint report on automation in financial advice. The Report follows the ESA's 2015 joint discussion paper and follow-up report in 2016. The Report provides a summary of recent sectoral work by the ESAs in this area and the main findings of a survey with national regulators on the evolution of automation in financial advice in the securities, banking and insurance sectors. The ESAs observed that automated services are more often offered through partnerships between established financial intermediaries and FinTech firms than by FinTech firms alone. The ESAs also found that automation in financial advice has grown slowly and that the number of firms and customers involved is still limited. As a result, the ESAs do not consider that any of the previously identified risks have materialized and therefore that further action is unnecessary at this stage. The ESAs will conduct a new monitoring exercise if and when market developments and risks merit the work.

    View the report.
    TOPICS: MiFID IIFinTech
  • EU Disagreement on EU Technical Standards for Reporting of Securities Financing Transactions
    09/05/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published an Opinion on the European Commission's proposed amendments to the final draft Implementing and Regulatory Technical Standards on reporting under the Securities Financing Transactions Regulation. Various parts of the SFTR came into effect on January 12, 2016. However, the new reporting obligation for SFTs is not yet in force. Securities financing transactions involve the use of securities to borrow cash or other higher investment-grade securities, or vice versa. Such transactions can include repurchase transactions, securities lending and sell/buy backs. The SFTR requires, amongst other things, all securities financing transactions to be reported to EU recognized trade repositories, including details on the composition of collateral, whether collateral is available for reuse or has been reused, the substitution of collateral and any haircuts applied. The reporting obligation will apply to financial and non-financial counterparties, subject to exceptions for central banks and similar bodies.

    Read more.
  • Five Individuals Imprisoned for £2.8m UK Investment Fraud
    09/04/2018

    Five defendants have between them been sentenced to a total of 17.5 years' imprisonment, following a fraud prosecution brought by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority.

    The FCA's statement announcing the sentencing highlights the investigation as one of the FCA's most complex fraud investigations to date and the first FCA prosecution of an offense of perverting the course of justice. Between July 2010 and April 2014, the defendants cold-called members of the public and subjected them to high-pressure sales tactics to persuade them to purchase shares in a company that owned land in Madeira. A number of entirely false claims were made to persuade potential investors to invest. Many of the investors were elderly and vulnerable and suffered life-changing losses.

    The FCA proposes to commence confiscation proceedings against the five defendants under the Proceeds of Crime legislation. A sixth defendant will be sentenced on September 14, 2018.

    View the FCA press release.
    TOPIC: Enforcement
  • European Commission Communication on Proposed Amendments to Technical Standards on Systematic Internalisers' Quote Rules
    09/03/2018

    The European Commission has published a Communication (dated August 10, 2018) on proposed amendments by the European Securities and Markets Authority to a Regulatory Technical Standard, known as "RTS1," supplementing the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation.

    Under MiFIR, Systematic Internalisers must make public firm quotes in equity instruments. The quotes must: (i) be at least equivalent of 10% of the standard market size for the quoted instrument; (ii) include both a bid and offer price; and (iii) reflect the prevailing market conditions for that instrument. RTS 1 specifies the concept of "prices reflecting prevailing market conditions" as being "close in price, at the time of publication, to quotes of equivalent sizes for the same financial instrument on the most relevant market in terms of liquidity." ESMA submitted final draft amendments to RTS 1 in March 2018, which provided that, where a financial instrument is subject to the "minimum tick size" regime, the quotes of an SI can only adequately reflect prevailing market conditions when those quotes reflect the minimum price increments ("tick sizes") quoted by EU trading venues trading the instrument.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: MiFID II
  • UK Regulator Confirms its Expectations on Reporting for Resolution Planning
    08/31/2018

    The Prudential Regulation Authority has issued an update on the application of its supervisory statement, "Resolution Planning." The supervisory statement sets out the PRA's expectations on the resolution planning information that firms must submit to comply with their obligations under the EU Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive. The update confirms the approach that will be taken by the PRA and the Bank of England as the U.K.'s national resolution authority.

    Read more.
  • US Federal Reserve Board and FDIC Extend Resolution Plan Submission Deadlines for Certain Institutions
    08/30/2018

    The U.S. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation announced that the agencies have extended the submission deadline for the resolution plans (commonly referred to as “living wills”) for one designated non-bank and four foreign banking organizations. The announcement extends the submission deadline for the non-bank financial company from December 31, 2018 to December 31, 2019, and extends the submission deadline for the four foreign banking organizations from July 1, 2019 to July 1, 2020. The agencies noted that the extended deadline will allow for feedback to be provided to the institutions with respect to their prior resolution plan submissions, and will also provide time for the institutions to prepare their next resolution plan submissions.  The FDIC also announced that it will be extending the resolution plan submission deadline for all insured depository institutions to no sooner than July 1, 2020.

    View full text of the FDIC and Federal Reserve press release.
  • Basel Committee Finalizes Technical Amendment to Pillar 3 Disclosure Requirements
    08/30/2018

    Following a consultation in March 2018, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has published a finalized technical amendment to the consolidated Pillar 3 disclosure technical standard that was issued in March 2017. The amendment imposes additional Pillar 3 disclosure requirements for those jurisdictions implementing an Expected Credit Loss, or ECL, accounting model as well as for those adopting transitional arrangements for the regulatory treatment of accounting provisions. These additional disclosures require banks to disclose, where applicable: (i) the "fully loaded" impact of ECL transitional arrangements used in Total Loss Absorbing Capacity resources and ratios; (ii) the allocation between general and specific provisions for standardized approach exposures; and (iii) the rationale for their categorization of ECL accounting provisions in general and specific categories for standardized approach exposures.

    The technical amendment will also apply to jurisdictions adopting transitional arrangements for the regulatory treatment of accounting provisions. The interim approach to, and transitional arrangements for, the regulatory treatment of accounting provisions were published separately by the Basel Committee in March 2017.

    The amendments covered by the revised Technical Standard will take effect from January 1, 2019.

    View the Technical Amendment

    View the consultation paper.

    View the interim approach and transitional arrangements published March 2017.
  • US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Issues Guidance with Respect to Implied Sovereign Support
    08/28/2018

    The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued guidance to OCC-supervised institutions with respect to the role of informal or implied expressions of support from foreign governments in determining credit risk ratings.

    Read more.
  • US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Publishes Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with Respect to Community Reinvestment Act Modernization
    08/28/2018

    The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking with respect to the modernization of the Community Reinvestment Act.

    Read more.
  • US Federal Reserve Board Issues Interim Final Rule Expanding the Applicability of the Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement
    08/28/2018

    The U.S. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System issued an interim final rule increasing the asset threshold for the applicability of the Federal Reserve Board’s Small Bank Holding Company and Savings and Loan Holding Company Policy Statement (Regulation Y, Appendix C) from $1 billion to $3 billion in total consolidated assets.

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Proposes Revised Implementing Technical Standards for Reporting of Securitization Information
    08/28/2018

    The European Banking Authority has published a consultation paper setting out proposed amendments to existing Implementing Technical Standards on supervisory reporting, to align the reporting of securitizations with the new EU securitization framework. The new securitization framework took effect in January 2018 and comprises: (i) the Securitization Regulation (also known as the STS Regulation), which lays down common due diligence for institutional investors, risk retention and transparency measures and establishes a category of simple, transparent and standardized securitization in the EU; and (ii) a Regulation making targeted amendments to the Capital Requirements Regulation to provide for the capital treatment of STS securitizations and certain SME synthetic securitizations, including measures to reduce reliance on external credit ratings.

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Proposes Revised Implementing Technical Standards for Supervisory Reporting Under the Capital Requirements Regulation
    08/28/2018

    The European Banking Authority has launched a consultation on proposed revisions to the existing Implementing Technical Standards for the financial reporting, or FINREP, framework under the Capital Requirements Regulation.

    The proposed revisions relate to the reporting requirements for non-performing and forborne exposures. The EBA proposes revisions to existing templates to provide for additional breakdowns on performing and non-performing exposures, forborne exposures and collateral obtained. The proposals include some new templates for additional reporting by institutions with elevated levels of non-performing exposures that are not "small and non-complex." The new templates are designed to provide further insights into an institution's portfolios of performing and non-performing loans and/or or forborne loans and advances and on collateral obtained. The EBA also proposes revisions to the reporting on profit or loss items in FINREP and to account for the introduction of International Financial Reporting Standard 16 Leases, which is due to replace IAS 17 as the standard for the accounting of leases from January 1, 2019.

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Proposes Revised Supervisory Reporting Technical Standards on Liquidity Coverage Requirement
    08/28/2018

    The European Banking Authority has launched a consultation on proposed revisions to the Implementing Technical Standards that relate to supervisory reporting, under the common reporting, or COREP, framework, in line with the Liquidity Coverage Requirement, or LCR, under the Capital Requirements Regulation.

    The proposed revisions to the ITS are intended to reflect amendments made to an existing Delegated Regulation supplementing the Capital Requirements Regulation. These amendments were made by an Amending Regulation adopted by the European Commission in July 2018. The changes introduced by the Amending Regulation require the EBA to make related changes to the ITS on LCR reporting to capture the necessary elements for its calculation and monitoring. The revisions to the ITS relate mainly to the calculation of inflows and outflows in securities financing transactions and collateral swaps or the unwind waivers envisaged for some SFTs and collateral swaps with central banks. Further minor amendments are also proposed.

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Intends to Extend Product Intervention Measures for Binary Options for a Further Three Months
    08/24/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has announced its intention to adopt a Decision to extend the prohibition on the marketing, distribution and sale of binary options to retail investors for a further three-month period from October 2, 2018. ESMA has previously adopted intervention measures for binary options, with the current Decision set to expire on October 1, 2018.

    ESMA has power under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation to impose prohibitions or restrictions on certain financial instruments, financial activities or practices. This may be done when, among other conditions, the exercise of ESMA's power addresses a significant investor protection concern in the Union. Product intervention measures imposed by ESMA under MiFIR must be reviewed at appropriate intervals and at least every three months. If a measure is not renewed after three months, it will expire. In reviewing the current Decision, ESMA has agreed to exclude from the scope of product intervention certain types of binary option that are less likely to lead to a significant investor protection concern.

    Read more.
  • US Federal Reserve Board, OCC and FDIC Expand 18-Month Examination Cycle for Small Banks and Branches and Agencies of Foreign Banks
    08/23/2018

    The U.S. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation jointly issued an interim final rule and request for comment to expand the number of insured depository institutions and U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks eligible for an 18-month on-site examination cycle.

    Read more.
  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission Proposes Clearing Requirement Exemptions for Certain Financial End Users
    08/23/2018

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has proposed exempting certain bank holding companies, savings and loan holding companies and community development financial institutions from swap clearing requirements. The proposed exemptions, issued in response to comments made through the CFTC's Project KISS initiative, codify prior no-action relief provided under CFTC Staff Letters 16-01 and 16-02.

    Read more
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • UK Government Issues Brexit "No-Deal" Guidance for Financial Services
    08/23/2018

    HM Treasury has published a technical notice entitled "Banking, insurance and other financial services if there's no Brexit deal," to provide guidance about the impact of the U.K. leaving the EU without a ratified withdrawal agreement in place. The guidance is relevant to financial services firms, funds and financial market infrastructures and to their customers. The technical notice is one of the first 25 of a series of U.K. government technical notices setting out information that will enable businesses and citizens to make informed plans and preparations in the event of the U.K. exiting the EU on March 29, 2019 without a deal. These technical notices include a notice on the government's overarching approach to preparing for a "no deal" scenario.

    Read more.
  • European Central Bank Issues Opinion on Proposed Prudential Framework for Investment Firms
    08/22/2018

    The European Central Bank has published an Opinion on the legislative proposals adopted by the European Commission in December 2017 for a new framework for the prudential regulation of investment firms. The framework proposed by the European Commission comprises a proposal for a regulation on the prudential requirements of investment firms (including amendments to the Capital Requirements Regulation, the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation and the European Banking Authority Regulation) along with a proposal for a directive on the prudential supervision of investment firms, which includes amendments to the CRD IV Directive and the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. The ECB was asked by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union to provide its opinion on the proposed framework in January 2018.

    In the Opinion the ECB states that it generally supports the objectives of the proposed framework, which are to create a prudential framework better suited to the risks and business models of different types of investment firms and to subject systemically important investment firms to the same prudential rules as credit institutions.

    Read more.
  • US Federal Reserve Board, OCC and FDIC Issue Interim Final Rule with Respect to the Treatment of Certain Municipal Obligations as High-Quality Liquid Assets
    08/22/2018

    The U.S. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation jointly issued an interim final rule and request for comment to treat “liquid and readily-marketable,” investment grade municipal obligations as level 2B high-quality liquid assets (HQLAs) for purposes of the liquidity coverage ratio rule.

    Read more.
  • EU Final Draft Technical Standards on Reporting and Disclosure Requirements for Securitizations
    08/22/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a final report and technical standards on the disclosure and reporting requirements under the EU Securitization Regulation (or STS Regulation). The Securitization Regulation requires originators and sponsors to notify ESMA of any securitization that meets the "Simple, Transparent and Standardized" criteria. ESMA will maintain a list of all such securitizations on its website. Securitization special purpose entities, originators and sponsors of a securitization will be required to make certain information available via a securitization repository to holders of a securitization position, to the national regulators and, upon request, to potential investors. The Securitization Regulation will apply directly across the EU from January 1, 2019 to securities issued under securitizations on or after January 1, 2019. Securitizations issued before that date may be referred to as STS securitizations provided that they meet certain conditions.

    Read more.
  • UK Releases Draft Legislation to Onshore EU Regulatory Capital Requirements Legislation Post-Brexit
    08/21/2018

    HM Treasury has released another draft statutory instrument in preparation for Brexit, the Capital Requirements (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 - the draft Capital Requirements Regulations. The EU regulatory capital requirements framework for banks, building societies and investment firms comprises the Capital Requirements Regulation, the Capital Requirements Directive and secondary legislation in the form of technical standards. The CRD is implemented into U.K. law through various sector-specific legislation, for example, the Regulated Covered Bonds Regulations 2008, the Capital Requirements Regulations 2013, the Capital Requirements (Country-by-Country Reporting) Regulations 2013, and the Capital Requirements (Capital Buffers and Macro-prudential Measures) Regulations 2014 as well as through PRA and FCA rules. The CRR and the technical standards are directly applicable across the EU.

    This draft Capital Requirements Regulations will amend the CRR to ensure that it continues to operate effectively in the U.K. when the U.K. leaves the EU. The domestic legislation implementing CRD is also amended to ensure that it continues to function as intended. The Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority will be responsible for amendments to the technical standards and for updating their rulebooks. They are expected to consult in Autumn 2018 on these aspects.

    Read more.
  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission Finalizes Amendments to Rules Governing Chief Compliance Officer Duties and Annual Reporting Requirements for Certain Registrants
    08/21/2018

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has unanimously approved final amendments to clarify and simplify its regulations governing the duties and annual reporting requirements for chief compliance officers at futures commission merchants, swap dealers and major swap participants. The amendments, first proposed in May 2017, are designed to clarify certain requirements (including as to the annual CCO report) as well as harmonize the CFTC's requirements with similar Securities and Exchange Commission rules that will be applicable to security-based swap dealers.

    Read more.
  • US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Announces Modifications to its Statement of Policy Regarding Section 19 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act
    08/20/2018

    The U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation issued modification to its Statement of Policy with respect to Section 19 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, which (among other things) prohibits persons with convictions for certain criminal offenses, or those who have entered into pretrial diversion or similar programs with respect to the same, from participating in the affairs of a FDIC-insured financial institution without prior approval of the FDIC.

    Read more.
  • US Federal Reserve Board Division of Research and Statistics Director, David Wilcox, to Retire
    08/20/2018

    The U.S. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System Announced that David Wilcox, the director of the Federal Reserve Board’s Division of Research and Statistics, would retire at the end of the year.  Mr. Wilcox has served as the director of the division for 7 years, and in his 30 years of service has also held positions on the staff of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, as assistant secretary for economic policy at the Treasury Department and as deputy director of the Division of Research and Statistics.

    View full text of the Federal Reserve Press.
    TOPIC: People
  • Global Authorities Consult on Governance for OTC Derivatives Data Elements
    08/16/2018

    The Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures and the International Organization of Securities Commissions have published a consultation paper on governance arrangements for OTC derivatives data elements other than the Unique Transaction Identifier and the Unique Product Identifier. Critical data elements are an important aspect of reporting derivatives transactions to a trade repository. The consultation paper proposes the key criteria for the CDE maintenance and governance, the different areas of CDE governance and governance functions and allocation of the governance functions to different bodies.

    Responses to the consultation should be submitted by September 27, 2018 using the dedicated response form, available through the links below.

    View the press release.

    View the consultation paper.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • Financial Stability Board Consults on Implementation of the Legal Entity Identifier
    08/16/2018

    The Financial Stability Board has launched a thematic peer review on implementation of the Legal Entity Identifier and is inviting feedback on implementation of the LEI at the same time. The objective of the LEI system is for unique identifiers to be held by all legal entities participating in financial markets across the globe. It is envisaged that the LEI system will lead to better data aggregation, enhance systemic risk monitoring and reduce costs to market participants.

    Using the peer review, the FSB will: (i) consider the approaches and strategies used by FSB members to implement the LEI, including its adoption for regulatory requirements; (ii) assess whether current levels and rates of LEI adoption are sufficient to support the ongoing and anticipated needs of FSB member authorities; (iii) identify the challenges in further advancing the implementation and use of the LEI; and (iv) if appropriate, make recommendations for addressing any challenges.

    Read more.
  • UK Government Releases Post-Brexit Draft Legislation for Deposit Protection
    08/15/2018

    HM Treasury has published draft Deposit Guarantee Scheme and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018. The draft regulations are expected to be laid before Parliament in autumn 2018 and to come into force mostly on the day the U.K. withdraws from the EU. These draft regulations are part of HM Treasury's measures to onshore EU legislation under the provisions of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. The key changes proposed are:
    • transferring the power to review, adjust and set the coverage level from EU bodies to the Prudential Regulation Authority, with approval from HMT; and
    • removing the cooperation arrangement under which the U.K. Financial Services Compensation Scheme administers compensation payments to depositors at U.K. branches of EEA banks on behalf of EEA deposit guarantee schemes. A transitional provision will allow the FSCS to continue after Brexit to accept instructions and funds from EEA DGS should an EEA firm operating in the U.K. fail immediately before Exit Day.

    View the draft Regulations.

    View the explanatory guidance.
  • EU Implementing Regulations for Benchmark Regulation Published
    08/09/2018

    Two Commission Implementing Regulations supplementing the Benchmark Regulation have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Benchmark Regulation, which took effect across the EU in January 2018, sets out the authorization and registration requirements for benchmark administrators, including third-country entities, and the requirements for governance and control of administrators. It provides for different categories of benchmarks depending on the risks involved, imposes additional requirements on benchmarks considered to be "critical" and gives powers to national regulators to mandate, under certain conditions, contributions to or the administration of critical benchmarks.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • UK Post-Brexit Secondary Legislation on Short Selling Published
    08/09/2018

    Draft U.K. secondary legislation has been published to onshore the EU Short Selling Regulation on the day the U.K. exits the EU. The draft Short Selling (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 (or U.K. SSRs) are expected to be laid before Parliament in Autumn 2018 and to come into force mostly on the day the U.K. withdraws from the EU. The draft U.K. SSRs are made under the provisions of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 to address failures of retained EU law relating to short selling to operate effectively and other deficiencies arising from Brexit.

    The explanatory guide to the U.K. SSRs states that changes for firms with shares admitted to trading on a U.K. venue should be minimal. The procedure for notifying U.K. instruments to the Financial Conduct Authority will be kept and instruments admitted to trading on U.K. venues will continue to have the same restrictions applied to them.

    Read more.
  • EU and UK Authorities Clarify Trading Obligation Expectations for Pension Schemes
    08/08/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a further statement on the transitional exemption from the clearing obligation for pension scheme arrangements under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation and delegated regulations. Transitional provisions provide for PSAs to be exempt from the clearing obligation until August 16, 2018. There is no provision in EMIR that would allow for a further extension of this exemption period. It is proposed that this exemption will be further extended under the proposal to amend EMIR, known as EMIR Refit. ESMA issued a statement on July 3, 2018 stating that national regulators are expected not to prioritize "their supervisory actions towards entities that are expected to be exempted again in a relatively short period of time and to generally apply their risk-based supervisory powers in their day-to-day enforcement of applicable legislation in a proportionate manner."

    This new statement clarifies that ESMA does not expect national regulators to focus on any non-compliance by PSAs with the related trading obligation under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation. Financial counterparties that are exempt from the clearing obligation under EMIR are also exempt from the trading obligation under MiFIR. It is likely that the clearing obligation exemption will expire before it is extended under EMIR Refit and therefore the trading obligation exemption would also lapse.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: DerivativesMiFID II
  • UK Financial Conduct Authority Confirms it is Open to a Range of Booking Models for Brexit Preparations
    08/08/2018

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a "Dear CEO" letter on firms' cross-border booking models in preparation for Brexit. In the letter the FCA reminds firms that where the firm is expanding its European presence, it must still be possible for the FCA to supervise the firm's U.K. business and firms must still meet their threshold conditions. However, unlike other EU regulators, the FCA is not stipulating specific requirements for booking models. Instead, the FCA states that it is "open to a broad range of legal entity structures or booking models. This includes those making use of back-to-back and remote booking, providing their associated conduct risks are effectively controlled and managed. Our starting point is therefore not to restrict business models but to understand the principles and practice involved and how the conduct risks that arise from them are managed."

    Read more.
  • Global Bodies Consult on Incentives to Centrally Clear OTC Derivatives
    08/07/2018

    A consultation paper on incentives to centrally clear OTC derivatives has been jointly published by the Financial Stability Board, the International Organization of Securities Commissions, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures. The paper is part of the FSB's post-implementation evaluation of the effects of the G20 financial regulatory reforms. The consultation paper sets out the results of an evaluation of the reforms that have been implemented to incentivize central clearing of OTC derivatives, including mandatory clearing requirements, capital, liquidity and margin requirements, as well as the reforms to CCP resilience, recovery and resolution. The evaluation found that:
    • the changes observed in OTC derivatives markets are consistent with the G20 Leaders' objective of promoting central clearing as part of mitigating systemic risk and making derivatives markets safer.
    • the relevant post-crisis reforms, in particular the capital, margin and clearing reforms, taken together, appear to create an overall incentive, at least for dealers and larger and more active clients, to centrally clear OTC derivatives.
    Read more.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • Regulators Unveil Plans to Launch Global Financial Innovation Network
    08/07/2018

    12 international financial regulators and related organizations have announced the launch of the Global Financial Innovation Network. The announcement, which was accompanied by a consultation paper on the role and objectives of the GFIN, serves as part two of a whitepaper published earlier this year by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority on the possibility of forming a "global sandbox." The GFIN, as proposed, would consist of three components: (i) information sharing and collaboration through a network of regulators; (ii) joint policy work and regulatory trials; and (iii) cross-border firm trials.

    The GFIN hopes to build upon existing information sharing agreements to allow information sharing to take place on a larger and quicker scale, which would allow regulators to fill information gaps related to innovation, technological trends and emerging issues. This would help FinTech firms navigate international regulations by providing a comprehensive forum through which to interact with multiple regulators. In addition, the GFIN aims to provide a space to encourage joint policy work and address areas of divergence between financial services regulators, particularly with respect to emerging technologies and legacy business models and regulatory frameworks. As envisioned, the GFIN would also facilitate cross-border trials of emerging technologies across global jurisdictions.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: FinTech
  • Upcoming Priorities for the Global FX Code
    08/06/2018

    The Global Foreign Exchange Committee has published a paper entitled: "The FX Global Code at One Year: a Look Back and a Look Ahead." The FX Global Code was published by the GFXC in May 2017. It superseded and substantively updated existing guidance for participants in FX markets previously provided by the Non-investment Products (NIPs) Code. The Code comprises a set of global principles of good practice for the FX market, covering a broad range of areas, including ethics, governance, execution, information-sharing, risk management, compliance, trade confirmation and settlement.

    The paper discusses the achievements of the GFXC and the way in which the Code has been received by market participants over the past year. These include increased awareness of and commitment to the Code, further integration of the Code into the business practices of FX market participants and evolution of the Code with changes in the FX market, in particular for transparency and disclosure.

    The GFXC's upcoming priorities are outlined in the paper. These include:
    • continuing the existing GFXC working groups - the disclosures working group and the cover and deal working group; and
    • establishing two new GFXC working groups - one on buy-side outreach and the other to further integration of the Code.

    View the paper.
View All (500+)