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

  • Revised EU Guidelines on Fraud Reporting Under the Payment Services Directive Published
    01/22/2020

    The European Banking Authority has published amendments to the 2018 Guidelines on fraud reporting under the revised Payment Services Directive (known as PSD2). The Regulatory Technical Standards on "strong customer authentication" requirements for payments services providers, setting out the process by which service providers authenticate the identity of customers have applied directly across the EU since September 14, 2019. Following clarifications by the European Commission on the application of SCA to certain transaction types, the EBA has amended the reporting templates linked to the guidelines to cater for reporting of transactions where SCA is not applied for reasons other than an exemption under the SCA RTS. The amendments will apply to the reporting of payment transactions initiated and executed from July 1, 2020.

    View the EBA's announcement and the consolidated Guidelines.

    View details of the SCA RTS.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Wants Asset Management Sector to Reflect on Risks to Customers and Markets
    01/22/2020

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published two letters addressed to the CEOs of firms in the asset management and funds sectors. The first letter is addressed to CEOs of FCA-authorized firms directly managing mainstream investment vehicles or advising on mainstream investments, excluding wealth managers and financial advisers. The second letter is addressed to CEOs of FCA-authorized firms managing alternative investment vehicles, such as hedge funds or private equity funds, or managing alternative assets directly or advising on these types of investments. The letters follow the FCA's report on its review of how firms in the asset management sector selected and used risk modeling and other portfolio management tools.

    Read more.
  • EU Proposals to Amend the EU-Wide Stress Test Framework for Banks
    01/22/2020

    The European Banking Authority has commenced a consultation on proposed changes to the EU-wide stress test framework for banks. The EU-wide stress test contributes to improving the financial resilience of banks. Responses to the consultation may be submitted until April 30, 2020. The EBA is holding a public hearing on the proposals on February 21, 2020. The 2020 EU-wide stress test is going to run under the current framework, the results of which will be published in July 2020.

    The EBA is proposing to amend the framework to have two parts. The first would be the supervisory element, based on a common EU methodology. It would include the current constrained bottom-up approach, but also have an option for national regulators to adjust or replace banks' estimates based on top-down models and other tools. The second part would be the bank element and would be based on the same common methodology applied in the supervisory part. However, banks would be given more discretion to calculate their projections, provided an explanation and disclosure of the rational and impact of any deviations is possible. The quality of disclosure of the results would remain high, with only the supervisory leg being amended to limit the quantity of disclosure. Feedback is also sought on the approach to scenario designs.

    View the consultation paper and other details.
  • UK Conduct Authority to Review Suitability of Retirement Income Financial Advice
    01/21/2020

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has announced the focus of its second review assessing suitability - advice received by consumers on retirement income. The FCA intends to publish a report on the outcome of the review in 2020. Alongside the announcement, the FCA has published a letter addressed to the CEOs of financial advice firms describing its approach to tackling key areas of concern with financial advice firms and setting out the action it expects these firms to undertake. The letter covers assessing suitability of advice, defined benefit pension transfer advice, pensions and investment scams, adequate financial resources and professional indemnity insurance, the FCA's recently imposed ban on the promotion of speculative mini-bonds to retail consumers, the Senior Managers and Certification Regime and preparing for the end of the Brexit implementation period.

    View the FCA's statement.

    View the Dear CEO letter.
  • Group of Central Banks to Collaborate on Potential of Central Bank Digital Currencies
    01/21/2020

    The Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank, the Sveriges Riksbank, the Swiss National Bank and the Bank for International Settlements have announced that they have created a group to share experience as they assess the potential cases for central bank digital currency. The group will assess CBDC use cases, economic, functional and technical design choices, including cross-border interoperability and the sharing of knowledge on emerging technologies.

    View the announcement.
  • European Central Bank Sets Out Expectations of Eurozone Banks' Dividend and Variable Remuneration Policies
    01/21/2020

    The Banking Supervision arm of the European Central Bank has set out its expectations of Eurozone banks regarding their dividend distribution and variable remuneration policies. The ECB is responsible for direct prudential supervision of certain significant banks based in the Eurozone as part of the Single Supervisory Mechanism and has certain powers relating to the supervision by national Eurozone regulators of smaller banks. The ECB has published a letter addressed to significant banks warning them to take a "prudent, forward-looking stance" when setting the banks' remuneration policy and has also published a Recommendation (dated January 17, 2020) on requiring significant banks to "establish dividend policies using conservative and prudent assumptions". The Recommendation will apply directly to significant Eurozone banks. The ECB expects national Eurozone regulators to consider how it might be applied proportionally to the smaller banks. The ECB expects Eurozone banks to consider how their variable remuneration policies and dividend distribution policies will impact their ability to continue to meet their regulatory capital requirements, particularly taking into account the transitional provisions of the Capital Requirements Directive (version IV) and the transitional arrangements for mitigating the impact of the introduction of IFRS 9 on own funds.

    View the ECB's letter.

    View the ECB's Recommendation.
  • European Central Bank Consults on Proposed Guidelines on Materiality Threshold for Credit Obligations Past Due for Small Eurozone Banks
    01/20/2020

    The European Central Bank has opened a consultation on proposed guidelines on the materiality threshold for credit obligations past due for less significant institutions based in the Eurozone. The EU Capital Requirements Regulation risk quantification provisions set out that a default occurs when an obligor is past due more than 90 days on any material credit obligation to a firm, its parent or any of its subsidiaries. The materiality of the credit obligation is to be assessed against a threshold set by the national regulator according to its view of a reasonable level of risk. The ECB is responsible for direct prudential supervision of certain significant banks based in the Eurozone as part of the Single Supervisory Mechanism and has set the materiality threshold for these firms. The proposed guidelines are addressed to national Eurozone regulators within the SSM responsible for setting the threshold for less significant institutions. The ECB is proposing a single materiality threshold for all less significant institutions, both for retail and non-retail exposures.

    The consultation closes on February 17, 2020.

    View the consultation paper.
  • UK Proposals for Confirmation of Payee Exemptions
    01/20/2020

    The U.K. Payment Systems Regulator has opened a consultation on proposals to vary its Specific Direction 10 on Confirmation of Payee. Confirmation of Payee is a system that ensures that certain identifiers (including name, sort code and account number) of a payee are verified against the records of a payment services provider before a payment is made. On August 1, 2019, the PSR issued Specific Direction 10 to certain institutions within the six largest U.K. payment service providers - Lloyds Group, Barclays Group, HSBC Group, Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Santander Group and Nationwide Building Society - requiring them to implement "Confirmation of Payee" by March 31, 2020. The PSR is consulting on amending the Direction to introduce a new basis for a payment service provider to request an exemption from the requirements. The existing text of the Direction only allows exemptions in exceptional circumstances. The PSR also intends to include a limited exemption for HSBC UK Bank plc in the revised Direction. Responses to the consultation can be submitted until January 29, 2020.

    View the consultation.
  • Proposed EU Guidelines for Securitization Repositories Assessing Data Completeness and Consistency
    01/17/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has launched a consultation on proposed guidelines on securitization repository data completeness and consistency thresholds. The proposed guidelines would apply to EU securitization repositories that are registered with and supervised by ESMA. The consultation closes on March 16, 2020.

    Read more.
  • UK Court Confirms Bitcoin Status as Property for Certain Proprietary Claims
    01/17/2020

    A U.K. court has granted an interim proprietary injunction over Bitcoin held in an account of a cryptocurrency exchange after it had been transferred there as part of a cyber attack on a Canadian insurance company. The judgment in AA v Persons Unknown & Ors, Re Bitcoin [2019] EWHC 3556 (Comm) was given on December 13, 2019, and following the lifting of reporting restrictions, was released for publication on January 17, 2020. In coming to its decision, the High Court adopted the analysis as to the proprietary status of crypto assets set out in the recent legal statement by the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce. Although each case will depend on the relevant facts and issues, the decision confirms that crypto assets are a form of property capable of being the subject of a proprietary injunction.

    Read more.
  • Global Financial Innovation Network Announces Plans to Improve the Framework for Cross-Border Testing of Innovative Firms
    01/16/2020

    The Global Financial Innovation Network has published a report on lessons learned during the cross-border testing of innovative firms and their products. The GFIN was launched at the start of 2019 and is a network of organizations committed to supporting financial innovation in the interests of consumers. One of GFIN's priorities is to facilitate cross-border trials of emerging technologies across global jurisdictions (a global sandbox). The GFIN began a pilot with eight firms in April 2019, which aimed to develop testing plans for their cross-border trials. However, as none of the firms developed a testing plan that satisfied each jurisdiction's requirements, the GFIN could not progress things further. The GFIN has since met to consider how to take things forward and will further develop the framework of cross-border testing.

    The report describes the accomplishments and the challenges that arose during the pilot and sets out the proposed next steps and solutions to improve cross-border testing for the next phase. The solutions include establishing a central website for GFIN and creating a single application form for applicants, both of which should make it easier for prospective firms to find relevant information and submit an application. In the first half of 2020, the GFIN will open applications for the first formal cohort of participants.

    View the report.
    TOPIC: FinTech
  • International Organization of Securities Commissions Recommends UTC Clock Synchronization to Facilitate Market Abuse Monitoring
    01/16/2020

    The International Organization of Securities Commissions has published a report in which it recommends that where jurisdictions require clock synchronization for trading purposes, clocks should be synchronized to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). In its 2013 report - Technological Challenges to Effective Market Surveillance – Issues and Regulatory Tools (FR04/13) – IOSCO recommended the introduction of a requirement for trading venues and their participants to synchronize the business clocks used to record the date and time of a reportable event. The practice assists regulators in monitoring the markets for market abuse and identifying market abuse. Certain jurisdictions have already implemented clock synchronization according to UTC, including Australia, Canada and the EU.

    View IOSCO's report.
  • UK Regulators Push For More Action on LIBOR Transition
    01/16/2020

    The Bank of England, U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority, U.K. Financial Conduct Authority and the Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates have published a set of documents outlining priorities and milestones for 2020 on LIBOR transition.

    Read more.
  • Mark Carney Appointed as Finance Adviser to UK Government on Sustainable Finance
    01/16/2020

    Mark Carney, the outgoing Governor of the Bank of England, has been appointed as Finance Adviser for COP26. The role will be to assist the U.K. Government to build a sustainable financial system that supports the transition to a net zero economy. Andrew Bailey will replace Mr. Carney as the Governor of the Bank of England from March 16, 2020.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: People
  • European Commission Announces Next Steps for Sustainable Finance
    01/16/2020

    The European Commission has published a Communication detailing the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan that will support the European Green Deal Investment Plan. The Communication is accompanied by a proposed Regulation to establish a Just Transition Fund and a Factsheet explaining the Plan. Feedback on the proposed Regulation can be submitted until March 12, 2020.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Authority Publishes Findings of Review of Risk Modelling and Other Portfolio Management Tools in the Asset Management Sector
    01/13/2020

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a report on its review of how firms in the asset management sector selected and used risk modelling and other portfolio management tools. The review was undertaken to assess how firms identify and manage the risks as well as firms' ability to respond to system failures or service interruptions.

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Publishes Report on Big Data and Advanced Analytics
    01/13/2020

    The European Banking Authority has published a report on big data and advanced analytics in the banking sector. The report sets out the findings of the EBA's review of big data and analytics and presents key pillars and elements of trust for the development, implementation and adoption of BD&AA by banks.

    Read more.
  • European Systemic Risk Board Recommends Options for Addressing Procyclicality in Derivatives Markets and Securities Financing Transactions
    01/09/2020

    The European Systemic Risk Board has published a report on mitigating the procyclicality of margins and haircuts in derivatives markets and securities financing transactions. The report assesses the systemic risks arising from procyclicality associated with margin and haircut practices and makes recommendations for addressing the risks. 

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • Bank of England and UK Conduct Regulator Announce Proposals for Financial Sector Data Reforms
    01/07/2020

    The Bank of England and U.K. Financial Conduct Authority have published a series of proposals setting out their plans to enhance their data and analytics capabilities. The proposals include a revised FCA data strategy, a BoE discussion paper on transforming data collection and a viability report published by the FCA and BoE, together with seven regulated firms, on the possibilities of digital regulatory reporting. The FCA and BoE depend on data to conduct their supervisory responsibilities.  

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Evidence on Market Impacts of Circuit Breakers
    01/07/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a working paper setting out its findings on the market impacts of “circuit breakers”, instruments used by trading venues to interrupt excessive price movements in financial instruments. The revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive places obligations on national regulators to require a regulated market in their jurisdiction to be able to temporarily halt or constrain trading if there is significant price movement in a financial instrument on that market during a short period and, in exceptional cases, to be able to cancel, vary or correct any transaction. 

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Clarifications on Reporting of Securities Financing Transactions
    01/06/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a final report and guidelines on reporting under the Securities Financing Transaction Regulations, together with amended SFTR validation rules and a statement on Legal Entity Identifiers. The SFTR requires all securities financing transactions to be reported to EU-recognized trade repositories. SFTs involve the use of securities to borrow cash or other high investment-grade securities and include repurchase transactions, securities lending and sell/buy backs.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Follow-Up Report on Credit Rating Agency and Trade Repository Fees
    12/20/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a follow-up report on its 2018 Thematic Report on the fees charged by credit rating agencies and trade repositories. ESMA directly supervises all CRAs and trade repositories that are established in the EU. The 2018 Thematic Report highlighted three key areas of concern in the fee charging practices of CRAs and trade repositories, namely: (i) transparency and disclosure to clients and ESMA of fees; (ii) the process of setting fees; and (iii) how interactions with other group entities may pose challenges to the principles of non-discrimination and cost-related fees to which credit rating agencies and trade repositories are expected to adhere.

    Read more.
  • UK Chancellor Appoints New Governor of Bank of England
    12/20/2019

    The U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, has announced the appointment of Andrew Bailey as the new Governor of the Bank of England. 

    Read more.
    TOPIC: People
  • Financial Stability Board Publishes Feedback to Resolution Planning Disclosures Consultation
    12/20/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published a statement summarizing the feedback it received to its June 2019 consultation on firms’ public disclosures on resolution planning and resolvability. The consultation sought feedback on a series of questions regarding general and firm-specific disclosures made by systemically important banks and other firms subject to resolution planning requirements.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Publishes Feedback to Derivatives and Trading Portfolios’ Solvent Wind-Down Consultation
    12/20/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published a statement summarizing the feedback it received to its June 2019 consultation on the solvent wind-down of derivatives and trading portfolios. The consultation sought feedback on a series of questions regarding existing wind-down practices that may be used as a recovery option for global systemically important institutions that find themselves under stress. The FSB intended to consider publishing guidance on solvent wind-down planning depending on the responses elicited by the consultation.

    Read more.
  • UK Secondary Legislation Published Implementing EU Fifth Money Laundering Directive
    12/20/2019

    The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019 have been published, amending the existing Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017. The amending Regulations incorporate changes made to EU legislation under the EU’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive. The majority of the amending Regulations provisions will come into force on January 10, 2020, with the exception of those governing: (i) customer due diligence on anonymous prepaid cards; and (ii) requests for information about accounts and safe-deposit boxes, which will come into force on July 10, 2020 and September 10, 2020 respectively.

    Read more.
  • EU Publishes Handbook for Climate Benchmarks
    12/20/2019

    The EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance has published a Handbook providing guidance on the EU’s new climate transition benchmarks (EU CTB) and Paris-aligned benchmarks (EU PAB), as well as on the environmental, social and governance disclosures that will be applicable to all investment benchmarks (other than currency and interest rate benchmarks) in the future. Conventional benchmarks do not typically reflect low-carbon considerations, but an increasing focus on sustainability has led to a proliferation in recent years of specific low-carbon benchmarks that were not subject to clear or comparable standards.

    Read more.
  • EU Political Agreement on Proposed Regulation on Cross-Border Crowdfunding Service Providers
    12/19/2019

    The EU legislative bodies have announced that political agreement has been reached on the proposed Regulation on European Crowdfunding Service Providers for Business. The proposed ECSP Regulation is part of the EU Capital Markets Union initiative and the Commission's FinTech Action Plan. It aims to increase access to finance through crowdfunding for innovative companies, start-ups and SMEs. The European Commission published the original legislative proposal on March 8, 2018. Since then, the text of the proposed ECSP Regulation has been amended.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Assesses Financial Stability Implications of Expanding Leveraged Loans and Collateralized Loan Obligations Markets
    12/19/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published a report on the vulnerabilities associated with leveraged loans and collateralized loan obligations. In the report, the FSB assesses how the leveraged loan and CLO markets have developed and analyzes the potential implications for global financial stability.

    Noting that there are data gaps, the FSB makes the following conclusions:
    • there are indications that weaknesses in the leveraged loan and CLO markets have increased since the 2008-09 global financial crisis;
    • banks have the largest direct exposures to leveraged loans and CLOs. These exposures are concentrated among a limited number of large global banks and have a significant cross-border dimension; and
    • non-bank investors, such as investment funds, insurance companies, pension funds, broker-dealers and holding companies, also have exposures to leveraged loans and CLOs.

    The FSB intends to consider whether there is scope to close data gaps, but will continue to analyze the financial stability risks and will examine the regulatory and supervisory implications related to leveraged loans and CLOs.

    View the report.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • European Banking Authority Launches Consultation on Draft Technical Standards Identifying Material Risk Impact Staff Subject to Compensation Requirements
    12/19/2019

    The European Banking Authority has launched a consultation on its draft Regulatory Technical Standards setting out the criteria for identifying staff whose professional activities have a material impact on credit institutions’ risk profiles. The EBA is required to produce the RTS under the revised Capital Requirements Directive (CRD V), in support of the CRD requirement that remuneration policies for staff whose professional activities have a material impact on the credit institution’s risk profile are appropriate to the size, nature and complexity of the credit institution in question. 

    Read more.
  • European Commission Launches Consultations on Digitalization in the Financial Sector
    12/19/2019

    The European Commission has launched two consultations on digitalization in the financial sector. They form part of the EU’s new Digital Finance Strategy which aims to deepen the Single Market for digital financial services, promote a data-driven EU financial sector while addressing the risks inherent in that and enhance the digital operational resilience of the financial system. 

    Read more.
  • Consultation on Credit Adjustment Spread Methodologies for Fallbacks in Cash Products Referencing GBP LIBOR
    12/19/2019

    The Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates has opened a consultation on credit adjustment spread methodologies for fallbacks in cash products referencing GBP LIBOR. The consultation focuses on cash products, including, but not limited to, syndicated loans, floating rate notes, retail loans, bilateral corporate loans and securitizations.  It only covers GBP LIBOR and credit adjustment spreads to be applied to a SONIA-derived rate. Responses to the consultation can be submitted until February 6, 2020.

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Publishes Final Technical Standards for the Standardized Approach to Counterparty Credit Risk
    12/18/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published final draft Regulatory Technical Standards governing the standardized approach to counterparty credit risk in derivatives transactions. The final draft SA-CCR RTS will supplement the requirements set out in the EU's Capital Requirements Regulation, as amended by CRR 2. The SA-CCR requirements aim to address the shortcomings of existing calculation methods to ensure parties are adequately protected in the event of default by a counterparty to a derivatives transaction and these final draft RTS aim to ensure a more harmonized calculation of own funds requirements for counterparty credit risk than has been the case under CRR.

    Read more.
  • Bank of England Consults on Proposed 2021 Climate Change Stress Tests
    12/18/2019

    The Bank of England has published a discussion paper seeking feedback on its proposals for a series of 2021 stress-tests on climate-related risks for the largest banks, insurers and the financial system. The stress tests will help to quantify potential climate change risks faced by the financial system and enable market participants and oversight bodies like the BoE to develop measures to prepare for those risks. Responses to the consultation should be submitted by March 18, 2020. The final stress testing framework will be published in the second half of 2020 with the results of the exercise published in 2021.

    Read more.
  • EU Recommendations to Combat Undue Short-Term Pressure From Financial Sector on Corporates
    12/18/2019

    The European Supervisory Authorities have each published advice to the European Commission on undue short-term pressure from the financial sector on corporations. The ESAs comprise the European Banking Authority, the European Securities and Markets Authority and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority. The ESAs' advice responds to the European Commission's request in June 2019 for evidence and possible advice on potential undue short-term pressure by financial service participants on corporations. The Commission asked the ESAs to: (i) provide evidence of any short-termism and, if any, the consequences thereof; (ii) assess the drivers of such short-termism, including the effects of regulation on financial market participants, for example, the guidance on remuneration practices; (iii) identify existing regulations that either mitigate or exacerbate short-term pressures; and (iv) evaluate the need for regulatory or policy action and propose specific areas where action is needed. The ESAs' advice, summarized below, may result in the Commission proposing amendments to several pieces of EU legislation, such as the Capital Requirements Directive and related Regulation, the Markets in Financial Instruments package and the Non-Financial Reporting Directive.

    Read more.
  • International Swaps and Derivatives Association Consults on Fallbacks Based on Alternative Risk-Free Rates For Derivatives Referencing EUR Libor and EURIBOR
    12/18/2019

    The International Swaps and Derivatives Association has launched a consultation in which it proposes to amend its standard documentation to implement fallbacks based on alternative risk-free rates for certain key Interbank Offered Rates - EUR LIBOR and EURIBOR. ISDA states that the back-ups will apply if the relevant IBOR is permanently discontinued, based on defined triggers. Responses to the consultation should be submitted to ISDA by January 21, 2020.
    Read more.
  • UK Prudential Regulatory Authority Responds on Prudential Impediments for Banks Arising from the LIBOR Transition
    12/18/2019

    The Prudential Regulation Authority has published a letter addressed to the Chair of the Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates. The letter responds to the Working Group's letter in October 2019 requesting regulatory forbearance or clarification from regulators on the impact that the LIBOR transition is likely to have on the prudential requirements for banks. The main issues raised by the Working Group include: (i) the potential for certain capital instruments to no longer qualify as regulatory capital; (ii) the potential for securitizations and MREL-eligible instruments to be considered as "new contracts" as a result of changes to contractual terms, leading to the need to insert bail-in or other bank recovery contractual terms; and (iii) that many banks will need to obtain regulatory approvals for alterations to the models used to determine their regulatory capital arising from their exposures and risks.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Calls for Sustained Efforts to Migrate From LIBOR
    12/18/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published a progress report on reforms to major interest rate benchmarks. The report provides the FSB's annual update on progress taken by the official sector and market participants to move from interbank offered rates to overnight risk-free rates by the end of 2021 in line with the FSB's 2014 recommendations. The FSB highlights that the continued reliance by global financial markets on LIBOR poses significant financial stability risks and urges all participants to continue with their efforts to transition to the alternative risk-free rates. The FSB also warns regulated firms to expect increased examination from regulators of their efforts to transition as the end of 2021 approaches.

    View the report.
  • EU Regulation and Directive on Covered Bonds Published
    12/18/2019

    A new Regulation and Directive amending certain provisions of the Capital Requirements Regulation on covered bonds and introducing standards on the issuance of covered bonds and covered bond public supervision has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Regulation and Directive will both enter into force on January 7, 2020. The Regulation will apply directly in all Member States from July 8, 2022, while Member States must publish national legislation implementing the Directive by July 8, 2021 and must apply that legislation from July 8, 2022.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • UK Prudential Regulator Finalizes Revisions to Pillar 2 Liquidity Reporting Frequency
    12/17/2019

    The U.K. Prudential Regulatory Authority has published a Policy Statement, revised reporting rules and a revised Supervisory Statement on the PRA's approach to supervising liquidity and funding risks (SS 25/15).

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Publishes 2020 Work Program
    12/17/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published its work program for 2020. The FSB confirms that it will continue to monitor developments to identify and manage new and emerging risks, work to finalize the outstanding components of the post-crisis reforms and assess the implementation of reforms as well as their effects. Key areas of focus will be:
    • LIBOR transition: the FSB will monitor implementation of the benchmark reforms and report on outstanding issues.
    • Global stablecoins: the FSB will launch a consultation on global stablecoins in April 2020.
    • Global payment systems: the FSB will work with other international bodies to develop and deliver a roadmap for using digital innovations to improve global cross-border payments.
    • FinTech: the FSB will report on the perspective of emerging market and developing economies.

    View the FSB work program for 2020.
  • UK Financial Policy Committee Highlights Risks of Open-Ended Funds and Global Stablecoins
    12/16/2019

    The Financial Policy Committee of the Bank of England has published its latest financial stability report. The report sets out the FPC's view of the resilience of the U.K. financial system and the main risks to the U.K.'s financial stability as well as the work being carried out to address those risks. The FPC states that the 2019 annual cyclical scenario stress test indicates that the U.K. banking system would be resilient to deep simultaneous U.K. and global recessions. Furthermore, the U.K. financial system is resilient to and prepared for any disruptions that may arise from a disorderly Brexit.

    Read more.
  • International Organization of Securities Commissions Consults on Combating Conduct Risks in Debt Capital Raising
    12/16/2019

    The International Organization of Securities Commissions has launched a consultation on methods of addressing potential conflicts of interest and other conduct risks that arise from market intermediaries’ participation in the debt capital raising process. Responses should be submitted by February 16, 2020.

    Read more.
  • European Supervisory Authorities Publish Guidelines on AML/CTF Cooperation
    12/16/2019

    The European Banking Authority, European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority and European Securities and Markets Authority (collectively known as the European Supervisory Authorities) have published joint guidelines aimed at enhancing cooperation between national regulators in combating anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing. The EU Fourth Money Laundering Directive requires national regulators to cooperate in their AML/CTF supervision of entities that operate on a cross-border basis. 

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Publishes Feedback on Climate Change and Green Finance Projects
    12/16/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a feedback statement on its proposals for improving climate change disclosures and the information given to consumers about green financial products and services. The feedback statement follows the FCA’s discussion paper on climate change and green finance, in which it sought comments on potential changes to its regulatory approach in these areas. 

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Information on Pending Applications for Benchmark Administrators
    12/13/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a list of the entities that are awaiting their national regulator’s approval for authorization and registration as EU benchmark administrators. Under the EU Benchmark Regulation, existing EU and third country benchmark administrators are entitled to apply for authorization to continue as administrators.

    Read more.
  • EU Expert Group on Regulatory Obstacles to Financial Innovation Publishes Recommendations on Regulatory Framework for FinTech
    12/13/2019

    The EU Expert Group on Regulatory Obstacles to Financial Innovation (or ROFIEG) has published a set of Recommendations and a Q&A on the establishment of an accommodative framework for FinTech in the EU. The ROFIEG was established by the European Commission in 2018 to provide expertise on technology in the financial services sector and, in particular, to review the EU’s legal and regulatory FinTech framework.

    Read more.
  • International Organization of Securities Commissions Publishes Framework for Monitoring Leverage in Funds
    12/13/2019

    The International Organization of Securities Commissions has published a framework designed to facilitate regulators’ monitoring of leverage in investment funds, assisting regulators in identifying potential risks to financial stability.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • EU Report on Accepted Market Practices Under the Market Abuse Regulation
    12/13/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published an annual report to the European Commission on the application of accepted market practices under the Market Abuse Regulation. The Market Abuse Regulation provides certain prohibitions against market manipulation. Accepted market practices, which are established by national regulators and notified to ESMA, provide a defense against any allegations of market manipulation.

    Read more.
  • Proposed EU Procedural Rules for Penalties Imposed on Third-Country CCPs, Trade Repositories and Credit Rating Agencies
    12/13/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has launched a consultation on proposed procedural rules for penalties imposed on third-country CCPs, trade repositories and credit rating agencies. Responses are invited by January 18, 2020. ESMA intends to finalize its technical advice by the end of Q1 2020.

    Read more.
  • EMIR 2.2 Regulation on the Authorization and Recognition of CCPs Published
    12/12/2019

    A new Regulation amending the European Market Infrastructure Regulation has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union, introducing changes to the procedures and authorities involved in the authorization of central counterparties and the requirements for the recognition of third-country CCPs. The Regulation, known as “EMIR 2.2”, is part of the EU’s push to enhance the regulation of CCPs amid concerns regarding potential CCP failures given their increasing systemic importance. 

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Final Report on Suspicious Transaction Reporting Under the Market Abuse Regulation
    12/12/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published its final report on the compliance of Member States with suspicious transaction and order reports under the Market Abuse Regulation, in which it sets out the results of its peer review into certain aspects of the STOR framework. Experts from national regulators and ESMA were appointed to conduct the review and issued a self-assessment questionnaire to all 31 EEA national regulators, as well as conducting on-site visits to six national regulators.

    Read more.
  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Consults on Prudential Treatment of Crypto-Assets
    12/12/2019

    The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has published a discussion paper seeking the views of stakeholders on the prudential regulatory treatment of crypto-assets. The paper is relevant for academics, banks, central banks, finance ministries, market participants, payment system operators and providers, supervisory authorities and technology companies. Responses should be submitted by March 13, 2020.

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Reports on Sanctions Imposed Under UCITS Directive
    12/12/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published its second annual report on the sanctions imposed in 2018 under the Undertakings for Collective Investments in Transferable Securities Directive. The UCITS Directive requires national regulators to inform ESMA annually of information relating to all penalties and measures they have imposed under the Directive during the previous calendar year, which ESMA then compiles in a single annual report. 

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Enforcement
  • Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures Publishes Report on Wholesale Digital Tokens
    12/12/2019

    The Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures has published a report on wholesale digital tokens. The report focuses on how digital tokens might be used to effect settlement in wholesale transactions, replacing existing systems where such transactions are settled by updating balances in account records on a centralized register. The CPMI confirms that any wholesale digital token arrangement would need to comply with the applicable regulatory requirements, including, if the arrangement is systemically important, the Principles for Financial Market Infrastructure.

    Read more.
  • New EU Regulation on Promotion of Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprise Growth Markets
    12/11/2019

    A new Regulation amending the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, Market Abuse Regulation and Prospectus Regulation has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union, introducing changes to support small- and medium-sized enterprise growth markets as trading venues. 

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Amendments to Eligible Collateral Standards Under Capital Requirements Regulation
    12/11/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published draft Implementing Technical Standards amending the existing ITS that establish the standards for the main indices and recognized exchanges that can hold securities eligible as collateral under the revised Capital Requirements Regulation (or “CRR II”).

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Report on Costs Disclosure Standards for Fund Managers
    12/10/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published its final report on its proposed Regulatory Technical Standards on costs disclosure requirements for European Long-Term Investment Fund Managers.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • European Systemic Risk Board Publishes Recommendation on Collection of Information from Banks
    12/09/2019

    The European Systemic Risk Board has published a Recommendation on the exchange and collection of information for macroprudential purposes by national regulators about branches of banks (credit institutions) that have their head office in another Member State or in a third country. 

    Read more.
  • European Commission Publishes Regulation Amending EU Benchmarks Regulation
    12/09/2019

    The European Commission has published a Regulation amending the EU Benchmarks Regulation in the Official Journal of the European Union. The amending Regulation aims to introduce minimum requirements for EU Climate Transition Benchmarks and EU Paris-aligned Benchmarks to improve the accuracy and integrity of those benchmarks for their users. 

    Read more.
  • European Commission Publishes Amendments to Closely Correlated Currencies Standards Under the Capital Requirements Regulation
    12/09/2019

    The European Commission’s Implementing Technical Standards amending the existing Implementing Regulation on closely correlated currencies has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Publishes Final Report on Banks’ Funding Plans Guidelines
    12/09/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published its final report on an update of its guidelines on harmonized definitions and templates for banks (credit institutions) to report their funding plans in accordance with the European Systemic Risk Board’s Recommendation on the funding of banks. The Guidelines apply to national regulators and banks that report their funding plans to national regulators in accordance with the local implementation of the European Systemic Risk Board’s Recommendation.

    Read more.
  • European Commission Publishes Regulation on Sustainability-Related Disclosures in Financial Services
    12/09/2019

    A new Regulation on sustainability-related disclosures in the financial services sector has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Regulation is intended to encourage the financial services sector to disclose information about their approaches to sustainability risk and consideration of adverse sustainability impacts in the course of their businesses, as part of wider EU efforts to combat climate change and other sustainability-related issues. Climate change and sustainable finance are particular areas of focus for the EU.  

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Publishes Reports on Implications of BigTech and Cloud Services
    12/09/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published two reports on: (i) BigTech in finance and (ii) third-party dependencies on cloud services. The reports form part of the FSB’s ongoing work to analyze structural changes within the financial system in order to harness benefits and mitigate risks.

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Annual Report on Regulators’ Supervisory Measures under EMIR
    12/09/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published its annual report on the supervisory measures and penalties imposed by national regulators in respect of certain provisions under the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation. The relevant provisions govern: (i) the clearing obligation; (ii) the reporting obligation; (iii) non-financial counterparties; and (iv) the risk mitigation techniques under EMIR.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • UK Conduct Regulator Publishes Consultation on Proposed Miscellaneous Changes to Rules
    12/06/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a consultation on its proposed changes to various aspects of the FCA Handbook.

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Publishes Action Plan on Sustainable Finance
    12/06/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published an action plan on sustainable finance, setting out how it intends to deliver on its aims to help combat environmental, social and governance risks and providing clarity on the direction of its policy in this area. The EBA has been mandated to contribute to work on ESG risks under various pieces of EU legislation and will focus on environmental factors and climate change in its initial phase of work. The action plan also sets out the EBA’s projected timelines and milestones on sustainable finance.

    Read more.
  • EU MiFID II Review: First Review Report on Prices for Market Data and on the Consolidated Tape
    12/05/2019

    Following its consultation earlier this year, the European Securities and Markets Authority has published a report on the development of prices for market data and on the consolidated tape for equity. The report is the first review report on the implementation of the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation and will assist the Commission in preparing its reports to the European Parliament and Council of the European Union, which are expected in 2020.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: MiFID II
  • UK Prudential Regulator Consults on Outsourcing and Third Party Risk Management Rules
    12/05/2019

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority is consulting on proposals for modernizing the regulatory framework on outsourcing and third party risk management by the financial services sector. The proposals are relevant to banks, building societies, PRA-designated investment firms, insurance and reinsurance firms and groups in scope of the Solvency II Directive as well as U.K. branches of overseas banks and insurers. Responses to the consultation should be submitted by April 3, 2020. The PRA aims to publish its final policy on the proposals in the second half of 2020.

    Read more.
  • UK Regulators Launch Consultation on Operational Resilience in Financial Services
    12/05/2019

    The Bank of England, U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority and U.K. Financial Conduct Authority have published a shared policy summary and consultation papers on strengthening operational resilience in the financial services sector. The consultation impacts banks, building societies, PRA-designated investment firms, firms subject to the Solvency II Directive, recognized investment exchanges, CCPs, central securities depositories, payment system operators, FCA enhanced scope SM&CR firms and entities authorized and registered under the Payment Services Regulations 2017 and Electronic Money Regulations 2011. Responses to the consultation should be submitted by April 3, 2020.

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Launches Consultation on Credit Ratings Agencies’ Internal Control Functions
    12/05/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has launched a consultation on its proposed guidelines setting out the criteria that Credit Ratings Agencies should have in place to demonstrate that their internal control systems are adequate and effective to maintain the independence of their activities, in line with the EU Credit Ratings Agencies Regulation. Responses to the consultation should be submitted by March 16, 2020. ESMA intends to publish a final report in 2020.

    Read more.
  • EU Statement on Stablecoins
    12/05/2019

    The Council of the European Union and the European Commission have published a joint statement on stablecoins. The statement reiterates many of the messages of the G7 working group paper on the impact of stablecoins. The EU statement confirms that no global stablecoin arrangement should begin to operate in the EU until the legal, regulatory and supervisory issues can be identified and dealt with appropriately. In the statement, the two EU bodies allude to the lack of information as a key impediment to global stablecoin arrangements being able to operate in the EU, in particular, because without it the authorities are unable to consider the impact on monetary policies or assess how to address other risks presented by this type of cryptoasset.

    View the EU statement on stablecoins.

    View details of the G7 working group paper on stablecoins.
  • EU Council Pushes for Further Harmonization of EU Anti-Money Laundering Rules
    12/05/2019

    The Council of the European Union has adopted strategic priorities for reforms to the EU's anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism regime and has called upon the European Commission to put those priorities into action.

    Read more.
  • New Regulation and Directive Governing Prudential Requirements for EU Investment Firms
    12/05/2019

    The new EU Investment Firms Regulation and Investment Firms Directive have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The new legislation aims to create a more tailored regulatory regime for many EU investment firms that reflects the risks inherent in the diverse activities those firms undertake.

    Read more.
  • International Swaps and Derivatives Association Seeks Clarity on Implications of Potential "Non-Representative" LIBOR Statement
    12/04/2019

    The International Swaps and Derivatives Association has published a letter in which it responds to the Financial Stability Board's November 15, 2019 letter on pre-cessation triggers. The co-Chairs of the FSB's Official Sector Steering Group requested ISDA to include a "pre-cessation trigger" alongside the cessation trigger in its standard language in derivatives contracts, via either definitions for new contracts or in a single protocol (without embedded optionality) for outstanding contracts. The pre-cessation trigger would cause a LIBOR-based contract to fall back to an alternative reference rate in the event that the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, as the regulator of LIBOR, deemed that LIBOR was no longer representative.

    Read more.
  • UK Competition Authority Removes Part 6 of Retail Banking Market Investigation Order
    12/04/2019

    Following its consultation earlier this year, the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority has published its final decision to vary the Retail Banking Market Investigation Order 2017 by removing Part 6 of the Order, which governs automatic enrollment in personal current account alerts.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Competition
  • European Banking Authority Publishes Advice on EU Implementation of Basel III
    12/04/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published the second part of its two-part technical advice on the impact of the Basel III reforms in the EU. The Basel III reforms aim to reduce excessive variability of risk weighted assets and improve the comparability of banks’ capital ratios, and in 2018, the European Commission requested the EBA to provide technical advice on their implementation in the EU. The first part of the EBA’s advice was delivered in August 2019, relating to Basel III reforms to credit risk, operational risk, output floor and securities financing transactions.

    Read more.
  • Report on Loan Enforcement Laws Across the EU Published
    12/03/2019

    The European Commission has published a study analyzing the individual and collective loan enforcement laws in the 28 EU member states. The report, authored by Dr Steffek, University of Cambridge, sets out in anonymized format the results of the study on member state loan enforcement laws from the perspective of the bank as lender enforcing a loan contract against a company, a sole trader, a partnership or a consumer as borrower.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Enforcement
  • UK Conduct Regulator to be Appointed as Supervisor of UK Cryptoasset Businesses
    12/02/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority will be appointed as the supervisor of U.K. cryptoasset businesses under the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 as a result of amendments that will be made to the Money Laundering Regulations due to come into force on January 10, 2020. The amendments are being made in order to implement the EU’s Fifth Money Laundering Directive, which Member States must introduce as part of their national laws by January 2020.

    Read more.
  • UK FICC Market Standards Board Consults on Draft Statement of Good Practice for Sovereign and Supranational Fixed Income Markets Auctions
    12/02/2019

    The U.K. FICC Market Standards Board is consulting on its draft Statement of Good Practice for Participation in Sovereign and Supranational Auctions in Fixed Income Markets. The FMSB is a standards setting body operated by wholesale market participants that was established in 2015. It is mandated to issue Standards that improve conduct in the wholesale Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities markets. FMSB Member Firms are expected to consider their practices in light of the Standards, but the Standards are not binding and non-compliance will not affect whether a firm is deemed to have met its regulatory obligations.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Publishes Consultation on Extension of Senior Managers Regime to Benchmark Administrators
    11/29/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a consultation paper seeking feedback on its proposals for the extension of the Senior Managers’ Regime to benchmark administrators. The FCA’s SMR was originally implemented for banks in 2016 and was extended to all authorized investment firms in December 2019. Benchmark administrators were only obliged to become FCA-authorized by the end of 2019 pursuant to the EU Benchmark Regulation, and so were granted a one-year extension from the roll-out of the SMR.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Publishes Final Report on Impact of Regulatory Reforms for SME Financing
    11/29/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published its final report on the impact of financial regulatory reforms on the provision of financing to small- and medium-sized enterprises. The report follows the FSB’s consultation in June 2019 on its draft paper examining the way in which the Basel III and certain national and regional regulatory reforms have impacted SME financing. 

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Publishes Guidelines on Technology and Security Risk Management
    11/28/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published its final guidelines on the management of information and communication technology and security risks by financial institutions in the EU. The Guidelines set out how financial institutions should comply with relevant provisions on the governance and risk management of ICT and security risks under the Fourth Capital Requirements Directive and the Second Payment Services Directive. 

    Read more.
  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Publishes Consultation on Credit Valuation Adjustment Risk
    11/28/2019

    The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has published a consultation paper seeking feedback on its final amendments to the credit valuation adjustment risk framework set out under the Basel III standards. The paper provides a detailed description of the amendments and sets out the proposed revised standards. Responses to the consultation should be submitted by February 25, 2020.

    Read more.
  • European Central Bank Publishes Paper on Stablecoins
    11/28/2019

    The European Central Bank has published a paper providing an overview of the stablecoins market and looking ahead to its future development. The paper contains no binding rules or guidance and is designed for information purposes only. It outlines how stablecoins have emerged as an alternative to highly volatile cryptoassets, such as Bitcoin, by incorporating "stabilization" mechanisms that back the value of the stablecoins by tying them to underlying assets such as fiat currencies or commodities. Facebook's unveiling of its Libra stablecoin has attracted much attention from regulators, demonstrating the ongoing challenges faced by the cryptoassets. It goes on to describe the different types of stablecoins, the current status of stablecoin initiatives and considers potential use cases for stablecoins, such as transferring money without using financial institutions or cash. The ECB determines that it remains to be seen how the more innovative types of stablecoin will develop given their greater volatility and foresees that improvements in stablecoin governance may need to be made.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Consults on Guidance on Managing Inside Information
    11/27/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a newsletter for primary market participants seeking feedback on draft best practice guidance for government departments, industry regulators and public bodies on the identification, control and disclosure of inside information. Comments on the best practice note should be submitted by January 15, 2020.

    The FCA determined that new, up-to-date guidance on inside information was required to reflect recent legal and regulatory developments, including the introduction of the Market Abuse Regulation in July 2016. Certain of these developments are directly applicable to the actions of government departments, industry regulators and public bodies. The guidance is targeted at these entities and feedback on the guidance is therefore sought particularly from them. The note sets out certain relevant aspects of the Market Abuse Regulation and provides suggestions for how these entities can identify inside information that they become privy to, including questioning whether the information has been made public, whether it is precise and whether a reasonable investor might use it as part of the basis of an investment decision. It also provides suggestions on controlling and handling inside information once it has been identified and on the systems and controls that should be adopted around disclosing the information.

    View the FCA's guidance.
  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Publishes Guidance on Sector-Specific Capital Buffers
    11/27/2019

    The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has today published its guiding principles for the operationalization of a sectoral countercyclical capital buffer (or "SCCyB"). The SCCyB complements the Basel Committee's countercyclical buffer by establishing capital requirements that could be imposed on a particular sector, in addition to the countercyclical buffer that is based on banks' total risk weighted assets. The SCCyB will only apply to jurisdictions that choose to implement it on a voluntary basis and will not form part of the Basel standards.

    Read more.
  • New EU Directive on Protection of Persons Reporting Breaches of Union Law
    11/26/2019

    A new EU Directive, known as the "EU Whistleblowing Directive", that aims to enhance the enforcement of EU law and policies by providing protection for individuals that report breaches has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Directive will apply to whistleblowers working in the private or public sector, whether they are classed as workers, self-employed, shareholders or working under the supervision and direction of contractors, subcontractors and suppliers, as well as those who acquired information in previous employment or through the recruitment process for a job they are yet to begin.

    The Directive will come into force on December 16, 2019. Member States must implement the majority of the provisions into their national laws by December 17, 2021.

    View the Directive.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Announces 2020 Mini-Bond Product Intervention Measures
    11/26/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has announced that it will introduce temporary product intervention measures for 12 months from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 to combat risks to consumers of the promotion of speculative mini-bonds. The measures follow the high profile failure of mini-bond issuer London Capital & Finance plc, which has prompted an investigation by the FCA into the circumstances surrounding LC&F's collapse and the FCA's supervision of the firm. HM Treasury is also conducting an ongoing investigation into the wider policy questions raised by LC&F's failure, focusing on a review of the regulatory regime governing non-transferable debt securities and an assessment of Innovative Finance ISA rules.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Provides Technical Clarifications on Implementation of Haircuts for Uncleared Securities Financing Transactions
    11/26/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published an updated report on the regulatory framework for haircuts on uncleared securities financing transactions. The technical guidance on the implementation of the FSB's framework has been updated to provide clarification through text amendments and the addition of questions and answers.

    View the report.

    View details of the FSB's delay to the implementation timetable.
  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Publishes Statement on Proportionate Implementation of Basel Framework
    11/26/2019

    The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has published a joint statement with the Basel Consultative Group on the proportionality of the implementation of the Basel Framework by the banks and jurisdictions to which it applies. The Basel Consultative Group is the Basel Committee's sub-group responsible for enhancing the Basel Committee's engagement with global supervisors, including those from non-member countries. The Basel Framework is the set of bank prudential standards established by the Basel Committee that Basel members have agreed to implement. The joint statement confirms the role of proportionality that is established in the Basel Committee's "Core principles for effective banking supervision".

    The statement follows the Basel Committee's survey on proportionality in bank regulation and supervision, in which it found that a majority of Basel Committee and BCG jurisdictions apply proportionality measures in supervision of banks.

    View the Basel Committee's statement on proportionality.

    View the Basel Committee's Core principles for effective banking supervision.

    View the Basel Committee's survey on proportionality in bank regulation and supervision.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Publishes Feedback and Final Rules on Proxy Advisors Regulations
    11/25/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a Policy Statement incorporating its response to the feedback it received on its proposals for the implementation of the Proxy Advisors (Shareholders' Rights) Regulations 2019, together with the final rules. The final rules make amendments to the FCA's Decision Procedure and Penalties Manual and Enforcement Guide, reflecting the new Regulations that came into force on June 10, 2019.

    The Regulations implemented new obligations imposed upon proxy advisors by the revised EU Shareholder Rights Directive into the U.K. statutory regime. The FCA has the power to discipline and investigate proxy advisors under the Proxy Advisors Regulations and changes were therefore required to the FCA's rules to take account of these powers. The following new provisions have been included in the Decision Procedures and Penalties Manual:
    • the FCA will publish a statement about a proxy advisor who has breached a relevant requirement; it will impose a public censure in contested cases and allow decision makers to use executive powers to decide on settled cases;
    • the FCA will decide when to impose a financial penalty on a proxy advisor; and
    • the FCA will decide when to impose a restitution requirement.

    The FCA has also included a new section in its Enforcement Guide explaining how it will use its powers under the Regulations. The intended approach will broadly mirror that taken by the FCA in conducting investigations, sanctioning and using its regulatory powers under FSMA.

    View the FCA's Feedback and final rules.
  • European Banking Authority Publishes Consultation on Draft MREL and TLAC Disclosure and Reporting Standards
    11/22/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published a consultation paper on its draft Implementing Technical Standards for supervisory reporting and public disclosure of minimum requirements for own funds and eligible liabilities (or “MREL”) and total loss-absorbing capacity (or “TLAC”). Responses to the consultation should be submitted by February 22, 2020. The EBA expects to submit the final draft ITS to the European Commission in June 2020.

    Read more.
  • Eurozone Single Resolution Board Publishes Opinions on Internal Rules for its use of Personal Data
    11/22/2019

    The Eurozone Single Resolution Board has published a series of three opinions setting out its own internal rules for the circumstances in which it may restrict the rights of data subjects under Regulation (EU) 2018/1725, data protection legislation that is commonly understood as the public sector equivalent of the General Data Protection Regulation. The Regulation governs the use of personal data by EU institutions and agencies. 

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Publishes 2019 List of Global Systemically Important Banks
    11/22/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published the 2019 list of global systemically important banks. Alongside the 2019 G-SIB list, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has published further information relating to its 2019 assessment of G-SIBs, including:
     
    • The denominators of each of the 12 high-level indicators used to calculate the banks’ scores under the G-SIB methodology;
    • The 12 high-level indicators used to calculate these denominators; and
    • The cutoff score used to identify the G-SIBs in the updated list and the thresholds used to allocate G-SIBs to buckets for the purpose of calculating the specific higher loss absorbency requirements.

    The Basel Committee assessment was based on its 2013 methodology for identifying G-SIBs. A revised assessment methodology was published by the Basel Committee in July 2018, which is expected to be implemented by member jurisdictions by 2021.

    View the 2019 G-SIB list.

    View the Basel Committee's statement on its G-SIB assessment methodology.

    View details of the Basel Committee's revised assessment framework for G-SIBs.

    Read more.
     
  • European Commission Publishes Report on Liability for Artificial Intelligence
    11/21/2019

    The New Technologies formation of the European Commission’s Expert Group on Liability and New Technologies has published a report on liability regimes for artificial intelligence. The report discusses existing laws concerning liability for emerging digital technologies and describes how those laws could be improved to cater for the new risks and challenges associated with new technologies. The New Technologies formation is a panel that was established by the European Commission in March 2018 and was asked to examine existing EU liability regimes and make recommendations for amendments to take account of emerging digital technologies where necessary.

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Launches Consultation on Specific Supervisory Reporting Requirements for Market Risk
    11/21/2019

    The European Banking Authority has launched a consultation on its proposed draft Implementing Technical Standards on specific supervisory reporting requirements for market risk. “Market risk” relates to the risk of losses that banks face to their on- and off-balance sheet positions from adverse movements in market prices. The EBA was mandated to produce the ITS under the Capital Requirements Regulation II, published in June 2019, which made extensive changes to the EU’s capital requirements regime, including through the implementation of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision’s international standards on market risk. 

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Publishes Roadmap for Technical Standards and Guidelines Supplementing the Risk Reduction Package
    11/21/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published a roadmap for the risk reduction package that involved changes to the EU Capital Requirements Regulation, the Capital Requirements Directive and the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive. The EBA is mandated within the changed legislation to prepare technical standards, guidelines and reports on governance and remuneration, large exposures, resolution, reporting and disclosure. The EBA's roadmaps set out the timelines for delivery of all of the mandates, including where deadlines have been adjusted by the EBA.

    View the EBA's roadmaps for the risk reduction package.

    View details of CRD5 and CRR2.

    View details of BRRD 2.
  • Basel Committee Publishes Report on Open Banking and Application Programming Interfaces
    11/19/2019

    The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has published a report on “open banking” and the use of application programming interfaces. The term “open banking” refers to the sharing and leveraging of customer-permissioned data by banks with third-party developers and firms to build applications and services, including for example those that provide real-time payments, greater financial transparency options for account holders, marketing and cross-selling opportunities. Application programming interfaces are software intermediaries that enable information to be exchanged between applications. 

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Sets Out Conduct Expectations of Firms For LIBOR Transition
    11/19/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a statement on conduct risk during the LIBOR transition, which is due to be completed by the end of 2021. The statement is in the form of questions and answers and sets out the FCA's expectations of firms relating to governance and accountability, replacing LIBOR with alternative rates in existing contracts, offering new products with alternative rates, communicating with customers about the transition from LIBOR and best practice for firms investing on behalf of clients.

    View the FCA's statement.
  • UK Legal Statement on CryptoAssets and Smart Contracts
    11/18/2019

    The UK Jurisdiction Taskforce has published a legal statement on cryptoassets and smart contracts under English private law. UKJT is part of the LawTech Delivery Panel, an industry-led group established in 2018, with the aim of identifying barriers and opportunities for growth. The legal statement provides the UKJT's view of the principles applicable under English and Welsh private law for determining when a cryptoasset will be considered property and when an enforceable contract is concluded through a smart contract. The intention of the statement is to help improve confidence among market participants and investors due to the perception of legal uncertainty on the legal status of cryptoassets and smart contracts.

    Read more.
  • European Commission Vice President Addresses CCP Temporary Equivalence and Sustainable Finance in London Speech
    11/15/2019

    The Vice President of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis, has given a keynote speech at the Guildhall in London covering, amongst other things, the EU’s proposals for the development of the European sustainable finance framework and a proposed extension to the temporary equivalence regime for U.K. central counterparties.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board’s LIBOR Steering Group Encourages ISDA to Roll Out Pre-Cessation Trigger
    11/15/2019

    The co-Chairs of the Financial Stability Board’s Official Sector Steering Group, whose work focuses on interest rate benchmarks that are deemed to play a critical role in the global financial system, have written to the International Swaps and Derivatives Association requesting that it includes a “pre-cessation trigger” alongside the cessation trigger in its standard language in derivatives contracts, via either definitions for new contracts or in a single protocol (without embedded optionality) for outstanding contracts. The pre-cessation trigger would cause a LIBOR-based contract to fall back to an alternative reference rate in the event that the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, as the regulator of LIBOR, deemed that LIBOR was no longer representative. 

    Read more.
  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Consults on Pillar 3 Disclosure Requirements for Market Risk and Sovereign Exposures
    11/14/2019

    The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has opened two consultations on revisions to the Basel III Pillar 3 disclosure requirements, one related to market risk disclosures and one on sovereign exposures disclosures. Responses to both consultations should be submitted by February 14, 2020. No indication is given as to when the sovereign exposure disclosure requirements might be introduced. The Basel Committee intends to publish the revisions of the market risk disclosure requirements in time for implementation of the revisions by member jurisdictions by no later than January 1, 2022.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Publishes 2019 Resolution Report
    11/14/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published its 2019 Resolution Report, providing updates on its implementation of policy measures to enhance the resolvability of systemically important financial institutions.  

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Consults on Draft Technical Standards on Passport Notifications Under Capital Requirements Directive
    11/13/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published draft amended Regulatory and Implementing Technical Standards regarding the exercise of credit institutions’ rights to freedom of establishment and freedom to provide services (i.e. passporting rights) under the Capital Requirements Directive. The EBA reviewed the original Technical Standards in 2018 and found several areas for improvement that would enhance the quality and consistency of passport notifications and the ability of EU national regulators to use them. It has produced the draft amended standards with a view to updating the information requirements that must be notified by a credit institution to its home national regulator. Responses to the consultation should be submitted by February 13, 2020.

    Read more.
  • Working Group on Euro Risk-Free Rates Makes Recommendations for €STR Fall-Back Arrangements
    11/12/2019

    The European Central Bank has published a report by the working group on euro risk-free rates on €STR fall-back arrangements. The EU Benchmark Regulation requires regulated entities to have put in place written plans on the steps that they would take should a benchmark used in their contracts be materially amended or ceases. The Working Group recommends that instead of selecting an alternative rate, regulated entities should take into account the ECB's regular review of €STR's methodology and the policies and procedures for the possible cessation of €STR, together with the use of contractual fallbacks.

    View the report.
  • Final EMIR 2.2 Technical Advice Published
    11/11/2019

    Following its consultation earlier this year, the European Securities and Markets Authority has published final reports and the final technical advice on third-country CCP tiering, comparable compliance and fees under draft revisions to the European Market Infrastructure Regulation, known as EMIR 2.2. EMIR 2.2 will change the requirements for the supervision of both EU and third-country CCPs, and includes the controversial formal EU "location policy" for CCPs. The technical advice will assist the Commission in preparing the final delegated legislation that will supplement the EMIR 2.2.

    Read more.
  • European Commission Publishes EU Delegated Regulation Aligning KID Publication Requirements under PRIIPS Regulation
    11/08/2019

    A Commission Delegated Regulation amending secondary legislation supplementing the Packaged Retail and Insurance-Based Investment Products Regulation has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. 

    Read more.
    TOPICS: FundsSecurities
  • EU Single Resolution Board Launches Consultation on Expectations for Banks
    11/08/2019

    The Eurozone Single Resolution Board has launched a public consultation on its proposed “Expectations for Banks”, a draft document outlining best practice for banks in implementing resolution planning. The consultation is being undertaken as part of the SRB’s endeavours to work with Eurozone banks and other stakeholders and to demonstrate transparency in its approaches and decisions. 

    Read more.
  • UK Information Commissioner’s Office Consults on Application of Powers under Proceeds of Crime Act
    11/08/2019

    The U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office, the U.K.’s independent body for the upholding of information rights in the public interest, has issued a consultation paper on proposals that it be granted investigative and other powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The proposals are in response to the increasing number of cases in which financial gains are made by criminals involved in the theft of personal data.

    Read more.
  • European Commission Publishes Commission Delegated Regulation Amending Auctioning Allowances Rules
    11/08/2019

    A Commission Delegated Regulation amending the EU Auctioning Regulation has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Delegated Regulation will apply directly in all EU Member States from November 28, 2019. The EU Auctioning Regulation provides for EU emission allowances to be auctioned and specifies key aspects of the auctions, including their design, timing and eligibility requirements. 

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  • US Securities and Exchange Commission Extends No-Action Relief for MiFID II Inducements and Research
    11/08/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has welcomed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s extension of no-action relief addressing a potential conflict between U.S. regulation and the inducements and research provisions of the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. One of MiFID II’s objectives is to give investors transparency into the cost of both research and trading commissions by requiring payments for these elements to be unbundled. 

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    TOPIC: MiFID II
  • European Banking Authority Reports Reduction in EU Banks’ Non-Performing Loans
    11/08/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published a report on non-performing loans in the EU banking sector, in which it finds that total NPLs have decreased from over €1.5 trillion in June 2015 to €636 billion in June 2019. The level of European NPLs was a key concern for EU supervisors and market participants following the financial crisis, triggering efforts to deal with the issue at a supervisory, political and market participant level.

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  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Publishes Consultation on Coordination of Prudential and AML/CFT Supervision
    11/08/2019

    The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has published a consultation paper on the “Introduction of guidelines on interaction and cooperation between prudential and anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing supervision”. Under the consultation paper, the Basel Committee proposes to amend its guidelines on the “Sound management of risks related to money laundering and financing of terrorism” to include guidance on the interaction between prudential and AML/CFT supervision in a bid to enhance the effectiveness of the supervision of banks’ AML/CFT regimes. Responses to the consultation should be submitted by February 6, 2020.

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  • Financial Stability Board Plenary Meets to Review Global Financial System Vulnerabilities, FinTech and its 2020 Work Program
    11/07/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has met in Paris to review key issues facing financial markets, including vulnerabilities in the global financial system, FinTech developments and its 2020 work program. 

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  • European Commission Confirms Fitness of EU Supervisory Reporting Requirements for Financial Services
    11/07/2019

    The European Commission has published the results of its “fitness check” of EU supervisory reporting requirements.  The reporting requirements imposed by EU and national regulatory authorities require regulated institutions to provide information to their respective authorities regarding their financial condition and activities. The European Commission assessed the effectiveness, coherence, relevance and efficiency of existing reporting requirements in order to identify areas that may be simplified or streamlined.

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  • EU Technical Standards On Homogeneity Conditions For STS Securitizations
    11/06/2019

    Regulatory Technical Standards under the EU Securitization Regulation on the conditions for a securitization to be considered "homogenous" have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Homogeneity is one of the requirements for a securitization to be classed as a simple, transparent and standardized securitization or STS securitization. Exposures related to STS securitizations will attract lower risk weightings for firms subject to the Capital Requirements Regulation. The RTS will apply directly across the EU from November 26, 2019.

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  • HM Treasury Publishes Equivalence Determinations for EU Financial Services Legislation
    11/06/2019

    HM Treasury has published the Equivalence Determinations for Financial Services and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, providing U.K. government ministers with a temporary power to make equivalence and exemptions directions for the EU and EEA Member States under relevant financial services legislation. The temporary power will come into force on the date that the U.K. leaves the EU (currently expected to be no later than January 31, 2020) and can only be used for up to twelve months from that date.

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  • Working Group on Euro Risk-Free Rates Recommends Fallback Provisions Contracts Referencing EURIBOR
    11/06/2019

    The European Central Bank has published a report by the working group on euro risk-free rates providing high-level recommendations for fall-back provisions in contracts for cash products and derivatives transactions referencing EURIBOR. The recommendations are not legally binding and market participants can decide whether, and to the extent to which, they wish to adopt them. EURIBOR were identified as critical benchmarks for the purposes of the EU Benchmarks Regulation  and the methodology for calculating EURIBOR has been revised to be Benchmark Regulation-compliant, to be implemented by the end of 2019.

    Read more.
  • EU Consultation on Changes to Position Limits for Commodity Derivatives
    11/05/2019

    Following its Call for Evidence issued in May this year, the European Securities and Markets Authority has launched a consultation on proposed revisions to the legal framework for position limits and position management in commodity derivatives. The position limits regime was introduced by the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. MiFID II requires the European Commission to report to the European Parliament and the Council on the impact of the application of position limits and position management on liquidity, market abuse and orderly pricing and settlement conditions in commodity derivatives markets. ESMA must provide the Commission with advice regarding this new regime to support the Commission's preparation of the report, including any recommendations for changing the legislative requirements. Responses to ESMA's consultation should be submitted by January 8, 2020.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: DerivativesMiFID II
  • EU Recommendations on Financial Accounting Implications of Transition to €STR
    11/05/2019

    The European Central Bank has published a report by the working group on euro risk-free rates on the financial accounting implications of the transition from EONIA to €STR and the introduction of €STR-based fallbacks for EURIBOR. 

    Read more.
  • IOSCO Confirms That Stablecoins Are Potentially Within the Securities Regulatory Perimeter
    11/04/2019

    The International Organization of Securities Commissions has issued a statement confirming that it is possible, depending on their structure, for stablecoins to fall within the scope of securities market regulation. IOSCO has undertaken an in-depth study (not published) of stablecoins and has concluded that each proposed stablecoin, the manner in which it is intended to operate and the rights and obligations conferred on participants needs to be analyzed to assess the risks and benefits of the particular stablecoin. The statement is widely considered to be in response to Facebook's announcement about its proposed stablecoin, Libra. According to IOSCO, certain stablecoins may have features that are similar to securities and accordingly will be within the regulatory perimeter of some countries. IOSCO calls on entities that wish to launch stablecoins to engage with regulators so that any risks associated with the operation of the stablecoin might be mitigated.

    View IOSCO's statement.
    TOPICS: FinTechSecurities
  • UK Conduct Regulator Requests Fund Managers to Review Liquidity Management Practices
    11/04/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Regulator has published a “Dear Chairman” letter addressed to Authorized Fund Managers requesting them to review certain aspects of the liquidity management arrangements for the authorized funds that they manage. The letter follows the FCA’s recent policy statement establishing new rules for open-ended funds that invest in inherently illiquid assets and aims to address concerns that open-ended funds may not always be able to liquidate funds fast enough to comply with redemption requests. In its policy statement, the FCA acknowledged that its new rules did not capture open-ended UCITS funds such as the LF Woodford Equity Income Fund. This latest letter urges firms to recognise that effective liquidity management is a core function for all open-ended funds.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • Financial Action Task Force Consults on Digital Identity in Customer Due Diligence Guidance
    10/31/2019

    The Financial Action Task Force is seeking feedback from private sector stakeholders on its draft guidance on the use of digital identity systems in customer due diligence. The guidance will supplement Recommendation 10 of the FATF's Recommendations regarding customer due diligence and demonstrates how authentication of customer identities in the digital finance and digital ID context supports broader anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing efforts. Stakeholders should submit responses to the consultation by November 29, 2019. The FATF intends to make further amendments to its draft guidance at its February 2020 meetings.

    Read more.
  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Considers Key Supervisory and Policy Initiatives
    10/31/2019

    The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision met on October 30-31, 2019 to discuss key policy and supervisory issues, including: (i) a proposed consultation on adjustments to the credit valuation adjustment risk framework; (ii) a proposed consultation on revised market risk and sovereign exposure disclosure requirements; (iii) a proposed discussion paper on the prudential treatment of cryptoassets; (iv) a proposed consultation on guidelines for enhanced cooperation between prudential regulatory authorities and anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing authorities; and (v) its reports into the implementation of the Net Stable Funding Ratio and large exposures standards in Argentina and China. All of the proposed consultation papers, as well as the NSFR/large exposures reports, are expected to be published in November 2019.

    Other topics under discussion included benchmark rate reforms, the implementation of the Basel Committee's guidance on managing foreign exchange settlement risk and the usability of capital buffers. On the latter subject, the Basel Committee has also published a newsletter reiterating the importance of the capital buffer framework and emphasizing that the buffers are designed to be usable. The Basel Committee has announced that Canada will host the 21 International Conference of Banking Supervisors on October 21-22, 2020.

    View the Basel Committee's press release on its October 30-31 2019 meeting.

    View the Basel Committee's newsletter on capital buffers.

    View details of the 21 International Conference of Banking Supervisors.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Postpones Implementation Date for Brexit Contingency Plans
    10/30/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has extended the date by which firms must implement Brexit contingency plans following the extension of the Brexit deadline from October 31, 2019 to January 31, 2020. Firms and funds should now notify the FCA for entry into the temporary permissions regime by January 30, 2020 and fund managers have until January 15, 2020 to notify the FCA if they wish to change their existing notification. Firms should continue to comply with transaction and trade reporting requirements under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and European Market Infrastructure Directive, respectively.
     
    View the FCA's statement on contingency planning deadlines.
  • European Banking Authority Publishes Opinion on Strengthening Depositor Protection in the EU
    10/30/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published the second in a series of three opinions on the implementation of the Deposit Guarantee Scheme Directive in the EU. This opinion relates to DGS payouts. The first opinion related to the eligibility of deposits, coverage level and cooperation between deposit guarantee schemes and was published in August 2019. The third opinion will cover DGS funding and the uses of DGS funds. The opinions have been prepared to assist the European Commission in its obligation to report on the implementation of the DGSD.

    Read more.
  • UK Government Agrees Extension of Brexit Deadline With European Union
    10/30/2019

    The U.K. Government has published legislation extending the deadline for the U.K.'s withdrawal from the European Union, following an agreement reached with relevant European Union bodies on the extended Brexit deadline. The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (Exit Day) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2019 amend the day of the U.K.'s exit from the European Union from October 31, 2019 to January 31, 2020, granting the U.K. government an additional three months in which to ratify its proposed Brexit deal.

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Urges EU Legislative Update for Cross-Border Banking and Payment Services in the Digital Era
    10/29/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published a report identifying potential barriers to customer choice and the cross-border provision of banking and payment services in the EU, together with proposals for how to overcome these issues. Building on the EBA's FinTech Roadmap and the European Commissioner's Consumer Financial Services Action Plan, the report sets out the areas where the institutions, including FinTech firms, may face challenges when seeking to provide intra-EU cross-border services, focusing on authorizations and licensing, consumer protection and conduct of business requirements and anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism. The EBA makes recommendations for where changes to EU primary legislation or further guidelines could address the issues to enhance the EU's single market.

    Read more.
  • UK Regulator Publishes Final Technical Standards on Strong Customer Authentication in the Event of a No-Deal Brexit
    10/25/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a Policy Statement, final Technical Standards and changes to the Handbook rules on strong customer authentication and common and secure open standards of communication to be applicable when the U.K. leaves the EU. The FCA consulted on the proposed SCA RTS in early 2019 when the U.K. was due to leave the EU on March 29, 2019, and before the EU SCA Regulatory Technical Standards application date. Since then, Brexit has been extended and the EU SCA RTS has applied directly across the EU since September 14, 2019. As a result, the EU SCA RTS would be onshored into U.K. law under the Withdrawal Act. However, in preparation for a no-deal Brexit, the U.K. Payment Services Regulations would require firms to apply the U.K. SCA RTS. As a result, the EU SCA RTS would be revoked and the FCA's SCA RTS will apply in the U.K. in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

    Read more.
  • Regulatory Oversight Committee Launches Consultation on Legal Entity Identifiers for General Government Entities
    10/25/2019

    The Legal Entity Identifier Regulatory Oversight Committee has launched a consultation on the allocation of LEIs to government entities. LEIs are reference codes allocated to legal entities for the purposes of unique identification in financial transactions and for other public sector uses. General government entities are eligible for LEIs as they are legal entities, but many (such as Ministries, Agencies and Republics) are not incorporated or do not otherwise have legal personality

    Read more.
  • UK Prudential Regulator Launches Consultation on More Proportionate Capital Requirements for Credit Unions
    10/24/2019

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has launched a consultation on the capital requirements that apply to credit unions. The PRA considers that credit unions approaching the thresholds of £10 million in assets or 15,000 members may find barriers to expansion under the current capital regime. It also finds that the risks that the capital regime endeavours to tackle could be addressed in a simpler manner than the link between capital and credit union membership size and activity which is currently used. The PRA also considers that engaging with small credit unions earlier could increase chances of a non-failure solution.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Publishes Feedback on Regulatory Framework for Stewardship Discussion Paper
    10/24/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a feedback statement on the discussion paper, “Building a regulatory framework for effective stewardship” that it published in January 2019 together with the Financial Reporting Council. The discussion paper called for input on how best to encourage the capital markets community to engage more actively in “stewardship” of the assets in which they invest. 

    Read more.
  • Financial Action Task Force Publishes Best Practices for Beneficial Ownership Transparency
    10/24/2019

    The Financial Action Task Force has published best practices on beneficial ownership for legal persons. Global standards require authorities to be able to ascertain the ultimate owner of a company or foundation to provide transparency and mitigate against the use of legal persons for financial crime purposes. The FATF's Best Practices document identifies the issues faced in achieving transparency of beneficial ownership and provides recommendations for an effective system that ensures accurate and up-to-date information to authorities in a timely manner. The FATF highlights that using a multi-pronged approach with numerous information sources is considered more effective and the document sets out the key features of an effective multi-pronged system.

    View the FATF best practices on beneficial ownership for legal persons.
  • European Supervisory Authorities Issue Guidance on Scope of Application to Bonds of the PRIIPs Regulation
    10/24/2019

    The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities has published a Supervisory Statement on the scope of application to bonds of the EU Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products Regulation. The ESAs have issued the Supervisory Statement in an attempt to avoid the adoption of diverse approaches by national regulators across the EU as to when a Key Information Document is required for different types of bonds under the PRIIPs Regulation. The PRIIPs Regulation, directly applicable across the EU since January 1, 2018, imposes a requirement upon issuers of packaged retail and insurance-based investment products to issue KIDs to retail investors describing key features of their products, in order to enhance transparency and improve investor protection in the PRIIPs market.

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Publishes Opinion on Regulatory Treatment of Non-Performing Exposure Securitizations
    10/23/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published an opinion recommending amendments to the regulatory treatment of the securitization of non-performing exposures. The opinion examines how securitizations may be used to fund the reduction of NPEs and outlines regulatory constraints imposed on the use of securitizations in this way, alongside its proposals for amendments to the regulatory framework.

    Read more.
  • Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates Asks Regulators to Act on Prudential Impediments to LIBOR Transition
    10/23/2019

    The Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates has written to the Prudential Regulation Authority raising issues in the banking prudential regulation regime that, in its view, will require changes and/or regulatory forbearance if a smooth transition from LIBOR to SONIA is to be achieved. Although the letter focuses on the U.K. regime, the issues are likely to be relevant globally.

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Enforcement Priorities for 2019 Financial Reports
    10/22/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published its annual Public Statement on European enforcement priorities for listed companies’ 2019 financial reports. The priorities will guide the areas of focus when ESMA and relevant national enforcement authorities assess the reports. 

    Read more.
  • European Commission Consults on Alternative Standardized Approach for Market Risk
    10/22/2019

    The European Commission has invited responses to its consultation on proposed changes to the standardized approach for market risk. The changes follow the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision’s revisions to the Basel III market risk capital framework, which were published in January 2019. 

    Read more.
  • Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures Publishes Toolkit for Reducing Wholesale Payments Fraud
    10/22/2019

    The Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures has prepared a “toolkit” to assist central banks to reduce the risk of wholesale payments fraud related to endpoint security. The Financial Stability Institute at the Bank for International Settlements has also announced that it will make tutorials on wholesale payments security freely available to central banks on request.

    Read more.
  • G7 Working Group Reports on the Impact of Global Stablecoins
    10/18/2019

    The G7 working group on stablecoins has published a report investigating the impact of global stablecoins. The working group is comprised of senior officials from the G7 central banks, the International Monetary Fund, the Bank for International Settlements and the Financial Stability Board, and is chaired by Benoît Cœuré (Chair of the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures). 

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board to Assess Potential Risks of Stablecoins
    10/18/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published a report on regulatory issues arising with respect to so-called stablecoins. The FSB defines a stablecoin as "a crypto-asset designed to maintain a stable value relative to another asset (typically a unit of currency or commodity) or a basket of assets" which may be "collateralised by fiat currency or commodities, or supported by algorithms".

    Read more.
  • UK Prudential Regulator Launches Consultation on Supervision of Liquidity and Funding Risk
    10/17/2019

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has launched a consultation on proposed amendments to its Supervisory Statement, “The PRA’s approach to supervising liquidity and funding risk”. The amendments are intended to clarify the appropriate use of the Bank of England’s liquidity facilities and the credibility of recovery plans that rely on such facilities.  

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Finds Improvement in Supervision of Derivatives Data
    10/17/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published the results of its peer review into the supervisory actions of six national regulators in enhancing the quality of derivatives data under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation. EMIR requires EU counterparties to a derivative contract to report details of their contract to one of the seven registered trade repositories supervised by ESMA. 

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • European Central Bank Publishes Report on the Risk Management Implications of the Euro Risk-Free Rates Provisions
    10/17/2019

    The European Central Bank has published a report on the risk management implications of the upcoming move away from the Euro Overnight Index Average (the overnight reference rate for the euro) and EURIBOR (the term reference rate for the euro) to alternative risk-free rates. Both EONIA and EURIBOR were identified as critical benchmarks for the purposes of the EU Benchmarks Regulation. 

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Publishes Consultation on Structural FX Guidelines Under Capital Requirements Regulation
    10/16/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published a consultation on its proposed guidelines on the implementation of the structural FX position contemplated by the Capital Requirements Regulation. The CRR requires institutions to calculate their net open positions in currencies according to specified formulae, but permits institutions to exclude positions that have been taken for hedging purposes and that are of a structural nature. 

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Publishes Report on Implementation of G20 Financial Regulatory Reforms
    10/16/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published its annual report on the 2019 progress made in the implementation of the G20’s financial reforms. The FSB published an interim progress report in June 2019 at the meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Japan, which summarized FSB member jurisdictions’ progress to date in implementing the recommended reforms. The annual report provides further detail on the progress made and sets out areas for future work.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Publishes Report on Progress of Over-The-Counter Derivatives Market Reforms
    10/15/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published a report on the progress its member jurisdictions have made in 2019 on the implementation of agreed G20 reforms to over-the-counter derivatives markets. The report finds that there has been limited additional implementation of the reforms since the FSB’s 2018 report.

    Read more.
  • EU Council Adopts Laws on Enhanced Supervision of Third-Country CCPs 
    10/15/2019

    The Council of the European Union has adopted the amendments to EU law on CCP supervision. The adopted laws revising the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR 2.2) will change how both EU CCPs and third-country CCPs are supervised, and implement into legislation the controversial EU "location policy" for the largest third-country CCPs. According to the Council's press release, EMIR 2.2 is scheduled to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union on December 12, 2019 and would come into force 20 days later. The legislative process relevant to EMIR 2.2 has taken place with the U.K. exit from the European Union in the background and many of the changes relevant to third-country CCPs are effectively a response to the U.K.'s decision to leave the EU, given that two of the three largest European Union clearing houses are U.K.-based.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Publishes Report on Progress of Over-The-Counter Derivatives Market Reforms
    10/15/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published a report on the progress its member jurisdictions have made in implementing the agreed G20 reforms to over-the-counter derivatives markets in 2018. The report finds that good progress has been made in implementation of the agenda.

    Read more.
  • UK FICC Markets Standards Board Publishes Statement of Good Practice on Conflicts of Interest
    10/14/2019

    The U.K. Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities Markets Standards Board has published a statement of good practice for the FICC markets on conflicts of interest. The statement of good practice represents the FMSB’s view of best practice but is not subject to the FMSB’s adherence framework, so failure to comply will not indicate a failure to meet regulatory obligations.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Publishes Update on Market Fragmentation Work
    10/14/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published a progress update on its ongoing work to tackle market fragmentation. The update follows the FSB’s June 2019 Report on Market Fragmentation, which explored the link between market fragmentation and financial stability and identified four areas for further work to address the issue: deference (e.g. the reliance authorities place on one another when regulating or supervising participants on a cross-border basis); pre-positioning of capital and liquidity; regulatory and supervisory coordination and information-sharing; and market fragmentation as part of the evaluation of reforms, starting with the “too-big-to-fail” evaluation.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Publishes Letter to G20 Ministers on Effect of Reforms and Future Work
    10/13/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published a letter to G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors describing the progress of post-financial crisis reforms and key focus areas for the future. Over the past ten years, the FSB has proposed a number of reforms to the global financial system, working with international organizations on implementation to improve financial stability.

    Read more.
  • UK Prudential Regulator Implements New Waiver of Deposit Protection Rules
    10/13/2019

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has announced that it will provide a new waiver by consent of the Continuity of Access Rules under the Depositor Protection Part of the PRA Rulebook. The DPP Rulebook sets out rules requiring firms to ensure that eligible depositors have access to deposits covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme in the event of the firm’s insolvency, by establishing systems to facilitate a transfer of such deposits (the so-called “Continuity of Access” rules).

    Read more.
  • UK Financial Policy Committee Issues Summary of UK Financial System
    10/11/2019

    The U.K. Financial Policy Committee has issued a summary of the resilience of the U.K. financial system to potential economic shocks and the vulnerabilities it faces. The summary follows the FPC’s meeting on October 2, 2019, at which the FPC agreed on its intended policy action going forward. The FPC is made up of Bank of England staff, the Chief Executive of the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority and certain external members who work to identify, monitor and take action to remove or reduce systemic risks to the U.K. financial system.

    Read more.
  • UK Government Responds to Committee Report on Conduct Authority's Perimeter of Regulation
    10/10/2019

    The U.K. government has published a response to the Treasury Committee's report on the Financial Conduct Authority's perimeter of regulation. The Committee's Report is part of its ongoing inquiry, The Work of the Financial Conduct Authority, which is considering: (i) the timeliness in which the FCA is able to take action; (ii) the transparency of the FCA's work and decisions; and (iii) the scope of the FCA's regulatory perimeter.

    Read more.
  • International Bodies Issue Report on Governance Arrangements for Derivatives Data
    10/09/2019

    The Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures and the International Organization of Securities Commissions have published a joint report on governance arrangements for critical data elements for over-the-counter derivatives. The report does not cover governance arrangements for the Unique Transaction Identifier and Unique Product Identifier, which are being reviewed separately by the Financial Stability Board. The report aims to contribute to international efforts to improve transparency, mitigate systemic risk and prevent market abuse in derivatives markets.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • Financial Stability Board Publishes Governance Arrangements for Unique Product Identifier
    10/09/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published a report on governance arrangements for the Unique Product Identifier, a globally harmonized code identifying over-the-counter derivatives products reported to trade repositories. The UPI will enable authorities to aggregate data on OTC derivatives transactions, which will in turn help them to assess systemic risk and detect market abuse.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • Final EU Guidelines For Improving Settlement Efficiency Published
    10/08/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a final report and final Guidelines on standardized procedures and messaging protocols for investment firms under the Central Securities Depositaries Regulation.

    CSDR requires investment firms to take steps to limit settlement fails, including by ensuring that they have all the necessary transaction data on the day of the transaction. Investment firms must also have in place arrangements with their professional clients to ensure prompt communication of an allocation of securities to the transaction, confirmation of that allocation and confirmation of the acceptance or rejection of the terms in good time before the intended settlement date. The content of the messages and deadlines for sending them is contained in the Regulatory Technical Standards on settlement discipline (Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/1229). The Guidelines clarify the scope of these requirements and provide guidance on the standardized procedures and messaging standards to be used for firms to comply with the requirement.

    Read more.
  • Brexit: European Banking Authority Again Warns Against Letter-Box Entities
    10/08/2019

    The European Banking Authority has issued a further Communication on issues associated with the U.K.'s withdrawal from the EU, scheduled to take place on October 31, 2019. The EBA notes that financial institutions have made progress on their preparations for a no-deal Brexit. However, national regulators have highlighted concerns about the operationalization of relocation plans and customer communication. In particular, national regulators have noted that in some cases authorization has been obtained, but it remains unclear whether the firm has transferred assets, skilled staff and risk function to fully operationalize the new business. The EBA reminds firms of the principles it set out in its October 2017 Opinion on structures, and particularly the need for firms not to set up so-called "empty shells".

    Read more.
  • Final EU Technical Standards on Cooperation Arrangements with Third-Country Regulators on Market Abuse Issues
    10/08/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a final report and final draft Regulatory Technical Standards on supervisory cooperation between EU national regulators and third-country national regulators. The Market Abuse Regulation requires national regulators, where necessary, to enter into cooperation arrangements with supervisory authorities in non-EU countries for the exchange of information and enforcement of market abuse obligations. ESMA is charged with preparing draft RTS containing a template for those cooperation arrangements. ESMA's template provides a flexible approach for national regulators by allowing only parts of the template to be used, depending on what is deemed as necessary by a national regulator.

    ESMA's preparation of the draft RTS was delayed so that ESMA could take into account the entry into force of the EU General Data Protection Regulation. The draft RTS requires national regulators to have safeguards in place for the transfer of data from the EU to a third-country where the transfer of data takes place in the usual course of business and practice, and in the absence of an equivalence decision.

    The final draft RTS have been submitted to the European Commission for adoption.

    View the final report and draft RTS.
  • Eurozone Supervisory Priorities for 2020
    10/07/2019

    The European Central Bank's Banking Supervision arm has published the 2020 supervisory priorities of the Single Supervisory Mechanism and a risk assessment for 2020. ECB Banking Supervision has identified the following risks to the euro banking sector: (i) economic, political and debt sustainability challenges in the euro area; (ii) business model sustainability; (iii) cybercrime; (iv) execution risk related to banks' strategies for non-performing loans; (v) easing lending standards; (vi) repricing in financial markets; (vii) misconduct, money laundering and terrorism financing; (viii) Brexit; (ix) global outlook and geopolitical uncertainties; (x) reaction to regulation; and (xi) climate-change related risk.

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Issues Public Statements on No-Deal Brexit Preparations
    10/07/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has issued four public statements on its preparations for a no-deal Brexit in the event the U.K. fails to agree a deal with the EU or extend the Brexit deadline before October 31, 2019. In its public statement on preparations for a possible no-deal Brexit, ESMA notes that it had already put in place no-deal contingency plans ahead of the U.K.’s previous Brexit deadline extension on April 10, 2019. 

    Read more.
  • EU Economic and Financial Committee Launches Consultation on Single-Limb Collective Action Clauses for Amendments to EU Sovereign Debt Instruments
    10/07/2019

    The EU Economic and Financial Committee sub-Committee on EU sovereign debt markets (the ESDM) has launched a consultation on its proposals to mandate the introduction of single-limb collective action clauses into euro area government securities issued from January 1, 2022. The ESDM has released a draft of the proposed CAC together with an explanatory note and seeks input on its proposals from selected market participants by October 28, 2019.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • European Central Bank Issues Statement on Liquidity of Euro Area Banks
    10/07/2019

    The European Central Bank has issued a statement on the results of its 2019 supervisory stress test. The European Central Bank is responsible for direct prudential supervision of certain significant banks based in the Eurozone as part of the Single Supervisory Mechanism. It found that the vast majority of banks directly supervised by the ECB have overall comfortable liquidity positions, although there were some vulnerabilities that required further attention. 

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Consults on Alignment of EU Trading and Clearing Obligations
    10/04/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a consultation paper on aligning the trading obligation under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation with the recent changes made to the clearing obligation under the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation by the EMIR Refit Regulation. Responses to the consultation should be submitted by November 22, 2019. ESMA intends to submit its final report to the European Commission in early 2020, with the Commission’s report to the European Parliament and Council expected by December 18, 2020.

    Read more.
  • European Supervisory Authorities Publish Opinion on AML/CTF Risks in EU Financial Sector
    10/04/2019

    The European Supervisory Authorities have published a joint opinion on the current anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing risks posed to the EU financial sector. The opinion is published in accordance with the requirements of the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, which requires the ESAs to publish a joint opinion on the AML/CTF risks affecting the EU’s financial sector every two years. The most recent previous opinion was published in February 2017.

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Opinion on MiFID II Frequent Batch Auctions and Double Volume Cap
    10/04/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published an opinion on frequent batch auctions and the double volume cap mechanism. The opinion follows ESMA’s report, published in June this year, reviewing firms’ use of frequent batch auctions and their potential as a means of circumventing the double volume cap and transparency requirements under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation and Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: MiFID II
  • EU Consultation on Clearing Service Provision under EMIR Refit
    10/03/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has opened a consultation on its draft technical advice on commercial terms for providing clearing services under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation. Responses to the consultation should be submitted by December 2, 2019.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • EU Proposals on Amending the Market Abuse Regulation
    10/03/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has launched a consultation on proposed changes to the EU Market Abuse Regulation. MAR requires the European Commission to report on certain aspects of the operation of MAR, including where appropriate, making recommendations for legislative change. The proposals will mostly affect issuers of financial instruments admitted to trading or trading on a trading venue, investment firms and asset management firms. ESMA is holding a public hearing on the proposals on November 5, 2019, and the consultation closes on November 29, 2019. ESMA expects to submit its report to the Commission in Spring 2020.

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  • European Banking Authority Publishes Basel III Capital Monitoring Report and Update on EU Bank Liquidity Measures
    10/02/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published two reports reviewing the impact of the EU’s implementation of the Basel III capital monitoring reforms and Capital Requirements Regulation liquidity measures. The EBA estimates that once the Basel III reforms are fully implemented, EU banks’ Tier 1 minimum required capital will have increased by an average of 19.3%. Liquidity coverage ratios, meanwhile, averaged roughly 149% in December 2018, significantly above the minimum threshold of 100% set out in the CRR.

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  • European Supervisory Authorities Publish Joint 2020 Work Programme
    10/02/2019

    The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities has published its 2020 work program, outlining revisions to the Joint Committee’s scope of work and the matters it will focus on in 2020. The Joint Committee consists of representatives from the European Banking Authority, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority, the European Securities and Markets Authority, the European Commission and the European Systemic Risk Board. 

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  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Guidelines on Prospectus Regulation Risk Factors
    10/01/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published Guidelines on risk factors under the EU Prospectus Regulation that will provide guidance to Member State national regulators when reviewing prospectuses. The Guidelines will apply from December 4, 2019. Within two months of the date of publication of the guidelines in all EU official languages, national regulators must notify ESMA whether they comply with the guidelines and, if they do not, whether they intend to comply. If they do not intend to comply, national regulators must explain why that is the case.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes 2020 Work Priorities
    10/01/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published its Annual Work Programme for 2020. The Work Programme sets out ESMA’s focus areas for 2020 and provides details of expected outputs within each of the areas. In 2019, the European Council, Parliament and Commission agreed on new tasks for ESMA, meaning that ESMA will take on an enhanced role in areas including direct supervision, supervisory convergence and investor protection. The final Regulations amending the scope of the European Supervisory Authorities’ work mandates are expected to be published in the second half of 2019.

    Read more.
  • EU Publishes Technical Advice on Disclosure Requirements for New Climate Benchmarks
    09/30/2019

    The European Commission's Technical Expert Group has published a final report on EU climate benchmarks and benchmark Environmental, Social and Governance disclosures. The Commission set up the TEG on Sustainable Finance when it published its legislative proposal for amending the EU Benchmark Regulation as part of its action plan on Sustainable Finance. The proposed legislation will create two new categories of low carbon benchmarks: the EU Climate Transition Benchmark (EU CTB) and the EU Paris-aligned Benchmark (EU PAB). It also includes ESG disclosure requirements for all investment benchmarks. The final text of the proposal has been agreed and it is expected to be published in October/November 2019.

    The TEG report provides technical advice to the Commission on: (i) the minimum ESG disclosure requirements for all benchmarks, except interest rates and currency benchmarks, and specific ESG disclosure requirements for EU CTBs and EU PABs; and (ii) the minimum technical requirements for the methodology of EU CTBs and EU PABs. In addition, the report includes recommendations on other areas of work that are connected to the benchmark ESG disclosures, such as the proposed EU Classification System of Sustainable Activities (i.e. the EU Taxonomy) and changes to the disclosure requirements in the Markets in Financial Instruments package to take into account ESG disclosures.

    View the report.
  • Council of the European Union Issues Note on Strategic Priorities for AML and CTF
    09/30/2019

    The Presidency of the Council of the European Union has issued a note inviting Ministers of the Permanent Representatives Committee to consider certain issues regarding the EU anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing framework. In July 2019, the European Commission published a Communication and a series of reports assessing the EU implementation of EU AML and CTF requirements and discussing whether further action is needed to improve the EU’s AML/CTF framework. In its Communication, the Commission identified certain issues that were likely to impede the effectiveness of the framework.

    Read more.
  • UK Prudential Regulator Launches Consultation on Asset Encumbrance Rules
    09/30/2019

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has launched a consultation on its proposed expectations of how firms manage prudential risks associated with asset encumbrance. The PRA’s expectations are relevant to all PRA-authorized firms, other than credit unions and insurance firms. Responses should be submitted by January 17, 2020.

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Issues Call for Evidence on Product Intervention Measures
    09/30/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has issued a call for evidence on the impact of its product intervention powers prohibiting the marketing, distribution and sale of binary options to retail clients and imposing restrictions upon contracts for difference that were marketed, distributed or sold to retail clients. ESMA is seeking feedback from all interested stakeholders, in particular investment firms and banks providing investment services (particularly those that provide CfDs or binary options captured by the product intervention measures) and consumer groups and investors. Responses should be submitted by November 4, 2019.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: DerivativesMiFID II
  • UK Conduct Regulator Finalizes Rules for Funds Investing in Illiquid Assets
    09/30/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has finalized new rules governing certain types of open-ended funds that invest in inherently illiquid assets.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • European Banking Authority Publishes Strategic Focus Areas for 2020
    09/27/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published its 2020 Work Programme. The Programme details six strategic areas of focus for 2020 and these are:
     
    1. Support the development of the risk reduction package and the implementation of the global standards in the EU. The EBA will work on developing level 2 legislation required by the revised Capital Requirements Regulation and Directive, the revised Bank Recovery & Resolution Directive and the new Covered Bonds Directive and Investment Firm Regulation and related Directive (the latter two have not yet entered into force). The EBA will continue to work on the implementation of the market risk requirements, following the finalization of the Basel Committee on Banking Standard's fundamental review of the trading book (FRTB). In particular, in 2020, the EBA anticipates implementing the reporting requirement and certain aspects of the FRTB revisions for the internal model approach and for the treatment of non-trading book positions subject to FX or commodity risk. Another priority will be finalization of the EBA's roadmap for the internal ratings-based approach for calculating minimum capital requirements for credit risk.
    2. Providing efficient methodologies and tools for supervisory convergence and stress testing. The EBA intends to consult on Pillar 2 changes during 2020 and will conduct the 2020 stress test for EU banks.
    Read more.
  • International Organization of Securities Commissions Review of Suitability Requirements for Complex Products
    09/26/2019

    The International Organization of Securities Commissions has published a report, "Thematic Review on Suitability Requirements with respect to the Distribution of Complex Financial Products". The report summarizes the outcome of the review IOSCO undertook of a sample of member jurisdictions' implementation of the IOSCO 2013 Suitability Requirements for the Distribution of Complex Financial Products, which aims to prevent mis-selling of complex products. The Suitability requirements comprise nine principles relating to classification of customers, general duties regardless of customer classification, disclosure requirements, customers protections, incentives and enforcement.

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  • European Banking Authority Launches Consultation on Synthetic Securitizations Framework
    09/25/2019

    The European Banking Authority has launched a consultation on its proposed simple, transparent and standardized framework for synthetic securitization. The paper also seeks feedback from stakeholders on a proposed list of criteria that should be considered when labeling a synthetic securitization an STS and on the introduction of different regulatory treatments for STS synthetic securitizations. The EBA will hold a public hearing on October 9, 2019 and responses to the consultation should be provided by November 25, 2019.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • No-Deal Brexit Uncertainty Leads EU to Suspend Assessment of Transparency Requirements on Bond Markets
    09/24/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has confirmed in a letter to the European Commission that it considers it inadvisable to conduct an annual review in 2019 of the Regulatory Technical Standards on the transparency requirements for trading venues and investment firms for bonds, structured finance products, emission allowances and derivatives (sometimes referred to as RTS 2). The requirement for an annual review is stipulated in the Markets in Financial Instruments package, and ESMA's report could lead to legislative changes subjecting more bonds and derivatives to the transparency requirements. ESMA's assessment of RTS 2 would be impacted by the uncertainty arising from Brexit, in particular, the potential for a no-deal Brexit, because the outcome would vary depending on whether U.K. data was included or not.

    ESMA intends to conduct its annual review before July 2020 and to determine the impact on bond market liquidity of the U.K.'s departure from the EU.

    View ESMA's letter to the European Commission.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Appoints Executive Director of Risk and Compliance Oversight
    09/20/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has appointed Sheree Howard as its new Executive Director of Risk and Compliance Oversight, replacing Barbara Frohn, who left the FCA earlier this year. Ms. Howard joined the FCA as a Senior Adviser in December 2017. Her new role as part of the Executive Committee will see her advising the FCA’s Board on the breadth of risk in the organization.
     
    View the FCA's announcement.
    TOPIC: People
  • UK Conduct Authority Publishes Review Findings for EU Research Unbundling Rules
    09/19/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published the outcome of its review of the research unbundling reforms implemented in the EU by the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. MiFID II has applied across the EU since January 3, 2018. MiFID II restricts the payment or receipt of all fees, commission and non-monetary benefits ("inducements") unless these enhance the quality of service provided to a client, and do not impair an EU investment firm's duty to act in the best interests of its client. Any inducement that is a minor, non-monetary benefit is exempt from the limitation. Research provided by any third party (regardless of location) to an EU investment firm providing investment services or ancillary services will be regarded as an "inducement" and subject to the inducement prohibition, unless the research is received in return for either direct payment by the investment firm out of its own resources or payment from a separate research payment account (RPA). "Soft dollar" commissions are not allowed, unless these are done through an RPA. The rules have impacted buy-side and sell-side firms in the EU, as well as their non-EU counterparts.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: MiFID II
  • European Economic and Social Committee Publishes Opinion on Sustainable Finance Reforms
    09/19/2019

    The European Economic and Social Committee has published an Opinion on the European Commission’s Reflection Paper, “Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030”, which was published earlier this year. The Commission’s Reflection Paper considers Europe’s competitive advantages in delivering sustainable development, assesses the EU and global climate change challenges that must still be tackled, and sets out policy changes and proposals that will enable the EU to adhere to the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

    Read more.
  • International Swaps and Derivatives Association Consults on Final Fall Backs for Alternative Risk-Free Rates
    09/18/2019

    Following its previous two consultations, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association has launched a consultation on the proposed final parameters that will apply to alternative risk-free rates if derivatives fall backs are triggered. Responses to the consultation should be provided by October 23, 2019. ISDA will amend the 2006 ISDA Definitions based on the feedback and also intends to publish a protocol so that market participants can include fall backs in legacy IBOR contracts, if needed. Both documents are expected to be finalized before the end of 2019, ready for implementation in 2020.

    Read more.
  • UK Prudential Regulator Consults on Credit Risk
    09/18/2019

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has launched a consultation on its approach to implementing the European Banking Authority's Technical Standards and Guidelines on Probability of Default estimation, Loss Given Default estimation and the treatment of defaulted exposures in the Internal Ratings Based approach to credit risk. The consultation is relevant to U.K. banks, building societies and PRA-designated U.K. investment firms. Responses to the consultation need to be submitted by December 18, 2019.

    Read more.
  • UK Prudential Regulator Implements New Waiver of Deposit Protection Rules
    09/13/2019

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has announced that it will provide a new waiver by consent of the Continuity of Access Rules under the Depositor Protection Part of the PRA Rulebook. The DPP Rulebook sets out rules requiring firms to ensure that eligible depositors have access to deposits covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme in the event of the firm’s insolvency, by establishing systems to facilitate a transfer of such deposits (the so-called “Continuity of Access” rules).

    Read more.
  • UK Competition Authority Consults on Intention to Vary Retail Banking Market Investigation Order
    09/12/2019

    The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority has formally announced its provisional decision to vary the Retail Banking Market Investigation Order 2017 by removing Part 6 of the Order, which governs automatic enrollment in personal current account alerts. The CMA has published a draft of its proposed Variation Order together with its provisional decision and is seeking comments on both, which should be submitted by October 15, 2019.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Competition
  • UK Conduct Regulator Escalates Awareness of Need for No-Deal Brexit Preparations
    09/11/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a press release announcing that it is stepping up its efforts to assist firms to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. Among other things, the FCA will be publishing a series of digital advertisements highlighting the FCA Brexit webpages, and it has set up a dedicated telephone line (0800 048 4255).

    View the FCA's press release.
  • UK Statutory Instrument Published to Amend Benchmark Regulations
    09/11/2019

    A U.K. statutory instrument has been published amending the existing U.K. legislation that gives effect to the EU Benchmarks Regulation. The new statutory instrument – the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Benchmarks) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 – amends the definition of a “Miscellaneous Benchmarks Person” under the existing regulation and clarifies the scope of the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority’s powers to impose requirements on Miscellaneous Benchmark Persons. The amendments will come into force on October 14, 2019.

    Read more.
  • UK Payments Regulator Paper on Use of Data in the Payments Industry
    09/10/2019

    Following the publication of a discussion paper in June 2018, the U.K. Payment Systems Regulator has published its response paper on the issue of data in the payments industry. The discussion paper outlined three potential areas where data use could directly affect the PSR's statutory objectives of promoting competition and innovation. These are:
    • Reluctance of end-users to share payments data with third-party providers of other payments-related services (so-called "overlay services"), due to concerns over whether their data will be treated appropriately.

    Read more.
  • EU Clarification on Legacy Own Funds Instruments Coming in Mid-2020
    09/09/2019

    The European Banking Authority has announced that it will clarify by mid-2020 the position of instruments that were both issued and qualified as "own funds" for capital purposes before December 31, 2011. When the Capital Requirements Regulation entered into force, transitional provisions provided that these legacy instruments would also qualify as own funds instruments under the CRR, even if they did not meet the enhanced requirements for own funds introduced in that measure. The transitional period for such instruments ends on December 31, 2021. The EBA has stated that it will provide clarification on the appropriate treatment of the legacy instruments to ensure that banks maintain high quality regulatory capital and that the rules are consistently applied across the EU. The EBA confirms that it will take into account recent changes to own funds requirements in CRR II as well as other linked changes under the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive.

    View the EBA's announcement.
  • UK Prudential Regulator Proposes Amendments to the Pre-Issuance Notification Rules for Regulatory Capital Instruments
    09/09/2019

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has published a consultation paper in which it proposes amendments to the Pre-Issuance Notification (PIN) requirements for regulatory capital instruments. The PIN requirements are applicable to PRA-authorized Capital Requirements Regulation firms and require firms to notify the PRA of certain capital instruments that they intend to issue. The PRA assesses the terms and conditions of these instruments prior to issuance, to ensure that firms maintain quality capital resources which comply with CRR. Responses to the consultation are requested by December 9, 2019.

    Read more.
  • UK Court Rules on Withholding Identity of Peer-To-Peer Lenders
    09/06/2019

    The U.K. High Court of Justice has ruled that the identities of the underlying lenders in a series of loans made through a peer-to-peer lending platform should not be disclosed to the claimant borrower. Milne v Open Access Finance Ltd considers a claim brought by a solicitor who took out a series of loans over several years with Open Access Finance, a peer-to-peer lender. The claimant is seeking relief from his obligation to repay the £170,000 worth of loans extended to him, damages for misleading actions contrary to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, as well as damages under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and relief under the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

    Read more.
  • UK Statutory Instrument Published to Onshore the EU Prospectus Regulation For No-Deal Brexit
    09/06/2019

    A U.K. statutory instrument has been published to onshore the EU Prospectus Regulation in the event of a no-deal Brexit. In preparing for an April Brexit, the U.K. had onshored the EU Prospectus Directive in the Official Listing of Securities, Prospectus and Transparency (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (known as the "Official Listing instrument"). However, since then the date on which the U.K. is due to leave the EU has changed to October 31, 2019 and the EU Prospectus Directive has been repealed by the EU Prospectus Regulation (as of July 21, 2019).

    Read more.
  • UK No-Deal Brexit Legislation Extends Transitional Provisions for Third-Country Benchmarks
    09/06/2019

    A U.K. statutory instrument has been published to further the U.K.'s financial services legislation preparations in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The statutory instrument – the Financial Services (Electronic Money, Payment Services and Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/1212) – provides for, among other things:
    • amending the exit legislation that establishes temporary regimes for EEA e-money and payment services firms to ensure that firms entering the Contractual Run-Off regime can carry out the full range of activities required to discharge any pre-existing contractual obligations;
    • extending the transitional provisions for third-country benchmarks in the Benchmarks (Amendment and Transitional Provisions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 by three years to ensure that U.K. firms can use third-country benchmarks until the end of 2022 without the benchmarks needing to be on the Financial Conduct Authority's register;
    • updating cross-references to the Capital Requirements Regulation to take into account the EU amendments to the CRR that became applicable in June 2019; and
    • amending various exit instruments to correct or clarify the original text.

    View the amending regulation and explanatory memorandum.
  • UK Brexit Legislation Published to Onshore the Revised Capital Requirements Regulation
    09/05/2019

    A draft U.K. statutory instrument to onshore into U.K. law, post-Brexit, the revised Capital Requirements Regulation (known as CRR II) has been published – the Capital Requirements (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (2019 No. 1232). CRR II and the revised Capital Requirements Directive were published in the Official Journal of the European Union on June 7, 2019. Subject to certain exceptions, the Regulation amending CRR will not apply directly across the EU from June 28, 2021. However, some of its provisions are already in force. EU Member States are required to transpose the Directive amending CRD into their national laws and to apply those provisions from December 29, 2020, subject to certain exceptions.

    The new U.K. statutory instrument amends the existing U.K. exit legislation to address deficiencies arising due to the changes made in CRR II, but only those changes that will be applicable by October 31, 2019. These changes relate to new definitions, revisions to the rules on what qualifies as capital, new mandates for technical standards to be prepared and some changes to the Minimum Requirements for Own Funds and Eligible Liabilities (MREL). In addition, the statutory instrument removes the automatic preferential capital treatment for EU exposures introduced by CRR II. This aligns with the position taken in the existing exit legislation. It is anticipated that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the U.K. regulators may use their temporary powers to suspend the additional capital requirements for such exposures.

    View the amending regulation and explanatory memorandum.

    View details of CRR II.
  • EU Stress Simulation Framework for Investment Funds Published
    09/05/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published, in an economic report, a stress simulation framework for investment funds, which is intended for use by national regulators. The report provides an overview of the framework, options available for stress testing and discusses the calibration of redemption shocks for investment funds, methods to assess the resilience of funds to shocks, ways to measure the impact of fund managers' liquidation strategies on financial markets, and possible second-round effects. The report also includes a case study where ESMA applied the stress simulation framework to 6,000 UCITS bond funds, the underlying data for which ESMA has shared with national regulators.

    ESMA intends to use the stress test simulation to assist it in monitoring and identifying risks that may impact the funds industry.

    View the economic report.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • UK Prudential Regulator Writes to Banks on Prudential Supervision of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Risks
    09/05/2019

    The Prudential Regulation Authority has published a "Dear CEO" letter sent to all PRA-regulated banks and investment firms (firms that are subject to the Capital Requirements Regulation) on the prudential supervision of money laundering and terrorist financing risks. The PRA reminds firms of the Opinion published by the European Banking Authority on July 24, 2019, which invited national prudential supervisors to (i) make clear to institutions the expectation that prudential supervisors should be aware of AML/CTF risks that may affect the institutions they oversee; and (ii) notify institutions that AML/CTF concerns will be taken into account in determining prudential supervision.

    Read more.
  • European Commission Issues Communication on Final Preparations for No-Deal Brexit
    09/04/2019

    The European Commission has published a Communication on finalizing preparations for the withdrawal of the U.K. from the EU on November 1, 2019. The Commission stresses the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit on October 31, 2019 and asks all stakeholders to take action now to finalize their plans for the situation, noting that the contingency measures that are in place can only mitigate against some of the more significant disruptions. The Commission warns that a further delay to the date that the U.K. exits the EU should not be assumed, in that a delay may not be requested by the U.K. government nor granted by the EU.

    Read more.
  • US Court Rejects Suit Over Office of the Comptroller of the Currency FinTech Charter
    09/03/2019

    Judge Dabney Friedrich of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) that would have prevented the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency from offering a special purpose national bank charter to certain non-bank financial services firms. The CSBS brought the lawsuit in October 2018 following the OCC's July 2018 announcement that it would begin accepting applications for the FinTech charter, arguing that the OCC lacks the authority to award bank charters to non-depository institutions. However, Judge Friedrich concluded that the CSBS did not have standing to bring the suit given the fact that the OCC has yet to award a FinTech charter to any non-bank financial services firms.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: FinTech
  • Banking Standards Board Publishes Good Practice Guidance on Regulatory References
    09/03/2019

    The Banking Standards Board has published a statement of good practice for firms when providing and requesting regulatory references in accordance with the Senior Managers and Certification Regime. The SM&CR for banks and building societies was established in 2016 to improve management within banking sector firms. The regime includes a requirement for firms to request references when determining whether a candidate is suitable for a senior management function, certification function or non-executive director function. 

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Final Guidance on Liquidity Stress Tests for Investment Funds
    09/02/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a report containing its final guidelines on liquidity stress testing in Alternative Investment Funds and Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities. The guidelines have been published in accordance with the European Systemic Risk Board's 2018 Recommendation, which was designed to address liquidity and leverage risk in investment funds. ESMA's guidelines will apply from September 30, 2020.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • Financial Stability Board Publishes Summary of Workshop on Continuity of Access to Financial Market Infrastructure
    08/28/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published a summary of an industry workshop, held on May 21, 2019, on continuity of access to financial market infrastructures for firms in resolution. The FSB held the workshop to assist in its efforts to monitor implementation of the FSB Guidance on continuity of access to FMI for firms in resolution, published in July 2017. The Guidance provides for arrangements to allow continuity of access to FMIs for a global systemically important bank in resolution. The Guidance applies to FMIs as providers of clearing, payment, securities settlement and/or custody services, to G-SIBs and other banks that are subject to resolution (referred to here as firms) and recovery planning requirements, as well as the G-SIB resolution authorities and regulators of the FMIs.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Sets Out Approach for Annual Remuneration Round
    08/28/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a letter (dated August 19, 2019) addressed to the chairpersons of the remuneration committees of the boards of banks and large investment firms (investment firms with total assets over £50 billion). The letter sets out the FCA's findings from the 2018/19 remuneration round and informs how the FCA intends to assess remuneration policies and practices of firms in 2019/20.

    The FCA observes that firms continue to address conduct issues in their remuneration policies and practices. It reminds the chairpersons of remuneration committees of their accountability as senior managers under the Senior Managers Regime. Noting that firms continue to adjust awards for material poor performance and misconduct, but that some firms still find it difficult to provide appropriate justification for some adjustments, the FCA states that it will work with firms this year on their approach to ex post facto risk adjustment.

    The FCA letter also states that the annual review of submitted Remuneration Policy Statements will again be coordinated with the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firms are asked to submit a short summary addressing the key points raised in the statement, including the key changes made last year and an explanation of how the chairperson has assured himself or herself that the firm's overall remuneration policies drive behavior that reduces potential harm.

    Finally, the FCA invites chairpersons of remuneration committees to engage in the FCA's work on transforming culture in financial services.

    View the letter.
  • UK Law Commission Calls for Evidence on Operation of the System for Intermediated Securities
    08/27/2019

    The UK Law Commission has published a Call for Evidence on the system for intermediated securities. The Call for Evidence will inform the Commission's scoping study to assess the current state of the law and issues arising from intermediation, which the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has requested. Intermediated securities are shares and bonds held electronically through computerized credit entries. The Call for Evidence describes how intermediated securities are held and recorded, noting the advantages of the system. It also raises practical issues with the system and presents some potential solutions.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • European Central Bank Amends Its Supervisory Expectations on Non-Performing Loans
    08/22/2019

    Following the coming into force on April 26, 2019 of an EU regulation amending the Capital Requirements Regulation that introduced a statutory prudential backstop, and requires banks to have minimum loan loss coverage for newly originated loans, the European Central Bank has published a communication on supervisory coverage expectations for non-performing loans. The ECB communication announces that the ECB has revised its supervisory expectations on NPLs that it published in its March 2018 Addendum to the Guidance for Eurozone banks on NPLs as a result of the Amending Regulation. Neither the Guidance nor the Addendum are legally binding, but both apply to all Eurozone Significant Institutions supervised by the ECB in the Single Supervisory Mechanism as well as their international subsidiaries.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Announces Exemption from Enforcement of Strong Customer Authentication
    08/20/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has announced in a "Dear CEO" letter that it will not take enforcement action against firms that are not compliant with Strong Customer Authentication requirements for electronic payment transactions by the legal deadline of September 14, 2019. The exemption from enforcement will apply only to card-not-present e-commerce transactions. In order to qualify for the exemption, firms must demonstrate that they have taken the necessary steps to comply with UK Finance's plan for implementing SCA by March 14, 2021.

    Read more.
  • UK Court Grants Asset Preservation Order over Bitcoin
    08/20/2019

    A U.K. court has granted an asset preservation order over Bitcoin stolen in a "spear phishing" attack on a major crypto-currency trader. The decision confirms that proprietary claims over Bitcoin constitute serious issues that should be tried in the courts. Although the presiding judges did not make a final ruling on the legal questions surrounding the nature of Bitcoin ownership, it is believed that this is the first time the English courts have considered the nature of crypto-currencies as property.

    Read more.
  • Decision on Eurozone Oversight of Systemically Important Payment Systems
    08/16/2019

    A Decision of the European Central Bank has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Decision supplements the ECB's Regulation on the oversight of systemically important payment systems. The Decision sets out the procedures and conditions for a regulator to follow when seeking to obtain information and documents from the operator of a SIPS, requiring a SIPS operator to appoint an independent expert to carry out an investigation or review on the operation of the SIPS or conduct on-site inspections.

    ​The Decision enters into force on September 5, 2019 and applies to the Eurozone regulators of Eurozone SIPS.

    View the ECB Decision.
  • European Banking Authority Recommends Changes to EU Deposit Guarantee Scheme Directive
    08/08/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published an Opinion on the eligibility of deposits, coverage level and cooperation between deposit guarantee schemes. The EU Deposit Guarantee Scheme Directive requires the European Commission to report on the implementation of the Directive. The EBA's Opinion is the first of three opinions that it will issue to support the Commission in preparing the report. The other two opinions are expected before the end of 2019, one covering deposit guarantee scheme pay outs and the other DGS funding and uses of DGS funds.

    Read more.
  • Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates Publishes Summary of Responses to Discussion Paper on SONIA Referencing Conventions
    08/07/2019

    The Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates has published a summary of the responses it received to its March 2019 discussion paper on conventions for referencing SONIA in new financial contracts.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Discusses Enhanced Liquidity Requirements for UCITS
    08/06/2019

    Andrew Bailey, the Chief Executive of the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, has written to Lord Myners of the House of Lords concerning the establishment of U.K. requirements for liquidity standards for Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) that are more stringent than existing EU requirements. Andrew Bailey's letter was prompted by Lord Myners' query as to whether the U.K. government has ever formally reviewed the case for imposing more stringent requirements or whether it must abide by the requirements in the EU UCITS Directive.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • European Banking Authority Publishes Advice on EU Implementation of Basel III
    08/05/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published several documents setting out its advice to the European Commission on the impact and implementation in the EU of the Basel III 2017 reforms. On December 7, 2017, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision published the last part of the Basel III reforms. The revisions were to the standardized approach and the Internal Ratings-Based approach for credit risk, the Credit Valuation Adjustment risk framework, the leverage ratio framework, including the introduction of a leverage buffer for Global Systemically Important Banks, the operational risk framework and the new output ratio floor. The revised standards take effect from January 1, 2022, except that the output floor may be phased-in until January 1, 2027.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Concludes No Changes Needed to Banking Senior Managers Regime
    08/05/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published the findings of its review into the implementation of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime for the banking sector. The SM&CR came into force for banking firms in March 2016 with the aim of making individuals in the banking sector more accountable for their conduct. The FCA conducted the review to determine how the SM&CR has been implemented in the three years since its introduction. The review is intended to aid understanding of the impact of the regime and the FCA does not intend to make any policy changes on the basis of its findings. The FCA's review focuses on the implementation of the existing banking SM&CR, but an expanded SM&CR regime will come into force for all FCA solo-regulated firms from December 9, 2019. Firms falling within scope of the expanded regime should, where appropriate, also take the findings of the FCA's review into account in their implementation of the SM&CR.

    Read more.
  • UK Committee Recommends Enhancing the Financial Conduct Authority's Powers and Remit
    08/02/2019

    The U.K. Treasury Committee has published a report on the Financial Conduct Authority's perimeter of regulation. The Report is part of the Committee's ongoing inquiry, The Work of the Financial Conduct Authority, which is considering: (i) the timeliness in which the FCA is able to take action; (ii) the transparency of the FCA's work and decisions; and (iii) the scope of the FCA's regulatory perimeter. This Report considers the last of these issues and makes several recommendations to the Treasury on the remit and powers of the FCA to enhance understanding of consumers of the regulatory perimeter, reduce harm to consumers and mitigate against regulatory arbitrage.

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Launches Consultation on Draft Guidelines for Capital Requirements Regulation Contractual Payments
    07/31/2019

    The European Banking Authority has launched a consultation on its proposed guidelines on the methodology used to determine the weighted average maturity of contractual payments due under securitization transaction tranches for the purposes of the Capital Requirements Regulation. The CRR establishes, amongst other things, the principles by which firms should calculate their credit risk, including in relation to securitization transactions. 

    Read more.
  • EU Restrictions on Contracts for Difference Lifted in Wake of National Measures
    07/31/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has announced that it will not again renew its product intervention measure for Contracts for Differences. ESMA's product intervention powers under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation allow it to impose temporary prohibitions or restrictions on certain financial instruments, financial activities or practices to address a significant investor protection concern in the EU. ESMA's first restrictions on the marketing, distribution and sale of CfDs to retail clients applied from August 1, 2018 and was then extended every three months because ESMA did not consider that the consumer protection risk had been addressed. ESMA's view is that because most national regulators in EU member states have now adopted permanent measures, its own temporary restrictions do not need to be extended. The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has imposed permanent restrictions on the sale, marketing and distribution of CfDs and CfD-like options to retail consumers. The rules will apply to all CfDs entered into from August 1, 2019, and to CfD-like options entered into from September 1, 2019.

    Read more.
  • UK Regulator Provides Guidance on Regulatory Perimeter and Crypto-Assets
    07/31/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a Policy Statement and final Guidance on Crypto-assets. The Policy Statement summarizes the feedback received to the FCA's consultation on draft Guidance and sets out the FCA's response to that feedback. The final Guidance is, for the most part, the same as that on which the FCA consulted, except the FCA has made some drafting changes to provide further clarity and has added some guidance on stablecoins and airdrops. In addition, the FCA has revised the taxonomy by making a distinction between: (i) unregulated tokens, which are exchange tokens and utility tokens; and (ii) regulated tokens, which are security and e-money tokens.

    The Guidance is intended to clarify the FCA's expectations for firms carrying on crypto-asset activities within the U.K. by providing insight for market participants on whether certain crypto-assets are within the FCA's regulatory perimeter or are otherwise regulated. The FCA highlights that the Guidance should be used by firms to understand the regulatory status of their crypto-asset activities, but assessing whether a crypto-asset or related activity is within the regulatory perimeter can only be done on a case-by-case basis. Firms should also refer to the FCA's Perimeter Guidance Manual (PERG) in its Handbook, and where firms need further clarification, they should contact the FCA and/or obtain external legal advice.

    The Guidance provides an overview of the U.K. regulatory perimeter and discusses relevant concepts, such as "by way of business." It also refers to the territorial scope of the regulatory perimeter, referring to the detailed guidance in PERG and highlighting that where part of an activity is carried on outside the U.K., a firm may still be carrying on a regulated activity in the U.K.

    Read more
  • UK Regulators Finalize Resolvability Assessment Framework for Banks
    07/30/2019

    Following their consultation earlier this year, the Bank of England and the Prudential Regulation Authority have finalized the new Resolvability Assessment Framework. The Framework comprises: (i) the BoE's approach to assessing resolvability, which includes the outcomes that the BoE considers necessary to support resolution; (ii) new PRA rules that require firms to assess their resolvability, submit a report to the PRA on the assessment and publish a summary statement on the assessment; and (iii) the BoE making public statements on the resolvability of each individual firm that is in-scope of the PRA's new rules.

    Read more.
  • EU Equivalence for Australian and Singaporean Benchmarks
    07/30/2019

    Two equivalence decisions under the EU Benchmark Regulation have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The first decision declares as equivalent to the EU regime the legal and supervisory framework of Australia applicable to the administrators of financial benchmarks that are declared significant benchmarks by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. The second decision declares as equivalent to the EU regime the legal and supervisory framework of Singapore applicable to the administrators of financial benchmarks that are designated as designated benchmarks by means of the Securities and Futures (Designated Benchmarks) Order 2018. Both decisions will enter into force on August 19, 2019.

    Read more.
  • EU Credit Rating Equivalence Decisions Repealed for Some; Reaffirmed for Others
    07/30/2019

    A series of Implementing Decisions on the equivalence with the EU Credit Rating Agencies Regulation of the credit rating regimes of certain non-EU countries have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The EU CRA Regulation provides that banks, investment firms, insurers, reinsurers, management companies, investment companies, alternative investment fund managers and CCPs may only use credit ratings for certain regulatory purposes if a rating is issued by: (i) an EU CRA registered with the European Securities and Markets Authority; (ii) a third-country CRA under the endorsement regime; or (iii) a third-country CRA under the equivalence/certification regime. Equivalence decisions for several jurisdictions were adopted in 2012 under the CRA Regulation, as it was at the time. The equivalence decisions were for Brazil, Canada, Argentina, Singapore, Australia, Mexico, the U.S., Japan and Hong Kong. CRAs from Mexico, the U.S. and Japan subsequently obtained certification from ESMA.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Consults on STS Notifications under Onshored Securitization Regulation
    07/30/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has launched a consultation on draft technical standards on the content and format of STS notifications under the U.K.'s onshored Securitization Regulation. The consultation closes on August 27, 2019. Unless Brexit is delayed further, the FCA intends to publish the final or near-final technical standards on or very near to Exit day, which is currently due to be October 31, 2019.

    Read more.
  • European Commission Communicates on Financial Services Equivalence
    07/29/2019

    The European Commission has published a Communication on equivalence in the area of financial services, including an annex that briefly sets out the equivalence decisions adopted by the Commission since January 2018. The Communication describes the Commission's current equivalence policy priorities, recent legislative improvements and the main assessment and the decision-making processes. It also sets out recent and ongoing work on equivalence assessments and monitoring.

    Read more.
  • UK Consultation on Draft Law Ensuring Trustee Oversight of Investment Consultants and Fiduciary Managers
    07/29/2019

    The U.K. Department for Work and Pensions has opened a consultation on draft Occupational Pension Schemes (Governance and Registration) (Amendment) Regulations 2019. The consultation runs until September 2, 2019. The draft Regulations are intended to implement into law certain of the remedies made by the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority in its Investment Consultants and Fiduciary Managers Markets Investigation. The CMA published a Final Report in December 2018 that set out its finding of adverse competition in the investment consultants and fiduciary managers markets and the remedies to address that finding. The CMA's final Order to implement the remedies was published on June 10, 2019.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: CompetitionFunds
  • UK Conduct Regulator Publishes Final Senior Managers & Certification Regime Rules for Extended Regime
    07/26/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published its final rules extending the Senior Managers and Certification Regime to all FCA solo-regulated firms. The final rules take into account responses to the FCA's consultation paper issued in January 2019, which proposed changes to optimize the expanded regime. 

    Read more.
  • European Central Bank Announces Publication Time for Euro Short-Term Rate
    07/26/2019

    The European Central Bank has announced the publication time for the new Euro short-term rate (or €STR) that will come into effect from October 2, 2019. €STR will represent the wholesale euro unsecured overnight borrowing costs of banks located in the euro area. The ECB has also published the final version of its Guideline in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Guideline is addressed to all Eurosystem central banks and will govern the rate and establish the responsibilities of the ECB and national central banks in determining and administering the rate.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Extends Period for Use of Its Brexit Temporary Transitional Power
    07/25/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has announced that it will extend its use of the temporary transitional power from June 30, 2020 to December 31, 2020 in light of the change to the date that the U.K. is due to leave the EU to October 31, 2019. 

    Read more.
  • UK Regulators Consult on Amending EU Exit Instruments
    07/25/2019

    The Bank of England and the Prudential Regulation Authority have opened a consultation on further changes to EU Exit instruments following the extension of Brexit from April to October 31, 2019, which means that certain EU legislation that has been published since April will become retained law. The consultation closes on September 18, 2019.

    The consultation covers: (i) a proposed update on the Bank's and PRA's intended use of the temporary transitional power; (ii) proposals for the PRA Rulebook and Binding Technical Standards that will be retained, or 'onshored', in U.K. law; and (iii) the Bank's proposed BTS under the Central Securities Depositories Regulation.

    Read more.
  • UK Draft Legislation for Post-Brexit EMIR 2.1 Published
    07/25/2019

    A draft U.K. statutory instrument to onshore into U.K. law, post-Brexit, the revised European Market Infrastructure Regulation (known as EMIR Refit) has been published - The Over the Counter Derivatives, Central Counterparties and Trade Repositories (Amendment, etc., and Transitional Provision) (EU Exit) (No. 2) Regulations 2019.

    EMIR Refit was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on May 28, 2019 and, for the most part, has applied directly across the EU since June 17, 2019.

    Read more.
  • UK Payments Regulator Consults on Draft Updated Powers and Procedures Guidance
    07/25/2019

    The U.K. Payment Systems Regulator has launched a consultation on the updated Powers and Procedures Guidance and Interchange Fee Regulation Guidance. The Regulator published the original Powers and Procedures Guidance in March 2015 before it became operational. 

    Read more.
  • European Commission Assesses Risks to EU of AML and CTF
    07/24/2019

    The European Commission has published a Communication and a series of reports assessing the EU implementation of anti-money laundering and terrorist financing requirements and discussing whether further action is needed to improve the EU's AML/CTF framework. The Communication summarizes the reports and the Commission's conclusions. The Commission notes that some of the shortcomings identified in the reports may have been remedied through the Fourth AML Directive, and that others may still be mitigated through the implementation of the Fifth AML Directive, due to be implemented by member states by January 2020. 

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Publishes Opinion on Relation of Prudential Objectives to Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing
    07/24/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published an Opinion signaling the importance of money laundering and terrorism financing risks in the prudential supervision of EU Member States. The Opinion invites national prudential supervisors to make clear to institutions in their jurisdictions the expectation that prudential supervisors should be aware of AML/CTF risks that may affect the institutions they oversee. 

    Read more.
  • Reformed EONIA Publication Times Confirmed
    07/24/2019

    The European Money Markets Institute has announced that EONIA will be published daily at or soon after 9:15 CET, as from October 2, 2019.

    Read more.
  • Margin Requirements for Uncleared Derivatives Delayed for Certain Counterparties
    07/23/2019

    The target date at international level for regulators to introduce margin requirements for uncleared derivatives for counterparties with lower trading volumes has been extended for a year by the International Organization of Securities Commissions and the Basel Committee on Banking Standards. The amendment may, depending on regulatory responses, in turn impact small banks, asset managers, pension funds and insurers.

    In March 2015, the Basel Committee and IOSCO published a revised version of their policy framework for the exchange of margin for uncleared derivatives. The main revisions were to delay by nine months the phase-in period for the obligations relating to both initial margin and variation margin. Relevant international standards apply to entities that are financial firms and systemically important non-financial entities, the definitions for which are determined by national regulation.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • UK Regulator Publishes Policy Statement on Eligibility of Financial Collateral Under Capital Requirements Regulation
    07/23/2019

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has published the final version of its amended Supervisory Statement on credit risk mitigation, providing additional clarity on the eligibility of financial collateral under the Capital Requirements Regulation. The Supervisory Statement is published alongside the PRA's Policy Statement, which provides feedback on the responses to the PRA's consultation paper on the same topic launched in January this year. The amendments to the Supervisory Statement are effective as of July 23, 2019, the date the Policy Statement is published. Firms with concerns about their ability to comply with the revised Supervisory Statement are advised to liaise with their usual supervisory contacts.

    Read more.
  • UK Regulator Consults on Changes to Counterparty Credit Risk Treatment
    07/23/2019

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has issued a consultation on proposed additions to its Supervisory Statement on counterparty credit risk. The additions are intended to provide clarity to the market on how firms should satisfy the Capital Requirements Regulation's requirement to ensure senior management are aware of the limitations and assumptions included in models used to calculate exposure values for derivatives. The consultation is relevant to all firms captured by the provisions of the Capital Requirements Directive. Responses to the consultation are requested by October 25, 2019.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Consults on Firms' Treatment of Vulnerable Consumers
    07/23/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has launched a consultation on its proposed guidance on how financial services firms should treat "vulnerable" consumers. The consultation will be divided into two stages: the first stage focuses on: (i) whether the draft guidance covers the right issues and provides sufficient clarity to firms on what they should do to improve outcomes for vulnerable consumers; (ii) the potential impact of the guidance on firms' costs and the potential benefit to consumers of the implementation of the guidance; and (iii) whether the guidance is sufficient to ensure firms take appropriate action to treat vulnerable consumers fairly or whether additional policy interventions are required. The second stage will seek input on a revised draft of the guidance, which will take account of feedback received during the first stage, together with a cost-benefit analysis. Responses to the first stage of the consultation should be provided by October 4, 2019.

    Read more.
  • UK Payment Systems Regulator Revises Timeline for Market Review into the Supply of Card-Acquiring Services
    07/22/2019

    The U.K. Payment Systems Regulator has revised the timeline for its work on the market review into the supply of card-acquiring services. The PSR will publish its interim report for consultation in Q1 2020, instead of by the end of 2019 as initially set out in the Terms of Reference. The postponement has come about as the PSR has identified a number of additional issues that need to be addressed in the review.

    The market review is a response to concerns that the supply of card-acquiring services from specialist providers by merchants (to enable card payments to be accepted and processed on their behalf) may not be working well for some merchants and, ultimately, consumers. The market review is intended to examine the lack of transparency around merchants' fees for accepting card payments and barriers to competition in the card-acquirer services market.

    View the PSR's announcement.
  • HM Treasury Seeks Input on the Future of Regulatory Coordination in Financial Services
    07/19/2019

    Launching the first phase of the Future Regulatory Framework Review, HM Treasury has issued a call for evidence on regulatory coordination in the financial services sector. The Financial Services Future Regulatory Framework Review was announced in March 2019 by the Chancellor in his Spring Statement. The Review will assess whether the U.K. financial services regulatory framework is fit for purpose, including being able to support the sector to grow in the future. Four key challenges for the sector are identified: operating outside of the EU, new relationships following Brexit, technological change and other global challenges, such as climate change. The Review will entail a comprehensive evaluation of the regulatory framework in a phased process. The first phase covers coordination by the U.K. regulators. Later phases will cover other areas, to be announced once the arrangements for the U.K.'s exit from the EU are clearer.

    The call for evidence focuses on how the government and regulators work together to ensure the best outcomes for the financial services sector, consumers of financial services and the U.K. Feedback is requested on what stakeholders consider works well and the areas for potential improvement. Where possible, responses should provide examples. Responses to the call for evidence should be submitted by October 18, 2019.

    View the call for evidence.
  • Revised EU Guidelines on Stress Testing of Money Market Funds Published
    07/19/2019

    Following its consultation in late 2018, the European Securities and Markets Authority has published final reports and updated guidelines on stress testing money market funds and the requirements imposed upon MMFs to report information to national regulators under the EU Money Market Funds Regulation.

    The MMF Regulation has applied directly across the EU since July 21, 2018. MMFs are fund vehicles that invest in highly liquid short-term debt instruments, such as government bonds, and are often regarded as a short-term cash management function alternative to bank deposits. The MMF Regulation requires MMFs and MMF managers to measure the impact of the common reference stress test scenarios, as specified by ESMA in guidelines, and to report the outcomes to their national regulators. The first MMF reports are due by the end of Q1 2020.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • Financial Stability Board Delays Implementation Deadlines for Minimum Haircut Standards for Uncleared SFTs
    07/19/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has extended the implementation timelines for its recommendations on securities financing transactions, in particular those on minimum haircut standards for uncleared SFTs. SFTs 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 FSB published, in 2015, its regulatory framework and recommendations for haircuts on uncleared SFTs, which included timelines for the implementation of the recommendations by FSB member jurisdictions. The FSB notes that while progress is being made in implementing the recommendations, many jurisdictions have not yet done so. The FSB acknowledges that most of the delay is due to the new date for implementing the Basel III framework, including the minimum haircut standards on bank-to-non-bank SFTs, which was postponed to January 2022.

    Read more.
  • International Body Issues Statement on Liquidity Risk Management Recommendations for Investment Funds
    07/18/2019

    The International Organization of Securities Commissions has issued a statement on its Liquidity Risk Management Recommendations for investment funds. The statement is in response to the U.K.'s Financial Policy Committee's Financial Stability report which stated that the IOSCO Liquidity Risk Management Recommendations do not prescribe how it should be ensured that funds' assets and investment strategies are consistent with their redemption terms. IOSCO's statement sets out how the Recommendations provide a comprehensive framework for regulators to address liquidity risks in funds. IOSCO notes that the Recommendations allow some flexibility as to how they are implemented by jurisdiction due to the diversity of the funds sector. IOSCO does not believe that a global prescriptive standard is appropriate and will undertake an exercise in 2020 to assess how the recommendations have been implemented across the globe.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • Final EU Guidelines on EU Credit Rating Agency Disclosure Obligations and Advice on Sustainable Finance in the Credit Rating Market
    07/18/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published two documents relating to sustainable finance in the credit rating sector. The first document is technical advice for the European Commission, responding to the Commission's mandate in its 2018 Action Plan for Sustainable Finance for ESMA to assess the current practice within the credit rating market concerning sustainability considerations. ESMA has assessed the extent to which environmental, social or governance factors are considered within credit rating agencies' credit assessments. ESMA concludes that CRAs are including ESG factors in their ratings, but it is difficult to assess the extent to which each factor is being considered in the various asset classes. ESMA warns that credit ratings should not be understood as providing an opinion on sustainability characteristics of an issuer or entity and recommends that the CRA Regulation should not be revised to require the consideration of sustainability characteristics in CRAs' credit assessments. However, ESMA advises that it may be appropriate to update the disclosure requirements in the CRA Regulation to enhance the transparency on how CRAs are considering the ESG factors.

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Reports on Regulatory Perimeter, Regulatory Status and Authorization of Fintech Activities
    07/18/2019

    Fulfilling its mandate under the European Commission's FinTech Action Plan to map the current authorization and licensing approaches for innovative FinTech business models in Europe, the European Banking Authority has published a report on the regulatory perimeter, regulatory status and authorization of FinTech activities under its remit, in particular the banking, payment services and electronic money services sectors. The European Securities and Markets Authority published its related report on July 12, 2019.

    Read more.
  • EU Call for Evidence on the Impact of the Inducements and Charges Disclosure Requirements Under MiFID II
    07/17/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has launched a call for evidence on the impact of the inducements and costs and charges disclosure requirements under the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. MiFID II restricts the payment or receipt of all fees, commissions and non-monetary benefits (which are defined as so-called "inducements") unless these enhance the quality of service provided to a client and do not impair an EU investment firm's duty to act in the best interests of its client. EU investment firms are obliged to disclose to each client all fees, commissions and non-monetary benefits received by them in connection with any investment service provided by them to that client.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: MiFID II
  • EU Report on Sanctions and Measures Imposed under MiFID II in 2018
    07/17/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a report on enforcement actions taken across the EU for breach of the revised Markets in Financial Instruments package. The report covers administrative sanctions and measures as well as criminal sanctions in aggregated form for 2018. ESMA notes that the data is limited because MiFID II has only applied since January 3, 2018, and some Member States were late in applying the requirements. Therefore, ESMA does not believe that it is possible to detect any trends using the limited data. ESMA will produce the same report annually, based on the submission of information from national regulators.

    View the report.
    TOPICS: EnforcementMiFID II
  • UK's Expanded Senior Managers and Certification Regimes Enter into Force
    07/17/2019

    The Bank of England and Financial Services Act 2016 (Commencement No. 6 and Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2019 have been made. The Regulations bring into force, from December 9, 2019, the expanded Senior Managers and Certification Regimes for all Financial Conduct Authority solo-regulated firms authorized under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, which include asset managers and investment firms carrying out certain activities. These firms need to complete their initial certification assessments for existing certified staff and new hires by December 9, 2020, although they must have identified certification staff by December 9, 2019. A transitional provision states that the regime will only apply to Claims Management Companies that are authorized by the FCA by December 9, 2019 and to other CMCs on the date that they obtain their authorization.

    Read more.
  • EURIBOR Benchmark Statement Published
    07/17/2019

    The European Money Markets Institute has published a Benchmark Statement on the administration of Euro Interbank Offered Rate (Euribor). Earlier in July this year, the EMMI obtained authorization as the administrator of Euribor, which is a critical benchmark under the EU Benchmark Regulation. EMMI has made reforms to Euribor in order to ensure it meets the requirements of the Regulation, including adopting a new hybrid methodology, the phased implementation of which will be completed by the end of 2019.

    View EMMI's announcement and the Benchmark Statement.
  • Certain UK Brexit Regulations Updated and Amended
    07/16/2019

    The draft U.K. Financial Services (Miscellaneous) (Amendment) (EU Exit) (No. 3) Regulations 2019 have been published.

    Read more.
  • UK Proposes Rules to Implement France's Large Exposure Limit for Highly Indebted Corporates
    07/16/2019

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has published a consultation on proposals to reciprocate the French measure on large exposures, following a recommendation by the European Systemic Risk Board. In July 2018, France's Haut Conseil de stabilité financière (HCSF) imposed a measure under the Capital Requirements Regulation that lowers the large exposure limit, from 25% to 5% of a firm's eligible capital, for French G-SIIs and French O-SIIs for their exposures to French NFCs that are 'highly indebted'.

    The PRA is proposing to apply the same 5% large exposure limit for exposures to certain French NFCs through amendments to the Large Exposures part of the PRA Rulebook. The proposals would apply to Global Systemically Important Institutions and Other Systemically Important Institutions from January 1, 2020.

    Responses to the consultation should be submitted to the PRA by September 6, 2019.

    View the consultation paper.
  • EU Consultation on Performance Fees for Retail Funds
    07/16/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has launched a consultation on proposed guidelines on performance fees in Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities. The consultation closes on October 31, 2019 and ESMA will publish its final guidelines once it has considered all of the feedback.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • Recommended Legal Action Plan for Transition from EONIA to €STR
    07/16/2019

    Following its consultation earlier this year, the working group charged with implementing the European market's move away from EONIA, has published a recommended legal action plan for new and legacy contracts referencing EONIA. The implementation of the recommended legal measures is intended to address issues arising from the transition from EONIA to the euro short-term rate (known as €STR). €STR is a risk-free rate and, with a fixed spread, will replace EONIA as a reference rate in a variety of euro-denominated financial contracts, including derivatives, collateral remuneration for derivatives and cash products such as commercial paper, repurchase agreements and default interest payable under syndicated loans.

    Read more.
  • European Commission Highlights Areas for Further Analysis in Basel III Reforms
    07/15/2019

    The Director General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union of the European Commission has written to the European Banking Authority highlighting areas where further analysis is required on the impact and implementation of the Basel III reforms in the EU. The EBA is in the process of finalizing its advice to the European Commission on the impact within the EU of the implementation of the Basel III reforms to credit risk, operational risk, output floor and securities financing transactions.

    Read more.
  • EU Consultation on Guidelines on Compliance Function Requirements under MiFID II
    07/15/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a consultation paper on proposed guidelines on the compliance function requirements that are set out in the revised Markets in Financial Instruments package. The consultation closes on October 15, 2019 and ESMA intends to publish its final guidelines in Q2 2020. The final guidelines will replace ESMA's guidelines that were issued in 2012 under MiFID I because some of the 2012 guidelines are now set out in MiFID II or its secondary legislation and so reflect the enhanced role of the compliance function under MiFID II.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: MiFID II
  • European Banking Authority Provides Guidance to Aide Convergent Implementation of the Liquidity Coverage Ratio in the EU
    07/12/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published its first report on its monitoring of the Liquidity Coverage Ratio implementation in the EU. The LCR has applied as a 100% minimum binding standard across the EU since January 1, 2018, ahead of the Basel implementation date of January 1, 2019. The LCR requirements are set out in the Capital Requirements Regulation and the Capital Requirements Directive, supplemented by the LCR Delegated Regulation (Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/61). The LCR Delegated Regulation allows national regulators some discretion when implementing the LCR requirements. The EBA's report sets out its observations on the implementation of the LCR, focusing on the level of divergence of implementation of the LCR across the EU. To enhance a more convergent implementation of the LCR, the EBA also provides some guidance for national regulators and banks on operational deposits, retail deposits excluded from outflows and notifications on additional liquidity outflows.

    The EBA intends to continue monitoring implementation of the LCR, including the extent to which national regulators and banks apply its guidance incorporated in the report and will assess whether any more formal guidance is needed.

    View the EBA's report.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Report on the Licensing of FinTech Business Models
    07/12/2019

    Fulfilling its mandate under the European Commission's FinTech Action Plan to map the current authorization and licensing approaches for innovative FinTech business models in Europe, the European Securities and Markets Authority has published a report on the licensing of FinTech business models. The report sets out the key conclusions identified from the information collected from national regulators through two surveys that ESMA conducted in the last two years, and some of the actions that have been taken to address the emerging challenges. The report does not make any recommendations, but instead refers to previous advice and reports that make recommendations for an EU-level response to the issues.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: FinTechSecurities
  • EU Legislative Package for Cross-Border Distribution of Investment Funds Published
    07/12/2019

    A Regulation and a Directive aimed at facilitating the cross-border distribution of investment funds have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Directive amends the Directive on Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities and the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive by introducing new provisions and amending certain existing provisions of those pieces of legislation. The new Regulation 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. Member states are required to transpose the Directive into national laws by, and apply those laws from, August 2, 2021. Certain provisions of the Regulation will apply directly across the EU from 1 August 2019, with the remaining provisions applying from August 2, 2021.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Launches Consultation on Disclosure Guidelines Under EU Prospectus Regulation
    07/12/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has launched a consultation on its proposed guidelines on compliance with disclosure requirements under the new EU Prospectus Regulation. The Consultation Paper may be of particular interest to investors, issuers, offerors or persons asking for admission to trading on a regulated market and any market participant who is affected by the new Prospectus Regulation. Responses to the consultation should be submitted by October 4, 2019. ESMA intends to publish a final summary of all consultation responses and a final version of the guidelines in Q2 2020.

    Read more.
  • EU Evaluates MiFID II's Success in Improving Trade Data Quality, Availability and Costs
    07/12/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has launched a consultation on the development of pre- and post-trade transparency data and the functioning of the consolidated tape for equity instruments under the revised Markets in Financial Instruments package. The consultation paper sets out ESMA's initial views, taking into account feedback received during earlier roundtables and questionnaires. Responses to the consultation should be provided by September 6, 2019. ESMA will consider the feedback it receives in preparing its final report, which it intends to submit to the European Commission in December 2019. The final report will assist the Commission in preparing its review reports to the European Parliament and Council of the European Union, which are expected to be published in 2020.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: MiFID II
  • EMIR Refit: EU Clarification on Derivatives Trading and Clearing Obligations
    07/12/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has issued a Statement clarifying the application and interaction of the EU derivatives clearing and trading obligations following the entry into force of the revised European Market Infrastructure Regulation, known as EMIR Refit.

    EMIR Refit has, subject to limited exceptions, applied directly across the EU since June 17, 2019. EMIR Refit amended the definition of a Financial Counterparty, bringing central securities depositories authorized under the EU Central Securities Depositories Regulation within scope and categorizing all Alternative Investment Funds as FCs (or, for non-EU funds, as third-country entities equivalent to FCs). It also introduced a clearing threshold for FCs, meaning that small FCs are exempt from the clearing obligation. In addition, Non-Financial Counterparties that meet the clearing threshold no longer must clear all derivatives that they enter that are subject to the clearing obligation, but only those derivatives in the asset class for which they have exceeded the threshold.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: DerivativesMiFID II
  • UK Payment Systems Regulator Launches Consultation on Supply of Card-Acquiring Services
    07/11/2019

    The U.K. Payment Systems Regulator has launched a consultation on the PSR's proposed approach to assessing the profitability of card-acquiring service providers for U.K. merchants and consumers. The Consultation Paper may be of particular interest to providers of card-acquiring services, merchant trade bodies and merchants, as well as card scheme operators and issuers. Responses to the consultation should be submitted by August 1, 2019. Following the consultation, the PSR intends to publish a report setting out its interim conclusions on the supply of card-acquiring services.

    Read more.
  • Firms Criticized for Non-Compliance with the EU Contracts For Difference Product Intervention Measures
    07/11/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a Statement cautioning contracts for difference providers to comply with its temporary product intervention measure restricting the marketing, distribution or sale of CfDs to retail clients. The measure is due to expire at the end of the day on July 31, 2019, unless ESMA again renews it.

    In its Statement, ESMA states that it has noticed and is concerned that certain firms are not complying with the temporary CfD restriction or any similar permanent national measure. ESMA reminds firms that the temporary CfD restriction does not apply to eligible counterparties or professional clients, including to retail clients who opt to being treated as professional clients, as defined in the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. However, firms must comply with the MiFID II requirements when dealing with a retail client that requests to opt up to being treated as a professional client, including by alerting clients to the loss of protection afforded by the temporary CfD restriction. ESMA also reminds firms that they should not incentivize a retail client to become a professional client by using language that promotes the status or benefits of professional clients.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Publishes Final Prospectus Regulation Rules
    07/11/2019

    The Prospectus Regulation Rules Instrument 2019 has been published, setting out the new FCA Prospectus Regulation Rules sourcebook. The Instrument also makes amendments to certain other sections of the FCA Handbook as well as to the FCA's Enforcement Guide and Perimeter Guidance manual. The new rules aim to align the U.K. rules with the EU Prospectus Regulation and will take effect from July 21, 2019.

    Any prospectus approved by the FCA before July 21, 2019 will be governed by national law under the old Prospectus Directive regime until either: (i) the end of the prospectus' validity; or (ii) July 21, 2020. Prospectuses submitted for approval on or after July 21, 2019 must be in line with the EU Prospectus Regulation and the FCA's new Prospectus Regulation Rules sourcebook.

    View the Prospectus Regulation Rules Instrument 2019.

    View details of the FCA Policy Statement on the Prospectus Regulation Rules sourcebook.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Publishes New Measure of Market Cleanliness
    07/09/2019

    The U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority has published details of its Abnormal Trading Volume ratio, a new metric by which the FCA intends to measure "market cleanliness". Market cleanliness refers to the level of market abuse activities, such as insider dealing or market manipulation, affecting transactions in the market. The FCA currently monitors market abuse using a variety of tools, including the mandatory submission of suspicious transaction and order reports by those involved in executing certain types of financial market transactions.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Publishes Annual Report
    07/09/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published its Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended March 31, 2019. The report considers topics including: (i) key highlights from 2018/2019; (ii) the U.K.'s withdrawal from the EU and the FCA's proposed approach to regulation in the wake of Brexit; (iii) the FCA's cross-sector and sector priorities; and (iv) perimeter issues. The report follows the publication of the FCA's first Annual Perimeter Report in June 2019, which provides a review of the FCA's regulatory perimeter.

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Publishes Progress Report on Repair of Internal Ratings Based Models
    07/08/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published a progress report on its 2016 roadmap designed to address concerns about the variability of own funds requirements arising from the internal models that firms use to calculate their minimum credit risk capital requirements under the Capital Requirements Regulation. 

    Read more.
     
  • US Regulators Clarify Position on Broker-Dealer Custody of Digital Asset Securities
    07/08/2019

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority have issued a joint statement clarifying how their traditional regulatory approaches would apply to how broker-dealers handle their customers' digital asset securities and transactions. Specifically, the statement focuses on how certain SEC and FINRA rules apply to broker-dealers that wish to take custody of digital asset securities or perform other noncustodial activities involving such assets.

    The SEC and FINRA staffs (collectively, the "Staffs") said that a number of firms have applied to FINRA to engage in broker-activities involving digital asset securities, and a number of registered broker-dealers have also submitted applications to expand their businesses to include digital asset securities services. Many of these applications cover proposed business models that would involve the applicant taking custody of digital asset securities, while others would involve certain noncustodial activities.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: FinTechSecurities
  • European Banking Authority Publishes Report on FinTech's Impact on Payment and Electronic Money Institutions' Business Models
    07/08/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published a report on the impact of financial technology on the business models of payment and electronic money institutions. The report aims to provide an overview of the current FinTech landscape and raise awareness of the main trends affecting business models. It follows major developments in the industry including the introduction of the revised Payment Services Directive (known as PSD2), the emergence of new market entrants offering innovative products and the growth of instant and mobile payment methods.

    Read more.
  • HM Treasury Publishes Report on Activities of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Supervisory Bodies
    07/08/2019

    HM Treasury has published a report on the activities undertaken by the U.K.'s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing supervisory bodies in 2017-2018. The report follows the publication of the Financial Action Task Force's Mutual Evaluation Report, published in December 2018. The Mutual Evaluation Report found that the U.K.'s AML/CTF regime was the strongest of all the countries assessed by the FATF. However, the report still identified shortcomings in regulated firms' compliance with the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 and the performance of supervisory bodies responsible for overseeing AML/CTF activity.

    Read more.
  • EU Seeks Feedback on Taxonomy for Sustainable Economic Activities
    07/04/2019

    The European Commission's Technical Expert Group on sustainable finance has launched a call for feedback on the taxonomy for sustainable economic activities. The TEG's Report on Taxonomy was published on June 18, 2019, alongside the Commission's Guidelines on reporting climate-related information, an interim TEG report on EU climate benchmarks and a TEG report on an EU green bond standard. The Report on Taxonomy links to the EU's proposed Regulation on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment.

    Feedback on the TEG's Report on Taxonomy should be submitted by September 13, 2019.

    View the Report on Taxonomy.

    View further details on the call for feedback.

    View the Commission's Guidelines on reporting climate-related information.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Presses Non-Bank Payment Service Providers for Compliance with Safeguarding of Customer Funds Requirements
    07/04/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published the outcome of its multi-firm review into the safeguarding arrangements of customer funds by non-bank payment service providers. The FCA assessed how 11 non-bank PSPs complied with the requirements for safekeeping of customer funds under the U.K.'s Payment Services Regulations 2017 and Electronic Money Regulations 2011. These Regulations require authorized payment institutions and e-money institutions to take measures to safeguard their customers' funds, including segregating relevant funds and performing reconciliations, to ensure that in the event of the insolvency of the firm, the client's funds can be returned in a timely and orderly way. The FCA has provided guidance on complying with the requirements in the relevant Approach Document. Customer funds held by these types of institutions are not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

    Read more.
  • Eurozone Resolution Board Publishes Approach to Public Interest Assessment
    07/03/2019

    The Single Resolution Board has published a paper setting out its approach to the Public Interest Assessment under the resolution framework for Eurozone banks. The SRB is the resolution authority for all banking groups and entities as well as cross-border groups that are subject to direct prudential supervision by the European Central Bank (i.e., for banks within the Eurozone Banking Union). Under the resolution framework, an assessment is undertaken as to whether it would be in the public interest for a failing bank or a bank that is likely to fail to be resolved. The assessment is based on the objectives of maintaining financial stability, protecting covered depositors and safeguarding public funds. Where resolution is not appropriate, a bank would instead be subject to national insolvency procedures.

    The SRB's paper outlines the factors that it would take into account when carrying out the public interest assessment and how it applies the legal criteria. The paper also includes examples of how the SRB has conducted the assessment in practice by reference to recent resolutions involving banks such as Banco Popular Español S.A., Banca Popolare di Vicenza S.p.A, Veneto Banca S.p.A. and ABLV Group.

    View the SRB paper.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Proposes Banning the Sale to Retail Clients of Derivatives Referencing Crypto-Assets
    07/03/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has launched a consultation proposing to restrict the sale, marketing and distribution of derivatives and exchange-traded notes that reference certain types of unregulated, transferable crypto-asset to all retail clients by firms in, or from, the U.K. The FCA consultation follows the final report of the U.K. Crypto-Assets Task Force in October 2018. The FCA's view is that although the U.K.'s market in crypto-assets is relatively small, there is still a consumer protection issue that needs to be addressed.

    Read more.
  • European Central Bank Requests Benchmark Transition Plans from Large Eurozone Banks
    07/03/2019

    The Chair of the Supervisory Board of the European Central Bank, Andrea Enria, has written a "Dear CEO" letter to the larger Eurozone banks on their preparation for the transition from interest rate benchmarks to risk-free-rates. The ECB is responsible for direct prudential supervision of certain significant banks based in the Eurozone as part of the Single Supervisory Mechanism. The ECB is seeking assurance from these banks that they have plans in place to address the transition from interest rate benchmarks to risk-free-rates, focusing on the transition from the Euro overnight index average, EONIA, to the Euro short-term rate - €STR - as a euro risk-free rate. EONIA will be calculated as €STR plus a fixed spread, from October 2, 2019, which is when €STR will be launched. EONIA is due to cease entirely from the beginning of 2022.

    The ECB is requesting the significant Eurozone banks to provide: (i) a summary of the key risks to the reform of benchmarks; (ii) a detailed action plan on how to address those risks and pricing issues as well as implement process changes; and (iii) contact details for those at the firm overseeing the transition.

    View the letter.

    View details of the new EONIA methodology.
  • UK Government Publishes Green Finance Strategy
    07/02/2019

    The U.K. Government has published a Green Finance Strategy for transforming finance for a greener future. The Green Finance Strategy has two objectives: to align private sector financial flows with clean, environmentally sustainable and resilient growth, supported by Government action and to strengthen the competitiveness of the U.K. financial sector. The Strategy document states that these objectives will be met by:
     
    1. Greening finance: ensuring current and future financial risks and opportunities from climate and environmental factors are integrated into mainstream financial decision-making, and that markets for green financial products are robust in nature. Some of the action committed to by the Government includes: (i) announcing an expectation for all listed companies and large asset owners to disclose by 2022 (as per the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board's Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures); (ii) establishing a joint taskforce with U.K. regulators, chaired by Government, to examine the most effective way to approach disclosure and exploring the appropriateness of mandatory reporting; (iii) clarifying responsibilities for the Prudential Regulation Authority, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Financial Policy Committee to have regard to the Paris Agreement when carrying out their duties. The Government states that it will publish an interim report by the end of 2020, which will include an assessment of these steps.
    Read more.
  • UK Regulator Justifies Ignoring EU Opinion on CfD Rules
    07/02/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a statement setting out its reasons for failing to act in accordance with the European Securities and Markets Authority's Opinion on the FCA's measures restricting the sale of Contracts for Difference and CfD-like options to retail customers. Where a national regulator takes product intervention measures under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation, ESMA must adopt an opinion on whether those measures are justified and proportionate. If ESMA's opinion states that the measures are not justified and proportionate and a national regulator declines to take action on the basis of ESMA's opinion, the national regulator must immediately publish a statement on its website explaining why it has adopted that course of action.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: MiFID IISecurities
  • UK Conduct Regulator Publishes Arrangements for Sharing Personal Data with Non-EEA Authorities
    07/02/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published its signed Administrative Arrangement agreement dictating the circumstances in which it, as an EEA authority, may share the personal data that it holds with non-EEA authorities. The agreement is a standard form of agreement which will be signed by relevant EEA and non-EEA authorities and is designed to safeguard personal data transfers between authorities in light of new requirements imposed by the General Data Protection Regulation. The agreement includes, among other things, provisions restricting the circumstances in which relevant authorities may transfer data (including that it may only be transferred for the purpose of assisting the authority to fulfil its regulatory mandate and that it will only transfer data that are adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary for the purposes for which they are transferred) and the processes the authority will establish to review their own policies and procedures on transfers of personal data.
     
    View the FCA's signed Administrative Agreement.
  • Financial Stability Board Reports on Implementation of the TLAC Standard
    07/02/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published a report on the Review of the Technical Implementation of the Total Loss-Absorbing Capacity (TLAC) Standard. The FSB conducted a review of implementation of the TLAC Standard by jurisdictions that covered the Global Systemically Important Banks to which the TLAC Standard applied as at January 1, 2019 and the home and material host jurisdictions of those G-SIBs. The focus of the review was assessing whether implementation aligns with the timelines and objectives set out in the TLAC Standard.

    Read more.
  • UK Competition Authority To Review Retail Banking Market Investigation Rules
    07/01/2019

    The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority has announced its decision to review Part 6 of the Retail Banking Market Investigation Order 2017. Part 6 requires providers of personal current account services to establish a system of alerts to their customers notifying them of specified information, including that the customer's account has exceeded a pre-agreed credit limit.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Competition
  • EU to Lift Temporary Ban on the Sale of Binary Options to Retail Clients in Wake of National Measures
    07/01/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has ended its temporary prohibition on the marketing, distribution or sale of binary options to retail clients. ESMA's product intervention powers under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation allow it to impose temporary prohibitions or restrictions on certain financial instruments, financial activities or practices to address a significant investor protection concern in the EU.

    Read more.
  • UK Regulator Publishes Rules Restricting Sale of Contracts for Difference and Related Options
    07/01/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published the Conduct of Business (Contracts for Difference) Instrument 2019, implementing product intervention measures designed to restrict the sale, marketing and distribution of contracts for difference and contract for difference-like options to retail consumers. The rules will affect: (i) retail clients who invest, or may invest, in CFDs and CFD-like options; (ii) investment firms caught by the provisions of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (including those caught by the Capital Requirements Directive, where appropriate) that are involved in marketing, distributing or selling CFDs and CFD-like options in, or from, the U.K. to retail clients; and (iii) U.K. branches of third-country investment firms that are involved in marketing, distributing or selling CFDs or CFD-like options to retail clients.

    Read more.
  • Bank for International Settlements to Establish Innovation Hub for Central Bank Financial Technology
    06/30/2019

    The Bank for International Settlements has announced it will establish an innovation Hub to encourage international collaboration on innovative financial technology for central banks. The Hub's purpose will be to: (i) identify trends in technology affecting central banks; (ii) develop "public goods" in the technology space aimed at improving the functioning of the global financial system; and (iii) act as a focal point for central bank innovation.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: FinTech
  • UK Financial Conduct Authority Issues Response to EU Opinion on Strong Customer Authentication
    06/28/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has issued a statement confirming its intended approach to enforcing firms' compliance with EU "strong customer authentication" rules that will apply across the EU from September 14, 2019.

    Read more.
  • Global Financial Innovation Network Publishes Progress Report
    06/28/2019

    The Global Financial Innovation Network, the group of financial regulators established in 2018 to support international financial innovation, has published a report on the progress made during its first year. The group is made up of 35 global regulators from 21 jurisdictions that work together to share knowledge and market experiences and enable innovative firms to interact with a network of regulators.

    Read more.
  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission Launches LabCFTC Accelerator
    06/27/2019

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has announced two new programs as part of its LabCFTC initiative. The first is LabCFTC Accelerator, which will provide the agency with a number of tools to drive its understanding and potential adoption of emerging technologies. The second is the CFTC's second annual FinTech Forward conference, which will take place on October 24, 2019 and bring together a variety of stakeholders in the FinTech ecosystem to explore the latest developments in the space.

    As part of the LabCFTC Accelerator program, the agency seeks to better understand emerging technologies through the use of tools such as internal pilots and tests, market research and innovation competitions. The topic for the upcoming innovation competition will be announced at the FinTech Forward 2019 conference.

    FinTech Forward 2019 will bring together innovators, regulators, market participants, thought-leaders and the general public to cover a number of areas in the FinTech space, including digital assets, commodities and platforms, machine learning and AI, RegTech and algorithmic trading. The agency also said it expects there to be a greater focus on international FinTech, as the event will coincide with the CFTC's Office of International Affairs' International Regulators Symposium. Registration for the FinTech Forward 2019 conference will be open to the public early this fall.

    View the CFTC's announcement.

    View details of the CFTC LabCFTC initiative.
    TOPIC: FinTech
  • UK Payment Systems Regulator Publishes Progress Report on Access to and Governance of Payment Systems
    06/27/2019

    The U.K. Payment Systems Regulator has published its fourth report on developments in access to payment systems and the governance of those systems.

    Read more.
  • UK Regulator Secures Insider Dealing Conviction
    06/27/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has secured convictions against two individuals accused of insider dealing. Fabiana Abdel-Malek, a former senior compliance officer at the London office of a major European headquartered bank, and Walid Anis Choucair, her family friend, were both sentenced to three years' imprisonment for insider dealing.

    Read more.
  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Publishes Revisions to Leverage Ratio Requirements
    06/26/2019

    The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has published revisions to its standards for leverage ratio capital requirements. The revisions relate to: (i) calculations of leverage ratios for "client-cleared" derivatives; and (ii) disclosure requirements for leverage ratios.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Publishes Consultation on Regulation of Proxy Advisors under Revised Shareholder Rights Directive
    06/26/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a consultation on proposed changes to its Decision Making and Penalties Manual and Enforcement Guide to incorporate its new responsibility for regulation of proxy advisors. The proposals will be of interest to those falling within the Proxy Advisors (Shareholders' Rights) Regulations 2019 and anyone who uses the services of proxy advisors. Responses to the consultation should be submitted by July 26, 2019.

    Read more.
  • UK Secondary Legislation Published to Implement the Prospectus Regulation
    06/25/2019

    The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Prospectus) Regulations 2019 have been formally published and will come into force on July 21, 2019.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • Eurozone Single Resolution Board Publishes Update to MREL Policy
    06/25/2019

    The Eurozone Single Resolution Board has published an addendum to its 2018 policy statement on minimum requirements for own funds and eligible liabilities. The addendum takes into account changes made as part of the EU’s “Banking Package”, published in the Official Journal of the European Union on June 7, 2019, in particular the EU’s implementation of the Total Loss Absorbing Capacity (TLAC) standard by changes made under the revised Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR2). 

    Read more.
  • UK Prudential Regulator Launches Consultation on Revisions to Pillar 2 Liquidity Reporting Frequency
    06/25/2019

    The U.K. Prudential Regulatory Authority has launched a consultation on amending the frequency with which firms must submit reports using the PRA’s liquidity reporting template. The obligation to make a report using the "PRA 110" template comes into force on July 1, 2019 and obliges firms with total assets equal to or greater than €30bn to report details of their liquidity on a monthly basis, or, in the event of specific liquidity or market stress, on a weekly basis. 

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Publishes Progress Report on G20 Financial Regulatory Reforms
    06/25/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published a progress report summarizing FSB member jurisdictions’ progress in implementation of the G20’s recommended financial reforms. The G20’s program of financial reforms was launched in 2009 to mend the weaknesses that led to the global financial crisis. The FSB is the body responsible for delivering the G20’s proposed changes and its latest report sets out progress made since the FSB’s last report in November 2018, as well as areas where further work is required.

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Publishes Draft Methodology for 2020 EU-Wide Stress Tests
    06/25/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published its draft methodology, templates and template guidance for the 2020 EU-wide stress tests that will be carried out to assess EU banks' resilience to an adverse economic shock. The final methodology will be published by the end of 2019. The stress test will be launched in January 2020 and the results will be published by the end of July 2020.

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Issues Survey on Short-Term Pressure Imposed by the Financial Sector
    06/24/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority is seeking responses to its survey examining short-term pressure on corporations from the financial sector. The survey forms part of an investigation prompted by the European Commission into how short-termism in market practices may be inhibiting the EU’s progress towards a sustainable economy. ESMA’s survey is aimed at investors, issuers, management companies of undertakings for the collective investment in transferable securities, self-managed UCITS investment companies, alternative investment fund managers and the trade associations of financial market participants. Responses to the questionnaire must be submitted by July 29, 2019.

    Read more.
  • US and UK Regulators Issue Joint Statement on Credit Derivatives Markets
    06/24/2019

    The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority have issued a joint statement regarding the use of "opportunistic strategies" in the credit derivatives markets, including but not limited to so-called "manufactured credit events." The agencies expressed concern that the use of such strategies could adversely affect the integrity and confidence of these markets, as well as markets more generally, due to issues related to securities, derivatives conduct and antifraud laws, along with public policy concerns.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Publishes Overview of Pillar 2 Practices and Approaches
    06/21/2019

    The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has published an overview report on the Pillar 2 supervisory review process and on the different practices that regulators and legislators in Basel member jurisdictions have adopted in relation to it.

    Read more.
  • International Organization for Securities Commissions Publishes Report on Liquidity in Corporate Bond Markets Under Stressed Conditions
    06/21/2019

    The International Organization for Securities Commissions has published a report studying the effect of stressed market conditions on liquidity in corporate bond markets. The report arose out of concerns about liquidity in the corporate bond market in the years since the global financial crisis and, in particular, the possibility that a significant sell-off could trigger price volatility and temporarily depress prices. The report is based upon a review of existing studies of corporate bond markets, an examination of historic periods of market stress and discussions with industry stakeholders.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • Final EU Secondary Legislation Under the Prospectus Regulation Published
    06/21/2019

    Two Commission Delegated Regulations supplementing the EU Prospectus Regulation have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The first Regulation is on the format, content, scrutiny and approval of the prospectus to be published when securities are offered to the public or admitted to trading on a regulated market. It will supplement the requirements in the Prospectus Regulation on: (i) the review, approval and filing of the universal registration document and any amendments; (ii) the format of the prospectus, the base prospectus and the final terms; (iii) the specific information to be included in a prospectus, the minimum information to be included in the universal registration document and the reduced information to be included under the simplified disclosure regime for secondary issuances; (iv) the reduced content, standardized format and the sequence of the EU Growth prospectus; (v) the reduced content and standardized format of the specific summary; and (vi) the review and approval of prospectuses by national regulators. The Regulation also repeals, from July 21, 2019, the existing Implementing Regulation under the existing Prospectus Directive on the form and content of prospectuses.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • Financial Action Task Force Publishes Guidance for a Risk-Based Approach to Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers
    06/21/2019

    The Financial Action Task Force has published the outcomes of its third and last Plenary meeting under the U.S. Presidency in Orlando on June 19-21, 2019. The FATF considered key issues such as strategic initiatives, mutual evaluations and the upcoming focus areas under the Chinese Presidency.

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Publishes Opinion on Strong Customer Authentication Under Payment Services Directive
    06/21/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published an Opinion on market approaches to payment authentication that will be deemed compliant with the new rules on strong customer authentication coming into force later this year.

    Read more.
  • European Commission Publishes Commission Delegated Regulation Amending Registration Conditions for SME Growth Markets
    06/21/2019

    An amending Commission Delegated Regulation to the existing Commission Delegated Regulation (Regulation 2017/565) on requirements for participants in SME growth markets has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Regulation 2017/565 supplements related provisions under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, which establishes "SME growth markets" as a new type of trading venue for small and medium sized enterprises.

    Read more.
  • European Commission Publishes Report on Implementation of Wire Transfer Regulation
    06/20/2019

    The European Commission has published a report detailing: (i) the extent to which Member States have implemented the sanctions and monitoring sections of the EU Wire Transfer Regulation; and (ii) the particular sanctioning activities that national regulators have adopted under the Regulation. The Commission was obliged to provide the report to the European Parliament and Council of the European Union under the Wire Transfer Regulation. Although Member States are not obliged to take specific steps in response to the report's findings, the Commission concludes the report by stating its intention to continue to support Member States in their implementation of the Wire Transfer Regulation and reserves the right to take further measures to ensure the Regulation is correctly implemented by all Member States.

    Read more.
  • Bank of England Publishes Report on the Future of the UK Financial System and the Bank's Priorities for the Future
    06/20/2019

    Huw van Steenis, the Bank of England financier appointed by the BoE in 2018 to review the future of the U.K. financial system, has published his "Future of Finance" report, setting out a vision for the medium-term future of the U.K. financial system and the BoE's role in supporting that. The report was based on consultations with entrepreneurs, financiers, tech firms, global investors, consumer groups, charities, policymakers and business leaders across the U.K. and overseas. In response, the BoE has published a document which sets out the actions it intends to take to deal with the challenges and opportunities identified in the report.

    Read more.
  • UK FICC Markets Standards Board Announces Consultation on Draft Statement of Good Practice
    06/20/2019

    The U.K. FICC Markets Standards Board has published a Transparency Draft of its new Statement of Good Practice on Conflicts of Interest. The Statement aims to provide guidance for participants in the fixed income, currencies and commodities markets on ways to identify and manage risks arising from conflicts of interest in the FICC markets. The guidance is particularly targeted at firms operating in Europe and the conflicts that may arise from the sale and trading of publicly listed or over-the-counter securities or financial instruments. 

    Read more.
  • European Commission Publishes Commission Delegated Regulation Extending Exemption from EU Transparency Requirements to the People's Bank of China
    06/20/2019

    An amending Commission Delegated Regulation to the existing Commission Delegated Regulation (Regulation 2017/1799), which specifies that third-country central banks may be exempted from certain transparency requirements under the Markets in Financial Infrastructure Regulation, has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The amendment means that the People's Bank of China will be added to the list of counterparty institutions whose transactions will not be subject to trade transparency requirements under MiFIR to the extent that those transactions are in pursuit of monetary, foreign exchange or financial stability policy. The amending Delegated Regulation will come into force and apply directly across the EU from July 10, 2019.
     
    View the amending Commission Delegated Regulation.
     
    View Commission Delegated Regulation 2017/1799.
  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Discusses Supervisory Initiatives and Approves Implementation Reports
    06/20/2019

    Central bankers and banking supervisors of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision met this week to discuss a range of policy and supervisory initiatives. 

    Read more.
  • UK Financial Conduct Authority Publishes First Annual Perimeter Report
    06/19/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published its first annual perimeter report, which (i) describes the boundaries of the FCA's regulatory oversight, (ii) considers challenges to the regulatory perimeter and (iii) sets out its aims for the future. The motivations behind the report include recent high profile controversies involving firms on the periphery of the FCA's regulatory perimeter (including London Capital & Finance which issued non-transferable bonds to consumers), innovations in technology that test the boundaries of the perimeter and the post-Brexit future of U.K. financial regulation.

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Proposes Guidelines on Loan Origination and Monitoring
    06/19/2019

    The European Banking Authority has launched a consultation on draft Guidelines on loan origination and monitoring. The consultation stems from the European Council's Action Plan on tackling non-performing loans in Europe. The purpose of the guidelines is to improve the processes by which institutions grant loans and monitor them thereafter, with the overarching goal of improving the financial stability of the EU financial system.

    Read more.
  • UK Law Commission Makes Recommendations to Improve Anti-Money Laundering Regime
    06/18/2019

    The U.K.'s Law Commission has published a report, entitled "Anti-money Laundering: the SARS Regime", setting out recommendations to improve the prevention, detection and prosecution of money laundering and terrorism financing in the U.K. The Law Commission began a review in 2017 into the U.K. anti-money laundering regime, focusing on the suspicious activity reporting (SAR) process and taking into account EU and U.K. anti-money laundering legislation and related legislation, such as the General Data Protection Regulation. Following the consultation, the Commission has decided not to recommend amendments to the primary legislation, but instead that more detailed guidance should be issued. As a result, and for example, new exceptions from the reporting regime will not be proposed, as has been argued by some aspects of industry for reports on low-value transactions or reports on issues which are already in the public domain. The Commission is making several recommendations to improve the existing system, including:
    1. The establishment of a new Advisory Board to supervise the development of guidance and to advise the Secretary of State on potential improvements to the regime, including in relation to emerging threats.
    2. A new online SAR report that is easier to use with the aim of ensuring more consistent data is provided to the U.K. Financial Intelligence Unit through these reports.
    3. Creating an obligation for the Government to issue statutory guidance on key legal concepts within the framework so as to improve certainty around the obligation to report suspicious activities.

    View the report.
  • International Cyber Task Force Reports on Cyber Regulation
    06/18/2019

    The International Organization of Securities Commissions has published the final report of its Cyber Task Force on cyber regulation. The report sets out how IOSCO member jurisdictions apply three recognized cyber frameworks - the CPMI-IOSCO Guidance on Cyber Resilience for Financial Market Infrastructures; the National Institute of Standards and Technology Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity; and the International Organization for Standardization 27000 series standards. The Cyber Task Force does not propose that IOSCO issues any further guidance on this topic, as this could lead to duplication. The report is instead intended to be a resource for financial market regulators and firms, to raise awareness of existing cyber guidance and to encourage the adoption of good practices. The Cyber Task Force recommends that IOSCO's member jurisdictions use these standards to close any gaps in their existing cyber frameworks and that further work is undertaken to establish where those gaps are.

    View the report.
  • New EU Guidelines on Disclosure of Climate-Related Information
    06/18/2019

    The European Commission has published new, non-binding Guidelines on reporting climate-related information. The new Guidelines are supplementary to the guidelines issued by the Commission in 2017 on reporting non-financial information. The new Guidelines are intended to assist large public entities (with over 500 employees) to report climate-related information under the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive. The new Guidelines incorporate the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board's taskforce on climate-related financial disclosures, taking into account the EU's forthcoming taxonomy on sustainable activities. The new Guidelines include guidance on reporting of climate-related information related to business models, key performance indicators, risks and their management. Further guidelines for banks and insurance companies are set out in the annex.

    Read more.
  • UK Secondary Legislation Published to Implement Changes under EMIR REFIT
    06/17/2019

    The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Over the Counter Derivatives, Central Counterparties and Trade Repositories) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 have been made and will come into force on July 9, 2019.

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Postpones Review of Transparency Requirements under MiFIR
    06/17/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has postponed its review of the operation of transparency requirements laid out under Regulatory Technical Standards issued under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation. MiFIR's transparency regime obliges those providing investment services in the EU to disclose details of their transactions in bonds, structured finance products, emission allowances and derivatives both prior to, and following, trades. The detail of how participants should comply with this transparency regime is set out in the related delegated acts and technical standards published under MiFIR. Under the MiFIR RTS, ESMA is obliged to submit a report on the operation of thresholds for the liquidity and trade percentiles of certain financial instruments by July 30 each year. However, given the continuing uncertainties over Brexit, ESMA considers it would be inappropriate to perform the review by the usual deadline, particularly as the results of its review may lead to a tightening of the relevant rules. No new deadline for performing the review has yet been established.

    View ESMA's letter.

    View the transparency RTS.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Publishes Dear CEO Letter on its Wealth Management and Stockbroking Supervision Strategy
    06/13/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a "Dear CEO" letter addressed to wealth management and stockbroking firms, identifying the key areas of focus for its two-year Wealth Management and Stockbroking supervision strategy. In the letter, the FCA identifies the four key types of harm for customers in this sector as: (i) reductions in savings and investments due to fraud, investment scams and inadequate client money or assets controls; (ii) loss of confidence in the industry due to mismanagement of conflicts of interest and market abuse; (iii) reductions in savings and investments due to substandard order handling procedures and execution processes; and (iv) inability to understand the costs of services provided by firms as a result of insufficient or inaccurate disclosure.

    Read more.
  • UK Parliamentary Committee Report Criticizes UK's Post-Brexit Sanctions Policy
    06/12/2019

    The U.K. Foreign Affairs Committee has published a critical report on the U.K. government's plans for the future of sanctions policy following Brexit. Currently, the U.K. must comply with economic and financial sanctions agreed at EU-level. Following the U.K.'s exit from the EU, it will regain autonomy over sanctions policy, but the Foreign Affairs Committee report reveals a lack of high-level thought on policy, a muddled position on key issues, including the implementation of EU sanctions into U.K. law following Brexit, the U.K.'s ability to impose "Magnitsky" sanctions (sanctions imposed upon individuals accused of human rights violations), and the extent to which the U.K.'s future sanctions policy should be coordinated with allies' policies, and a lack of cross-departmental government coordination in developing a coherent U.K. sanctions policy.

    Read more.
  • European Commission Publishes Progress Report on European Economic Monetary Union
    06/12/2019

    The European Commission has published a report on progress made in Europe since the publication of "The Five Presidents' Report" of 2015, in which five of the EU's key figures set out their agenda for deepening the EU's Economic and Monetary Union. The report is published ahead of the Euro Summit on June 21, 2019, where EU leaders will meet to review progress in tackling the challenges faced by the EU.

    Read more.
  • European Commission Updates Credit Rating Agencies Regulation Equivalence Decisions
    06/11/2019

    The European Commission has published a series of draft Implementing Decisions on the equivalence with the EU Credit Rating Agencies Regulation of the credit rating regimes of certain non-EU countries. The Implementing Decisions for Brazil, Canada, Argentina, Singapore and Australia repeal the existing equivalence decisions of the credit rating legislation in these countries, stripping these regimes of their equivalent status. The Implementing Decisions for Mexico, the US, Japan and Hong Kong confirm the equivalence of such countries' credit rating legislation.

    Read more.
  • UK Law Commission Embarks Upon Review of Intermediated Securities System
    06/11/2019

    The Law Commission has been appointed to review potential legal issues with the U.K. intermediated securities system. Intermediated securities are shares and bonds held electronically through computerized credit entries.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Final Report on Frequent Batch Auctions
    06/11/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a final report presenting the feedback to its November 2018 call for evidence, which sought to improve its understanding of "frequent batch" auction systems and their use in the circumvention of the "double volume cap" imposed under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation and transparency requirements under the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (or MiFID II). ESMA intends to produce further guidance on areas highlighted in the report, particularly focusing on price determination and pre-trade transparency, and will review the broader effects of the MiFID II transparency regime.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: MiFID II
  • UK To Adopt Amendments to Brexit Legislation
    06/10/2019

    HM Treasury has laid before Parliament a draft of the Financial Services (Miscellaneous) (Amendment) (EU Exit) (No. 2) Regulations 2019. The draft Regulations make amendments to certain elements of the EU exit legislation relating to financial services that has been developed by the U.K. government in preparation for the U.K.'s exit from the EU. The amendments will come into force on the later of: (i) the day after the day on which the Regulations are made; and (ii) immediately before exit day or, in the case of the amendment to the Capital Requirements Regulations, exit day. 

    Read more.
  • UK Prudential Regulator Offers Modification of UK Capital Rules Reflecting Changes to Capital Requirements Regulation II
    06/10/2019

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has published a draft modification of its capital rules to correspond with changes made to the Capital Requirements Regulation II that will apply directly in Member States from June 27, 2019. Firms wishing to benefit from the modified rules should apply to the Authorisations Division of the PRA.

    Read more.
  • UK Competition and Markets Authority Targets Anti-Competitive Practices in Investment Consultancy and Fiduciary Management Services
    06/10/2019

    The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority has issued the Investment Consultancy and Fiduciary Management Market Investigation Order 2019. This is U.K. secondary legislation intended to combat anti-competitive practices in the supply and acquisition of investment consultancy and fiduciary management services to and by the pension schemes they advise. The Order was made on June 10, 2019 and enters into force on December 10, 2019. It follows the CMA's consultation on a draft version of the Order that was published for review by interested parties on February 12, 2019. In the final Order, the CMA has endeavoured to resolve a number of the issues raised in response to the consultation. These include amending the Competitive Tender Process as originally drafted by imposing a less stringent "reasonable endeavours" obligation on trustees who are required to obtain bids from three or more unrelated Fiduciary Management Providers, and excluding in-house investment advice or fiduciary management functions from the scope of the Order.

    Read more.
  • UK Regulator Publishes Thematic Review of Money-Laundering Risks in Capital Markets
    06/10/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a report on its thematic review assessing money-laundering risks posed to capital markets. The review involved 19 participants including investment banks, recognised investment exchanges, trade bodies, a custodian bank, clearing and settlement houses, inter-dealer brokers and trading firms. The report sets out what the FCA found in its review, the AML risks that were identified and fictitious case studies identifying different AML scenarios that firms may use to inform their own procedures. The FCA expects firms to review their AML systems, taking this report into account. It is considering its supervisory approach, including the possibility of utilising data supplied under MiFID II to mitigate money-laundering risks.

    Read more.
  • Final Investment Consultancy and Fiduciary Management Market Investigation Order Published
    06/10/2019

    The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority has published the final Investment Consultancy and Fiduciary Management Market Investigation Order 2019. The Order imposes legal obligations on pension scheme trustees, investment consultancy firms and fiduciary management providers, implementing the CMA's remedies to its finding of an adverse effect on competition in both the investment consultancy and fiduciary management markets. On February 11, 2019, the CMA published a draft Order for comment, and the responses to the draft Order have been published alongside the Order.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: CompetitionFunds
  • G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meet in Japan
    06/09/2019

    The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors have published a Communiqué from the most recent G20 Summit held in Japan.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Publishes Consultation on Impact of Regulatory Reforms for SME Financing
    06/07/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published a consultation paper on the effects of post-financial crisis regulatory reforms on financing for small- and medium-sized enterprises. The FSB’s analysis suggests that there have not been material or persistent negative effects on SME financing, although some evidence suggests the more stringent Basel III capital requirements may have slowed the pace and tightened the conditions of SME lending at the least capitalized banks.

    Read more.
  • EU Capital Requirements Directive V and Capital Requirements Regulation II Finalized
    06/07/2019

    The legislative amendments to the EU's Capital Requirements Regulation and the Capital Requirements Directive, widely referred to as "CRD5" or "CRR2", have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Subject to certain exceptions, the Regulation amending CRR will apply directly across the EU from June 28, 2021. EU Member States are required to transpose the Directive amending CRD into their national laws and to apply those provisions from December 29, 2020, subject to certain exceptions.

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Chair Queries EMIR REFIT Clearing Threshold Calculation for Certain Financial Counterparties
    06/07/2019

    The Chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority, Steven Maijoor, has requested clarity from the European Commission on the methodology for calculating the clearing threshold of a Financial Counterparty that is part of a non-financial group under the revised European Market Infrastructure Regulation (known as EMIR REFIT).

    Read more.
  • Revisions to EU Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive Finalized
    06/07/2019

    A new Directive amending the EU's Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive, widely referred to as "BRRD2", has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

    Read more.
  • UK Regulator Publishes Policy Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Process for Securitization Repositories, including post-Brexit
    06/06/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a Policy Statement setting out the final rules governing the FCA's authority to impose sanctions on persons for breaching requirements imposed under the U.K. Securitization Regulations 2018, which implements the EU Securitization Regulation. The Policy Statement also includes proposals on how the FCA will apply its existing supervisory and enforcement processes to securitization repositories (the bodies responsible for collecting and maintaining records of securitizations) after the U.K.'s exit from the EU.

    Read more.
  • US Commodity Futures Trading Commission Provides Margin Relief for Legacy Swaps
    06/06/2019

    In response to a request from the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight issued no-action relief that will permit swap dealers to make certain amendments to so-called "legacy swaps" without such swaps losing their legacy status for purposes of the CFTC's uncleared swap margin rule. Legacy swaps are exempt from the CFTC's uncleared swap margin rule because they were entered into prior to the relevant compliance date for that rule. The relief provides clarity that certain amendments to legacy swaps will not bring them within scope of the rule.

    The relief will permit swap dealers to continue to treat the following as legacy swaps:
    • legacy swaps that are amended in an immaterial manner (defined as amendments that would not affect the economic obligations of the parties or the valuation of the swap);
    • a swap resulting from the exercise of a swaption that is itself a legacy swap;
    • the remaining portion of a swap following a partial termination of such legacy swap;
    • the remaining portion of a swap following a partial novation of such legacy swap; and
    • new swaps resulting from a multilateral compression exercise consisting solely of legacy swaps.

    View the No-Action letter.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • Financial Stability Board Publishes Report on Decentralized Financial Technologies
    06/06/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published a report on the use of decentralized financial technologies and the implications these may have for financial stability, regulation and governance. The report has been delivered to G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors ahead of the G20 meeting on June 8-9, 2019.

    Read more.
  • International Bodies Seek Public Input on Central Counterparty Auctions Discussion Paper
    06/05/2019

    The Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures and the International Organization of Securities Commissions have published a joint discussion paper on central counterparty default management auctions. Comments should be provided by August 9, 2019.

    Read more.
  • UK Regulator Appoints New Chair for Financial Ombudsman Service
    06/05/2019
    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has issued a press release announcing that Baroness Zahida Manzoor CBE has been appointed Chair of the Financial Ombudsman Service. Baroness Manzoor will take up the role on August 2, 2019 and takes over from Sir Nicholas Montagu, who has held the role for more than seven years. Baroness Manzoor has spent over 20 years at board level within large organizations and was appointed to the House of Lords in 2013. Between March 2018 and May 2019, she served as House of Lords Government Whip and Minister.

    View the press release.
    TOPIC: People
  • UK Regulator Publishes Findings from LIBOR Review
    06/05/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a report summarizing the preparations that firms are making for the market transition away from LIBOR to alternative risk-free rates by the end of 2021. The report is based on feedback from firms in response to the joint Dear CEO letter sent to major banks and insurers by the FCA and the Prudential Regulation Authority, which sought information on the action firms were taking to prepare for the phase-out of LIBOR. The report also includes suggestions for how firms might enhance their preparations.

    Read more.
  • Regulators Issue Recommendations on Sustainable Finance in Emerging Markets
    06/05/2019

    The Growth and Emerging Markets Committee, a committee of the International Organization of Securities Commissions that aims to promote the development and efficiency of emerging securities and futures markets, has published a series of recommendations on the development of sustainable finance in emerging markets and the role that securities regulators play in this arena. The report also contains an overview of sustainability-related regulatory initiatives in emerging markets and market trends arising in the sustainability sector.

    Read more.
  • International Task Force Report Shows Further Progress Needed for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures
    06/05/2019

    The Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures has issued its 2019 status report outlining progress on adoption of the TCFD disclosure recommendations for improved climate-related financial disclosures by companies. The TCFD was established by the Financial Stability Board in 2015 with the aim of managing climate-related risk in markets. In 2017, it published a set of voluntary disclosure recommendations for companies to provide information on their climate-related financial risks. The recommendations are structured around four areas: (i) governance; (ii) strategy; (iii) risk management; and (iv) metrics and targets.

    Read more.
  • European Systemic Risk Board Committee Publishes Report on Regulatory Complexity Risks
    06/04/2019

    The European Systemic Risk Board's Advisory Scientific Committee has published a report on the risks of excessive regulatory complexity. The report considers the key drivers of regulatory complexity, the risks it entails and sets out seven principles designed to prioritize regulatory robustness, upon which it argues the design and reform of financial regulation should be based.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Publishes User's Guide to Overnight Risk-Free Rates
    06/04/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published a user's guide to overnight risk free rates, providing an overview of such rates and how they can be calculated, as well as proposals for how they can be used in cash products. The user's guide falls in line with the development of RFRs as alternative benchmarks.

    Read more.
  • UK Regulator Publishes Policy Statement on Peer-To-Peer and Investment-Based Crowdfunding Platforms
    06/04/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a Policy Statement containing its final changes to the rules and guidance governing loan-based crowdfunding platforms (or "peer-to-peer" platforms). The Policy Statement follows the FCA's July 2018 consultation paper on proposed changes to the regulation of the crowdfunding sector. Peer-to-peer platforms will need to comply with the majority of the changes by December 9, 2019, with the exception of the FCA's Mortgage and Home Finance Conduct of Business rules, which will apply to platforms that offer home finance products from June 4, 2019. The Policy Statement also reflects on the rules applicable to investment-based crowdfunding platforms (i.e. platforms that allow investors to invest in businesses directly, for instance through the purchase of shares or debt securities), in particular surrounding financial promotions for non-readily realized securities and non-mainstream pooled investments. The FCA continues to review responses to its July 2018 consultation paper in relation to these platforms and may issue additional rules and guidance in due course.

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Launches Common Supervisory Action on MiFID II Appropriateness Rules
    06/03/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has announced that it will launch a common supervisory action in the second half of 2019 on the application of the appropriateness requirements under the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. The action will be undertaken as part of ESMA's mandate to build a culture of common supervision among EU national regulators.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Consults on Resolution-Related Disclosures and Solvent Wind-Down of Derivatives and Trading Portfolios
    06/03/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published two consultation papers on: (i) Public Disclosure of Resolution Planning and Resolvability; and (ii) Solvent Wind-down of Derivatives and Trading Portfolios. The first consultation paper focuses on disclosures made by financial institutions on their resolution planning and resolvability during “peace time” (i.e., times when there is no resolution commencing or in progress). The second consultation paper focuses on considerations that national regulators and global systemically important banks should take into account when commencing the solvent wind-down of a G-SIB’s derivative and trading book activities. 

    Read more.
  • EONIA Methodology and One-Off Spread Confirmed
    05/31/2019

    The European Money Markets Institute has adopted the EONIA working group's proposed methodology for calculating EONIA's replacement rate. The new methodology, dubbed "€STR" (or the "Euro short term rate"), will take effect as of October 2, 2019. In line with the adoption of the €STR, the European Central Bank has calculated the average risk spread between the new €STR and the existing EONIA rate as 0.0085% (8.5 basis points). The spread will be used for a limited period to calculate an adjusted EONIA rate for all existing contracts which continue to reference EONIA following the introduction of the €STR in October 2019.

    Read more.
  • UK Financial Conduct Authority Publishes Near Final Changes to Handbook Implementing the EU Prospectus Regulation
    05/31/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a Policy Statement containing its near final rules implementing the EU Prospectus Regulation, which will be set out in the FCA's new Prospectus Regulation Rules sourcebook. The FCA's new rules are aimed at aligning the U.K. rules with the EU Prospectus Regulation. The changes remain subject to finalization of certain related changes under the Financials Services and Markets Act 2000 and relevant EU legislation. Issuers seeking approval of a draft prospectus on or after July 21, 2019 must ensure their draft is in line with the EU Prospectus Regulation and PRR sourcebook. In the event the U.K. leaves the EU before that date, the proposals will not come into effect, and the U.K. would use the Financial Services (Implementation of Legislation) Bill to permit alignment of U.K. rules with those of the EU. The FCA would, in that situation, expect to issue a further Consultation Paper setting out proposals for replicating the EU Prospectus Regulation in the U.K. domestic regime. The FCA has so far declined to comment on the detail of any such proposals.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Delivers Report on Crypto-Assets
    05/31/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published a report on crypto-assets outlining the actions being undertaken by various international organizations in response to the challenges posed by crypto-assets and the FSB's own proposed course of action for the year ahead. The report will be delivered to G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors at the next G20 meeting in Japan on June 8-9, 2019.

    Read more.
  • UK Financial Conduct Authority Publishes Policy Statement on Shareholder Engagement
    05/30/2019

    The Financial Conduct Authority has published a Policy Statement containing final Handbook text and guidance on new rules to improve shareholder engagement and increase transparency around stewardship. The FCA consulted on the rules from January to March 2019. The final rules will come into effect on June 10, 2019.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Reports on Progress to Address Correspondent Banking Declines
    05/29/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published two reports as an update on the work to address correspondent banking declines - the "FSB Action Plan to Assess and Address the Decline in Correspondent Banking - Progress Report" and "Remittance Service Providers' Access to Banking Services: Monitoring of the FSB's Recommendations".

    Read more.
  • Revised EU Statement on the Share Trading Obligations in a No-Deal Brexit
    05/29/2019

    Following concerns regarding its March 19, 2019 statement, the European Securities and Markets Authority has published a revised statement on the impact of a no-deal Brexit on the trading obligation for shares where no decision on the U.K.'s equivalence as a third country market has been made. The Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation requires investment firms to conclude transactions in shares admitted to trading on a regulated market or traded on an EU trading venue, i.e. namely regulated markets, multilateral trading facilities, systematic internalisers and equivalent third-country trading venues. The U.K. has adopted this requirement in its onshored MiFID II legislation. Similarly, following its exit from the EU, the new U.K. on-shored share trading obligation would restrict trading of shares in the U.K. to trades on U.K. trading venues unless a third-country equivalence decision was made.

    Read more.
  • US-UK Financial Innovation Partnership Announced
    05/29/2019

    The U.S.-U.K. Financial Regulatory Working Group has announced the establishment of a Financial Innovation Partnership between the U.S. and the U.K. The objective of the Partnership is to strengthen bilateral engagement on emerging trends in financial services innovation. It will focus on regulatory engagement and commercial engagement by providing opportunities for the private sector in one country to engage with industry associations and market participants in the other country.

    The U.S.-U.K. Financial Regulatory Working Group, formed in April 2018, is a forum for treasury staff and financial regulatory authorities to exchange views on the regulatory relationship between the United States and the U.K. The objectives of the Working Group are to further financial regulatory cooperation, improve transparency, reduce regulatory uncertainty, identify possible cross-border implementation issues, address regulatory arbitrage and work towards achieving compatibility of U.S. and U.K. laws and regulations.

    View the announcement.
  • UK Financial Conduct Regulator Seeks Input on a Cross-Sector Sandbox
    05/29/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a Call for Input on a Cross-Sector Sandbox, seeking input on whether a U.K. cross-sector sandbox is needed. The FCA has observed that due to emerging technologies, business models are constantly changing in all markets and that firms are diversifying into different sectors. In addition, across all sectors, firms are increasingly using big data. As a result, the FCA believes that the different sectoral U.K. regulators need to find new practical ways of collaborating. The FCA recently undertook a study into how a cross-sector sandbox involving multiple regulators could be established, engaging with a range of regulators, such as the Civil Aviation Authority, the Gambling Commission, the Information Commissioner's Office, Ofcom, Ofgem and the Prudential Regulation Authority, a small group of firms and other stakeholders. The study showed that there is potential for a cross-sector sandbox, but that further discussion is needed to understand the degree of interest and need before an operating model can be developed.

    Based on the success of the FCA's financial regulatory sandbox, the FCA suggests that a cross-sector sandbox would provide a single-point-of-entry sandbox for firms to test innovative propositions with multiple U.K. regulators. The FCA acknowledges that challenges exist to its proposal, including uncertainties about demand for the sandbox and a misunderstanding of its purpose. However, it is of the view that most of the challenges could be overcome or mitigated, as has been the case with its existing sandbox. The FCA has published the Call for Input to facilitate further discussions on the concept of a cross-sector sandbox. Responses are invited until August 30, 2019.

    View the call for input on a cross-sector sandbox.
    TOPIC: FinTech
  • EU Technical Standards on Authorization of Third-Party Firms Assessing STS Status of Securitizations
    05/29/2019

    A Commission Delegated Regulation specifying Regulatory Technical Standards on the applicable requirements for third party entities seeking authorization as providers of STS verification services has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The RTS supplement the Securitization Regulation (also known as the STS Regulation), which has applied directly across the EU since January 1, 2019. The Securitization Regulation provides the criteria for identifying which securitizations will be designated as "simple, transparent and standardized" (STS) securitizations and requires originators and sponsors to notify the European Securities and Markets Authority when a securitization meets the STS criteria. ESMA will maintain a list of all such securitizations on its website. The Securitization Regulation allows (but does not require) originators, sponsors and securitization special purpose entities to use third-party firms to assess whether a securitization meets the STS criteria, provided that those firms are authorized by the relevant national regulator. The new RTS set out what the application for authorization should cover, which includes information on the entities' organizational structure, operational safeguards and internal processes to assess STS compliance and conflicts of interest.

    The RTS will apply directly across the EU from June 18, 2019.

    View the RTS.
  • EU Secondary Legislation for Financial Reporting Formats Published
    05/29/2019

    A Commission Delegated Regulation establishing Regulatory Technical Standards for electronic financial reporting formats under the European Transparency Directive has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Transparency Directive aims to enhance the efficiency and transparency of European securities markets by obliging security issuers to provide a regular flow of information to investors. Amongst the obligations under the Directive, issuers must publish annual financial reports in accordance with certain specifications. One such specification requires that, from January 1, 2020, reports must be in a single electronic reporting format. This reporting format is now laid out in the RTS. The RTS enter into force on June 18, 2019 and will apply to annual financial reports containing financial statements for financial years beginning on or after January 1, 2020.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • European Banking Authority Confirms 2019 Focus
    05/29/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published its annual report for 2018, setting out details of the work it undertook in 2018 and its focus areas in 2019. The EBA will, in 2019, focus on: (i) finalizing the guidelines on loan origination as part of its contribution to tackling non-performing loans in the EU; (ii) implementing the changes arising from the revised Capital Requirements Regulation, which was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on June 7, 2019; (iii) implementing the new Investment Firm Regulation and Directive by preparing various technical standards, guidelines and reports; (iv) preparing technical standards and guidelines, as required under the EU Securitization Regulation, that facilitate the use of internal models for banks investing in securitization positions; (v) assisting with the EU's implementation of Basel IV; (vi) the impact of FinTech, in particular, on payment institutions' and e-money institutions' business models; (vii) identifying regulatory and supervisory areas affected by the use of big data and developing best practices and principles for the application and implementation of data analytics by institutions; (viii) continuing to assess the risks of crypto-assets; (ix) supporting the European Commission's work on sustainable finance; and (x) improving the supervision of anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing.

    View the EBA's annual report 2018.
  • European Central Bank Consults on European Mechanism for Issuance and Distribution of Debt Securities
    05/28/2019

    The European Central Bank, together with those national central banks that have adopted the Euro (collectively known as the Eurosystem), has launched a consultation on proposals for a harmonized European system for issuing and distributing Euro denominated debt securities within the EU. The consultation paper seeks feedback on the state of the existing market, the most appropriate ways to deal with certain issues faced by the market and the measures the Eurosystem has proposed for a potential new system.

    Read more.
  • EMIR Refit Regulation Published
    05/28/2019

    The Regulation amending the European Market Infrastructure Regulation, known as EMIR Refit or EMIR 2.1, has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

    The EMIR Refit amendments aim to introduce a simplified and more proportionate approach to certain aspects of EMIR as part of the EU's broader "Regulatory Fitness and Performance Program".

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Publishes Draft Implementing Technical Standards For Supervisory Reporting under the Capital Requirements Regulation
    05/28/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published draft Implementing Technical Standards for supervisory reporting, which make changes to the existing reporting obligations of EU banks (credit institutions) and investment firms. The majority of the technical standards will apply from March 2020, with the exception of the liquidity coverage requirements, which will apply from April 2020.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Assesses Legal Entity Identifier Implementation
    05/28/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published a thematic review on the implementation of the Legal Entity Identifier. An LEI is a unique identifier of entities that engage in financial transactions. It is intended that such an identifier will 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. The thematic review provides a summary assessment of the successes of the LEI, sets out steps that are still needed to fully achieve the G20's objectives and makes recommendations, addressed to the FSB, other international bodies (such as the International Organization of Securities Commissions and Basel Committee on Banking Standards), FSB member jurisdictions, the LEI Regulatory Oversight Committee and Global LEI Foundation, to tackle the issues that are preventing wider adoption of the LEI.

    View the report.
  • European Commission Adopts Technical Standards on Homogeneity Conditions for STS Securitizations
    05/28/2019

    The European Commission has adopted draft Regulatory Technical Standards under the EU Securitization Regulation on the conditions for a securitization to be considered homogenous. Homogeneity is one of the requirements for a securitization to be classed as a simple, transparent and standardized securitization or STS securitization. Exposures related to STS securitizations will attract lower risk weightings for firms subject to the Capital Requirements Regulation. The new EU securitization framework has applied across the EU since January 1, 2019.

    Read more.
  • International Body Consults on Issues Relating to Regulating Crypto-Asset Trading Platforms
    05/28/2019

    The International Organization of Securities Commissions has launched a consultation on the key issues to consider for regulating crypto-asset trading platforms (referred to as CTPs). The consultation paper, which aims to assist IOSCO member jurisdictions to assess the issues and risks relating to CTPs, is based on information obtained from national regulators on the operation of CTPs and their current or proposed regulatory approaches. The consultation does not cover Initial Coin Offerings, focussing instead on the secondary markets. Responses to the consultation are due by July 29, 2019.

    The consultation paper describes certain issues and risks related to trading of crypto-assets on CTPs. The paper also sets out key considerations and corresponding toolkits for each consideration. The considerations are: (i) access to CTPs; (ii) safeguarding assets; (iii) conflicts of interest; (iv) operations of CTPs; (v) market integrity; (vi) price discovery; and (vii) technology. The toolkits are for regulators to use to address the key considerations and related issues and risks. In addition, IOSCO notes that useful guidance on the issues is already available in its Objectives and Principles of Securities Regulation and the Assessment Methodology.

    View the consultation paper.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Consults on EMIR 2.2 Technical Advice
    05/28/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has launched consultations on proposed technical advice on third-country CCP tiering, comparable compliance and fees under draft revisions to the European Market Infrastructure Regulation, known as EMIR 2.2. EMIR 2.2 will change the requirements for the supervision of both EU and third-country CCPs, and includes the controversial formal EU "location policy" for CCPs. The text of EMIR 2.2 was agreed between the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission on March 13, 2019, but has not yet been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. However, the European Commission requested technical advice from ESMA on May 3, 2019 and ESMA has begun that preparatory work. The consultations close on July 29, 2019. ESMA intends to submit its final reports and technical advice to the European Commission in Q3 and Q4 2019.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Publishes Progress Report on Cyber Incident Response
    05/28/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has published a progress report on the activities and work plan of its Cyber Incident Response and Recovery working group. The working group was established in 2018 with a mandate to develop a toolkit of practices for financial institutions and authorities in preparing for and dealing with cyber incidents.

    Read more.
  • Financial Conduct Authority Publishes Progress Report on Conduct Questions for Wholesale Banks
    05/28/2019

    The Financial Conduct Authority has published its latest report on industry progress made against the "Five Conduct Questions" it poses to wholesale banks in a bid to improve their conduct and culture. The FCA will use its findings to assess the impact that embedding good conduct is having on the wholesale banking market and to consider the potential for more sustainable mindset change. The report also includes strategic considerations that firms may address to improve their approach to conduct challenges and an assessment of whistleblowing initiatives in the wholesale banking sector. In particular, the FCA found that whistleblowing channels require improvement, and that non-financial misconduct (such as bullying, sexual harassment and other forms of personal misbehavior) is a significant problem across firms. The FCA continues to welcome face-to-face meetings with wholesale financial services firms to discuss thinking on all aspects of the report.

    Read more.
  • Proposed EU Guidelines for Reporting of Securities Financing Transactions
    05/27/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a consultation paper proposing guidelines for reporting of securities financing transactions under the Securities Financing Transactions Regulation. SFTs 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, that all securities financing transactions be reported to EU recognized trade repositories. Such reports must include 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, and will be phased-in according to type of entity:
    • banks and investment firms from April 11, 2020;
    • CCPs and central securities depositories from July 11, 2020;
    • other Financial Counterparties from October 11, 2020; and
    • Non-Financial Counterparties from January 11, 2021.
    Read more.
  • EU Authority Asks for Feedback on the MiFID II Position Limits Regime for Commodity Derivatives
    05/24/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a Call for Evidence on position limits and position management in commodity derivatives introduced by the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. MiFID II requires the European Commission to report to the European Parliament and the Council on the impact of the application of position limits and position management on liquidity, market abuse and orderly pricing and settlement conditions in commodity derivatives markets. ESMA has been asked to provide the Commission with advice regarding this new regime to support the Commission's preparation of the report.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: DerivativesMiFID II
  • EU Consultation on Proposed Amendments to Technical Standards Under the Capital Requirements Regulation
    05/24/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a consultation paper in which it proposes amending the Implementing Technical Standards that specify the main indices and recognized exchanges for the purpose of the Capital Requirements Regulation (Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1646). CRR requires a bank to hold sufficient capital to cover the risks associated with its business and prescribes how the credit risks of collateral should be treated. Securities that will be regarded as eligible as collateral are equities and convertible bonds that are constituents of a main index and debt securities that are listed on a recognized exchange. ESMA's consultation relates to the ITS setting out the main indices and recognized exchanges.

    Read more.
  • Chair Appointed for EU Coordination Network on Sustainability
    05/23/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has announced that Ana María Martínez-Pina Garcia, (Vice-Chair of the Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores in Spain) has been appointed as Chair of ESMA's new Coordination Network on Sustainability.

    View the announcement.
  • Financial Stability Board Consults on Impact of the Too-Big-To-Fail Reforms
    05/23/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has begun its evaluation of the post-2008 financial crisis reforms on banks that were deemed "too big to fail", publishing the summary terms of reference. The evaluation will consider whether the implemented reforms are reducing the systemic and moral hazard risks associated with systemically important banks (or SIBs). The FSB is also asking for feedback from financial institutions and other stakeholders on the impact of these reforms. In particular, the FSB is seeking input on how the reforms have achieved their objectives, the impact of the reforms on SIBs, whether the impact differs for different types of banks, the impact of the reforms on financial system resilience and whether there are any unintended consequences of the reforms. The FSB asks those submitting responses to provide evidence, where possible. Responses should be submitted by June 21, 2019. The FSB intends to use the responses to prepare a draft report on the impact, which would be issued for consultation in June 2020. The final report is expected by the end of 2020.

    View the summary terms of reference.

    View the request for feedback.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Launches Consultation on Trade Repository Reporting Guidelines
    05/23/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has launched a consultation on its proposed guidelines for the information that should be reported periodically by trade repositories. The purpose of the guidelines is to assist ESMA in its supervisory role by streamlining the periodic element of the information collection process. Responses to the consultation should be submitted by August 27, 2019.

    Read more.
  • Proposed EU Templates for Reporting of Intra-Group Transactions by Financial Conglomerates
    05/22/2019

    The Joint Committee of European Supervisory Authorities has launched a consultation on draft Implementing Technical Standards on the reporting of intra-group transactions and risk concentration for financial conglomerates under the Financial Conglomerates Directive. FICOD sets out requirements for regulated entities to report at least annually all significant intra-group transactions of regulated entities within a financial conglomerate and for information sharing between relevant regulators of conglomerates.

    Read more.
  • EU Authority Opinion on Equivalence of Argentina's Prudential Requirements
    05/22/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published an Opinion opining that the prudential supervisory and regulatory requirements in Argentina are equivalent to the EU's requirements as set out in the Capital Requirements. The EBA provided its Opinion and formal assessment for Argentina to the Commission in November 2018. However, the documents have only now been published, at the request of the Commission. An equivalence decision for Argentina by the European Commission was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on April 1, 2019. The equivalence decision means that EU banks may apply preferential risk weights and hold less regulatory capital for their exposures to Argentinian banks, investment firms, clearing houses, CCPs, exchanges as well as the Argentinian government, central bank and public bodies, including any intragroup exposures of EU subsidiaries of Argentinian banks. Such an equivalence decision under CRR is one of the factors that a national regulator must take into account when deciding whether to adopt a domestic equivalence decision on consolidated supervision under the Capital Requirements Directive (i.e. whether to exercise consolidated supervision under EU rules to non-EU parents).

    View the Opinion.

    View the EBA's assessment.

    View details of the equivalence decision for Argentina.
  • EU Delegated Regulation on Conflicts of Interest Published Under Social Entrepreneurship Fund Regulation
    05/22/2019

    A Commission Delegated Regulation on conflicts of interest arising in relation to European social entrepreneurship funds has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Delegated Regulation sets out the parameters for conflicts of interest policies, which must be introduced by "social entrepreneurship" funds within scope of the European Social Entrepreneurship Fund Regulation. The Delegated Regulation will enter into force on June 11, 2019 and will become directly applicable in all EU Member States on December 11, 2019.

    Read more.
  • EU Delegated Regulation on Conflicts of Interest Published Under European Venture Capital Regulation
    05/22/2019

    A Commission Delegated Regulation on conflicts of interest arising in relation to European venture capital funds has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Delegated Regulation sets out the parameters for conflicts of interest policies, which must be introduced by venture capital funds within scope of the European Venture Capital Regulation. The Delegated Regulation will enter into force on June 11, 2019 and will become directly applicable in all EU Member States on December 11, 2019.

    Read more.
  • UK Secondary Legislation Published to Combat Cyber-Attacks
    05/21/2019

    The Cyber-Attacks (Asset-Freezing) Regulations 2019 have been made and will come into force on June 11, 2019.

    The U.K. Regulations put in place measures applicable to U.K. nationals, U.K. incorporated entities and certain regulated institutions that will help enforce the financial sanctions provisions of the EU's new Cyber-Attacks Regulation, which came into force on May 18, 2019. The Cyber-Attacks Regulation is designed to combat cyber-attacks emanating from outside the EU against EU institutions and Member States. Its provisions include granting the Council of the European Union the ability to freeze assets of persons or entities suspected of involvement in such attacks. In order to enforce the sanctions regime throughout the EU, Member States are required to put in place legislation specifying the penalties that will be imposed upon those found to be implicated in a breach of the EU Cyber-Attacks Regulation.

    Read more.
  • EU Supervisory Authorities Finalize Proposed Revisions to Implementing Technical Standards for Mapping of External Credit Ratings
    05/20/2019

    The Joint Committee of European Supervisory Authorities has published a Final Report and final draft amending Implementing Technical Standards on the mapping of External Credit Assessment Institutions' credit assessments under the Capital Requirements Regulation. The Joint Committee comprises the European Banking Authority, the European Securities and Markets Authority and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority. The publication of the Final Report follows the consultation conducted by the ESAs between October 26, 2018 and December 31, 2018.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Warns Firms About Supervision of Appointed Representatives
    05/20/2019

    The FCA has published the findings of its review examining how firms in the investment management sector comply with their regulatory obligations in respect of appointed representatives used to carry out activities on their behalf. The FCA has also published a "Dear CEO" letter addressed to the Chief Executive Officers of all FCA-regulated principal firms in the sector, urging them to review their practices in relation to such representatives.

    Read more.
  • EU Council Regulation to Combat Cyber-Attacks Published
    05/17/2019

    The EU Council Regulation concerning restrictive measures against cyber-attacks threatening the European Union or its Member States came into force on May 17, 2019 and will apply directly across the EU from May 18, 2019.

    Read more.
  • International Swaps and Derivatives Association Consults Further on Fallbacks for the Cessation of Benchmarks
    05/16/2019

    The International Swaps and Derivatives Association has published two consultation papers on fallbacks for benchmarks. The first consultation paper concerns proposed amendments to ISDA's standard documentation to implement fallbacks based on alternative risk-free rates for certain key Interbank Offered Rates (USD LIBOR, Hong Kong's HIBOR, Canada's CDOR and Singapore's SOR), should the relevant IBOR be permanently discontinued. ISDA is intending to amend and restate the rate options in the 2006 ISDA Definitions to ensure that a fallback will apply to derivative transactions entered into on or after the effective date of the amendments and incorporate the 2006 ISDA Definitions. ISDA also intends to publish a protocol to help ensure inclusion of the fallbacks in pre-existing derivative transactions. This consultation follows ISDA's consultation last July on these changes for GBP LIBOR, CHF LIBOR, JPY LIBOR, TIBOR, Euroyen TIBOR and BBSW. ISDA confirms that the feedback to that July 2018 consultation indicates that market participants prefer the "compounded setting in arrears rate" to address the difference in tenors, and the "historical mean/median approach" to address the difference in risk premia. Based on the feedback to both of these consultations, ISDA intends to implement fallbacks for the relevant benchmarks by the end of 2019.

    Read more.
  • European Commission Seeks Advice from European Securities and Markets Authority on Review of the Market Abuse Regulation
    05/15/2019

    The European Commission has issued a formal request for advice to the European Securities and Markets Authority on the appropriateness of certain provisions under the Market Abuse Regulation. The Commission will use ESMA's feedback to inform a report it is mandated to submit to the European Parliament and Council by July 3, 2019. The Commission will also consider proposing further legislative amendments beyond the provisions it is mandated to review and has included these in its formal request for ESMA's advice. The Commission has requested ESMA to submit its contribution by December 31, 2019 to allow time for adoption of the report by the relevant institutions.

    Read more.
  • EONIA Working Group Seeks Feedback on Implementation of Euro Risk-Free Rates
    05/15/2019

    The working group charged with implementing the European market's move away from EONIA, the current reference rate used in euro-denominated financial contracts, has published a consultation paper setting out its "Legal Action Plan" for transitioning to the chosen new euro short-term rate. The current consultation paper focuses on how the new rate should be incorporated into both new and existing financial contracts so as to ensure a swift and smooth transition from EONIA. The paper seeks feedback from market participants on its proposals. Responses should be sent by June 12, 2019.

    Read more.
  • New EU Regulatory Technical Standards under the Money Laundering Directive
    05/14/2019

    An EU Delegated Regulation under the Fourth Money Laundering Directive has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union.  The Delegated Regulation sets out Regulatory Technical Standards specifying the measures that EU credit and financial institutions subject to the Fourth Money Laundering Directive should take to handle money laundering and terrorist financing risks arising where a majority-owned subsidiary or branch established in a non-EU country is prohibited from implementing policies its EU parent has put in place to comply with EU regulations. 

    Read more.
  • European Commission Responds to Uncertainty Regarding Scope of PRIIPs Regulation
    05/14/2019

    The European Commission has issued a response to concerns raised by the European Supervisory Authorities about the market impact of uncertainty around the scope of the Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products Regulation. In a letter to the Director General of the European Commission dated July 19, 2018, the heads of the ESAs raised the difficulties that manufacturers of financial products face in determining whether their products fall within the requirements of the PRIIPs Regulation. The letter describes the broader market impact that this uncertainty has caused, which includes a reduction in the availability of corporate bonds to retail investors, a reduction in the number and volume of low denomination issuances by non-financial corporates and greater difficulties for retail investors wishing to trade their bonds. In its response, issued on May 14, 2019, the European Commission refused to pass judgement on whether certain categories of products should be deemed to fall within or outside the scope of the PRIIPs Regulation and stressed that the determination of whether an instrument is a packaged retail investment product should be undertaken on a case-by-case basis.

    Read more.
  • UK Consultation on Legal Uncertainty in the Application of English Private Law to Cryptoassets, Distributed Ledger Technology and Smart Contracts
    05/09/2019

    The UK Jurisdiction Taskforce has published a consultation paper on key issues of legal uncertainty regarding cryptoassets, distributed ledger technology and smart contracts. The UKJT is involved in preparing an authoritative legal statement on the status of cryptoassets and smart contracts under English private law. The final statement will consider whether English private law sufficiently covers cryptoassets, DLT and smart contracts and where legal uncertainty may arise. The issues in the consultation are limited to English private law and do not include any issues on regulatory characterization, taxation, criminal law, partnership law, data protection, consumer protection, settlement finality, regulatory capital, anti-money laundering or counter-terrorist financing.

    UKJT is part of the LawTech Delivery Panel, which was established in 2018, with the aim of identifying barriers and opportunities for growth. The consultation closes on June 21, 2019.

    View the consultation paper.
  • Consultation and Draft Direction on Confirmation of Payee System Issued by UK's Payment Systems Regulator
    05/09/2019

    The Payment Systems Regulator, the regulatory body responsible for monitoring the payment systems industry in the U.K., has published a second consultation paper requesting feedback on its proposals for a mandatory "Confirmation of Payee" service, together with a draft direction setting out deadlines by which the six largest payment services providers should provide such services. The Confirmation of Payee service is being developed to assist in the PSR's fight against "Authorised Push Payment" scams - involving theft of money via fraudulent payment requests made to individuals and businesses - and accidental misdirected payments, which together cause millions of pounds in losses to individuals and businesses annually. Certain payment service providers have committed to introducing a Confirmation of Payee process. However, the PSR considers that progress on doing so has been too slow. The consultation closes on June 05, 2019.

    Read more.
  • European Commission Investigates Anti-Competitive EU Loan Syndication
    05/05/2019

    A report examining competition within the European syndicated loan market has been published, following a call by the European Commission for an examination of the sector. The report was prepared at the request of the Commission by consultancy firm Europe Economics with input from boutique competition law firm Euclid Law.

    Read more.
  • Guidance on Post-Brexit Counter-Terrorism Regulations Issued by UK Government
    05/03/2019

    The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has issued guidance on the Counter-Terrorism (International Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, the proposed U.K. regulations that will govern the U.K.'s application of international sanctions following the U.K.'s withdrawal from the EU. The Regulations will apply within the U.K. and relate to the conduct of U.K. persons (i.e. British nationals and legal entities incorporated in the U.K.), wherever those persons may be situated in the world (including branches of U.K. companies operating overseas).

    Read more.
  • José Manuel Campa Takes on New Role as European Banking Authority Chairperson
    05/03/2019

    José Manuel Campa, the former Global Head of Regulatory Affairs at Santander, commenced his new role as Chairperson of the European Banking Authority. He will retain the role for a renewable term of five years.

    Mr Campa has confirmed he is "committed to continuing the work started by my predecessor Andrea Enria to build a single supervisory and regulatory framework for the entire banking sector in the EU, and to ensure a stable and safe Single Market that benefits and protects consumers, businesses and the wider community."

    View the EBA's announcement.
    TOPIC: People
  • EU Technical Advice on Incorporating Sustainability Factors Into EU Regulation
    05/03/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published its final report and technical advice to the European Commission on incorporating sustainability risks and factors into European regulation. The European Commission sought advice from ESMA and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority in July 2018 on the introduction of environmental, social and governance considerations into the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II, the Insurance Distribution Directive, the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive, the Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities Directive and the Solvency II Directive. The introduction of sustainability considerations into European regulation sits against the backdrop of the European Commission's Sustainability Action Plan, which aims to encourage sustainable investment and mitigate climate change risk in line with the 2016 Paris Agreement and UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In response, ESMA opened consultations seeking input from stakeholders, which closed on February 19, 2019.

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Launches Consultation on Technical Standards for Counterparty Credit Risk
    05/02/2019
    The European Banking Authority has launched a consultation on the Regulatory Technical Standards that it is developing to govern certain aspects of counterparty credit risk in derivatives transactions. The EBA has been mandated to produce the RTS under the current draft of the Capital Requirements Regulation 2. The consultation runs until August 2, 2019. A public hearing will also take place at the EBA premises in Paris on June 17, 2019 from 15:00 - 17:00 CET. Parties interested in attending should register by May 28, 2019.

    Read more.
  • EU Equivalence Decision for Japan for Uncleared Derivatives
    05/02/2019

    A Commission Implementing Decision declaring equivalence of the Japanese legal, supervisory and enforcement arrangements for risk mitigation techniques and exchange of collateral has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The European Market Infrastructure Regulation requires counterparties to uncleared derivatives to comply with requirements on timely confirmation, portfolio compression, procedures for reconciliation of disputes and the exchange of collateral, collectively known as the risk mitigation techniques. The European Commission is empowered to adopt an equivalence decision declaring that the requirements of a third country are equivalent to the EMIR requirements on risk mitigation. The USA has also benefited from such a decision in respect of its risk mitigation arrangements.

    Read more.
  • US Federal Reserve Proposes Broadened Application of US Netting Provisions
    05/02/2019

    The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System has proposed amendments to Regulation EE, which implements the netting provisions of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991.  The proposed amendments would expand the definition of “financial institution” for purposes of the netting provisions to more clearly cover certain categories of entities and would clarify how the activities-based test under Regulation EE applies following the consolidation of legal entities.

    Read more.
  • UK Prudential Regulation Authority Sets Out 2019 Systemic Risk Buffer Rates
    05/01/2019

    The Prudential Regulation Authority has released its first systemic risk buffer rates, which will apply from August 1, 2019. The rates determine the amount of additional regulatory capital which must be held by "systemic risk buffer institutions" (i.e. U.K. financial institutions which have been 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 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.

    Read more.
  • Financial Conduct Authority Calls for Input on its Review of UK Financial Advice Market
    05/01/2019

    The Financial Conduct Authority is seeking input on its evaluation of the Retail Distribution Review and Financial Advice Market Review, two initiatives introduced in 2006 and 2015, respectively, which aimed to enhance the outcomes for retail consumers from financial advice and guidance given by institutions. The evaluation has been launched in line with a commitment by the FCA to conduct a review of the initiatives in 2019. Responses should be submitted by June 3, 2019.

    Read more.
  • Further Extension of the EU Contracts for Difference Product Intervention Measures
    04/30/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has issued a Decision renewing and amending the temporary restriction on the marketing, distribution or sale of contracts for difference to retail clients. This has now been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. ESMA announced on March 27, 2019, that the existing restriction would be extended on the same terms as the previously implemented temporary restrictions. The CfD Decision applies directly across the EU from May 1, 2019, for a period of three months.

    View the decision.
  • EU Legislation Extends the Clearing Obligation Exemption for Certain Intragroup Derivatives Transactions
    04/29/2019

    A Commission Delegated Regulation extending the exemption from the clearing obligation for intragroup transactions with a third-country group entity has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. There are currently three sets of Regulatory Technical Standards made under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation that impose the clearing obligation for certain interest rate derivatives and credit derivatives. Each of these three RTS exempts from the clearing obligation certain intragroup derivatives transactions where one of the counterparties is a third-country group entity and there is no relevant equivalence decision in respect of the third country in which it is situated. An equivalence decision would enable parties that are subject to both the EU and a third country's clearing obligation to comply only with one jurisdiction's requirements, but no equivalence decisions have been made to date. Each of the three RTS sets a different expiry date for the intra-group exemption, which fall between December 21, 2018 and July 9, 2019.

    The Delegated Regulation, which is substantively the same as ESMA's final draft submitted to the European Commission in September 2018, amends each of the RTS by extending the exemption period to one unified expiry date of December 21, 2020. The Delegated Regulation enters into force on April 29, 2019 and is directly applicable across the EU.

    View the Delegated Regulation.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • UK Regulator Delays Final Product Intervention Measures on Contracts for Difference
    04/26/2019

    The Financial Conduct Authority has published a statement on the delay to publication of final rules for contracts for difference products and CfD-like options. The FCA has consulted on its proposals to make European Securities and Markets Authority's temporary product intervention measures permanent in the U.K. The FCA's proposed interventions are the same in substance as ESMA's, although it is also proposing to apply its rules to closely substitutable products and on extending these measures to exchange-traded derivatives. The consultation closed on February 7, 2019.

    Read more.
  • New EU Requirements On Minimum Loan Loss Coverage For Newly Originated Loans
    04/25/2019

    An EU Regulation amending the Capital Requirements Regulation introducing a statutory prudential backstop, and requiring banks to have minimum loan loss coverage for newly originated loans, has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Amending Regulation is part of the package of legislative and non-legislative measures proposed by the European Commission in March 2018 to address remaining and future non-performing loans in the EU.

    The Amending Regulation builds on existing CRR provisions, requiring a deduction from own funds where non-performing exposures are not sufficiently covered. The Amending Regulation establishes a set of conditions for the classification of NPLs, which builds on the existing framework in the existing Implementing Technical Standards on Supervisory Reporting. It also makes provision for different levels of stringency depending on whether an exposure is collateralized or not and on the reason for the classification of an exposure as non-performing. National regulators will be able to use their supervisory powers under the Capital Requirements Directive to address situations in which a bank's NPLs are insufficiently covered by the backstop.

    Read more.
  • UK Regulator Publishes Final Mission Approach Documents for Supervision and Enforcement
    04/24/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published its finalized Approach to Supervision and Approach to Enforcement, following feedback to its consultation between March 21 and June 21, 2018 on drafts of the two approach documents. The documents should be read alongside the FCA's Mission document which was first published in October 2016 and most recently updated in November 2017. The documents form part of a series of formal approach documents explaining the FCA's approach to regulation in more depth.

    Read more.
  • Evaluation of Bank of England's Stress Testing Program
    04/24/2019

    The Independent Evaluation Office (the Bank of England's independent review body) has published its evaluation of the BoE's approach to concurrent stress testing of the U.K. banking system. It concluded that overall the BoE has delivered on its stated approach and that the tests are valued highly by policymakers. The IEO has, however, outlined opportunities for refinement in three key areas, which the BoE has confirmed it is committed to implementing.

    In the wake of the global financial crisis, the BoE reviewed its stress testing policy for the U.K. banking system and in 2015 published its approach to "concurrent" stress testing (the practice of simultaneously testing the entire balance sheets of several banks) up to 2018. The BoE's approach includes two scenarios: the annual cyclical scenario, a countercyclical scenario in which the severity of the scenario increases as risks build, and the biennial exploratory scenario, probing risks not linked to the financial cycle.

    Read more.
  • EU Opinion on the Nature of Passports of Payment and Electronic Money Institutions Using Agents and Distributors
    04/24/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published an opinion on the nature of passport notifications for agents and distributors under the revised Payment Services Directive, the Electronic Money Directive and the Fourth Money Laundering Directive. The Opinion is addressed to national regulators in the EU of payment institutions and electronic money institutions but is also useful for PIs and EMIs providing services on a cross-border basis within the EU.

    Read more.
  • EU FOREX Broker Faces Proceedings in Czech Courts Brought by "Consumer" Client Following EU Opinion
    04/24/2019

    Individuals who act outside their trade or profession when instructing brokers to execute FOREX contracts on their behalf must be regarded as "consumers" for the purposes of the Recast Brussels Regulation, according to a recent opinion issued by the Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union. This applies regardless of the expertise of the individual or their active involvement in placing orders. Under the Recast Brussels Regulation (which governs jurisdiction between EU member states), "consumers" are entitled to bring proceedings before the court of the Member State in which they are domiciled, as opposed to being obliged to rely on the courts of the respondent counterparty's Member State.

    In this case, the claimant, a student domiciled in the Czech Republic, had entered into an agreement for the execution of contracts for difference in the FOREX market via Cypriot brokerage company FIBO Group Holdings Ltd. The agreement was expressly subject to the jurisdiction of the Cypriot courts. The claimant brought a claim in the Czech court, alleging that FIBO had been unjustly enriched when the claimant's instructions to close out a position in U.S. dollars were not acted on promptly. The time delay meant exchange rates had changed before the trade was executed, significantly reducing her profit.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Further Examining Duty of Care Owed by Firms to Consumers
    04/23/2019

    The Financial Conduct Authority has published a Feedback Statement to its July 2018 discussion paper, "A duty of care and potential alternative approaches". In the discussion paper, the FCA raised the possibility of introducing a new duty of care for all financial services firms.

    Read more.
  • UK Regulator Sets Out Strategy to Manage Risk of Harm from Wholesale Brokers
    04/18/2019

    The Financial Conduct Authority has published a "Dear CEO" letter addressed to wholesale market broking firms highlighting its view of the key risks of harm that such brokerage firms pose for their clients and markets and the FCA's strategy for mitigating those risks. Firms are expected to consider the issues raised and take steps to mitigate risks where applicable.

    The key drivers of harm have been identified as commission-based compensation packages (the "eat what you kill" model), inadequate governance arrangements, potential conflict of interest or compliance issues arising from the variety of workflows performed by such brokerages and risks of market abuse and financial crime, all of which may be linked to cultural issues. In the FCA's view, certain brokers in wholesale markets have failed to keep pace with legislative and regulatory developments and lag behind other sectors in embedding a culture of good conduct.

    Read more.
  • US Authority Settles Charges Against Peer-to-Peer Virtual Currency Exchanger for Violating Registration and AML Requirements
    04/18/2019

    The U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has announced that it has settled charges against Eric Powers, a peer-to-peer exchanger of convertible virtual currency, for violating the registration, program and reporting requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act. This marks FinCEN's first enforcement action filed against a peer-to-peer exchanger of virtual currency and represents the first time that FinCEN has disciplined an exchanger of virtual currency for failure to report currency transactions, as required under the Bank Secrecy Act.

    Read more.
  • UK Government Consults on Implementation of the EU Fifth Money Laundering Directive
    04/15/2019

    HM Treasury launched a consultation on its proposed options for transposing the Fifth Money Laundering Directive into U.K. law. 5MLD makes a number of changes to the European Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing regime set out in the Fourth Money Laundering Directive. EU Member States are required to transpose 5MLD into national laws, which must take effect by January 10, 2020. HM Treasury is consulting on how it proposes to effect the transposition, in particular where the U.K. has discretion as to how certain aspects are implemented and where gold plating provisions are proposed. Notably, the U.K. government intends to implement 5MLD irrespective of when the U.K. leaves the EU, and is committed to implementing the Financial Action Task Force's standards, focusing on those areas highlighted in the FATF's mutual evaluation report of the U.K.'s AML/CTF regime. Responses to the consultation were to be submitted by June 10, 2019.

    Read more.
  • UK Prudential Regulator Publishes Statements on Managing Climate Change Risks
    04/15/2019

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has published a Policy Statement and related Supervisory Statement on enhancing banks’ and insurers’ approaches to managing the financial risks from climate change. The statements are in response to the PRA’s consultation paper published in 2018 which sought feedback on the draft Supervisory Statement. The Statements are relevant to all U.K. insurance and reinsurance firms, banks, building societies and PRA-designated investment firms.

    Read more.
  • UK's Exit from EU Postponed to October 31, 2019
    04/11/2019

    The EU and the U.K. have agreed to postpone the date on which the U.K. will leave the EU from April 12, 2019 to October 31, 2019. The U.K. notified the EU under Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union on March 29, 2017 that it would leave the EU. That notification set the date for the U.K.'s exit as March 29, 2019, unless an agreement was reached between the U.K. and the EU. That date was amended by agreement to April 12, 2019 on March 22, 2019. This is the second postponement.

    The EU has implemented the postponement in European Council Decision (EU) 2019/584 taken in agreement with the United Kingdom of 11 April 2019 extending the period under Article 50(3) TEU. The U.K. implemented the extension through the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (Exit Day) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2019, which amended the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

    View the Council's Decision.

    View the U.K. Regulations.
  • Financial Action Task Force Reports to G20
    04/08/2019

    The Financial Action Task Force has published a Report to G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on its ongoing work to fight money laundering and terrorist financing. The report summarizes the FATF's work priorities under the U.S. presidency and sets out areas in which the FATF will work in the near future. These include:
    • Work on virtual assets: the FATF continues to closely monitor risks involving virtual assets (the FATF uses this term to cover both virtual currencies and crypto assets). In this area, by June 2019, the FATF intends to address the challenges that arise in investigations and confiscation and update its 2015 Risk-based Approach Guidance on Virtual Currencies. The FATF will also review and consider the scope of the activities and operations that are covered by its Recommendations and Glossary.
    • Improving transparency and availability of beneficial ownership information: the FATF intends to improve transparency and availability of beneficial ownership information through its mutual evaluation framework and will continue its work, initiated in February 2019, on identifying best practices on beneficial ownership to ensure legal entities are not misused for money laundering or terrorist financing and beneficial ownership information is freely available to national authorities. The work in this area is expected to be finalized by October 2019.

    View the report.
  • US Commodity Futures Trading Commission Issues No-Action Letters to Ensure Continued Relief and Substituted Compliance for U.K. Firms Post-Brexit
    04/05/2019

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has issued two no-action letters to ensure that existing regulatory relief and substituted compliance measures for EU firms will continue to apply to U.K. firms following the U.K.’s departure from the EU.  The CFTC said that the no-action letters will bring greater clarity to the market in light of Brexit and reflect the CFTC’s commitment to ensuring that Brexit will not create regulatory uncertainty in global derivatives markets.  The relief is intended to cover both “no-deal” and “soft” Brexit scenarios.  The relief would apply upon the departure of the U.K. (and would thus take effect at the end of the most recent extension of the departure date to October 31, 2019).

    CFTC Letter 19-08 extends to U.K. entities substituted compliance measures originally issued for EU entities.  These measures include comparability determinations for certain entity-level, transaction-level and uncleared margin requirements (the EU Comparability Determinations), along with an exemption for EU-authorized multilateral trading facilities and organised trading facilities from the CFTC’s swap execution facility registration requirements.

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Supervisory Briefing on MiFID II Appropriateness Rules
    04/04/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published an updated version of its supervisory briefing on appropriateness. The original appropriateness briefing was published in December 2012 to provide guidance to EU national regulators on the appropriateness requirements under the original Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. The updated appropriateness briefing reflects the amended requirements introduced by the revised Directive or MiFID II and takes into account the new version of ESMA's suitability guidelines published in May 2018 to the extent they are relevant to the appropriateness rules.

    Read more.
  • EU Equivalence for Argentina's Prudential and Regulatory Requirements
    04/01/2019

    An equivalence decision on the prudential and regulatory requirements in Argentina has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The equivalence decision means that EU banks may apply preferential risk weights and hold less regulatory capital for their exposures to Argentinian banks, investment firms, clearing houses, CCPs and exchanges as well as the Argentinian government, central bank and public bodies. Such an equivalence decision under CRR is one of the factors that a national regulator must take into account when deciding whether to adopt a domestic equivalence decision on consolidated supervision under the Capital Requirements Directive (i.e. whether to exercise consolidated supervision under EU rules to non-EU parents).

    View the equivalence decision.
  • UK Financial Conduct Authority Implements Permanent Ban of Sale of Binary Options to Retail Consumers
    03/29/2019

    Following its recent consultation, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a Policy Statement, final rules and a Statement on the new product intervention measure it is introducing for retail binary options. Both contracts for difference and binary options are considered to have given rise to significant investor protection concerns, due to their complexity, the lack of transparent information at the point of sale, the risk of significant loss for investors and the deployment of aggressive marketing techniques by certain providers and distributors of the products. The FCA's product intervention powers under the Markets in Financial Instrument Regulation and, where the FCA has gone beyond those powers, the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 allow it to impose prohibitions or restrictions on certain financial instruments, financial activities or practices to address a significant investor protection concern. The FCA also consulted on product intervention rules for CfDs and those final rules are expected to be published in April this year.

    Read more.
  • Final EU Guidelines on Disclosure of Risk Factors in Prospectuses
    03/29/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published final guidelines on how national regulators should review risk factors as required by the new Prospectus Regulation. The guidelines aim to encourage more appropriate, focused and streamlined risk factor disclosures for securities. The purpose of including risk factors in a prospectus is to ensure that investors can assess the risks related to their investment, therefore allowing them to make informed investment decisions. 

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Consults on Costs Disclosure Standards for Fund Managers
    03/28/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has launched a consultation on its draft Regulatory Technical Standards for costs disclosure requirements under the European Long-Term Investment Fund Regulation. The consultation is relevant to ELTIF managers, alternative investment funds managers and institutional and retail investors investing into ELTIFs. Responses to the consultation should be supplied by June 29, 2019.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • EU Contracts for Difference Product Intervention Measures to be Extended
    03/27/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has announced that its restrictions on the sale, distribution and marketing of contracts for difference to retail investors will be extended from May 1, 2019, for a further three months. The extension will be on the same terms as the existing product intervention measure.

    View ESMA's announcement.

    View details of the existing decision.
  • EU Product Intervention Measures for Binary Options Extended
    03/27/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has issued a Decision renewing the temporary prohibition on the marketing, distribution or sale of binary options to retail clients for a further three months from April 2, 2019. This has now been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. ESMA announced in February this year that the existing restriction would be extended. The binary options Decision applies directly across the EU from April 2, 2019, for a period of three months.

    View the decision.

    View ESMA's notification.
  • US Regulators Offer Margin Relief for Legacy Swaps No Deal Brexit Scenario
    03/25/2019

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has unanimously approved an interim final rule that will allow swap dealers and major swap participants to, in the event of a no-deal Brexit scenario, transfer legacy swaps entered into before the compliance date of the CFTC's margin requirements for uncleared swaps to an affiliate without triggering such requirements. The CFTC's interim final rule is substantively identical to an interim final rule adopted by the U.S. Prudential Regulators, which provides the same relief for legacy swaps entered into before the compliance date of their margin requirements for uncleared swaps.

    Both interim final rules apply only to legacy swaps that are transferred solely for relocation purposes. They do not cover economic changes to legacy swaps, such as amendments that modify payment amount calculation methods, maturity date or notional amount of the uncleared swap.

    The interim final rules are each effective immediately upon their respective publication in the Federal Register, and the transfer relief will apply for a period of one year following the U.K.'s withdrawal from the EU in the event of a no deal Brexit.

    Read more.
  • European Council Publishes Brexit Extension Decision
    03/22/2019

    The European Council has published its decision to extend the deadline for the U.K.’s withdrawal from the EU until May 22, 2019, provided that the Withdrawal Agreement passes through the House of Commons by March 29, 2019.

    Read more.
  • EU Securities Financing Transaction Reporting Obligation Phased-In from April 2020
    03/22/2019

    A Commission Delegated Regulation and Commission Implementing Regulation setting out technical standards on the reporting of securities financing transactions have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. These technical standards supplement the EU Securities Financing Transactions Regulation, which requires, amongst other things, all SFTs to be reported to EU-recognized trade repositories. Relevant reports must include 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. While various parts of the SFTR came into effect on January 12, 2016, the new reporting obligation is brought into force by these new technical standards.

    Read more.
  • ​No-Deal Brexit Changes to UK Listing Rules, Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules and Prospectus Rules
    03/22/2019

    The Financial Conduct Authority has published a market bulletin that advises issuers and stakeholders of key changes to the Listing Rules, Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules and Prospectus Rules that will apply in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

    In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the U.K.’s primary market regime will apply to all issuers that have securities admitted to trading, or have applied for admission to trading, on a U.K.-regulated market or admitted to listing in the U.K., or that are making a public offer in the U.K. The rules will apply regardless of the country an issuer is incorporated in.

    Read more.
  • EU Statement on the Impact of a No-Deal Brexit on the Share Trading Obligation
    03/19/2019

    May 29, 2019 update: ESMA's guidance of March 19, 2019 has been superseded by revised guidance issued, details of which are available here.

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a statement on the impact of a no-deal Brexit on the trading obligation for shares. The Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation requires investment firms to conclude transactions in shares admitted to trading on a regulated market or traded on an EU trading venue, i.e. namely regulated markets, multilateral trading facilities, systematic internalisers and equivalent third-country trading venues. The requirement is not applicable to transactions in shares traded in the EU on a non-systematic, ad-hoc, irregular and infrequent basis. ESMA's statement is relevant should there be a no-deal Brexit (currently set for March 29, 2019) and there is no equivalence decision for the U.K.

    Read more.
  • Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Rates Publishes Discussion Paper on SONIA Referencing Conventions
    03/18/2019

    The Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Rates has published a discussion paper aimed at raising awareness for market participants of the conventions for referencing SONIA in new financial contracts. The paper focuses on the most significant conventions for contracts that reference SONIA directly. The paper concludes with a series of questions for market participants, who should submit responses by April 30, 2019.

    Read more.
  • European Commission Communication on Progress on Building the Capital Markets Union
    03/15/2019

    The European Commission has published its latest progress report on building of the Capital Markets Union. The CMU is an EU initiative which aims to deepen and further integrate the capital markets of Member States, further safeguard financial stability, strengthen the international role of the euro and diversify sources of finances for small and medium enterprises. The CMU aims to allow consumers to buy cheaper and better investment products, and enable financial services providers to scale up by offering services in other Member States.

    The progress report notes that the CMU is an important Single Market project that will give increased access to capital for both companies and citizens, especially in smaller countries. A well-developed CMU increases the EU’s attractiveness to foreign investment and complements the EU’s agenda of free and fair trade. Broadly, the Commission has delivered measures that it had committed to take forwards at the beginning of the mandate and put in place certain "building blocks" of the CMU. However, the report notes that it may take time for the impact of the Commission’s actions to be realized.

    Read more.
  • European Commission Adopts New Technical Standards under the Prospectus Regulation
    03/14/2019

    The European Commission has adopted a draft Delegated Regulation containing Regulatory Technical Standards on requirements for:
    • key financial information to be set out in the summary of a prospectus;
    • the publication of a prospectus;
    • the classification of prospectuses and practical arrangements to ensure machine readability of the classifications;
    • advertisements and their dissemination;
    • situations where the publication of a supplement to the prospectus is required; and
    • technical arrangements necessary for the functioning of the notification portal.

    The adopted RTS will repeal Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 382/2014 on the publication of supplements to a prospectus and Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/301 on the approval and publication of the prospectus and dissemination of advertisements.

    The adopted RTS will enter into force 20 days after they are published in the Official Journal of the European Union, which will take place once it is approved by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. The adopted RTS will apply directly across the EU from July 21, 2019, which is when the remainder of the Prospectus Regulation applies.

    View the adopted RTS.

    View the annexes to the adopted RTS.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • European Commission Adopts Draft Regulation on the Format, Content, Scrutiny and Approval of a Prospectus
    03/14/2019

    The European Commission has adopted a draft Delegated Regulation on the format, content, scrutiny and approval of the prospectus to be published when securities are offered to the public or admitted to trading on a regulated market. The draft Delegated Regulation is based on the technical advice provided to the Commission by the European Securities and Markets Authority in April 2018. The draft Regulation will repeal the existing Implementing Regulation under the existing Prospectus Directive (which will be finally repealed in July 2019) on the form and content of prospectuses.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Maps Agency's Approach to FinTech Regulation
    03/13/2019

    While speaking before the D.C. Blockchain Summit, Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo discussed the relationship between technology, regulation and markets, and described the steps the CFTC has taken to stay in step with innovations that have posed regulatory challenges.

    Chairman Giancarlo touted the potential for such technological innovations, including blockchain and digital ledger technology, to transform the way that regulators gather information and lower operational costs for financial institutions. Interestingly, Chairman Giancarlo argued that blockchain and DLT could have helped regulators gather real-time trading data during the 2008 financial crisis, which he believes at a minimum could have prompted "better-informed" and "more calibrated regulatory intervention."

    Read more.
    TOPIC: FinTech
  • UK Regulators Host the First Meeting of the New Climate Financial Risk Forum
    03/13/2019

    The Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority have published press releases following the first meeting of the Climate Financial Risk Forum on March 8, 2019. The CFRF is a joint forum established by the PRA and FCA in late 2018. The CFRF aims to encourage financial sector approaches towards managing the financial risks from climate change as well as supporting green finance. The CFRF will develop practical tools and approaches to reduce the barriers for firms looking to adopt a strategy for minimizing financial risks from climate change. The regulators are concerned with both the impact of climate change itself and the transition to supporting a low carbon economy. Both the FCA and the PRA consulted in late 2018 on the impact of climate change. The PRA consulted on a draft Supervisory Statement on managing the financial risks from climate change and the FCA consulted on climate change and green finance and the potential changes to its regulatory approach to these issues. The FCA consultation set out specific actions that the FCA intends to take in the short term in four areas - capital markets disclosures, public reporting requirements, green finance and pensions.

    Read more.
  • UK Regulator Wants Stronger Wind-Down Plans for Loan-Based Crowdfunding Platforms
    03/07/2019

    The Financial Conduct Authority has published a "Dear CEO" letter addressed to loan-based peer-to-peer crowdfunding platforms requesting the platforms to review their wind-down arrangements. The FCA implemented rules regulating FCA-authorized firms operating investment-based and loan-based crowdfunding platforms on April 1, 2014. Investment-based crowdfunding is governed by the Markets in Financial Instruments package and the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive, as transposed into U.K. law. The regime for P2P lending is a national one and is less detailed and prescriptive.

    Read more.
  • Further EU Clarification For Financial Services Firms in a No Deal Brexit
    03/07/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a statement on its approach to certain provisions of the Markets in Financial Instruments package and the Benchmarks Regulation in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

    Read more.
  • UK Prudential Regulator Publishes Final Rules on Definition of Default for Credit Risk
    03/06/2019

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has published final rules and an updated Supervisory Statement alongside a Policy Statement on the definition of default for credit risk. The EU Capital Requirements Regulation's risk quantification provisions set out that a default occurs when an obligor is past due more than 90 days on any material credit obligation to a firm, its parent or any of its subsidiaries. The materiality of the credit commitment is to be assessed against a threshold set by the national regulator according to its view of a reasonable level of risk.

    The European Banking Authority developed a roadmap in 2016 to address concerns about the variability of own funds requirements arising from the internal models that firms use to calculate their minimum credit risk capital requirements under the CRR. The PRA is adopting a two-stage approach to implementing the EBA's roadmap. This first stage concerns the definition of default. The PRA will consult later on implementation of the second stage on PD and LGD estimation, once the EBA's regulatory products on this topic have been finalized.

    Read more.
  • EU Final Guidelines on Identifying an Economic Downturn in IRB Modelling
    03/06/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published a report and final Guidelines on the estimation of LGD appropriate for an economic downturn in compliance with the Capital Requirements Regulation, the Regulatory Technical Standards on the internal ratings-based assessment methodology and the final draft RTS on the specification of an economic downturn.

    The Guidelines will apply from January 1, 2021 and firms should incorporate these requirements in their rating systems by that time. However, national regulators may bring forward, at their discretion, this deadline. The EBA Guidelines remind firms that the use of own estimates of LGD appropriate for an economic downturn is subject to approval by their home state regulator.

    The Guidelines specify how LGD estimates appropriate for an economic downturn - identified in accordance with the draft RTS on economic downturn - should be quantified, taking into account the specificities of firm processes, underwriting standards and general response to adverse economic conditions. The Guidelines supplement the existing EBA Guidelines on Probability of Default, LGD estimation and treatment of defaulted assets.

    The publication of these Guidelines marks the completion of the EBA's 2016 roadmap, designed to address concerns about the variability of own funds requirements arising from the internal models that firms use to calculate their minimum credit risk capital requirements under the CRR.

    View the final report and guidelines.

    View details of the EBA's consultation on the guidelines.
  • Report of the Technical Expert Group Subgroup of the European Commission on Green Bond Standard: Proposal for an EU Green Bond Standard
    03/06/2019

    In its Interim Report on green bonds, the Technical Expert Group has made a proposal for an EU Green Bond Standard. Green bonds are bonds specifically earmarked to be used for climate-related and environmental projects. The aim of the consultation was, in light of the European Commission’s Action Plan on Financing Sustainable Growth published in March 2018, to create a standard that would further improve the credibility of green bonds and help the EU market mature.

    Read more.
  • International Bodies Issue Statement on Margin Requirements for Uncleared Derivatives
    03/05/2019

    The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the International Organization of Securities Commissions have published a joint statement on the final implementation of the margin requirements for derivatives not cleared through a CCP. In March 2015, the Basel Committee and IOSCO published a revised version of their policy framework for the exchange of margin for uncleared derivatives. The main revisions were to delay the phase-in period for the obligations relating to both initial margin and variation margin and were aimed at harmonizing the key principles across jurisdictions.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • Final EU Technical Standards For Eligibility For Simplified Obligations Under The Bank Recovery And Resolution Directive
    03/04/2019

    An EU Delegated Regulation under the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Delegated Regulation sets out Regulatory Technical Standards specifying the criteria for assessing the impact of a bank or investment firm's failure on financial markets, on other institutions and on funding conditions.

    Under the BRRD, where a national regulator or resolution authority is determining whether to grant simplified obligations to a bank or investment firm, it must assess the impact that the failure of the institution could have by reference to a number of factors specified in the BRRD. The Delegated Regulation sets out a two-stage test based on quantitative and qualitative criteria to determine whether an institution is eligible for simplified obligations. Different criteria apply depending on whether the institution is a bank or an investment firm. Institutions meeting quantitative criteria at stage one must then meet qualitative criteria at stage two to be assessed as eligible.
    Only institutions that meet the quantitative criteria (i.e., the impact of their failure is not assessed as requiring the full obligations to apply) will proceed to the second stage.

    The Delegated Regulation will be directly applicable across the EU from March 24, 2019.

    View the Delegated Regulation.
  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Announces Forthcoming Statements on Various Issues of Concern
    02/28/2019

    On February 27-28th, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision met to discuss policy and supervisory issues, and the extent to which members had implemented post-financial crisis reforms.

    The Committee noted the implementation status of margin requirements for uncleared derivatives and it will publish in March a joint statement with the International Organization of Securities Commissions on certain implementation aspects of margin requirements.

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Consults on Guidelines on Credit Risk Mitigation
    02/25/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published a consultation paper concerning proposed guidelines on credit risk mitigation for firms using the advanced internal ratings based approach with own estimates for loss given default. The consultation follows the EBA's report on the CRM framework, published in March 2018, which should be read in conjunction with the consultation paper. Responses to the consultation should be submitted by May 25, 2019. 

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Publishes Revised Guidelines on Outsourcing Arrangements
    02/25/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published revised Guidelines on outsourcing arrangements. The guidelines are intended to update and replace outsourcing guidelines issued in 2006 (by the EBA's predecessor, the Committee of European Banking Supervisors) on outsourcing by credit institutions. The EBA Guidelines have a wider scope, applying to all financial institutions that are within the scope of the EBA's mandate, namely credit institutions and investment firms subject to the Capital Requirements Directive, as well as payment institutions and electronic money institutions. The investment firms within scope, provided that the new Investment Firm Regulation and Directive and related changes to CRD and the Capital Requirements Regulation have entered into force, will only be the largest investment firms (Class 1 Investment Firms). The Guidelines also integrate the recommendation on outsourcing to cloud service providers that was published by the EBA in December 2017. Both the 2006 guidelines and the December 2017 recommendations will be repealed when these new Guidelines enter into force.

    Read more.
  • EU Handbook on Valuation for Purposes of Resolution
    02/22/2019

    Following a consultation process in November 2018, the European Banking Authority has published a Handbook on valuation for purposes of resolution. The Handbook, which is addressed to national and EU resolution authorities, aims at fostering the convergence and consistency of valuation practices as well as the interaction with independent valuers across the EU.

    The Handbook is the result of close cooperation with national resolution authorities and the Single Resolution Board. It is intended to bridge the resolution regulatory approach with valuation practices, by: (i) providing concrete guidance on the practical steps of the valuation process and the specific valuation criteria applicable to the various resolution tools; and (ii) with a view to facilitating the adoption of an informed decision by the resolution authority, indicating the content that is expected to be included in the valuation report. The Handbook focuses on valuations before resolution and as such supports resolution decisions, which immediately impact shareholders and creditors. However, it also covers valuations after resolution, aimed to determine the "no creditor worse off" principle, which provides that no creditor or shareholder shall incur greater losses than they would have incurred if the institution had been wound up under normal insolvency proceedings.

    View the Handbook on valuation for resolution.
  • UK Financial Conduct Authority on Onshoring the EU Temporary Product Intervention Measures
    02/22/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a statement on onshoring of the European Securities and Markets Authority's temporary product intervention measures on retail contracts for difference and binary options products.

    In June 2018, ESMA issued decision notices prohibiting the marketing, distribution or sale of binary options to retail clients and restricting the marketing, distribution or sale of CFDs to retail clients. These decisions have been renewed by ESMA and are currently due to expire on April 1, 2019 for binary options and April 30, 2019 for CFDs. Under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, the decisions will become part of U.K. domestic law on March 29, 2019, if the U.K. leaves the EU on that date without a ratified Withdrawal Agreement.

    Read more.
  • Financial Action Task Force Publishes Outcomes Of Its February 2019 Plenary Meeting
    02/22/2019

    The Financial Action Task Force has published the outcomes from its Plenary meeting that took place in Paris on February 20-22, 2019. The FATF considered key issues such as the operations and streamlining of the FATF, major and other strategic initiatives and mutual evaluations.

    One of the major strategic initiatives covered by the Plenary was the FATF's work on mitigating money laundering and terrorist financing risks associated with virtual asset activities. The FATF published an amended Recommendation 15 in October 2018, clarifying that its standards apply to exchanges, wallet providers and providers of financial services for Initial Coin Offerings. The FATF has now published a draft Interpretative Note to Recommendation 15 to further clarify how the FATF Standards apply to activities involving virtual assets. The Interpretative Note has been finalized except for one section, which will be the subject of a public consultation in May this year. That section concerns the duty of virtual asset service providers to obtain and hold originator and beneficiary information on virtual asset transfers and submit such information to beneficiary service providers and counterparts (if any) as well as provide it on request to appropriate authorities. Following the consultation, the FATF intends to fully finalize the Interpretative Note and adopt it in June 2019.

    Read more.
  • US Conference of State Bank Supervisors Endorses FinTech Recommendations
    02/21/2019

    The U.S. Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), the nationwide organization of financial regulators from all fifty U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, has released a series of action items to implement recommendations received from the CSBS Fintech Industry Advisory Panel. The panel was established in 2017 to help streamline multistate regulation of FinTech businesses and other nonbanks, and comprises thirty-three companies, including FinTech firms like SoFi, Ripple, and Circle. The panel also contains two subgroups: one focused on the lending industry; and the other focused on the payments industry.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: FinTech
  • HM Treasury Publishes Guidance On Pension Scheme Arrangements and the EMIR Clearing Obligation In A No Deal Brexit Scenario
    02/21/2019

    HM Treasury has published guidance on the availability of the exemption from the clearing obligation for Pension Scheme Arrangements under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation in a post-Brexit no deal scenario. The U.K. government has been publishing statutory instruments (U.K. secondary legislation) onshoring and amending EU regulations for Brexit. This is being done under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, so as to ensure a workable U.K. statute book after Brexit. The U.K.'s onshoring legislation has been drafted so as to come into operation on exit day if there is a "no deal" scenario where the U.K. leaves the EU without a ratified withdrawal agreement. The onshoring legislation includes various statutory instruments to onshore the EU EMIR.

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Board Nominates New Chair
    02/19/2019

    The Board of Supervisors of the European Banking Authority has nominated José Manuel Campa (Global Head of Regulatory Affairs at Santander) as the new Chair of the EBA. Subject to any objection by the European Parliament within one month, José Manuel Campa will succeed Andrea Enria as the new Chair of EBA for a renewable term of five years.

    View the EBA announcement.
    TOPIC: People
  • EU Product Intervention Measures for Binary Options to be Further Extended
    02/18/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has announced that its prohibition on the marketing, distribution or sale of binary options to retail clients will be extended for a further three months from April 2, 2019. ESMA's ban has been in effect since July 2, 2018.

    View ESMA's announcement.

    View details of the existing product intervention measure for binary options.
  • EU to Recognize Three UK CCPs in a No-Deal Brexit Scenario
    02/18/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has announced that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it will recognize three U.K.-established CCPs for the purposes of providing services in the EU, namely - LCH Limited, ICE Clear Europe Limited and LME Clear Limited. ESMA has adopted recognition decisions for each of the U.K. CCPs, which will take effect on the day after the U.K. leaves the EU. This follows the European Commission's earlier determination of U.K. equivalence for CCPs.

    View ESMA's announcement.
  • Financial Stability Board Outlines Potential Effects of FinTech on Financial Stability
    02/14/2019

    The Financial Stability Board has issued a report assessing the potential impacts of certain FinTech market developments on financial stability. Specifically, the report examines the potential implications of: (i) FinTech firms competing with traditional financial services providers; (ii) the provision of financial services by some of the world's largest technology companies (referred to as "BigTech" firms); and (iii) reliance on third-party providers for cloud services.

    Although the report finds that the relationship between FinTech firms and financial institutions has been mostly complementary to this point, it also shows that FinTech firms have started to chip away at financial institutions' market share in certain industries, such as credit provision and payments. Further, the report posits that the entry of BigTech firms into the financial services space could also have significant competitive impacts, as such firms often have large, established customer bases, brand recognition, strong financial positions and access to low-cost capital, which could allow them to quickly achieve scale in the space. While this could lead to greater competition in the short-term, the FSB hypothesizes that cross-subsidization could allow BigTech firms to operate with lower margins and gain greater market share, which could in the long run lead to a less competitive market (e.g. China, where two firms account for 94% of the mobile payments market). Additionally, according to the report, increased competition over time could also press incumbent financial institutions to take on additional risk in order to maintain margins and profitability, which could have subsequent effects on financial stability.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: FinTech
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Final Guidelines on Submission of Information by Credit Rating Agencies
    02/12/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published its final guidelines on the periodic information that credit rating agencies should submit to ESMA. The guidelines amend the existing requirements that are intended to structure and specify more clearly the information that agencies should submit to ESMA to enable it to carry out its supervisory activities. The information submitted by CRAs also allows ESMA to calculate their supervisory fees and market share.

    Read more.
  • UK Competition Authority Consults on Draft Investment Consultancy and Fiduciary Management Market Investigation Order 2019
    02/11/2019

    The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority has published for consultation a draft Investment Consultancy and Fiduciary Management Market Investigation Order 2019. The draft Order is intended to implement the remedies proposed by the CMA in its Final Report on the Investment Consultancy and Fiduciary Management Market Investigation, published on December 12, 2018. Any feedback on the draft Order should be provided by March 13, 2019.

    View the draft Order.

    View the explanatory note to the draft Order.

    View the notice of an intention to make an Order.

    View details of the CMA's Final Report.
    TOPICS: CompetitionFunds
  • European Supervisory Authorities Recommend Further Risk Warnings for Retail Investors
    02/08/2019

    The Joint Committee of European Supervisory Authorities has published a Final Report following their consultation on targeted amendments to the Key Information Document for Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products. Since January 1, 2018, the EU PRIIPs Regulation has required manufacturers of PRIIPs to prepare and publish a stand-alone, standardized Key Information Document for each of their PRIIPs. Those advising retail investors on PRIIPs, or selling PRIIPs to retail investors, must provide retail investors with a KID in good time before the transaction is concluded. The PRIIPs Regulation exempts, until December 31, 2019, management and investment companies and persons advising on or selling Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities from the obligation to produce and provide a PRIIPs KID. This is because the UCITS Directive separately requires these entities to provide investors with a Key Investor Information Document, with different but broadly similar contents requirements. As a result, if there were no changes made to the EU legislation, UCITS would be subject to duplicative information requirements from January 1, 2020. To address this situation, the ESAs proposed amending the Regulatory Technical Standards under the PRIIPs Regulation by moving the UCITS KIID requirements to the PRIIPs RTS.

    Read more.
  • New EU Prospectus Regulation: List of Thresholds Below Which Prospectus is Not Required
    02/08/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a revised list of thresholds below which an offer of securities to the public will not need a prospectus in EU member states. The Prospectus Regulation introduced a new threshold of €1 million, below which an offer does not require a prospectus. A Member State may decide to raise the threshold to a maximum of €8 million, provided that the offer cannot be passported to another Member State. ESMA has drawn up this list to create transparency across the various regimes adopted in the EU.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • EU-Wide Listing Thresholds Report
    02/08/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority published a document listing the thresholds below which an offer of securities to the public does not need a prospectus in the various Member States of the EU. The document contains information, provided by national regulators, setting out: (i) a short description of the national thresholds below which no prospectus is required; (ii) a summary of any national rules that apply to offers below that threshold; and (iii) hyperlinks to the relevant national legislation and rules. 

    View the report.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • European Commission Requests Report on Potential Undue Short-Term Pressure by Financial Service Participants on Corporations
    02/06/2019

    The European Commission issued a call for advice to each of the European Supervisory Authorities requesting evidence and possible advice on potential undue short-term pressure by financial service participants on corporations. The call for advice relates to Action 10 of the EU's Sustainable Finance Action Plan, which aims to foster transparency and long-termism in financial and economic activity by exploring possible drivers of undue short-termism. The Commission wants the ESA's report to: (i) provide evidence of any short-termism and, if any, the consequences thereof; (ii) assess the drivers of such short-termism, including the effects of regulation on financial market participants, for example, the guidance on remuneration practices; (iii) identify existing regulations that either mitigate or exacerbate short-term pressures; and (iv) evaluate the need for regulatory or policy action and propose specific areas where action is needed.

    The Commission considers that pressure of this kind could lead corporations to overlook long-term risks and opportunities, such as those related to climate change and other factors related to sustainability. Companies facing short-term pressure could, as a result, forgo investment in areas important for a successful transition towards a sustainable economy. The ESAs are due to publish their report in December 2019.

    View the call for advice.
  • EU Agrees Final EMIR Refit
    02/05/2019

    On February 5, 2019, the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament reached a preliminary agreement on the draft Regulation amending the European Market Infrastructure Regulation, known as EMIR Refit or EMIR 2.1. The final text is likely to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union in April or May this year. Subject to a few exceptions, the changes will apply directly in all EU member states 20 days from that publication date. There may be minor drafting changes as the text is vetted by technicians and translated prior to its publication, but the legal position should be unaffected by this.

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Consults on Stress Tests for Investment Funds
    02/05/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a consultation paper on its proposed guidelines for liquidity stress testing in Alternative Investment Funds and Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities. The paper has been published in response to the European System Risk Board's 2018 Recommendation on mitigating liquidity and leverage risks in investment funds, which requires that ESMA produces guidance on the practice to be followed by managers for the stress testing of liquidity risk for AIFs and UCITS. 

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • International Organization of Securities Commissions Consults on Sustainable Finance in Emerging Markets
    02/01/2019

    The International Organization of Securities Commissions has launched a consultation on sustainable finance in emerging markets and the role of securities regulators. The consultation discusses the challenges affecting the development of sustainable finance in capital markets, focusing on sustainable assets in emerging markets and measures to facilitate market development in this area. Responses to the consultation can be submitted by April 1, 2019.

    Read more.
  • EU Contracts for Difference Product Intervention Measures Extended Again
    01/31/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority Decision renewing the temporary restriction on the marketing, distribution or sale of contracts for difference to retail clients has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. ESMA announced on December 19, 2018, that the existing restriction would be extended. The CfD Decision applies directly across the EU from February 1, 2019, for a period of three months.

    View the decision.

    View ESMA's announcement.
  • US Securities and Exchange Commission Grants and Extends Certain Exemptions for Security-Based Swaps
    01/31/2019

    The Securities and Exchange Commission has extended certain exemptions under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) for security-based swap transactions. The relief, which is intended to facilitate the implementation of the security-based swaps regulatory regime under the Dodd-Frank Act, was originally offered by the SEC in 2011 and has been extended four times prior, most recently in 2018.

    Through this order, the Commission granted an extension of certain temporary relief provided by the SEC to address the fact that the Dodd-Frank Act revised the definition of “security” in the Exchange Act to include security-based swaps.  The relief, which was previously set to expire on February 5, 2019, will be extended until February 5, 2020.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • EU Authority Calls For Non-Enforcement of Impending Clearing Obligation for Small Financial Counterparties and of the Backloading Requirement
    01/31/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a statement on the impending clearing and trading obligations for small financial counterparties and the reporting backloading requirement. Under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation, small FCs in Category 3 – FCs with less than €8 billion in aggregate month-end average of outstanding gross notional amount of uncleared derivatives at group level – are due to start clearing interest rate and credit derivatives subject to the clearing obligation on June 21, 2019. Once the clearing obligation is triggered, the related trading obligation under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation may also be triggered. In addition, the reporting backloading requirement is due to come into effect on February 12, 2019. However, it is foreseen that, under the EU's proposals to make technical changes to EMIR, known as EMIR Refit or EMIR 2.1, Category 3 FCs below the clearing threshold will be exempt from the clearing obligation and the backloading requirement will be deleted. The final text of EMIR Refit is now available, although it remains to be translated and published in the Official Journal.  Whilst EMIR Refit remains not in force, these obligations would technically arise, only to be eliminated shortly afterwards with the passage of this new legislation. In its statement, ESMA confirms that it does not expect national regulators to focus on any non-compliance by small FCs with the clearing obligation or by market participants with the backloading requirements.

    View ESMA's statement.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • UK Regulator Consults on Proposed Changes to Handbook to Implement EU Shareholder Rights Directive II
    01/30/2019

    The Financial Conduct Authority has launched a consultation on proposed revisions to the Handbook to implement changes made to the EU Revised Shareholder Rights Directive. The Directive aims to promote shareholder engagement, effective stewardship and long-term investment decision-making through enhancing the transparency of engagement policies and investment strategies across the institutional investment community.

    Read more.
  • UK Regulators Discussion Paper on Building a Framework for Effective Stewardship
    01/30/2019

    The Financial Conduct Authority and the Financial Reporting Council have published a discussion paper which calls for input on how best to encourage the capital markets community to engage more actively in stewardship of the assets in which they invest. The aim of the paper is to advance debate about what is meant by effective stewardship, what minimum expectations investors have of the financial services firms which invest on their behalf and what higher standards the U.K. should aspire to.

    Read more.
  • UK Financial Conduct Authority Consults on Proposed Changes to Handbook for Implementing the EU Prospectus Regulation
    01/28/2019

    The Financial Conduct Authority has published for consultation proposed changes to the Handbook. The changes are to align the Prospectus Rules sourcebook within the Handbook to ensure it is consistent with the new EU Prospectus Regulation that came into force on July 20, 2017.

    The EU Prospectus Regulation sets out information that companies need to disclose to investors and potential investors in a prospectus when raising capital. Even though certain provisions of the EU Prospectus Regulation were anticipated to come into effect after the U.K.’s anticipated exit from the EU on March 29, 2019, the EU Prospectus Regulation will still be applicable during any Brexit transition or implementation period.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Consults on Guidance on Crypto-Assets and the UK Regulatory Perimeter
    01/23/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has launched a consultation on proposed Guidance on whether certain crypto-assets fall within the U.K.'s regulatory perimeter (CP19/3). The FCA's consultation is in response to one of the commitments made by the U.K. Cryptoasset Taskforce last year in its final Cryptoassets Report. The Taskforce was established in March 2018 and comprises representatives from HM Treasury, the FCA and the Bank of England. The FCA's consultation closes on April 5, 2019. The FCA intends to publish the final Guidance on the existing regulatory perimeter in relation to crypto-assets by summer 2019.

    The FCA's proposed Guidance is intended to help firms determine whether certain crypto-assets fall within the FCA's regulatory perimeter. However, the FCA notes that assessing whether a crypto-asset is within the perimeter can only be done on a case-by-case basis and that the responsibility for ensuring that it has the correct permissions lies with the firm undertaking the activity. A firm that undertakes a regulated activity without the requisite permissions will be in breach of the 'general prohibition' in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. Any such breach by a person is a criminal offence and the person may be imprisoned or fined, or both. The consultation is relevant to a wide range of consumers, stakeholders and firms, in particular firms that issue or create crypto-assets, firms that market, sell, buy, hold or store crypto-assets, financial advisors, investment managers and investment exchanges.

    Read more.
  • Working Group on Euro Risk-Free Rates Publishes Guiding Principles for Fallback Provisions in New Non-Derivative Contracts
    01/21/2019

    The European Central Bank working group on euro risk-free rates has published guiding principles for fallback provisions in new contracts for euro-denominated cash products. Noting the work that is being undertaken by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association on fall-backs for derivatives referencing EURIBOR and other IBOR rates, the guidelines focus on non-derivative “cash products”, such as mortgages, loans, securitizations, covered bonds and secured finance transactions.

    Read more.
  • International Body Issues Statement on Disclosure of Environmental, Social and Governance Matters
    01/18/2019

    The International Organization of Securities Commissions has issued a statement on the importance of issuers including environmental, social and governance matters when disclosing information material to investors’ decisions.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • No Revision Needed to International Liquidity Risk Management Principles
    01/17/2019

    The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has completed the review of its 2008 Principles for sound liquidity risk management and supervision. The Basel Committee has concluded that the Principles do not require revision. The Committee expects both supervisors and banks to remain attentive to liquidity risks in the financial markets. Banks should take into account developments since 2008 that may impact their liquidity risk management considerations. These developments include, for example, increasing digitisation of finance and payment systems, an increased use of central clearing of derivatives and margining and the increasing significance of cyber-attacks.

    View the announcement.

    View the 2008 Principles.
  • UK to Adopt EU Equivalence Decisions for Exchanges and Bank Exposures in No Deal Brexit
    01/17/2019

    HM Treasury has laid before Parliament a draft of the Equivalence Determinations for Financial Services and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. The draft Regulations grant HM Treasury temporary powers to make equivalence determinations in relation to any EEA state for EU legislation that is being onshored. The retained EU law includes the Benchmark Regulation, the Capital Requirements Regulation, the European Market Infrastructure Regulation, the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation, the Credit Rating Agencies Regulation, the Prospectus Directive, the Transparency Directive, the Securities Financing Transaction Regulation, the Short Selling Regulation and Solvency 2. The powers will enable HM Treasury to make equivalence decisions before Brexit that come into force on exit day in a no deal scenario. These powers are distinct from the powers granted to HM Treasury to make equivalence decisions post-Brexit under the specific sectoral onshored legislation and apply in parallel to relevant temporary permissions or registration regimes. The temporary powers would expire 12 months after exit day.

    Read more.
  • EU Report on Accepted Market Practices in Accordance with the Market Abuse Regulation
    01/16/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published its annual report to the European Commission on the application of accepted market practices under the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The Market Abuse Regulation provides certain prohibitions against market manipulation. Accepted market practices, which are established by national regulators and notified to ESMA, provide a defense against any allegations of market manipulation. In particular, a dealing on a financial market which was carried out for legitimate reasons and in line with an established AMP, will not be found to constitute market manipulation. In the report, ESMA identifies AMPs which were established before the Market Abuse Regulation came into force, or which became effective after that date. 

    Read more.
  • Eurozone Single Resolution Board Publishes Policy Statement on Second Wave of 2018 MREL Policy
    01/16/2019

    The Eurozone Single Resolution Board has published the second wave of its 2018 minimum requirements for own funds and eligible liabilities as part of resolution planning required under the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive and related Single Resolution Mechanism Regulation. The SRB published the first wave of the 2018 MREL requirements in November which applied to banks that did not have binding MREL targets in 2017. 

    Read more.
  • Basel Committee on Banking Standards Finalizes Basel Market Risk Framework
    01/14/2019

    Following its consultation from March to June last year, the Basel Committee on Banking Standards has announced the final revisions to the Basel III market risk capital framework. At the same time, it has also announced its 2019 priorities.

    The objective of the Basel market risk framework is to ensure that banks hold enough regulatory capital to protect against losses arising from movements in market prices of instruments held in their trading book. Certain changes to the 2016 market risk framework are to:
     
    1. Clarify the scope of application. The Committee has provided further guidance on the regulatory book to which instruments should be assigned in circumstances where instruments could go into more than one book and has revised the treatment of structural foreign currency positions. The revised framework also allows equity investments in funds to be allocated to the trading book, provided that a bank: (i) is able to "look through" to the fund's underlying assets; or (ii) has access both to daily price quotes and to the information contained in the mandate of the fund.
    2. Revise the internal model approach to address implementation challenges, in particular, by amending the profit and loss attribution (PLA) test metric and failure consequence.
    3. Amend the standardized model approach. The approach to measuring risk factor losses was too high in relation to the actual risk and there was unnecessary operational burden. The changes in the standardized approach include widening the scope of currency pairs that are considered liquid in the FX risk class to ensure more currency pairs are subject to lower risk weights and introducing new "index" buckets for equity and credit spread risks so that each underlying position in an index does not need to be identified.
    Read more.
  • New UK Economic Crime Strategic Board
    01/14/2019

    The U.K. Government has announced the establishment of a new government taskforce to fight against financial crime. The new taskforce, the Economic Crime Strategic Board, is part of the Government's Serious and Organised Crime Strategy. It will set priorities, direct resources and scrutinise performance against the economic crime threat. The Board includes chief executives from Barclays, Lloyds and Santander and senior representatives from UK Finance, the National Crime Agency and the Solicitors Regulation Authority, Accountants Affinity Group and National Association of Estate Agents.

    View the announcement.
  • UK Regulator Launches Consultation on Eligibility of Financial Collateral Under Capital Requirements Regulation
    01/10/2019

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has launched a consultation on proposed amendments to its Supervisory Statement on credit risk mitigation to clarify its expectations around the eligibility of financial collateral. The consultation paper is relevant for banks, building societies and PRA-designated U.K. investment firms that are subject to the Capital Requirements Regulation. The consultation closes on April 10, 2019.

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Recommendations on Crypto-Assets and Initial Coin Offerings
    01/09/2019

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a report on the application and suitability of the EU securities regulatory framework to crypto-assets, including Initial Coin Offerings. The report is in response to the European Commission's request in its FinTech Action Plan 2018. Like the European Banking Authority, which published a report on the same day in relation to banking sector issues, ESMA found that EU activities related to crypto-assets are fairly low and do not present any financial stability risks.

    ESMA's report focuses on the legal qualification of crypto-assets under EU financial securities laws and highlights that this may differ across EU member states because it will be subject to the national laws implementing EU legislation. ESMA notes that there is currently no legal definition of crypto-assets and that a key consideration is whether a crypto-asset qualifies as a financial instrument under the revised Markets in Financial Instruments package. Where a crypto-asset qualifies as a MiFID financial instrument, the full requirements under various securities legislation may apply, subject to any applicable exemptions.  According to ESMA, the rules in the Prospectus Directive would apply to an issue of crypto-assets offered to the public, including through an ICO, where the instruments are transferable securities. 

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Reports on EU Regulatory Perimeter for Crypto-Assets
    01/09/2019

    The European Banking Authority has published a report on the application and suitability of the EU bank regulatory framework for crypto-assets. The report is in response to the European Commission's request in its FinTech Action Plan 2018. The report confirms that EU activities related to crypto-assets are fairly low and do not present any financial stability risks. The European Securities and Markets Authority also published a similar report covering Initial Coin Offerings issues within its remit on the same day.

    The EBA's report sets out the EBA's findings, the issues arising from the results, the EBA's advice to the Commission and the steps that the EBA intends to take in 2019. The EBA mapped the applicability to crypto-assets and crypto-asset activities of the EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive, the Capital Requirements Directive and Regulation, the second Electronic Money Directive and the second Payment Services Directive.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Warns Firms About Misleading Financial Promotions
    01/09/2019

    The Financial Conduct Authority has published a "Dear CEO" letter addressed to the Chief Executive Officers of all FCA-regulated firms. In the letter, the FCA highlights its concerns over the practice engaged in by some firms of issuing financial promotions which suggest or imply that all of the activities or investments undertaken by the firm are regulated by the FCA and/or Prudential Regulation Authority, when they are not.

    Some regulated firms undertake both regulated and unregulated business. The FCA has identified that some of these firms are issuing financial promotions which do not make clear which aspects of its business are not regulated by the FCA and/or PRA. This breaches the requirement that all financial promotions are fair, clear and not misleading and that a firm cannot indicate or imply that it is regulated or otherwise supervised by the FCA for its unregulated business. The FCA encourages all firms to reflect on the letter and ensure that their actions comply with the FCA's rules relating to financial promotions.

    View the letter
  • EU Report on Regulatory Sandboxes and Innovation Hubs
    01/07/2019

    Fulfilling the mandate in the European Commission's March 2018 FinTech Action Plan, the Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities has published a report on regulatory sandboxes and innovation hubs, together referred to as innovation facilitators. Innovation hubs are a dedicated point of contact for firms raising queries with national regulators on FinTech-related issues. Regulatory sandboxes enable firms to test innovative financial products, services or business models under the supervision of a national regulator.

    The ESAs' report states that most EU member states have one or both forms of these innovation facilitators. The facilitators operate at national level and the ESAs identify this as a potential challenge to the EU objective of scaling-up FinTech. For example, national regulators are likely to adopt different approaches to the same innovation which can hinder opportunities for extending an innovation across the EU as well as present regulatory arbitrage risks. The potential absence of passporting innovative products throughout the EU can raise issues for their users.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: FinTech
  • UK Draft Directions for EEA Funds and Fund Managers Wanting to Continue to Market in the UK Post-Brexit
    01/07/2019

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published two draft Directives relating to Brexit under the: (1) draft Collective Investment Schemes (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019; and (2) Alternative Investment Fund Managers Regulations 2013, as amended by the draft Alternative Investment Fund Managers (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. These draft regulations will establish a Temporary Permissions Regime enabling EEA funds that currently market in the U.K. under an EEA passport to continue to do so for three years after the U.K. exits the EU.

    Read more.
  • New UK Financial Policy Committee Appointments
    01/03/2019

    The U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the appointment of two external members to the Bank of England's Financial Policy Committee, namely Dame Colette Bowe and Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia. They will replace Richard Sharp and Martin Taylor, who are stepping down at the end of Q1 2019 and Q2 2019, respectively.

    The FPC, established in 2013, seeks to identify, monitor and take action to remove or reduce systemic risk in the U.K. financial system, while simultaneously protecting and enhancing its resilience. The FPC consists of six BoE staff and five external members selected for their experience and expertise in financial services.

    Dame Jayne-Anne and Dame Colette will start their three years of service before the FPC's Q2 and Q3 meetings, respectively.

    View the announcement.
    TOPIC: People
  • EU Product Intervention Measure Banning the Sale of Binary Options is Extended
    12/27/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has issued a Decision renewing the temporary prohibition on the marketing, distribution or sale of binary options to retail clients for a further three months from January 2, 2019. This has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. ESMA announced in November 2018 that the existing restriction would be extended. The binary options Decision applies directly across the EU from January 2, 2019 for a period of three months.

    View the Decision.

    View ESMA's notification.
  • EU Guidelines on Commodity Derivatives Definition Published
    12/21/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published amended Guidelines on definitions of commodity derivatives and their classification. The amended Guidelines, which are an update to the guidelines originally adopted under the previous Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID I), have been adapted to the new MiFID II regulatory framework without amending their substance.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: MiFID II
  • EU Consultation on Draft Guidelines For Improving Settlement Efficiency
    12/20/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has opened a consultation on two sets of draft Guidelines under the Central Securities Depositaries Regulation. The first draft Guidelines are on settlement fails reporting by national regulators, and the second draft Guidelines concern standardized procedures and messaging protocols that investment firms must use to limit settlement fails. Feedback on each of the draft Guidelines should be submitted by February 20, 2019. ESMA aims to finalize both Guidelines by July 2019.

    Read more.
  • UK Regulator Consults on Technical Standards for Strong Customer Authentication in Payments as Preparation for a No-Deal Brexit
    12/19/2018

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has launched a consultation on the proposed Technical Standards on strong customer authentication and common and secure open standards of communication (referred to as the U.K. SCA RTS). The U.K. SCA RTS would apply in the U.K. from September 14, 2019 in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The FCA's proposals will apply to payment service providers, including banks, building societies, e-money issuers, payment institutions, registered Account Information Services (AIS) and Payment Initiation Services (PIS) service providers. Responses to the consultation should be submitted by February 19, 2019. The FCA intends to publish the final Technical Standards in April 2019.

    The EU SCA Regulatory Technical Standards (Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/389), which supplement the EU Payment Services Directive, came into force on March 14, 2018. The EU SCA RTS impose obligations on PSPs to increase the security of customers' payments made by card and other means and set out requirements on account servicing payment service providers (ASPSPs) relating to the third party providers of Account Information Services and Payment Initiation Services. The EU SCA RTS will apply directly across the EU from September 14, 2019.

    The FCA is proposing to make the U.K. SCA RTS substantially similar to the EU SCA RTS so as not to disrupt and confuse the substantial preparations that industry has already made to implement the EU requirements. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the U.K. SCA RTS will supplement the U.K. Payment Services Regulations 2017, as amended by the Electronic Money, Payment Services and Payment Systems (Amendment and Transitional Provisions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018. Without the U.K. SCA RTS, the revised-for-Brexit PSRs would be ineffective as they require compliance with U.K.SCA RTS.

    View the consultation paper (CP18/44).
  • EU Contracts for Difference Product Intervention Measures to be Extended Again
    12/19/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a statement announcing that its various restrictions on the sale, distribution and marketing of contracts for difference to retail investors will be extended from February 1, 2019, for a further three months. ESMA has powers under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation to impose prohibitions or restrictions on certain financial instruments, financial activities or practices to address a significant investor protection concern in the European 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, and it would then fall to member states to impose similar restrictions at a national level, if they so wish.

    ESMA considers that a significant investor protection concern in relation to retail clients still exists. Its statement confirms that the existing restriction, implemented on November 1, 2018, will be extended from February 1, 2019 for a further three months.

    View ESMA's statement.

    View details of the existing CfD restrictions.
  • EU Temporary Equivalence Decisions for UK CCPs and CSDs
    12/19/2018

    The European Commission has adopted temporary equivalence decisions determining that the U.K. regulatory frameworks applicable to central counterparties and central securities depositories will be deemed equivalent to EU standards under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation and the Central Securities Depositories Regulation, respectively, in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

    Read more.
  • US Securities and Exchange Commission Finalizes Rule of Practice 194
    12/19/2018

    The Securities and Exchange Commission has adopted, by a 3-2 vote, Rule of Practice 194, which establishes the process for a registered security-based swap dealer or major security-based swap participant (collectively, SBS Entities) to apply to the SEC for a waiver that would allow a statutorily disqualified natural person to effect or be involved in effecting security-based swaps on behalf of the SBS Entity, subject to certain conditions.  The final rule, which was first proposed in 2015, represents a continuation of the agency’s efforts to implement its security-based swap regulations pursuant to Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and will become relevant when the SEC begins requiring registration of SBS Entities.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • European Commission Adopts Measures in Preparation for a No Deal Brexit
    12/19/2018

    The European Commission has published a Communication on Implementing the Commission's Contingency Action Plan for a no deal Brexit and has adopted all the legislative proposals and delegated acts announced in its November 2018 Contingency Plan. The actions relevant to the derivatives industry are the adoption by the Commission of:
     
    1. A temporary and conditional equivalence decision for CCPs already established and authorized in the U.K. CCPs established in third countries (which the U.K. will become on exit day) whose supervisory and legal regimes have been deemed to be equivalent to the EU regime may provide clearing services to clearing members or trading venues established in the EU. Such a CCP must be recognized by the European Securities and Markets Authority in accordance with the processes outlined in the European Market Infrastructure Regulation. The adopted decision would grant equivalence to the regulatory and legal regimes of the U.K. and Northern Ireland in relation to CCPs. The Commission's equivalence decision would apply for 12 months from exit day. ESMA remains to designate various U.K. CCPs.

    Read more.
  • UK Regulators Consult on the Resolvability Assessment Framework for Banks
    12/18/2018

    The Bank of England and Prudential Regulation Authority have launched a package of consultations on proposals for the U.K.'s resolvability assessment framework for banks, with the aim of meeting the BoE's commitment to ensure that all banks are resolvable by 2022. The PRA consultation is relevant for U.K. banks and building societies with £50 billion or more in retail deposits on an individual or consolidated basis. The BoE's consultation is wider in scope and affects all firms with bail-in or partial-transfer resolution strategies and material U.K. subsidiaries of an overseas-based banking group. Responses to the consultations should be submitted by April 5, 2019.

    Read more.
  • US Securities and Exchange Commission Proposes Risk Mitigation Requirements for Uncleared Security-Based Swaps
    12/18/2018

    The Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed rules that would establish risk mitigation requirements with respect to a registered security-based swap dealer’s or major security-based swap participant’s (collectively, SBS Entities’) portfolio of uncleared security-based swaps.  The proposed rules would establish requirements for SBS Entities in respect of security-based swap portfolio reconciliation, portfolio compression and trading relationship documentation, and will become relevant when the SEC commences requiring registration of SBS Entities.  The proposal continues the agency’s ongoing efforts to implement its security-based swap regulations pursuant to Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and is intended to harmonize the SEC’s requirements with those of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which adopted similar risk mitigation requirements for uncleared swaps in 2012.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • Brexit: European Banking Authority Calls for More Communication with Clients
    12/17/2018

    The European Banking Authority has published a press release calling for firms to take more action in their Brexit-related communications with customers. The U.K. will depart the EU without a transitional period on March 30, 2019 if the withdrawal agreement is not ratified by that time. In June 2018, the EBA issued an Opinion that stressed the need for firms to consider their obligations to existing and prospective customers. It set out a list of minimum information that national regulators should ensure firms send to customers whose contracts or services might be affected by the end of the year. In its press release, the EBA urges firms to consider the June 2018 Opinion and to communicate to customers the risks and effects that a no-deal Brexit may have on a customer's contract with the firm.

    View the press release.

    View details of the EBA's June 2018 Opinion.
  • European Commission Adopts Legislation to Promote Small and Mid-sized Enterprises Growth Markets
    12/13/2018

    Following its consultation earlier this year on a proposed regulation, the European Commission has adopted a Delegated Regulation regarding certain registration conditions to promote the use of SME Growth Markets for the purposes of the revised Markets in Financial Instruments package, known as MiFID II. SME Growth Markets are a new sub-category of multilateral trading facility introduced by MiFID II in January 2018 to facilitate access to capital for SMEs. The adopted Delegated Regulation will amend existing delegated legislation under MiFID II to address regulatory barriers to the take-up of SME Growth Markets.

    Read more.
  • US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Proposes Regulatory Sandbox and Revisions to No-Action Letter Policy
    12/13/2018

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has proposed revisions to the agency’s No-Action Letter policy and floated the idea of a federal regulatory sandbox. The proposed NAL policy would simplify and clarify the agency’s existing procedures for obtaining a NAL, while the sandbox would streamline the process for firms that seek regulatory relief when they roll out innovative products or services.

    The CFPB’s proposed NAL policy would supplant the agency’s existing policy, which was implemented in 2016. Under the current policy, the CFPB has only provided one NAL. To encourage more applications for NALs, the CFPB is proposing to streamline the NAL application and review processes by eliminating several redundant or overly burdensome requirements, such as data-sharing requirements. The updated NAL policy would also eliminate assumed time-period limitations on NALs and place an emphasis on coordination with other regulators that offer NALs or similar forms of relief.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: FinTech
  • Final EU Guidelines on Simple, Transparent and Standardized Criteria for Securitizations
    12/12/2018

    The European Banking Authority has published two sets of finalized guidelines under the Securitization Regulation which, along with targeted amendments to the Capital Requirements Regulation, forms part of the new EU Securitization Framework for simple, transparent and standardized securitizations from January 2019. Originators and sponsors will be required to notify the European Securities and Markets Authority of any securitization that meets the STS criteria to be able to use the "STS" designation. ESMA will maintain a list of all such securitizations on its website.

    Read more.
  • UK Competition Authority Publishes Final Report on the Investment Consultants Market Investigation
    12/12/2018

    The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority has published its Final Report on the Investment Consultants Market Investigation. The Investigation assessed the supply and acquisition of investment consultancy services and fiduciary management services. In its Provisional Decision Report, published on July 18, 2018, the CMA concluded that there is an adverse effect on competition which may result in material detriment to customers in both the investment consultancy and fiduciary management markets, although there are more concerns with the fiduciary management market. This finding is confirmed in the Final Report.

    In investment consultancy, the CMA considers that there is a low level of engagement by some customers in choosing and monitoring their provider. In addition, some customers may have difficulty in accessing and assessing the information needed to evaluate the quality of their existing investment consultant and identifying whether it would be to their advantage to use an alternative provider.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: CompetitionFunds
  • European Commission Adopts Amendments to Technical Standards On Systematic Internalisers' Quote Rules
    12/12/2018

    The European Commission has adopted a Delegated Regulation amending and correcting the Regulatory Technical Standards under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation on the equity transparency obligations of trading venues and investment firms. The RTS, known as RTS 1, is set out in Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/587, supplementing MiFIR. Under MiFIR, Systematic Internalisers must make public firm quotes in equity instruments. The quotes must: (i) be at least equivalent to 10% of the standard market size for the quoted instrument; (ii) include both a bid and an offer price for a size that could be up to market size; 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."

    Read more.
    TOPIC: MiFID II
  • UK Financial Conduct Authority Publishes Its Final Approach to Authorization
    12/12/2018

    The Financial Conduct Authority has published its final document, entitled "FCA Mission: Approach to Authorisation," explaining the purpose of authorization and the FCA's approach to it. The paper sets out details of the FCA's approach to: (i) evaluating whether firms meet the requisite Threshold Conditions and assessing whether individuals are "fit and proper"; (ii) how the FCA uses authorization to promote competition; and (iii) revoking authorization.

    Read more.
  • US Commodity Futures Trading Commission Consults on Ether and the Potential Introduction of Ether Derivatives Contracts
    12/11/2018

    To further its understanding of Ether and its use on the Ethereum Network, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has issued a request for input on several topics related to the virtual currency. The RFI poses a number of questions on Ether, including, among other things, its functionality, underlying technology, governance, markets, cybersecurity and custody. In addition, the CFTC asks several questions regarding Ether's susceptibility to market manipulation and the potential introduction of Ether derivatives contracts.

    The CFTC stated that the requested feedback will inform the work of the CFTC and its LabCFTC initiative to enhance the agency's oversight of virtual currency markets and develop regulatory policy. The CFTC also noted that it hopes to gain a greater understanding of the similarities and differences between Ether and bitcoin, along with potential risks and opportunities uniquely posed by Ether.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: DerivativesFinTech
  • EU Court Rules That the UK Can Unilaterally Revoke its Brexit Notice
    12/10/2018

    The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that the U.K. is able to unilaterally revoke its notice of intention to withdraw from the EU. Any such revocation could only be made before the draft Withdrawal Agreement entered into force or, if there is no agreement, expiration of the two-year period since the withdrawal notification was made or any extension of that two-year period in accordance with Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union. The revocation could also only be made after a revocation decision was made by the U.K. according to its constitutional requirements.

    The CJEU decision means that the U.K. Parliament has three options to consider on Brexit: remain in the EU, accept the draft withdrawal agreement negotiated by the U.K. Government or leave the EU on March 29, 2019, without an agreement (known as a "hard Brexit").

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Authority Consults on Permanent Product Intervention Measures
    12/07/2018

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has launched two consultations proposing to prohibit the sale, marketing and distribution of binary options to retail consumers and to restrict the sale, marketing and distribution of contracts for difference and similar products to retail customers. Both CFDs and binary options are considered to have given rise to significant investor protection concerns, due to their complexity, the lack of transparent information at the point of sale, the risk of significant loss for investors and the deployment of aggressive marketing techniques by providers and distributors of the products. The FCA's product intervention powers under the Markets in Financial Instrument Regulation and, where the FCA has gone beyond those powers, the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, allow it to impose prohibitions or restrictions on certain financial instruments, financial activities or practices to address a significant investor protection concern. The proposed rules would be permanent and would replace the temporary measures introduced, and subsequently renewed, by the European Securities and Markets Authority earlier this year.

    Read more.
  • ​Further UK Legislation in Preparation for Brexit Comes Into Force
    12/06/2018

    Three pieces of U.K. legislation to onshore EU laws in preparation for Brexit have been made. These are:
     
    1. The Trade Repositories (Amendment and Transitional Provision) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/1318).

    A number of technical changes have been made as a result of the consultation process, but these do not affect the fundamental intention and scope of the legislation. The Regulations come into force on December 7, 2018, except for the provisions amending the European Market Infrastructure Regulation, which will come in force on exit day. Advance applications for registration of a trade repository must be submitted to the Financial Conduct Authority between December 7, 2018 and immediately before exit day, instead of on exit day.

    These Regulations establish: (i) a temporary registration regime to enable U.K. and EU trade repositories to benefit - on complying with certain requirements - from temporary registration while the FCA considers their application; and (ii) a conversion regime that will allow U.K. trade repositories that are currently registered with the European Securities and Markets Authority to be registered as authorized U.K. trade repositories by the FCA from exit day.

    Read more.
  • UK Ring-Fencing Order Brings Full Regime Into Force From January 2019
    12/05/2018

    The U.K. Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 (Commencement No. 12) Order 2018 has been made. The Order brings into force, from January 1, 2019, those provisions of the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 on ring-fencing that are not already in force, including the prohibition on ring-fenced bodies to carry on excluded activities and provisions on group restructuring. The U.K. ring-fencing laws require U.K. banks which hold more than £25 billion in core deposits and banking groups whose members hold an average core deposit of more than £25 billion to separate their core retail banking business from their investment banking business. Restrictions will limit the products that a ring-fenced bank can offer and where it can conduct business. In particular, a ring-fenced bank will not be able to own a banking subsidiary or branch which is established outside of the EEA.

    View the Order
  • UK Regulations Implementing the EU Securitization Regulation Made
    12/04/2018

    The U.K. Securitization Regulations 2018 have been laid before Parliament and will come into force on January 1, 2019. The Regulations implement the EU Securitization Regulation (also known as the STS Regulation) into U.K. law.

    The EU Securitization Regulation provides the criteria for identifying which securitizations will be designated as simple, transparent and standardized securitizations, a system to monitor the application of those criteria and common requirements on risk retention, due diligence and disclosure. It also allows (but does not require) originators, sponsors and securitization special purpose entities to use third-party firms to assess whether a securitization meets the STS criteria, provided that those firms are authorized by the relevant national regulator. Originators, sponsors or original lenders of a securitization will be required to retain on an ongoing basis a material net economic interest in the securitization of at least 5%. Related amendments to the Capital Requirements Regulation set out preferential regulatory treatment for investors, in particular, for bank investors, of their exposures to securitizations that are deemed to be STS securitizations.

    Read more.
  • UK Draft Regulations on Credit Ratings in Preparation for Brexit
    11/30/2018

    HM Treasury has laid before Parliament the draft Credit Rating Agencies (Amendment, etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 to onshore the EU Credit Rating Agencies Regulation for Brexit. This follows the publication of related explanatory information on October 8, 2018.

    The EU CRA Regulation regulates CRAs established in the EU. The European Securities and Markets Authority directly supervises EU CRAs registered with it under the CRA Regulation. The CRA Regulation provides that banks, investment firms, insurers, reinsurers, management companies, investment companies, alternative investment fund managers and CCPs may only use credit ratings for certain regulatory purposes if a rating is issued by: (i) an EU CRA registered with ESMA; (ii) a third-country CRA under the endorsement regime; or (iii) a third-country CRA under the equivalence/certification regime. Endorsement allows credit ratings issued by a third-country CRA to be used for regulatory purposes in the EU, provided that the rating has been endorsed by an EU CRA. The equivalence/certification regime allows credit ratings issued by a third-country CRA in relation to a third-country entity or financial instrument to be used in the EU for regulatory purposes. It does not cover ratings issued by a third-country CRA for an EU entity or a financial instrument issued in the EU.

    Read more.
  • European Supervisory Authorities Advocate Proportional Approach to Compliance With Certain Aspects of the Securitization Regulation
    11/30/2018

    The European Supervisory Authorities have issued a joint statement addressing two issues arising from the Securitization Regulation. 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.

    The first issue addressed in the joint statement relates to disclosure requirements for EU securitizations. 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 European Securities and Markets Authority and the European Commission still have to address a number of market concerns on the proposed ESMA disclosure templates (that will be introduced as Technical Standards under the Regulation) as part of these transparency requirements. This is a process that will not be concluded by January 1, 2019.

    Read more.
  • Draft UK Legislation to Onshore the EU Reorganization and Winding Up Directives Published in Preparation for Brexit
    11/30/2018

    HM Treasury has published a draft statutory instrument to onshore further EU financial services legislation in preparation for Brexit - the draft Credit Institutions and Insurance Undertakings Reorganization and Winding Up (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018. An explanatory memorandum has also been published. HM Treasury has prepared the draft SI using powers granted to it under the EU Withdrawal Act 2018 to address failures of retained EU law to operate effectively or other deficiencies arising from the U.K. leaving the EU.

    The draft SI will onshore the EU Credit Institutions (Reorganisation and Winding Up) Directive and certain aspects of Solvency II. These Directives establish EEA frameworks for the reorganization and winding up of EEA banks, building societies, credit unions and insurers. They were transposed into U.K. law in the Insurers (Reorganization and Winding Up) Regulations 2004 (S.I. 2004/353), the Credit Institutions (Reorganization and Winding Up) Regulations 2004 (S.I. 2004/1045), and the Insurers (Reorganization and Winding Up) (Lloyd's) Regulations 2005 (S.I. 2005/1998).

    Read more.
  • UK Draft Regulations Governing Financial Market Infrastructure in Preparation for Brexit
    11/30/2018

    HM Treasury has published a new draft statutory instrument, the draft Investment Exchanges, Clearing Houses and Central Securities Depositories (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018. The draft instrument is part of its work to ensure that the U.K.'s financial services laws are operative on exit day. The related explanatory information was published on November 22, 2018.  The draft Regulations amend relevant parts of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and the Recognition Requirements for Investment Exchanges, Clearing Houses and Central Securities Depositories Regulations 2001/995.

    Read more.
  • Proposed Exemption From EU Margin Obligations for OTC Derivatives Novated to EU Counterparties in Preparation for a "No Deal" Brexit
    11/29/2018

    The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities has published a final report and final draft Regulatory Technical Standards to amend the existing RTS on margin requirements for uncleared OTC derivative contracts. The ESAs are proposing the introduction of a 12-month exemption from the margin exchange obligations to facilitate the novation of uncleared OTC derivative contracts to EU counterparties in the event of a "no deal" Brexit. The European Market Infrastructure Regulation requires counterparties to uncleared OTC derivative transactions to implement risk mitigation techniques to reduce counterparty credit risk. The RTS prescribe required margin amounts to be posted and collected and the methodologies by which the minimum amount of initial margin and variation margin should be calculated, as well as listing securities eligible as collateral, such as sovereign bonds, covered bonds, some securitization instruments, corporate bonds, gold and some equities. The variation margin requirements have applied to all counterparties since March 1, 2017.

    Read more.
  • European Commission Publishes Commission Delegated Regulation on the Electronic Central Register Under Payment Services Directive
    11/29/2018

    The European Commission has adopted Regulatory Technical Standards on the development, operation and maintenance of the electronic central register and access to the information it contains under the Payment Services Directive 2015, known as PSD2. The register will contain details of authorized payment institutions, certain exempt persons and their agents and it will identify the payment services for which each payment institution is authorized or exempt person is registered. PSD2 took effect on January 13, 2018. The electronic central register established by these RTS will be the responsibility of the European Banking Authority. It is intended that these RTS, once published in the Official Journal of the European Union, will be binding and directly applicable in all Member States from twenty days after publication.

    View the Commission Delegated Regulation.
  • UK Payment Systems Regulator Consults on Brexit-Related Changes to Onshore Regulatory Technical Standards Under the Interchange Fees Regulation
    11/29/2018

    The U.K. Payment Systems Regulator has launched a consultation on its proposals to onshore the Regulatory Technical Standards supplementing the EU Interchange Fee Regulation to ensure the RTS can still operate effectively once the U.K. has left the EU. The consultation will primarily be relevant for card schemes subject to the IFR, parties contracting with card schemes and/or processing entities (e.g. issuers, acquirers) and third-party card payment processors.
     
    The PSR is empowered by HM Treasury, under the Financial Regulators’ Powers (Technical Standards) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018, to correct deficiencies in the RTS and to maintain them after exit day. The RTS set out detailed requirements for payment card schemes and processing entities, to ensure there is the requisite level of independence in accounting, organization and decision-making processes. The PSR proposes to amend the RTS in line with the draft Interchange Fee (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018, published by HM Treasury on November 16, 2018 to onshore the IFR. The PSR's consultation paper includes a draft of the Technical Standards (Interchange Fee Regulation) (EU Exit) instrument 2019.
     
    Comments on the consultation are invited by December 17, 2018. The PSR intends that the finalized version of the EU Exit instrument will take effect on exit day in the event of a no deal scenario.
     
    View the consultation paper (PSR CP 18/3).
     
    View details of the draft Interchange Fee (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018.
     
  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Agrees Next Steps for Basel Standards
    11/29/2018

    Central bankers and banking supervisors from over eighty jurisdictions met this week in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates to discuss a range of policy and supervisory topics.

    On November 26-27, 2018 there was a meeting of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision at which it was agreed that a consultation would take place next year to discuss a framework to consolidate the Committee's standards into a single integrated structure. Moreover, a number of items were agreed:
    • A set of targeted revisions to the market risk framework which is due to be implemented by January 1, 2022.
    • A consultation on potential enhanced disclosures to reduce bank window-dressing behaviour related to leverage ratio will be pursued. The Basel Committee issued a statement in October declaring unacceptable the alleged tendency in banks to engage in so-called window-dressing by temporarily reducing transaction volumes around key reference dates, which has supposedly the effect of allowing banks to report and publicly disclose better leverage ratios.
    • A set of revisions to the Pillar 3 disclosure framework will be published in December.
    • A report will be published in December setting out the range of bank, regulatory and supervisory cyber-resilience practices across jurisdictions.

    View the press release.

    View details of the Basel Committee's consultation on the revised market risk framework.
  • UK Treasury Policy on "In Flight" EU Legislation in Preparation for a "No Deal" Brexit
    11/28/2018

    Following the introduction to Parliament on November 22, 2018 of the Financial Services (Implementation of Legislation) Bill, HM Treasury has published a Policy Note on the Bill. The Bill gives HM Treasury, in a Brexit no deal scenario, powers to implement and make amendments to a specified list of "in flight" financial services legislation. The Bill covers EU financial services legislation which is proposed or published but that is out of scope of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 because it will not be operative on or before exit day. Only legislation with an implementation date falling in the two years after exit is covered. The Bill sets out a list of the legislation that is covered, namely:
    • the settlement discipline regime under the Central Securities Depositories Regulation (Articles 6 and 7);
    • the Delegated Cash Penalties Regulation;
    Read more.
  • UK Financial Conduct Authority Reports on Cyber Security Resilience in Financial Services
    11/27/2018

    The Financial Conduct Authority has published a report entitled "Cyber and Technology Resilience: Themes from cross-sector survey 2017-2018." The FCA compiled the report by requesting 296 firms during 2017 and 2018 to provide a self-assessment of their cyber and technological capabilities, focusing on governance, delivery of change management, managing third-party risks and the effectiveness of cyber defenses. The FCA analyzed the responses and considered data from firm's responses to recent operational incidents to produce the report.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Publishes Second Consultation on Brexit-Related Changes to Its Rulebook and Binding Technical Standards
    11/26/2018

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a second consultation on proposed changes to the FCA Handbook and guidance to ensure a functioning legal and regulatory framework for financial services in the event of a "no-deal" scenario whereby the U.K. exits the EU on March 29, 2019 without a ratified Withdrawal Agreement in place and there is consequently no transitional period for firms. The proposed amendments will not take effect on exit day if the U.K. enters into a transitional period.

    The consultation includes the FCA's further proposals in relation to those Binding Technical Standards that it has been empowered by HM Treasury to amend prior to Brexit and to maintain afterwards. Since the FCA's first consultation on Brexit-related Handbook changes in October 2018, HM Treasury has published further policy notes and/or financial services "onshoring" statutory instruments with proposed amendments to retained EU law. Many of the FCA's proposals on the BTS are consequential in nature and follow the amendments proposed in the statutory instruments.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Appoints new Chair and Vice Chair
    11/26/2018

    The Financial Stability Board has announced the appointment of Randal K. Quarles (Governor and Vice Chairman for Supervision at the U.S. Federal Reserve System) as its new Chair and Klaas Knot (President of De Nederlandsche Bank) as its Vice Chair for a three-year term starting on December 2, 2018.  Klass Knot will succeed Randal K. Quarles as Chair on December 2, 2021 for the next three-year term.

    The current FSB Chair, Mark Carney, will step down on December 1, 2018 after seven years of leadership. 

    View the press release
    TOPIC: People
  • UK Parliamentary Committee Launches Inquiry Into Operational Resilience in the Financial Services Sector
    11/23/2018

    The U.K. Treasury Committee has announced the launch of a new Inquiry into IT failures in the financial services sector. The Inquiry has been launched in response to recent IT failures at a number of financial institutions that have led to consumers being unable to access their bank accounts or becoming subject to fraud.

    The Committee will assess the causes and consequences of these recent IT failures. Among other things, the Committee will consider the extent to which such incidents are becoming more frequent, sources of concentration risk in the financial sector, the impact of legacy IT systems, the effect of outsourcing on operational resilience, best practices in responding to operational incidents and whether the U.K. regulators are able to regulate firms' capabilities for responding to such incidents.

    Written submissions can be made to the Committee by January 18, 2019. The Committee will also appoint a special advisor to provide policy advice to the Committee on the issues. Individuals interested in the role should respond to the call for Expressions of Interest.

    View the announcement.
  • European Supervisory Authority Public Statement on Post-Brexit Temporary Recognition for UK CCPs if No UK-EU Deal
    11/23/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has issued a public statement entitled "Managing risks of a no-deal Brexit in the area of central clearing."  In the statement, ESMA confirms that its Board of Supervisors supports continued access to U.K. CCPs by EU market participants, to limit the risk of disruption in central clearing and to avoid negatively impacting EU financial market stability following the U.K.'s exit from the EU. This would appear likely to take effect pursuant to a temporary or interim equivalence and/or Qualifying CCP determination under European Market Infrastructure Regulation and the Capital Requirements Directive in respect of the U.K. and its CCPs, effective on Brexit.

    Read more.
  • UK Draft Legislation to Onshore EU Packaged Retail and Insurance-Based Investment Products for Brexit
    11/22/2018

    HM Treasury has published a draft version of the Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. The EU PRIIPS Regulation requires a standardized disclosure document (called a Key Information Document or KID) to be provided when packaged investment or insurance-based investment products are sold to retail investors.

    The draft Regulations correct deficiencies in the U.K. Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products Regulations 2017 and in the directly applicable EU PRIIPS Regulation (and its secondary legislation) to be retained on Brexit. The draft Regulations will primarily be relevant for firms that manufacture, sell or advise on retail investment products that fall within the scope of the PRIIPs Regulation. This includes, but is not limited to, asset managers, insurers and investment advisors.

    Read more.
  • UK Prudential Regulator Proposes Minor Policy Change for Systemic Risk Buffer
    11/22/2018

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has published a consultation paper entitled "The systemic risk buffer: Updates to the Statement of Policy," proposing minor updates to its Statement of Policy, "The PRA’s approach to the systemic risk buffer." The consultation is relevant to "SRB institutions," which are: (i) ring-fenced bodies within the meaning in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000; or (ii) large building societies that hold more than £25 billion in deposits (where one or more of the account holders is a small business) and shares (excluding deferred shares).
     
    The PRA proposes to amend the Statement of Policy to:
     
    • remove the statement that the PRA’s approach to reviewing the SoP every two years is mandated by the SRB regulations;
    • replace references to the PRA's April 2018 consultation, "The PRA’s methodologies for setting Pillar 2 capital," with references to the finalized Statement of Policy that was subsequently published; and
    • include references to the PRA's Supervisory Statement, "UK leverage ratio framework," that was recently updated to apply an additional leverage ratio buffer rate to SRB institutions.
     
    As the proposals are of only a minor nature, the consultation period is short and comments on the consultation paper are invited by December 6, 2018.
     
    View the consultation paper (PRA CP 29/18).
     
    Return to main website.
  • First EU Blockchain Industry Roundtable
    11/21/2018

    The European Commission has published a press release on the outcome of the first EU Blockchain Industry Roundtable, which took place on November 20, 2018. The press release notes the establishment of the "International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications" that will be open to any firm that wishes to contribute to the use of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies in the EU. This new Association will work with the European Commission and EEA states that are part of the European Blockchain Partnership to support interoperability, develop specifications and promote standards and regulatory convergence in this area. The European Blockchain Partnership was established earlier this year and has been signed up to by Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the U.K.

    View the press release.

    View details of the European Blockchain Partnership.
    TOPIC: FinTech
  • UK Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 Sanctions Provisions Brought Into Force
    11/21/2018

    The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (Commencement No.1) Regulations 2018  were made on November 21, 2018, bringing into force the majority of the sanctions provisions of the Act with effect from November 22, 2018.

    The Act's provisions empower the U.K. Government to make sanctions regulations to be imposed, where appropriate, to comply with United Nations obligations or other international obligations, to further the prevention of terrorism, for the purposes of national security or international peace and security, or to further foreign policy objectives. The Act also empowers the U.K. Government to create, amend and update regulations for the detection, investigation and prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing and for the purposes of implementing standards published by the Financial Action Task Force relating to combating threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

    The Act received Royal Assent and came partly into force on May 23, 2018. Provisions in force from November 22, 2018 are:
    • sections 1 to 31;  
    • sections 33 to 48;  
    • sections 57 and 58;
    • section 59(4) (to the extent that it relates to Schedule 3, paragraphs 1 to 7 and sub-paragraphs 8(1) to 8(3)); and
    • Schedule 1.

    The remaining Provisions of the Act that will be brought into force at a later date include the provisions related to anti-money laundering.

    View the Commencement Regulations (SI 2018/1213).

    View the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018.
  • UK Government Publishes Guidance on Proposals to Onshore Primary Markets Legislation for Brexit
    11/21/2018

    HM Treasury has published explanatory guidance on a draft statutory instrument, the Official Listing of Securities, Prospectus and Transparency (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. The statutory instrument is still under development and a draft will be published in due course. The draft Regulations will amend Brexit-related onshoring deficiencies in the U.K. legislation that implemented the EU Prospectus Directive, the Transparency Directive and the Consolidated Admissions and Reporting Directive, which together make up the EU legal framework for primary markets. No deficiencies have been identified for the CARD. 

    Read more.
  • UK Government Publishes Guidance on Proposals to Onshore EU Market Abuse Regulation for Brexit
    11/21/2018

    HM Treasury has published explanatory information on a draft statutory instrument, the Market Abuse (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018. The statutory instrument is still under development and a draft will be published in due course. The draft Regulations will affect the Financial Conduct Authority and all natural and legal persons which issue or trade in financial instruments admitted to trading or traded on an U.K. or an EU trading venue, including legal firms, professional service firms and any legal person that obtains access to the inside information of an issuer.

    Read more.
  • Eurozone Single Resolution Board Publishes Policy Statement on First Wave of 2018 MREL Policy
    11/20/2018

    The Eurozone Single Resolution Board has published its 2018 Policy Statement for firms’ minimum requirements for own funds and eligible liabilities under the first wave of 2018 resolution plans to be adopted under the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive. The SRB is responsible for ensuring the compliance of Eurozone banks that are subject to the Single Resolution Mechanism (primarily Eurozone countries) with the Single Resolution Mechanism Regulation and BRRD. As part of this function, the SRB works with national regulators to determine relevant institutions’ MREL requirements. The purpose of the Policy Statement is to provide clarity for Eurozone banks on the SRB’s determination of 2018 MREL targets.

    Read more.
  • UK Government Refused Challenge of Ability of Court of Justice of the European Union to Rule on Whether Brexit Notification Can Be Revoked
    11/20/2018

    The U.K. Supreme Court has announced that it has refused the permission to appeal application of the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. The application had been made to stop the reference by the Inner House of the Court of Session in Scotland to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling on whether the U.K. can unilaterally revoke its notice of withdrawal from the EU. The court's referral to the CJEU was discussed in our previous post. The Court of Session opined on September 21, 2018 that a reference should be made to the CJEU - Wightman v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union [2018] CSIH 62.

    The U.K. Department for Exiting the EU has also published a statement on the reference to the CJEU confirming that it has submitted written observations to the CJEU. The Government's position is that the reference to the CJEU is inadmissible on the basis that the CJEU does not answer hypothetical questions or provide advisory opinions.

    An oral hearing before the CJEU is scheduled for November 27, 2018.

    View the Supreme Court's announcement.

    View the DxEU statement.

    View details of the Court of Session Opinion.
  • Final Report on Incentives to Clear OTC Derivatives Published by Global Standard Setting Bodies
    11/19/2018

    A final joint report on the incentives to clear OTC derivatives has been 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 report is part of the FSB's post-implementation evaluation of the effects of the G20 financial regulatory reforms.

    The report sets out the results of an evaluation of the reforms that have been implemented to incentivize central clearing of OTC derivatives and outlines areas for further consideration by the global standard setting bodies. The reforms considered include mandatory clearing requirements, capital, liquidity and margin requirements, as well as the reforms to CCP resilience, recovery and resolution.

    Read more.
  • Bank of England Guidance to Firms on Valuation Capabilities to Support Resolvability
    11/19/2018

    The Bank of England has published the "Dear CFO" letter sent by its Resolution Directorate to the Chief Financial Officers of relevant entities in financial groups within the remit of the BoE's principles-based "Statement of Policy on Valuation Capabilities to Support Resolvability." The SoP was published in June 2018 and sets out the BoE's expectations on the minimum standard of valuation capabilities that firms should have in place to ensure that their valuations are sufficiently timely and robust to support the effective resolution of the firm. Firms within the remit of the SoP will need to ensure that suitable capabilities are in place by January 1, 2021.

    Read more.
  • UK Legislation Made for Onshoring the EU SEPA Regulation
    11/19/2018

    The Credit Transfers and Direct Debits in Euro (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 were made on November 19, 2018 and will enter into force on the day the U.K. exits the EU. The Regulations are relevant for all Payment Service Providers – banks, payment institutions, e-money institutions and registered Account Information Service Providers.

    Read more.
  • UK Legislation Published to Onshore the European Long-Term Investment Funds Regulation For Brexit
    11/19/2018

    HM Treasury has published a draft version of the Long-term Investment Funds (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018. The draft Regulations correct deficiencies in the directly applicable European Long-term Investment Funds Regulation to be retained on Brexit, which governs funds that invest into infrastructure and other long-term projects. The draft Regulations will primarily affect fund managers operating ELTIFs registered in the UK.

    Read more
  • UK Competition Authority Opens Investigation Into Possible Anti-Competitive Practices
    11/16/2018

    The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority has announced that it opened an investigation into suspected anti-competitive practices in the financial services sector on November 13, 2018. The investigation is at a very early phase, and the CMA does not consider that at this stage a statement of objections can be issued to any of the parties under investigation. Between now and August 2019 the CMA will be gathering information on the suspected infringement of the Competition Act 1998.

    View the announcement.
    TOPIC: Competition
  • 2018 List of Globally Systemically Important Banks Published
    11/16/2018

    The Financial Stability Board has published the 2018 list of global systemically important banks. Alongside the 2018 G-SIB list, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has published further information relating to its 2018 assessment of G-SIBs, including:
    • a list of all the banks in the assessment sample;
    • the denominators of each of the 12 high-level indicators used to calculate the banks' scores;
    • the 12 high-level indicators for each bank in the sample used to calculate these denominators;
    • the cut-off score used to identify G-SIBs in the updated list and the thresholds used to allocate G-SIBs to buckets for the purpose of calculating the specific higher loss absorbency requirements; and
    • links to disclosures of all banks in the assessment sample.

    The Basel Committee assessment was based on its 2013 methodology for identifying G-SIBs. The revised 2018 assessment methodology will apply from 2021, based on end-2020 data and the corresponding higher loss absorbency requirements will apply from January 1, 2023.

    View the 2018 G-SIB list.

    View details of the revised assessment framework for G-SIBs.
  • Draft UK Legislation Published to Onshore the EU Interchange Fee Regulation for Brexit
    11/16/2018

    HM Treasury has published a draft version of the Interchange Fee (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018, along with explanatory information. The draft Regulations will primarily affect payment system operators, payment service providers (including banks and building societies) and the businesses and individuals who rely on card payment systems. The Payment Systems Regulator will consult separately on consequential changes to its guidance on the IFR once the draft Regulations are made. The PSR will also be responsible for correcting deficiencies in the Binding Technical Standards made under the IFR.

    The draft Regulations amend the EU Interchange Fee Regulation that will be retained on Brexit and the Payment Card Interchange Fee Regulations 2015. The changes are designed to ensure that current laws on interchange fees continues to operate effectively in the U.K. once the U.K. has left the EU.

    Read more.
  • EU Final Draft Technical Standards on Estimating and Identifying an Economic Downturn in IRB Modelling
    11/16/2018

    The European Banking Authority has published final draft Regulatory Technical Standards on the specification of the nature, severity and duration of an economic downturn in accordance with the Capital Requirements Regulation. The aim of the RTS is to ensure that institutions using the Internal Ratings-Based approach to calculating capital requirements can use a well-defined and common specification of the nature, duration and severity of an economic downturn for portfolios relating to comparable types of exposure.

    The nature of the economic downturn is defined as a set of relevant economic factors and its severity is specified via the most severe values observed on the relevant economic factors over a given historical period. The duration of an economic downturn is specified using the concept of a "downturn period," namely the period of time where the peaks or troughs, which relate to the most severe values of one or several economic factors, are observed.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Progress Report on Addressing Correspondent Banking Decline
    11/16/2018

    The Financial Stability Board has published a progress report addressed to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on the FSB's four-point action plan to assess and address the decline in correspondent banking relationships. The progress report is accompanied by an update to the Correspondent Banking Data Report published by the FSB March 2018. The updated data report includes additional data from July - December 2017 derived from information provided by SWIFT to the FSB, through the intermediation of the National Bank of Belgium. The data report shows a further decline in active correspondent banking relationships in 2017.

    Read more.
  • EU Legislation Published for Relocation of the European Banking Authority Post-Brexit
    11/16/2018

    A Regulation amending the founding Regulation of the European Banking Authority has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Amending Regulation amends the EBA Regulation to change the seat of the EBA from London to Paris.

    The Amending Regulation enters into force on November 16, 2018 and will take effect on March 30, 2019.

    View the Amending Regulation (EU) 2018/1717.
  • European Central Bank Publishes Final First Chapter of Its Guide to Internal Models
    11/15/2018

    The European Central Bank has published the final first chapter of its guide to internal models. The Capital Requirements Regulation requires the ECB to assess and grant permission for banks directly supervised by the ECB to use internal models for credit risk, counterparty credit risk and market risk. The ECB's guide sets out how the ECB intends to approach the assessment of whether a firm meets the necessary requirements for the permission to be granted. This chapter is on general topics, comprising overarching principles for internal models, implementation of the internal ratings-based approach, internal model governance, internal validation and audit, model use, change management and third-party involvement. The ECB recently consulted on model-specific chapters, including for credit, market and counterparty credit risks.

    The ECB notes that the guide may need to be amended if the European Commission adopts a different version of the European Banking Authority's final Draft Regulatory Technical Standards on assessment methodology for the IRB approach.

    View the guide.

    View the feedback statement.
  • Three Central Banks Explore Advantages of Wholesale Central Bank Digital Currencies
    11/15/2018

    The Bank of England, the Bank of Canada and the Monetary Authority of Singapore have published a joint report entitled, "Cross-Border Interbank Payments and Settlements." Referring to current industry projects to address existing problems in cross-border payments affecting end-users, commercial banks and central banks, the report analyzes these issues and discusses proposed new models for processing cross-border transactions. The report sets out three models for cross-border payments and settlements and discusses the key considerations and dependencies of each model. Each model is then assessed against the existing identified challenges in cross-border payments.

    Model 1 is based on existing plans to enhance the current systems within and across jurisdictions, which is considered to be the baseline for discussions. Model 2 is based on an expanded role for domestic real-time gross settlement infrastructure, which would be "super-correspondents" in settling cross-border payments and would replace existing correspondent banks. Model 3 has three variations, all of which are based on cross-border payments between banks being settled with wholesale central bank digital currencies (W-CBDCs). The three variations are: (i) W-CBDCs that can be held and exchanged only in their home jurisdiction; (ii) W-CBDCs held and exchanged within and beyond their home jurisdictions; and (iii) a single universal W-CBDC backed by a basket of currencies issued by participating central banks.

    Read more.
  • UK Prudential Regulator Finalizes Supervisory Approach for New EU Securitization Framework
    11/15/2018

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has published a Policy Statement setting out its approach to supervision under the new EU securitization framework that will take effect from January 1, 2019. The PRA consulted on its proposals in May 2018. The incoming EU framework consists of: (i) the Securitization Regulation, which imposes general requirements for all EU securitization activity and outlines the criteria and process for designating certain securitizations as "Simple, Transparent and Standardised"; and (ii) revisions to the banking securitization capital framework within the Capital Requirements Regulation. Respondents to the PRA's consultation on its approach were largely supportive. The PRA has made some changes (outlined in the Policy Statement) to its consultation text in line with comments received.

    Read more.
  • Bank of England Writes to UK Firms on Upcoming Obligations for Internalized Settlement Reporting
    11/15/2018

    The Bank of England has published a letter sent by its Financial Market Infrastructure Directive to compliance officers of U.K. firms that may be affected by forthcoming obligations under the EU Central Securities Depositories Regulation to report internalized settlements from July 2019.

    The BoE considers that the firms likely to be subject to the CSDR's obligations are those with the regulatory permissions for safeguarding and administration of assets or arranging the same. Within this subset of regulated firms, an institution will be considered a settlement internalizer if it settles transfer orders on behalf of clients on its own account rather than through a Central Securities Depository. Settlement internalizers must submit reports to the BoE.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Publishes Upcoming Resolution Priorities for Banks, Insurers and CCPs
    11/15/2018

    The Financial Stability Board has published its 2018 resolution report, entitled "Keeping the pressure up," setting out: (i) the progress in implementing the FSB's resolution policies for CCPs and in the banking and insurance sectors; (ii) the next steps in monitoring and evaluating the effects of resolution reforms; and (iii) the actions and timelines for 2019 and beyond. The FSB highlights that, although substantial progress has been made, firms need to continue work to improve their resolvability, and authorities and lawmakers need to complete the reforms and implement them fully.

    The FSB report describes the priority areas for global systemically important banks, including the implementation of technical and operational capabilities to ensure that a resolution plan can be timely and effectively executed, if needed. Another key area is implementation of the total loss absorbing capacity (TLAC) requirements, in particular, internal TLAC. In June 2018, the FSB launched a call for feedback on the technical implementation of TLAC for G-SIBS to assess whether implementation aligns with the timelines and objectives set out in the TLAC Standard. The FSB will report on the outcomes of that review during 2019. Work will also be required to ensure (i) cross-border recognition of temporary stays on early termination rights in financial contracts; and (ii) continuity of access to financial market infrastructures and FMI intermediaries.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Discusses Financial Resources for CCP Resolution
    11/15/2018

    The Financial Stability Board has published a discussion paper on financial resources to support CCP resolution and the treatment of CCP equity in resolution. The FSB considers that further evidenced-based guidance is needed on this topic and the discussion paper is the first step in developing such guidance by the end of 2020. The FSB intends to use the practical experience of resolution planning that resolution authorities and Crisis Management Groups have gained to develop the guidance. The discussion paper outlines: (i) relevant considerations for evaluating whether a CCP's existing financial resources and tools are satisfactory for implementing the individual CCPs' resolution strategy, including a proposed five-step process and CCP-specific factors that warrant assessment; and (ii) factors that could steer authorities in their approaches to the treatment of CCP equity in resolution, including consideration of whether different ownership structures are relevant.

    Responses to the discussion paper should be submitted by February 1, 2019. The FSB notes that responses to the discussion paper will be used to develop proposed guidance which will be consulted on at the appropriate time.

    View the discussion paper.
  • UK Prudential Regulator Finalizes Changes to the Leverage Ratio Rules for Ring-Fenced Banks
    11/14/2018

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has published a Policy Statement on applying the U.K. leverage ratio to systemic Ring-fenced Bodies and reflecting the Systemic Risk Buffer. The SRB is one of the elements of the overall capital framework for U.K. banks and building societies. It will be applied by the PRA to individual institutions and introduced at the same time that ring-fencing comes into force in 2019. RFBs are banks that hold more than £25 billion in core deposits. They must separate their core retail banking business from their investment banking business by January 1, 2019.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Wants Improvements to Banks' Whistleblowing Arrangements
    11/14/2018

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published the outcome of its review of firms' whistleblowing arrangements. The FCA has reviewed how retail and wholesale banks have implemented its whistleblowing rules by looking at firms' policies and procedures, the role of the whistleblowers' champion, firms' whistleblowing annual reports and the relevant training arrangements.

    Both the FCA and the Prudential Regulation Authority published their whistleblowing rules in 2015 and the FCA extended certain of the requirements to U.K. branches of overseas banks in early 2017.

    The FCA has published its findings, including areas of good practices, areas for improvement and the FCA's expectations of firms' whistleblowing arrangements. The FCA urges firms to consider its findings and whether they need to take action to improve their whistleblowing arrangements.

    View the FCA's review webpage.
  • Draft EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement Published
    11/14/2018

    The European Commission and the U.K. government published a draft Withdrawal Agreement and an Outline Political Declaration on the framework for the future relationship between the EU and the U.K. The draft Withdrawal Agreement has been agreed between the negotiators and must still be ratified by the U.K. and EU27 leaders. The full Political Declaration on the future relationship is expected by the end of November 2018, provided the draft Withdrawal Agreement is ratified.

    The draft Withdrawal Agreement outlines how the U.K. will leave the EU and provides for the previously agreed transition period that would run from March 30, 2019 until December 31, 2020. It also provides for the agreements concerning the future relationship to be negotiated expeditiously with the objective of ensuring that the agreements apply from the end of the transition period. This timeframe is reiterated in the Outline Political Declaration. The negotiators have committed to report regularly on progress made on concluding the agreements governing the future relationship between the EU and the U.K.

    The Outline Political Declaration briefly sets out the principles agreed by the negotiators for the future relationship. The Outline confirms that the basis of the future relationship in financial services will be decision-making autonomy and equivalence. The EU and the U.K. are to strive to conclude equivalence assessments before the end of June 2020. The documentation is silent on whether there will be any changes to the processes around equivalency or any expansion to the categories of equivalences under U.K. or EU laws.

    Read more
  • Financial Stability Board Progress Report on Reforming Major Interest Rate Benchmarks
    11/14/2018

    The Financial Stability Board has published a progress report on ongoing reforms to major interest rate benchmarks. The FSB has been co-ordinating international reform work, through its Official Sector Steering Group, since 2014, when it made several recommendations aimed at addressing cases of attempted manipulation in relation to key IBORs and the decline in liquidity in certain interbank unsecured funding markets. The OSSG launched a third major initiative in 2016, to improve contract robustness to address risks of discontinuation of widely-used interest rate benchmarks. That initiative is being led by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, which launched a consultation on fallback rates in July 2018.

    The progress report provides an update since the FSB's progress report in October 2017 and covers:
     
    1. Developments in Interbank Offered Rates, including discussion of the future of LIBOR.
    2. Identification of and transition to risk-free rates, where appropriate, for transactions denominated in USD, EUR, JPY, GBP, CHF, AUD, BRL, CAD, HKD, MXN, SGD and ZAR.
    3. The development of fallback rates to enhance contractual robustness.

    The FSB proposes to publish a further progress report in late 2019.

    View the progress report.

    View details of the October 2017 progress report.

    View details of ISDA's July 2018 consultation on fallback rates.

    View FSB statement welcoming ISDA's July 2018 consultation.
  • International Body Proposes Framework for Assessing Fund Leverage
    11/14/2018

    The International Organization of Securities Commissions has launched a consultation on a proposed framework to help assess leverage used by investment funds. The consultation follows a recommendation to IOSCO from the Financial Stability Board in its January 2017 report, "Policy Recommendations to Address Structural Vulnerabilities from Asset Management Activities." The FSB recommended, among other things, that IOSCO should identify and/or develop consistent measures of leverage in funds to facilitate more meaningful monitoring of leverage for financial stability purposes and help enable direct comparisons across funds and at a global level.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: FundsShadow Banking
  • European Commission Publishes Aspects of Contingency Plans For No Deal Brexit
    11/13/2018

    The European Commission has published a Communication establishing certain contingency action plans in preparation for a "no deal" Brexit. The Communication sets out certain actions that the EU is or is proposing to take in the event of a "hard" Brexit. In relation to financial services, the Commission states that it will adopt temporary and conditional equivalence decisions to avoid disruption to derivatives clearing and depositaries services. The decisions would "complement" recognition of U.K. financial market infrastructures. The Commission has also urged these entities to apply in advance for recognition from the European Securities and Markets Authority.

    The Commission reiterates that uncleared OTC derivatives contracts should remain valid and executable until maturity although, where one counterparty is based in the U.K., certain life-cycle events may trigger the need for an authorization or exemption.

    In the Communication, the European Commission further notes that the risks presented to financial services by a "no deal" Brexit have decreased significantly over time because of the action taken by firms to establish new entities or relocate entities and to transfer contracts. In particular, the Commission observes that insurance firms have taken steps to ensure that they can continue to provide services to their clients, including transferring contracts, setting up branches or subsidiaries and merging with firms established in the EU27.

    The Commission also encourages the European Supervisory Authorities to begin preparing cooperation arrangements with the U.K. financial regulators to provide for the exchange of information and supervisory cooperation.

    View the Communication.
  • EU Supervisory Authority Consults on Proposed Guidelines on Money Market Fund Reporting Requirements
    11/13/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has launched a consultation on proposed Guidelines for Money Market Fund Managers, to assist them in complying with their obligations, under the Money Market Funds Regulation, to report information to the relevant national regulator of each MMF they manage. The reporting obligation applies on at least a quarterly basis (or annually for MMFs with total assets under management not exceeding Euro 100 million). The European Commission adopted Implementing Technical Standards in April 2018, which specify the content of a reporting template that will be developed for the information. The ITS have applied since July 21, 2018 and MMF managers must begin submitting reports under the MMF Regulation in the first quarter of 2020.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: FundsShadow Banking
  • EU Supervisory Authority Issues Updated Supervisory Briefing on MiFID II Suitability
    11/13/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published an updated version of its supervisory briefing on suitability. The original suitability briefing was published in December 2012 to provide guidance to EU national regulators on the suitability requirements under the original Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. The updated suitability briefing reflects the amended requirements introduced by the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and takes into account the new version of ESMA's Suitability Guidelines that was published in May 2018.

    While the updated briefing is primarily aimed at national regulators, it should also assist market participants by providing indications of compliant implementation of the MiFID II suitability provisions.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: MiFID II
  • UK Legislation Published to Onshore Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Legislation for Brexit
    11/13/2018

    HM Treasury has published a draft of the Money Laundering and Transfer of Funds (Information) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018, along with explanatory information. The draft Regulations will primarily be relevant for payment service providers, anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing supervisory authorities and firms that are regulated through the U.K.'s AML/CTF regime. The draft Regulations introduce no material policy changes. Their purpose is to correct deficiencies in U.K. law and retained EU law to ensure that the U.K. AML/CTF regime continues to function effectively after the U.K.'s withdrawal from the EU.

    The draft Regulations amend the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (the MLRs), which transposed into U.K. law the provisions of the EU Fourth Money Laundering Directive (4MLD). The draft Regulations also amend the Oversight of Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing Supervision Regulations 2017 and the revised EU Funds Transfer Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2015/847). This EU Regulation gives legal effect to Financial Action Task Force Recommendation 16, on the information accompanying electronic transfers of funds. Additionally, the draft Regulations revoke Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/1108, which sets out Regulatory Technical Standards for central contact points under 4MLD.

    Read more.
  • EU Final Draft Technical Standards and Technical Advice Published Governing Securitization Repositories and Data Access
    11/12/2018

    On November 12, 2018, ESMA published a series of documents delivering on some of its outstanding mandates to provide draft technical standards and technical advice to supplement the Securitization Regulation. The Securitization Regulation will apply directly across the EU from January 1, 2019. ESMA has been mandated to provide draft regulatory and implementing technical standards and technical advice to supplement a number of the Regulation’s provisions. ESMA has also published a statement on its near-term implementation of the Securitization Regulation, to assist market participants in understanding ESMA’s role and its progress on its deliverables.

    View ESMA's Final Report on securitization.

    View ESMA's Final Report on technical advice.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • EU Final Draft Technical Standards and Technical Advice Published Governing Securitization Repositories and Data Access
    11/12/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a series of documents delivering on some of its outstanding mandates to provide draft technical standards and technical advice to supplement the Securitization Regulation (also known as the STS Regulation). The Securitization Regulation will apply directly across the EU from January 1, 2019. ESMA has been mandated to provide draft regulatory and implementing technical standards and technical advice to supplement a number of the Regulation's provisions. ESMA has also published a statement on its near-term implementation of the Securitization Regulation, to assist market participants in understanding ESMA's role and its progress on its deliverables.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • Eurozone's Single Resolution Board Publishes 2019 Work Programme
    11/12/2018

    The EU Single Resolution Board has published its 2019 Work Programme, setting out its priorities and principal tasks for the next year. The SRB is the resolution authority for all banking groups and entities as well as cross-border groups that are subject to direct prudential supervision by the European Central Bank (i.e., for banks within the Eurozone Banking Union).

    The SRB's work in 2019 will include, among other things, the following:
    • increasing the scope of banks with developed resolution plans and enhancing existing resolution plans to reflect the development of new or updated SRB policies;
    • the adoption of more than 100 group-level decisions on minimum requirement for own funds and eligible liabilities (MREL) and the determination of over 530 MREL targets for individual entities;
    • enhancing the analysis of potential impediments to resolvability of banks;
    • the development of better ICT solutions for crisis management, including establishing a dedicated team to assist individual Crisis Management Teams in implementing the improvements; and
    • the adoption of several new and updated SRB policies covering, for example, MREL decisions, resolvability assessments and operational continuity.

    The SRB expects a significant increase of the number of resolution plans for less significant institutions, the development of which falls within the remit of the Eurozone national regulators.

    View the SRB's 2019 Work Programme.
  • Financial Stability Board Publishes Cyber Lexicon
    11/12/2018

    The Financial Stability Board has published the final Cyber Lexicon of terms related to cyber security and cyber resilience. The Lexicon is intended to assist the FSB, other international standard setting bodies (such as the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures and the International Organization of Securities Commissions), authorities and the private sector to address threats to cyber security and adopt cyber resilience measures. The FSB has also published an overview of responses to the public consultation, summarizing the main issues that emerged during the FSB's consultation on a draft lexicon and the changes adopted to address them.

    Read more.
  • European Central Bank Publishes Final Guides for Capital and Liquidity Management
    11/12/2018

    The European Central Bank has published two finalized Guides, one on the internal capital adequacy assessment process (ICAAP) and the other on the internal liquidity adequacy assessment process (ILAAP). The ECB consulted on draft versions of the Guides between March and May 2018. The Guides, which are relevant to institutions within the Single Supervisory Mechanism, are designed to assist institutions in strengthening their ICAAPs and ILAAPs and encourage the use of best practices by explaining in greater detail the ECB's expectations.

    The ICAAP and ILAAP Guides each set out seven principles that have been derived from the relevant provisions of the Capital Requirements Directive and that will be considered, among other things, by the ECB in the assessment of each institution's ICAAP or ILAAP as part of the Supervisory Review and Evaluation Process. Frequently Asked Questions have also been published alongside the Guides, along with consultation responses received and a feedback statement.

    The ECB intends to use the guides to assess significant institutions' ICAAPs and ILAAPs from January 1, 2019.

    View the ICAAP Guide.

    View the ILAAP Guide.

    View the FAQs.

    View the consultation responses.

    View the feedback statement.
  • European Money Markets Institute Launches Second Consultation on Hybrid Methodology for Euribor
    11/12/2018

    The European Money Markets Institute has published a second consultation paper (dated October 17, 2018) on its proposals to introduce a hybrid determination methodology for the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (Euribor). EMMI is the administrator for Euribor, a major euro interest reference rate for unsecured interbank short-term lending and borrowing. Euribor was classed as a critical benchmark of systemic importance for financial stability by the European Commission in 2016.

    The consultation paper sets out a summary of EMMI's findings during the testing phase for the newly proposed hybrid methodology, which took place between May and July 2018, and provides details on EMMI's proposals for the different methodological parameters that were yet to be specified when EMMI's first consultation was issued in March 2018. The consultation paper seeks feedback from market participants on a number of questions on aspects of the proposed methodology.

    Read more.
  • EU Countering Money Laundering By Criminal Law Directive Will Apply From December 2020
    11/12/2018

    The EU Countering Money Laundering by Criminal Law Directive has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Directive will complement the Fifth Money Laundering Directive, which was adopted in May 2018.

    The U.K., Ireland and Denmark have not adopted the new Directive. In the U.K., this mirrors the approach taken by the U.K. in relation to EU criminal sanctions for market manipulation where it has implemented its own national regime.

    The new Directive will enter into force on December 3, 2018. EU member states that have adopted the Directive must transpose the new provisions into national law by December 3, 2020.

    Read more.
  • EU Legislation Published to Update Supervisory Reporting Requirements
    11/09/2018

    A Commission Implementing Regulation supplementing the Capital Requirements Regulation has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Implementing Regulation amends the existing Implementing Regulation ((EU) No 680/2014) to reflect the gradual supplementation and amendment of elements of the CRR reporting requirements by the adoption of further Regulatory Technical Standards. The Amending Regulation was adopted by the European Commission on October 9, 2018. It amends the existing Implementing Regulation to set out:
    • additional requirements relating to prudent valuation adjustments of fair-valued positions;
    • additional requirements to accommodate the reporting on securitization positions subject to the revised securitization framework; and
    • minor changes to the reporting requirements on the geographical distribution of exposures.

    The Amending Regulation will enter into force on November 29, 2018 and will apply directly across the EU from December 1, 2018.

    View Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1627.
  • Statement by EU Supervisory Authority Confirms No EU Transitional Measures For UK Credit Rating Agencies and Trade Repositories on a Hard Brexit
    11/09/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has issued a public statement urging customers of credit rating agencies and trade repositories to prepare for a "no deal" Brexit. The European Market Infrastructure Regulation requires derivatives subject to the reporting obligation to be reported to either a registered trade repository established in the EU or a recognized third-country trade repository. The CRA Regulation provides that banks, investment firms, insurers, reinsurers, management companies, investment companies, alternative investment fund managers and CCPs may only use credit ratings for certain regulatory purposes if a rating is issued by: (i) an EU CRA registered with ESMA; or (ii) a third-country CRA under the endorsement regime or the equivalence/certification regime. Without the EU putting in place a temporary regime (as the U.K. is doing), U.K. CRAs and trade repositories will lose their EU registration when the U.K. leaves the EU on a "hard Brexit." ESMA reiterates that all market participants must ensure that they continue to comply with their obligations under EMIR, the CRA Regulation and other EU legislation and should monitor the Brexit-related public statements issued by CRAs and trade repositories.

    Read more.
  • UK Financial Conduct Authority Issues Direction For Post-Brexit Temporary Permissions Regime
    11/09/2018

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has issued a Direction detailing how an EEA firm currently passporting into the U.K. should notify it of the firm's intention to benefit from the Temporary Permissions Regime in the event of a "no deal" Brexit. The Direction was made under the EEA Passport Rights (Amendment, etc., and Transitional Provisions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 (made on November 6, 2018). The Regulations provide for a Temporary Permissions Regime for firms that are currently authorized to carry on a regulated activity in the U.K. under an EEA passporting right that have either applied for U.K. authorization prior to the U.K. withdrawal date or have notified the relevant U.K. regulator of their intention to continue carrying on passported activities. Temporary permissions would deem firms within the regime as authorized for their current activities for a maximum of three years, subject to a power for HM Treasury to extend the regime's duration by increments of 12 months.

    As with the PRA's Direction (issued on November 7, 2018), the FCA requires firms to submit the Temporary Permission Notification Form using Connect between January 7, 2019 and March 28, 2019.

    View the FCA's Direction.

    View details of the PRA's Direction.
  • EU Supervisory Authority Issues Call for Evidence on Periodic Auctions for Equity Instruments
    11/09/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a call for evidence on periodic auctions for equity instruments. ESMA wishes to gather more information on the functioning of so-called frequent batch auction trading systems. Frequent batch auctions for equities have rapidly gained market share since the introduction of the Double Volume Cap mechanism under the revised Markets in Financial Instruments package. This has given rise to concerns that this trading may be used as alternative to trading under the DVC waivers and/or as a way to avoid the pre-trade transparency requirements of systematic internalisers. ESMA has conducted a stock-take, assessing seven frequent batch auction systems operating in the EU and sets out its findings in the call for evidence.

    In the call for evidence, ESMA distinguishes conventional periodic auctions from frequent batch auctions and outlines the key characteristics of frequent batch auction systems operating in the EU. ESMA sets out its observation of a rising market share for equity trading on frequent batch auctions and considers developments in equity trading since the application of MiFID II. It seeks input on a range of questions focused on these issues.

    Responses to the call for evidence are invited by January 11, 2019. The call for evidence will be of particular interest to trading venues and investment firms trading in equity instruments, but ESMA also welcomes responses from any other market participants including trade associations and industry bodies, institutional and retail investors.

    ESMA will use the feedback to the call for evidence to assess whether and to what extent frequent batch auction systems can be used to circumvent the MiFID II transparency requirements and will develop appropriate policy measures if necessary.

    View the call for evidence.
    TOPIC: MiFID II
  • EU Supervisory Authority Will Extend Binary Options Ban Into 2019
    11/09/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has announced that it proposes to renew the prohibition on the marketing, distribution or sale of binary options to retail clients for a further three months from January 2, 2019. ESMA's product intervention powers under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation allow it to impose temporary prohibitions or restrictions on certain financial instruments, financial activities or practices to address a significant investor protection concern in the EU. ESMA is renewing the prohibition on binary options because it considers that a significant investor protection concern remains. The measure will be renewed on the same terms as the previous renewal decision that has applied from October 2, 2018 and that will expire on January 1, 2019.

    ESMA's Board of Supervisors agreed on the renewal of intervention measures on November 7, 2018. ESMA will publish an official notice on its website in the coming weeks. The new Decision will then be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and will start to apply from January 2, 2019 for a period of three months.

    View ESMA's announcement.

    View details of the prohibition expiring on January 1, 2019.
  • EU Proposals Aim to Avoid Duplicative Information Requirements on Investment Managers
    11/08/2018

    The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities have launched a consultation on amendments to the Key Information Document for Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products.

    Since January 1, 2018, the EU PRIIPs Regulation has required manufacturers of PRIIPs to prepare and publish a stand-alone, standardized Key Information Document for each of their PRIIPs. Those advising retail investors on PRIIPs, or selling PRIIPs to retail investors, must provide retail investors with a KID in good time before the transaction is concluded. The PRIIPs Regulation exempts until December 31, 2019 management and investment companies and persons advising on or selling Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities from the obligation to produce and provide a PRIIPs KID. The UCITS Directive requires these entities to provide investors with a Key Investor Information Document. As a result, if there were no changes made to the EU legislation, UCITS would be subject to duplicative information requirements from January 1, 2020. To address this situation, the ESAs are proposing to amend the Regulatory Technical Standards under the PRIIPs Regulation by moving the UCITS KIID requirements to the PRIIPs RTS.

    Read more.
  • Draft EU Guidelines on Supervisory Cooperation on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism
    11/08/2018

    The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities have launched a consultation on draft joint guidelines on the cooperation and information exchange between national regulators supervising banks and other financial institutions for compliance with Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism rules. The Fourth Money Laundering Directive requires that EU member states allow, without undue restriction, the exchange of information and provision of assistance between national regulators. The ESA's proposed guidelines aim to set out how that can be achieved in practice. The ESAs are proposing that a college of supervisors should be established where a financial institution is supervised in three or more EU member states. The draft guidelines set out rules on the establishment and operation of the colleges. For firms that do not require a college but which operate in two member states, the ESAs propose a process for the bilateral exchange of information between national regulators.

    The consultation closes on February 8, 2019.

    View the consultation paper.
  • US Securities and Exchange Commission Charges Digital Asset Trading Platform Founder for Operating Unregistered Exchange
    11/08/2018

    The Securities and Exchange Commission has accused the founder of a digital asset trading platform of failing to register as a national securities exchange. Without admitting or denying the charges, the founder agreed to pay $300,000 in disgorgement and a $75,000 penalty, and to cease and desist from future violations of Section 5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

    The SEC said that the trading platform facilitated secondary market trading of ERC20 tokens, which are a type of digital asset issued and distributed on the Ethereum blockchain. The platform provided a marketplace that matched buyers and sellers of digital assets through the use of its order book, using smart contracts to validate, confirm and execute orders.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: EnforcementFinTech
  • Proposed Exemption From the EU Clearing Obligation for OTC Derivatives Novated to EU Counterparties in Preparation For a "No Deal" Brexit
    11/08/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has proposed the introduction of a 12-month exemption from the clearing obligation to facilitate the novation of uncleared OTC derivative contracts to EU counterparties in the event of a "no deal" Brexit. The European Market Infrastructure Regulation imposes a clearing obligation on EU firms that are counterparties to certain OTC derivatives contracts. The clearing obligation applies to Interest Rate Swaps denominated in seven currencies (EUR, GBP, JPY, USD, NOK, PLN and SEK) and to two classes of credit default swap indices (iTraxx Europe Main and iTraxx Europe Crossover). The obligation to clear OTC IRS denominated in all seven currencies is in force for clearing members of EU CCPs as well as large financial counterparties and alternative investment funds. The IRS clearing obligation will apply to small financial counterparties and AIFs from June 21, 2019 and to non-financial counterparties from December 21, 2018 for IRS denominated in the G4 currencies, and from August 9, 2019 for IRS denominated in CZK, DKK, HUF, NOK, SEK and PLN. The CDS clearing obligation is in force for clearing members of EU CCPs, large financial counterparties and AIFs. It applies to non-financial counterparties from May 9, 2019 and to small financial counterparties and AIFs from June 21, 2019.

    Read more.
  • UK Legislation Published for Brexit on Bank of England's Functions
    11/07/2018

    HM Treasury has laid before Parliament the draft Bank of England (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018, together with a draft explanatory memorandum.

    The draft Regulations make amendments to the Bank of England Act 1998, the Financial Services Act 2012 and related secondary legislation to ensure that the constitution, responsibilities and functions of the Bank of England continue to be clearly defined after exit day, including in a "no-deal" scenario. In the explanatory memorandum accompanying the draft Regulations, HM Treasury confirms that the draft Regulations make only technical changes to existing legislation to ensure that it continues to operate effectively once the U.K. leaves the EU. This includes amendments to information sharing and notification requirements and amendments to certain definitions so that they work in the U.K. after exit day. Amendments to secondary legislation include necessary adjustments to provisions on capital buffers and amounts of cash ratio deposits that certain financial services firms must hold with the BoE.

    Read more.
  • EU Legislation to Update Technical Standards for Resolution Reporting
    11/07/2018

    A Commission Implementing Regulation supplementing the EU Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Implementing Regulation sets out Implementing Technical Standards on the information to be provided to resolution authorities to enable them to draw up and implement resolution plans for credit institutions or investment firms. Reflecting experience gained by resolution authorities in resolution planning, the Implementing Regulation repeals and replaces the existing Implementing Technical Standards set out in Regulation (EU) 2016/1066, which specifies the procedure and introduced a minimum set of templates for the provision of information to resolution authorities.

    The Implementing Regulation introduces a single data point model, as is the practice in supervisory reporting, and introduces common validation rules to safeguard the quality, consistency and accuracy of the data items reported by institutions. Detailed common validation rules will be published electronically by the European Banking Authority on its website.

    Read more.
  • UK Prudential Regulation Authority Issues Direction for Temporary Permissions Regime
    11/07/2018

    The Prudential Regulation Authority has issued a Direction setting out how an EEA firm currently passporting into the U.K. should notify the PRA if the firm wants to benefit from the Temporary Permissions Regime in the event of a "no deal" Brexit. The Direction was made under the EEA Passport Rights (Amendment, etc., and Transitional Provisions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 (made on November 6, 2018). The Regulations provide for a Temporary Permissions Regime for firms that are currently authorized to carry on a regulated activity in the U.K. under an EEA passporting right that have either applied for U.K. authorization prior to the U.K. withdrawal date or have notified the relevant U.K. regulator of their intention to continue carrying on passported activities. Temporary permission would deem firms within the regime as authorized for their current activities for a maximum of three years, subject to a power for HM Treasury to extend the regime's duration by increments of 12 months.

    The PRA Direction requires firms to submit the Temporary Permission Notification Form using Connect between January 7, 2019 and March 28, 2019.

    View the PRA's Direction.

    View the EEA Passport Rights Regulations 2018.
  • UK Prudential Regulator Fines Senior Managers For Failing to be Open and Cooperative
    11/07/2018

    The Prudential Regulation Authority has announced that it has imposed financial penalties on two senior managers for failing to be open and cooperative about an enforcement action into the U.K. subsidiary of a Japanese bank by the New York Department of Financial Services in 2014. The PRA's enforcement action follows the financial penalties that it imposed in 2017 on this entity and an affiliate for breaching Fundamental Rules 6 and 7 of the PRA Rulebook in that the firms had (i) failed to communicate relevant information about the settlement with the DFS; and (ii) failed to inform the PRA of the potential implications of the DFS matter for certain senior managers.

    The latest fines have been imposed on the former Chair and a former Non-Executive Director for failing to inform the PRA that a senior manager might be restricted from conducting U.S. banking activities as a result of the action by the DFS. The PRA only learnt about the issue after publication of the DFS consent order. This meant that the PRA could not assess the implications or supervise any contingency planning.

    Read more.
  • Bank of England Provides Further Guidance on Settlement Finality Designation Post-Brexit
    11/06/2018

    The Bank of England has published the "Dear CEO" letter that it has sent to the Chief Executive Officers of EU CCPs, central securities depositaries and payment systems that are currently designated under the EU Settlement Finality Directive. The designation of these systems is automatically recognized in the U.K. under the SFD framework for automatic recognition, but the U.K. will fall outside the EU framework upon Brexit.

    The "Dear CEO" letter follows an earlier letter issued by the BoE in July 2018 and the publication, by HM Treasury, of a draft of the Financial Markets and Insolvency (Amendment and Transitional Provision) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 on October 31, 2018. The draft Regulations will, once in force, empower the BoE to grant permanent designation to non-U.K. (including EU) systems that are not governed by U.K. law. They also establish a temporary designation regime for EU systems that are currently designated under the SFD.

    In the letter, the BoE sets out further details of the permanent designation of non-U.K. systems post-Brexit. It also sets out how EU systems can go about applying to enter the temporary designation regime in a "no deal" scenario (where the U.K. exits the EU without a ratified Withdrawal Agreement) in order to continue to benefit from U.K. SFD protection until the permanent designation process is complete.

    Read more.
  • EU National Regulators To Confirm If They Intend to Comply With MiFID II Suitability Guidelines
    11/06/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published on its website the official translations of its revised Guidelines on aspects of the suitability requirements under the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive.

    ESMA published the finalized Guidelines in May 2018, following a consultation between July and December 2017. The finalized Guidelines largely confirm ESMA's previous 2012 Guidelines on MiFID I, but have a broader scope and ESMA has added clarifications and refinements where necessary.

    Now that the Guidelines have been translated into the official EU languages and published on ESMA's website, national regulators will have a two-month period (expiring on January 6, 2019) in which to notify ESMA whether they comply or intend to comply with the guidelines. National regulators should state their reasons for non-compliance where they do not comply or do not intend to comply.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: MiFID II
  • Brexit Legislation Published Establishing a Temporary Permissions Regime for EEA Firms Passporting into the UK
    11/06/2018

    The EEA Passport Rights (Amendment, etc., and Transitional Provisions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 were made on November 6, 2018. The Regulations provide, among other things, for a Temporary Permissions Regime for firms that are currently authorized to carry on a regulated activity in the U.K. under an EEA passporting right that have either applied for U.K. authorization prior to the U.K. withdrawal date or have notified the relevant U.K. regulator of their intention to continue carrying on passported activities. The Regulations come into force on November 7, 2018 except for the following provisions, which come into force on exit day:
    • Regulation 2 (Repeal of passport rights, etc);
    • Regulation 3 (Consequential amendments);
    • Regulation 4 (Saving provision: tax); and
    • Regulation 24 (Financial Services Compensation Scheme - modifications of Part 15 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000).

    View the EEA Passport Rights Regulations 2018.

    View details of the draft regulations.
  • Technical Standards Under the EU Benchmarks Regulation to Apply From January 2019
    11/05/2018

    A series of ten Commission Delegated Regulations, comprising all of the Regulatory Technical Standards to supplement the EU Benchmarks Regulation, has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

    The Benchmarks Regulation, which took effect directly 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. The RTS outline the behaviors and standards expected of administrators of and contributors to benchmarks. Draft Commission Delegated Regulations setting out the RTS were adopted by the European Commission in July 2018.

    All of the Commission Delegated Regulations will enter into force on November 25, 2018 and they will apply directly across the EU from January 25, 2019.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • US Commodity Futures Trading Commission Adopts Permanent $8 Billion Swap Dealer De Minimis Registration Threshold
    11/05/2018

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has unanimously voted to adopt a final rule that would permanently set the swap dealer de minimis registration threshold at $8 billion. Absent further action by the CFTC, the de minimis threshold was previously scheduled to drop to $3 billion on December 31, 2019.

    Under the final rule, as under current requirements, firms with swap dealing activity below the aggregate gross notional amount (AGNA) threshold of $8 billion over the previous 12 months would be exempt from the CFTC's swap dealer registration requirements. The CFTC said its analysis concluded that the $8 billion threshold subjects approximately 98% of swap transactions to swap dealer regulations. In the CFTC's determination, a $3 billion threshold would only subject a small number of additional swap transactions to such regulation, but would likely decrease swap market liquidity.

    The CFTC had also previously proposed several other measures in respect of the de minimis threshold, such as excluding swaps of insured depository institutions made in connection with loans from a firm's AGNA calculation. Although the CFTC did not adopt any of these additional proposals in the final rule, CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo said he will direct CFTC staff to continue their analysis of these measures and other issues raised in comments on the rule.

    View the final rule.

    View the CFTC's fact sheet on the final rule.

    View CFTC Chairman Giancarlo's statement.

    View CFTC Commissioner Dan Berkovitz's statement.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • UK Competition and Markets Authority Consults on Draft Definitions in Investment Consultants Market Investigation
    11/02/2018

    The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority has published a consultation entitled "Draft definitions of Investment Consultancy services and Fiduciary Management for the purposes of potential remedies," under its Market Investigation into these sectors. The CMA is in the process of reviewing the submissions made in response to the Provisional Decision Report it published in July 2018.

    The consultation paper contains working draft definitions of "investment consultancy services" and "fiduciary management services" for the purposes of the remedies that the CMA may impose in any Order following the publication of its final report. The CMA seeks only high-level comments on the draft decisions. It proposes to consult separately in due course on any draft Order it may make.

    Comments on the consultation are invited by November 9, 2018.

    The CMA's final report on its Market Investigation is currently scheduled for publication in December 2018.

    View the consultation paper.

    View details of the July 2018 Provisional Decision Report.
    TOPIC: Competition
  • UK Regulator Highlights Role of Remuneration Committee Chair As a Senior Manager
    11/01/2018

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a letter (dated August 20, 2018) addressed to the Chair of the Remuneration Committee of banks and large investment firms (investment firms with total assets over £50 billion). The letter informs the Chair of how the FCA intends to assess the remuneration policies and practices of firms in 2018/19. Moreover, it sets out the impact of that approach for the Chair of the Remuneration Committee as a Senior Manager under the Senior Managers and Certification Regimes. The Chair of the Remuneration Committee of in-scope firms holds FCA Senior Manager Function 12. The FCA notes that its supervisors will be interacting with the Chair of the Remuneration Committee to ascertain how the Chair has determined that their firm's policies and practices promote the right behavior. The discussions will include an assessment of how any issues from the 2017/18 remuneration round have been addressed. The FCA also highlights that a Chair of the Remuneration Committee should be satisfied that the level of ex post adjustments are appropriate and be capable of providing reasons for these adjustments. In addition, the FCA is adopting the same approach as the Prudential Regulation Authority and will no longer provide a non-objection statement to the proposed communication or distribution of variable remuneration awards by banks and large investment firms.

    View the letter.

    View details of the PRA's approach to the latest remuneration round.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Bans Former LIBOR Submitter From Performing Any Regulated Activity
    11/01/2018

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published the Final Notice (dated October 30, 2018) that it issued to a former employee of a major international bank, prohibiting him from performing any function relating to any regulated activity carried on by any authorized or exempt person, or exempt professional firm. The individual was convicted in June 2016 of conspiracy to defraud for manipulation of the U.S. Dollar LIBOR and sentenced to four years' imprisonment. The conviction related to misconduct between 2005 and 2007.

    The FCA has concluded that the individual's criminal conviction for an offense of dishonesty, involving financial crime and market manipulation, demonstrates that he is not fit and proper to perform functions related to regulated activities. It considers that, while the misconduct occurred over ten years ago, its seriousness and the severity of the risk which the individual poses to consumers and to confidence in the financial system are such that it is appropriate to impose a prohibition order.

    View the Final Notice.
    TOPIC: Enforcement
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Report on Credit Rating Agency and Trade Repository Fees
    11/01/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a thematic report on the fees charged by EU credit rating agencies and trade repositories for their services. Under the Credit Ratings Agencies Regulation, CRAs must ensure that fees for their services are non-discriminatory and based on actual costs. Under the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation, trade repositories must provide non-discriminatory access to their services and publically disclose their fees, which should be cost-related. ESMA directly supervises both CRAs and trade repositories that are established in the EU. 

    Read more.
  • UK Legislation Published to Preserve Settlement Finality Designation Post-Brexit
    10/31/2018

    HM Treasury has published a draft of the Financial Markets and Insolvency (Amendment and Transitional Provision) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018. These draft Regulations introduce changes across various pieces of legislation relevant to financial market infrastructure to implement Brexit, namely the Settlement Finality Regulations, the Companies Act 1989, the Financial Collateral Arrangements (No.2) Regulations and the Banking Act 2009, so that U.K. domestic law concerning financial market infrastructure insolvency can continue to operate effectively after the U.K. leaves the EU.

    The draft Regulations are designed to maintain legal certainty for EU systems that conduct business with U.K. participants, by providing for the continuation of U.K. settlement finality protections currently provided under the Settlement Finality Directive.

    Read more.
  • EU Authority Calls for Non-Enforcement of Impending Clearing Obligation for Intragroup Transactions and Non-Financial Counterparties
    10/31/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has issued a statement on the impending clearing obligation under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation. The statement is also relevant to the trading obligation under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation which is triggered by the EMIR clearing obligation.

    EMIR provides an exemption from the clearing obligation for intragroup transactions with a third-country group entity where one of the counterparties is a third-country group entity and there is an equivalence decision in respect of the third country in which it is situated. An equivalence decision would enable parties that are subject to both the EU and a third country's clearing obligation to comply only with one jurisdiction's requirements, but no equivalence decisions have been made to date for these purposes.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: DerivativesMiFID II
  • UK Prudential Regulator Publishes Information Pack on Ring-fencing Reporting Requirements
    10/31/2018

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has published an information document entitled "Ring-fencing: Summary of regulatory reporting requirements." The document summarizes the regulatory reporting and reporting system requirements for ring-fencing that will apply to U.K. banking groups within the scope of the U.K.'s structural reform requirements coming into force on January 1, 2019. The information document is designed to assist firms that must submit ring-fencing regulatory returns.

    The PRA states that the information document is not intended to supersede the PRA Rulebook, the regulatory reporting and the structural reform sections of the Bank of England website and relevant and applicable published PRA policy. Affected firms should also continue to refer to these sources to determine their regulatory obligations.

    View the information document.
  • US Securities and Exchange Commission Issues Non-Enforcement Position Regarding Security-Based Swap Business Conduct Rules
    10/31/2018

    The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued a non-enforcement position providing market participants, for a five-year period, with alternative means of compliance with certain business conduct standards for security-based swap dealers and major security-based swap participants (SBS Entities).

    Although the SEC has adopted a set of business conduct standards for SBS Entities, compliance with those rules is not yet required, pending finalization of certain other rules and implementation of registration of SBS Entities. The SEC issued the statement, in advance of implementation, to address market participants' concerns regarding compliance difficulties presented by differences between the SEC's business conduct standards and those of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which are applicable to swap transactions with swap dealers.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • UK Post-Brexit Legislation Published to Onshore the EU Payment Accounts Directive for Brexit
    10/31/2018

    HM Treasury has published a draft of the Payment Accounts (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018, along with explanatory information.

    The draft Regulations will amend the U.K. Payment Accounts Regulations 2015, which implemented the EU Payment Accounts Directive in the U.K., to remove references to EU institutions and to remove requirements which were intended to improve the functioning of the EU's internal market.

    The draft Regulations will affect all Payments Service Providers that offer payment accounts, and, in particular, the U.K.'s nine designated providers of basic bank accounts. Consumers of payment accounts will also be affected, in particular those who hold basic bank accounts. HM Treasury states that it expects the changes for payment account providers and consumers to be minimal.

    Read more.
  • UK Legislation Published to Onshore the EU Venture Capital Funds and Social Entrepreneurship Funds Regulations for Brexit
    10/31/2018

    HM Treasury has published the draft Venture Capital Funds (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 and the draft Social Entrepreneurship Funds (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018, along with explanatory information. HM Treasury is also preparing draft Long-term Investment Funds (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 and will publish these in due course.

    These draft "onshoring" statutory instruments will amend deficiencies in the retained versions of the following directly applicable EU Regulations:
    • the European Venture Capital Funds (EuVECA) Regulation, which governs funds that invest into small and medium-sized enterprises;
    • the European Social Entrepreneurship Funds (EuSEF) Regulation, which governs funds that invest into social investments; and
    • the European Long-term Investment Funds (ELTIF) Regulation, which governs funds that invest into infrastructure and other long-term projects.
    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Final Guidelines on Managing Non-Performing and Forborne Exposures
    10/31/2018

    The European Banking Authority has published a final report setting out finalized Guidelines on management of non-performing exposures (NPEs) and forborne exposures (FBEs). The EBA consulted on a draft of the Guidelines in March 2018. The aim of the Guidelines is to help to reduce NPEs on banks' balance sheets by providing supervisory guidance to ensure that credit institutions effectively manage NPEs and forborne exposures (FBEs) on their balance sheets.

    The final Guidelines cover: (i) key elements for developing and implementing an NPE strategy; (ii) the key elements of governance and operations in relation to an NPE workout framework; (iii) governance and operations in relation to FBEs; (iv) governance and operations for NPE recognition; (v) NPE impairment measurement and write-offs; (vi) collateral valuation of immovable and movable property; and (vii) supervisory evaluation of management of NPEs and FBEs.

    The Guidelines will apply from June 30, 2019. Credit institutions should calculate their NPL ratios using the reference date of December 31, 2018.

    View the final report.

    View details of the EBA's consultation on the Guidelines.
  • UK Prudential Regulator Updates Approach Document on Banking Supervision
    10/31/2018

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has published an updated version of its document entitled "The Prudential Regulatory Authority's approach to banking supervision." The document replaces the previous version that was dated March 2016.

    In the latest update, the PRA has removed duplicative information and replaced some text with links to information contained in legislation or other material on the PRA's or Bank of England's website. The update includes a new foreword by the PRA's Chief Executive Officer, Sam Woods.

    The update includes two new chapters, on identifying the risks to the PRA's objectives and on how the PRA tailors its supervisory approach. A number of new sections to existing chapters have also been added, covering safety and soundness and the stability of the financial system, the PRA's regulatory principles and operational resilience. Further detail in areas such as capital and resolvability is also added.

    View the Updated Approach Document.
  • EU Contracts for Differences Product Intervention Measures Extended
    10/31/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority Decision renewing and amending the temporary restriction on the marketing, distribution or sale of contracts for differences to retail clients has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. ESMA announced on September 28, 2018 that the existing restriction would be extended and would include an additional reduced character risk warning because CFD providers have experienced technical difficulties in using the risk warnings due to the character limitations imposed by third-party marketing providers. The CFD Decision applies directly across the EU from November 1, 2018 for three months.

    ESMA extended the temporary product intervention prohibiting the marketing, distribution and sale of binary options to retail investors for a further three months from October 2, 2018, although certain types of binary options were excluded from the scope of the prohibition because ESMA considers that those binary options are less likely to present a significant investor protection concern. Both of ESMA's product intervention measures are made using powers under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation.

    View the Decision.

    View details of the extension of the ban relating to binary options.
  • UK Crypto-Assets Task Force Outlines the Path to Crypto-Asset Regulation
    10/30/2018

    The U.K. Crypto-Assets Task Force has published its Final Report. Established in March 2018 by the U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer as part of the U.K. government's FinTech Sector Strategy, the Task Force comprises representatives from HM Treasury, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority and the Bank of England.

    The Task Force engaged with over 60 firms and other stakeholders to seek their views on topics including: the trajectory of the industry, the risks, benefits and underlying economic value of crypto-assets and the U.K.'s future regulatory approach. Stakeholders were of the view that there is a lack of regulatory clarity in the U.K. and that regulation should be introduced to support the legitimate players in the crypto-assets market. It is also crucial in mitigating risks. There were also calls for regulatory and tax frameworks to be aligned.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: FinTech
  • EU Amending Legislation Published for Liquidity Coverage Requirement
    10/30/2018

    An Amending Regulation supplementing the Capital Requirements Regulation has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union, following its adoption in July 2018 by the European Commission. The Amending Regulation, which relates to the Liquidity Coverage Requirement for credit institutions, makes changes to the existing Delegated Regulation on the LCR with the objective of improving its practical application. The existing Delegated Regulation sets out detailed requirements on the LCR and specifies which assets are to be considered as liquid (so-called high quality liquid assets) and how the expected cash outflows and inflows over a 30-day stressed period are to be calculated.

    The Amending Regulation makes the following changes:
    • full alignment of the calculation of the expected liquidity outflows and inflows on repurchase agreements, reverse repurchase agreements and collateral swaps transactions with the international liquidity standard developed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision;
    • treatment of certain reserves held with third-country central banks;
    • waiver of the minimum issue size for certain non-EU liquid assets;
    • the application of the unwind mechanism for the calculation of the liquidity buffer; and
    • integration in the existing Delegated Regulation of the new criteria for simple, transparent and standardized securitizations.

    The Amending Regulation will enter into force on November 19, 2018 and will apply directly across the EU from April 30, 2020.

    View the Amending Regulation.
  • EU Amending Legislation Published on Duties of Third-Party Custodians Safe-Keeping Fund Assets
    10/30/2018

    Amending Delegated Regulations on the safe-keeping duties of depositaries, supplementing the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive and the Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities Directive, have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

    The amending Delegated Regulations were adopted by the European Commission in July 2018. They amend existing delegated regulations under AIFMD and UCITS relating to the safekeeping of AIF and UCITS clients' assets respectively, to ensure a more uniform approach is adopted across the EU. The amendments clarify that where a depositary for an AIF or UCITS delegates safe-keeping functions to a third party custodian, the clients' assets must be segregated at the level of the delegate (i.e. from the delegate's own assets but not from those of its other clients). This should prevent interpretation of the segregation obligations as requiring separate accounts per depositary and per type of fund at each level of the custody chain. The respective Delegated Regulations set out how that obligation should be fulfilled to ensure a clear identification of assets belonging to a particular AIF or UCITS and the protection of assets in the event of the depositary or custodian entering insolvency.

    The amending Delegated Regulations enter into force on November 19, 2018 and will apply directly across the EU from April 1, 2020.

    View the amending Delegated Regulation under AIFMD ((EU) 2018/1618).

    View the amending Delegated Regulation under UCITS ((EU) 2018/1619).
    TOPIC: Funds
  • European Commission Adopts Revised Implementing Standards for Resolution Reporting
    10/29/2018

    The European Banking Authority announced on October 29, 2018 that it acknowledged the European Commission's adoption of a draft Commission Implementing Regulation setting out revised Implementing Technical Standards on the procedures and standard forms and templates to be used to provide information for the resolution plans of credit institutions and investment firms. The Implementing Regulation supplements the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive and will repeal the existing ITS, reflecting the evolution in the policy and practices applied by authorities in the development of resolution plans for financial institutions. The EBA submitted its final report with final revised draft ITS to the European Commission in April 2018.

    Read more.
  • UK Legislation in Force Empowering Regulators to Amend EU Binding Technical Standards For Brexit
    10/26/2018

    The Financial Regulators' Powers (Technical Standards etc.) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 were made on October 25, 2018 and entered into force on October 26, 2018.

    The Regulations delegate power under the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 to the Bank of England, the Prudential Regulation Authority, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Payment Systems Regulator to fix deficiencies in EU Binding Technical Standards and regulators’ rules in advance of exit day, so that the BTS and regulators' rules function effectively after Brexit. The Regulations also establish the statutory basis on which those regulators will continue to maintain the relevant BTS after exit. The Schedule to the Regulations lists all the BTS that will be "onshored" and, for each, allocates joint or individual responsibility among the regulators.

    The version of the Regulations that has entered into force contains only minor changes from the draft version that was published in July 2018.

    View the Regulations (S.I. 2018/1115).

    View the explanatory memorandum.
  • EU Supervisory Authorities Propose Revisions to Implementing Technical Standards for Mapping of External Credit Ratings
    10/26/2018

    The Joint Committee of the European Securities Authorities (that is, the European Banking Authority, the European Securities and Markets Authority and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority) has published a consultation paper setting out proposed revisions to Implementing Technical Standards on the mapping of External Credit Assessment Institutions' credit assessments under the Capital Requirements Regulation.

    The proposed revisions will amend the existing Implementing Regulation ((EU) 2016/1799), which sets out how ECAIs' credit assessments should be "mapped" to credit quality steps for the purposes of calculating capital requirements. The proposed amendments reflect the result of a monitoring exercise on the adequacy of mappings, which necessitates amendments related to: (i) the re-allocation of the credit quality steps for two ECAIs; and (ii) changes in credit rating scales/types for ten ECAIs. The consultation webpage also contains mapping reports for each of the 11 ECAIs concerned.

    Comments on the consultation are invited by December 31, 2018. Respondents are asked to provide comments via the "Send your comments" button on the EBA's consultation webpage.

    View the consultation paper.

    View the EBA's consultation webpage.
  • Bank of England and UK Prudential Regulator Consult on Approach to Onshoring EU Financial Services Legislation for Brexit
    10/25/2018

    The Bank of England and the U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority have launched a joint consultation paper entitled "The Bank of England’s approach to amending financial services legislation under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018." The consultation forms part of a package of consultations, "Dear CEO" letters and other communications published by the BoE and the PRA on October 25, 2018.

    Read more.
  • "Dear CEO" Letter From UK Prudential Regulator Updates PRA-Regulated Firms on Brexit
    10/25/2018

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has published a "Dear CEO" letter that it has sent to the Chief Executive Officers of all firms authorized and regulated by the PRA, as well as EEA firms undertaking cross-border activities into the U.K. from the rest of the European Union by means of a single market passport.

    The letter refers to the publication, on October 25, 2018, of a package of consultations and other communications by the Bank of England that provide more detail on the planned Brexit-related changes to PRA rules and to the onshored Binding Technical Standards within the remit of the PRA and the BOE in their various capacities. The letter builds on the communications released by the government and U.K. regulators in June 2018 on their overall approach to onshoring financial services legislation under the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

    Read more.
  • Financial Action Task Force Publishes Final Guidance on a Risk-Based Approach for the Securities Sector
    10/25/2018

    The Financial Action Task Force has published the finalized version of its Guidance on a Risk-Based Approach for the Securities Sector. The finalized Guidance was adopted at the FATF's plenary meeting held on October 17—19, 2018. The FATF has developed the Guidance in conjunction with the private sector, to assist governments, regulators, Financial Intelligence Units and participants in the securities sector to adopt a risk-based approach to anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.

    The final Guidance sets out the key principles involved in applying a risk-based approach to AML and CTF. Separate sections provide specific guidance to securities providers and intermediaries and to securities supervisors on the effective implementation of a risk-based approach. Annexes provide examples of supervisory practices that have been adopted and examples of suspicious activity indicators relevant to securities.

    The Guidance is non-binding. It should be read in conjunction with the International Standards on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation and the 2009 Report on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.

    View the final Guidance.

    View details of the consultation on draft Guidance.

    View details of further outcomes of the FATF's October 2018 plenary.
  • Bank of England Updates Non-UK CCPs on Approach to Recognition Post-Brexit
    10/25/2018

    The Bank of England has published a "Dear CEO" letter sent by Sir John Cunliffe, Deputy Governor, Financial Stability, to the Chief Executive Officers of non-U.K. CCPs to provide more detail on the post-Brexit recognition of non-U.K. CCPs and the temporary permissions regime that will give temporary deemed recognized status to eligible non-U.K. CCPs.

    The BoE wrote to the CEOs of non-U.K. CCPs in December 2017, outlining that forthcoming U.K. legislation would give it a new power to recognize non-U.K. CCPs and that it anticipated that, in the period immediately after Brexit, the recognition regime for non-U.K. CCPs would be materially the same as the third country recognition regime under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation, but might be reviewed later. In an update in March 2018, the BoE confirmed that non-U.K. CCPs already providing services in the U.K. should be able to continue to do so until the end of the envisaged transitional, or "implementation" period after Brexit.

    This latest letter to non-U.K. CCPs provides an update following the laying before Parliament, in July 2018, of the Central Counterparties (Amendment, etc., and Transitional Provision) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 before Parliament in July 2018. Subject to Parliamentary scrutiny, these Regulations are expected to enter into force during Q4 2018, establishing the post-Brexit framework for non-U.K. CCP recognition. The letter outlines actions non-U.K. CCPs will need to take once the Regulations are in force.

    Read more.
  • European Commission Adopts Technical Standards for Eligibility for Simplified Obligations under the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive
    10/25/2018

    The European Commission has adopted a draft Delegated Regulation under the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive, setting out Regulatory Technical Standards specifying the criteria for assessing the impact of an institution's failure on financial markets, on other institutions and on funding conditions.

    Under the BRRD, where a national regulator or resolution authority is determining whether to grant simplified obligations to an institution, it must assess the impact that the failure of the institution could have due to a number of factors specified in the BRRD. The European Banking Authority submitted final draft RTS to the European Commission in December 2017. The RTS adopted by the Commission set out a two-stage test based on quantitative and qualitative criteria to determine whether an institution is eligible for simplified obligations. Institutions meeting quantitative criteria at stage one must then meet qualitative criteria at stage two to be assessed as eligible.

    The draft Delegated Regulation will now be subject to a three-month scrutiny period by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. Assuming no objections have been raised by the co-legislators during that period, the Delegated Regulation will then be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and enter into force 20 days later. Once in force, the delegated regulation will have direct effect across the EU and will replace existing EBA Guidelines on simplified obligations.

    View the draft Delegated Regulation and Annexes.

    View details of the EBA's final draft RTS.
  • UK Competition and Markets Authority Consults on Further Working Paper in Investment Consultants Market Investigation
    10/25/2018

    The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority has published an updated working paper on its "market outcomes" analysis, following responses to its July 2018 consultation on its Provisional Decision Report on its Market Investigation into the supply and acquisition of investment consultancy services and fiduciary management services.

    The updated analysis covers: (a) gains from engagement—the impact of engagement on the fees paid by fiduciary management and investment consultancy customers; and (b) the relationship between quality and market success—the relationship between quality of service and market shares for a sample of investment consultancy firms. The CMA has also published a final notice of its intention to operate a confidentiality ring in respect of specified data submitted by respondents to the Provisional Decision Report. Access to the confidentiality ring will be granted to a limited number of approved external legal and/or economic advisers of certain parties. The confidentiality ring will operate from 9:30am on October 29, 2018 until 5:00pm on November 5, 2018.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Competition
  • Bank of England Updates Non-UK CSDs on Approach to Recognition Post-Brexit
    10/25/2018

    The Bank of England has published a "Dear CEO" letter sent by Sir John Cunliffe, Deputy Governor, Financial Stability, to the Chief Executive Officers of non-U.K. Central Securities Depositories that have been identified as possibly requiring recognition to provide CSD services in the U.K. after Brexit. The Dear CEO letter provides more detail on the post-Brexit recognition of non-U.K. CSDs by the BoE and on the transitional regime that has been set out in the draft Central Securities Depositories (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018.

    Read more.
  • Bank of England Consults on Changes to FMI Rules and Onshored Binding Technical Standards for Brexit
    10/25/2018

    The Bank of England has published a consultation paper entitled "UK withdrawal from the EU: Changes to FMI rules and onshored Binding Technical Standards." The consultation forms part of a package of consultations, "Dear CEO" letters and other communications published by the BoE and the PRA on October 25, 2018.

    The consultation proposals cover:
    • the BoE's proposed fixes to deficiencies in the onshored Binding Technical Standards for which the BoE, as FMI supervisor, has responsibility under the Financial Regulators’ Powers, (Technical Standards etc.) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018;
    • the BoE's proposals to amend its FMI rules; and
    • the BoE's proposed approach to non-binding BoE materials after Brexit.

    Read more.
  • Bank of England Launches Consultation Package on EU Withdrawal
    10/25/2018

    The Bank of England has issued a press release providing an update on its regulatory and supervisory approach to Brexit. The press release refers to a package of communications and new consultations published by the BoE on October 25, 2018. Building on previous communications with firms, this package of communications includes four consultation papers:

    1. A joint consultation on the BoE/Prudential Regulation Authority's general approach to making changes to PRA rules and to Binding Technical Standards to implement Brexit. This consultation is to be read in conjunction with the other three consultations.
    2. A PRA consultation on proposed changes to PRA rules and to the onshored BTS within the PRA's remit.
    3. A BoE consultation on changes to Financial Market Infrastructure rules and onshored BTS within the BoE's remit as FMI supervisor, along with a draft Supervisory Statement on the BoE's expectations of FMIs in relation to existing non-binding domestic material.
    4. A BoE consultation on the onshored BTS within the BoE's remit as the U.K. resolution authority.

    Read more.
  • US State Regulators Sue Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Over FinTech Charter
    10/25/2018

    The Conference of State Bank Supervisors has sued the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to prevent it from granting charters for special purpose national banks to non-depository FinTech companies. The CSBS is the nationwide organization of state banking regulators in the United States.

    The CSBS filed the lawsuit upon the OCC’s announcement on July 31, 2018 that it would begin accepting these applications. The CSBS previously sued the OCC over its ability to provide SPNB charters in April 2017. The federal district court in D.C., however, dismissed the first suit for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and ripeness, stating that the OCC had not decided whether to grant SPNB charters to FinTech firms at that time.

    Read more.
  • Bank of England Consults on Approach to Resolution Statements of Policy and Onshored Binding Technical Standards for Brexit
    10/25/2018

    The Bank of England has published a consultation paper entitled "UK withdrawal from the EU: The Bank of England’s approach to resolution statements of policy and onshored Binding Technical Standards." The consultation forms part of a package of consultations, "Dear CEO" letters and other communications published by the BoE and the Prudential Regulation Authority on October 25, 2018.

    The consultation covers:
    • the BoE’s proposals to fix deficiencies in the onshored Binding Technical Standards under the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive, for which it is responsible in its capacity as U.K. resolution authority. The PRA has consulted separately on proposals for the BRRD BTS that are within its remit; and
    • the BoE's proposed guidance on how the existing Statements of Policy on resolution should be interpreted after Brexit. These SoPs cover the BoE's: (i) power to direct institutions to address impediments to resolvability; (ii) approach to setting a minimum requirement for own funds and eligible liabilities (MREL) within groups, and further issues; and (iii) policy on valuation capabilities to support resolvability. li >

    The proposals are relevant to all firms that are subject to the BoE's resolution powers, such as banks, larger investment firms and CCPs.

    Read more.
  • UK Prudential Regulator Consults on Rule Changes and Onshoring of Binding Technical Standards for Brexit
    10/25/2018

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has published a consultation paper entitled "UK withdrawal from the EU: Changes to PRA Rulebook and onshored Binding Technical Standards."  The consultation forms part of a package of consultations, "Dear CEO" letters and other communications published by the BoE and the PRA on October 25, 2018.

    The consultation paper sets out a suite of proposed amendments by the PRA to ensure an operable legal and regulatory framework after the U.K. leaves the EU.

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority Sets Out Its Work Priorities for 2019
    10/23/2018

    The European Banking Authority has published its Work Programme for 2019, setting out details of, and planned main outputs from, 37 separate work streams across the following five key strategic priorities:
     
    1. Leading the Basel III implementation in the EU.
    2. Understanding risks and opportunities arising from financial innovation.
    3. Collecting, disseminating and analyzing banking data.
    4. Ensuring a smooth relocation of the EBA to Paris.
    5. Fostering the increase of the loss-absorbing capacity of the EU banking system.

    The EBA also confirms that work related to Brexit will remain a horizontal priority for the EBA in 2019 and explains that the EBA's other activities may be affected in the future by Brexit-related developments. Should that be the case, any substantial change in the work programme will be communicated in due time, in order to seek steering and approval from its Management Board and Board of Supervisors.

    View the EBA's 2019 Work Programme.
  • European Commission Announces Work Plan for 2019
    10/23/2018

    The European Commission has published a Communication, outlining its work plan for 2019. The Communication is addressed to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. The Communication discusses the ongoing challenges for the EU in the run-up to the European Parliamentary elections and the post-Brexit Summit in Sibiu at which a new multi-annual framework for the EU27 will be finalized.

    Separately published Annexes to the Communication relating to: (i) new initiatives; (ii) REFIT initiatives; (iii) priority pending proposals; (iv) legislative initiatives that have been withdrawn; and (v) a list of envisaged repeals. Priority pending proposals of particular relevance to financial institutions include legislative proposals relating to the forthcoming sustainable finance package, cross-border distribution of collective investment schemes, crowdfunding, amendments to the European Market Infrastructure Regulation, prudential regulation and supervision of investment firms and a proposed amending regulation relating to minimum loss coverage for non-performing exposures.

    Read more.
  • UK Government Publishes Guidance on Proposed Legislation to Onshore EU Legislation on Financial Conglomerates and Groups
    10/22/2018

    HM Treasury has published explanatory information on the draft Financial Conglomerates and Other Financial Groups (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018, which it intends to publish in due course. The draft Regulations will amend deficiencies in the U.K. legislation that implemented the EU Financial Conglomerates Directive. FICOD sets out specific solvency requirements designed to prevent different entities in a conglomerate from using the same capital more than once as a buffer against risk. The Directive also sets out requirements for management controls, risk management and for information sharing between relevant regulators of conglomerates. In the U.K., FICOD has been implemented by the Financial Conglomerates and Other Financial Groups Regulations 2004, as well as through provisions in regulatory rulebooks.

    The explanatory information explains that the draft Regulations will amend several deficiencies to ensure the U.K.'s FICOR Regulations remain operative in a U.K.-only context.

    Read more.
  • UK Draft Legislation to Onshore the European Market Infrastructure Regulation Published
    10/22/2018

    HM Treasury has published in draft format the Over the Counter Derivatives, Central Counterparties and Trade Repositories (Amendment, etc., and Transitional Provision) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 – the U.K.'s draft statutory instrument that would implement a post-Brexit EMIR regime, together with explanatory guidance. The draft EMIR Regulations will affect CCPs, clearing members, their clients, Trade Repositories, TR users and U.K. persons entering into derivatives contracts. They will also, like EMIR, have impacts for persons around the world which enter into derivatives with U.K. persons, through U.K. clearing members or that are ultimately held with CCPs that are regulated or recognized in the U.K.

    The draft EMIR Regulations have been prepared to ensure that there continues to be an effective regulatory framework for OTC derivatives, CCPs and TRs in the U.K. after exit day. Onshoring of EMIR has been dealt with in three separate pieces of legislation. The draft EMIR Regulations should be read in conjunction with the Central Counterparties (Amendment, etc., and Transitional Provision) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 the Trade Repositories (Amendment and Transitional Provision) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018, which were published in draft form on July 24, 2018 and October 5, 2018 respectively.

    Read more.
  • UK Ring-Fencing Regime to Remain Unchanged in a "No Deal" Brexit Scenario
    10/22/2018

    HM Treasury has published explanatory guidance on potential changes to the U.K.'s laws on ring-fencing in preparation for a "no deal" scenario in which the U.K. leaves the EU on March 29, 2019. The draft Ring-Fenced Bodies (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 have not yet been published. HM Treasury intends to publish the draft Regulations in due course and to lay them before Parliament before exit day.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Evaluates Impact of UK Benchmark Reform Since 2015
    10/22/2018

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published an evaluation paper on the impact of bringing seven additional benchmarks within the U.K.'s regulatory and supervisory perimeter in April 2015, in response to the recommendations of the Fair and Effective Markets Review.  The necessary changes to the FCA's Handbook and guidance were effected by the Benchmarks (Amendment) Instrument 2015, a legal instrument made by the FCA. In the evaluation paper, the FCA clarifies that this benchmarks-related evaluation does not cover changes due to other policies that affect benchmarks, such as the EU Benchmarks Regulation or principles set by EU or international bodies.

    The evaluation has been conducted in line with the FCA's approach to ex-post evaluation of the impact of its work, which it outlined in a discussion paper in April 2018. The FCA has conducted the benchmarks-related evaluation to understand: (i) the impact of the Benchmarks (Amendment) Instrument 2015 on markets and firms' costs; and (ii) whether the FCA's regulatory intervention met its objective of increasing the robustness of benchmarks and restoring market confidence.

    Read more.
  • Draft UK Post-Brexit Legislation Published to Onshore the EU Central Securities Depositories Regulation
    10/22/2018

    HM Treasury has published a draft of the Central Securities Depositories (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018, along with explanatory information. 

    Read more.
  • UK Serious Fraud Office Charges Former Banker With Conspiracy To Defraud For Manipulation of Euro Interbank Offered Rate
    10/21/2018

    The U.K. Serious Fraud Office has charged a former banker with conspiracy to defraud, as part of its investigation into the manipulation of the Euro Interbank Offered Rate.

    The former banker was arrested in Italy in August 2018 after his trip to the country activated a European Arrest Warrant that had been secured by the SFO in 2016. Italian authorities ruled on October 12, 2018 that he should be extradited to the U.K. and he was charged with conspiracy to defraud at Westminster Magistrates’ court on October 20, 2018.

    The next hearing will take place at Southwark Crown Court on October 24, 2018.

    View the SFO's announcement.
  • EU Supervisory Authority Reports on ICO and Crypto-Asset Risks and Potential Regulation
    10/19/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published an own-initiative report prepared by its Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group. The purpose of the report is to provide advice to ESMA on steps it might take to contain the risks of Initial Coin Offerings and crypto-assets, on top of existing regulation.

    In the report, the term “crypto-assets” is used to refer to coins, tokens, virtual and cryptocurrencies or other digital or virtual assets collectively. The acronym "ICO" is used to refer to an initial offering of any crypto-asset. The report sets out a taxonomy of crypto-assets, based on the distinction between payment tokens, utility tokens, asset tokens and hybrids used by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).

    Read more.
  • UK Regulator Launches Green FinTech Challenge
    10/19/2018

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has launched the Green FinTech Challenge for firms developing innovative products and services to assist in the U.K.’s transition to a low-carbon economy. The Challenge is part of the FCA's Innovate project. Successful applicants to the challenge will benefit from authorization support, live testing in the regulatory sandbox and FCA guidance. Applications for inclusion in the challenge should be submitted by January 11, 2019 and successful applicants will be notified by the end of Q1 2019. This is the first FinTech challenge run by the FCA and is separate from the FCA's other Innovate services, which should continue to be accessed by firms developing propositions that fall outside the scope of the challenge. Once the challenge is complete, it will consider whether to launch more challenges.

    View the FCA's Green FinTech Challenge webpage.
    TOPIC: FinTech
  • Financial Action Task Force Clarifies Virtual Asset Regulation
    10/19/2018

    The Financial Action Task Force has published the outcomes of its plenary on October 17-19, 2018. The FATF considered key issues such as the operations and streamlining of the FATF, major and other strategic initiatives and mutual evaluations.

    One of the major initiatives covered by the plenary was the regulation of virtual assets. The G20 Finance Ministers & Central Bank Governors communiqué following their July 2018 Buenos Aires meeting called on the FATF to clarify, by October 2018, how its global anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards apply to crypto assets.  At its October plenary, the FATF adopted amendments to the FATF Recommendations and Glossary at the plenary and issued a statement on the regulation of virtual assets. The FATF has done this to clarify that its standards apply to exchanges, wallet providers and providers of financial services for Initial Coin Offerings. Jurisdictions should therefore ensure that virtual asset service providers are subject to AML/CTF regulations. However, jurisdictions are able to choose which category of regulated entity virtual asset service providers should fall into. 

    Read more.
  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Consults on Leverage Ratio Treatment of Client-Cleared Derivatives
    10/18/2018

    The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has published a consultation paper entitled "Leverage ratio treatment of client-cleared derivatives," seeking views from stakeholders on whether a targeted and limited revision of the leverage ratio exposure measure is warranted with respect to the treatment of client cleared derivatives.

    On the publication of the finalized Basel III framework in December 2017, the Basel Committee stated that it would continue to monitor the impact of the Basel III leverage ratio’s treatment of client-cleared derivative transactions. It confirmed that it would review the impact of the leverage ratio on banks’ provision of clearing services and any consequent impact on the resilience of central counterparty clearing. The Basel Committee has completed its review and is of the view that only a strong evidence-based case would justify making revisions to the current leverage ratio treatment of client cleared derivatives.

    Read more
  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Highlights Concerns About Leverage Ratio "Window-Dressing"
    10/18/2018

    The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has issued a statement on leverage ratio "window-dressing" behavior by banks.

    To comply with the Basel III leverage ratio standard, among other things, banks are required to publicly disclose their leverage ratio, calculated on a quarter-end basis, or more frequently in certain jurisdictions. The Basel Committee has noted what may be a tendency in banks to engage in so-called window-dressing by temporarily reducing transaction volumes around key reference dates, which has the effect of allowing banks to report and publicly disclose higher leverage ratios.

    The Basel Committee states that window dressing is unacceptable as it undermines the policy objectives of the leverage ratio standard and risks disrupting the operations of financial markets. The Basel Committee calls on banks to desist from undertaking transactions for window-dressing purposes and makes several suggestions for actions by supervisors to address these concerns. These include increasing the frequency of reporting and supervisory monitoring, focused supervisory inspections and/or additional public disclosures. The Basel Committee will continue to monitor potential window-dressing behavior and may consider adjusting the Pillar 1 minimum capital requirements and/or Pillar 3 disclosure requirements if necessary.

    View the Basel Committee's Statement.
  • UK Prudential Regulator Issues Update to Level One Firms on Supervising Remuneration Compliance
    10/18/2018

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has published a "Dear Remuneration Committee Chair" letter that it has sent to Remuneration Committee Chairs of proportionality Level One firms (that is, banks, building societies and PRA-designated investment firms with relevant total assets exceeding £50 billion as at the relevant date) ahead of its annual review of remuneration policies and practices.

    In the letter, the PRA explains that, with effect from the 2018/19 remuneration review, the PRA will no longer provide a non-objection statement to the proposed communication or distribution of variable remuneration awards by Level One firms. The PRA states that its oversight of Level One firms' remuneration practices will increasingly draw on the principles for governance set out in the Senior Managers and Certification Regime, placing more emphasis on how the Chairs of firms Remuneration Committees discharge their responsibilities under the SM&CR and on how Remuneration Committees carry out their role of oversight and independent challenge under the PRA's Remuneration Rules.

    Going forward, Level One firms can continue to expect engagement throughout the year from their PRA supervisors on their remuneration policies, practices and processes and, where needed, feedback on issues the firm should address. Level One firms should submit a remuneration policy statement and quantitative data tables three months ahead of the firm's preferred final feedback date (that is, the date previously referred to as the "non-objection date"), and an update to the figures at least two weeks before the final feedback date.

    View the Letter.
  • US Securities and Exchange Commission Launches Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology
    10/18/2018

    The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched its Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub), designed to engage investors and market participants on FinTech issues and initiatives.

    Valerie A. Szczepanik, the SEC's Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation and Associate Director in the SEC's Division of Corporation Finance, will lead FinHub, which will focus on topics such as distributed ledger technology (DLT) and digital assets, automated investment advice, digital marketplace financing, artificial intelligence and machine learning. The SEC's various divisions will assign staff with expertise in the FinTech space. inHub will replace and build on the efforts of several of the SEC's internal FinTech working groups.

    The SEC said that FinHub will provide a platform for market participants to engage directly with SEC staff on innovations and technological developments, publicize the SEC's FinTech-related activity on the FinHub webpage, host FinTech events (including a forum on DLT and digital assets planned for 2019) and act as a resource for SEC staff to acquire and disseminate FinTech-related information within the agency. Further, it will serve as the SEC's liaison to domestic and global regulators in respect of innovations in financial, regulatory and supervisory systems.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: FinTech
  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Publishes Updated Stress Testing Principles
    10/17/2018

    The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has published a final version of its Stress Testing Principles, which replace its 2009 Principles for Stress Testing and Supervision. The Basel Committee conducted a review of the 2009 Principles during 2017 and launched a consultation on proposed revisions in December 2017.

    The new principles reflect the growth in importance of stress testing since the 2009 version was produced and its evolution into a critical element of risk management for banks as well as a core tool for both banking supervisors and macroprudential authorities.

    The new principles are also set at a higher level than the previous version, so that the principles can apply across many banks and jurisdictions and so that they are robust to developments in stress testing practices. The principles focus on the core elements of stress testing frameworks, including the objectives, governance, policies, processes, methodology, resources and documentation that guide stress testing. Each principle is followed by a short description of considerations that are equally relevant for banks and authorities, along with additional considerations for banks or authorities.

    View the Stress Testing Principles.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Issues Feedback Statement on Digital Regulatory Reporting
    10/17/2018

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a Feedback Statement on the Digital Regulatory Reporting project it began earlier in 2018. The Feedback Statement summarizes the feedback the FCA received from the call for input it published in January 2018 and sets out the FCA's responses.

    The FCA is working with the Bank of England in the RegTech sphere to explore ways of using technology to link regulation, compliance procedures and firms' policies and standards together with firms' transactional applications and databases. Most respondents to the FCA's call for input agreed in particular that digital regulatory reporting could bring increased efficiency, among other benefits. Some respondents expressed concerns about costs of implementation and called for a period of overlap were digital regulatory reporting to be introduced. Overall, the FCA is encouraged by the feedback.

    The Feedback Statement confirms that participants to a pilot launched in June 2018 to further explore the proof of concept for a move to digital regulatory reporting will publish their findings in a technical paper in Q1 2019. The FCA will continue with workstreams under the project and should a business case be made, it will launch a consultation and a cost benefit analysis. While the FCA is focusing on implementation of digital regulatory reporting in the U.K., it also believes that multinational adoption could bring benefits and is in discussions with its counterparts internationally.

    View the Feedback Statement (FCA FS 18/2).

    View details of the FCA's call for input.

    View details of the terms of reference for the project's pilot phase.
    TOPIC: FinTech
  • US Commissioner Quintenz Speaks on Smart Contract Regulation
    10/16/2018

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission Commissioner Brian Quintenz has given a wide-ranging speech at the GITEX Technology Week Conference in Dubai addressing a number of key issues faced by the CFTC in considering how to regulate smart contracts. While he acknowledged that there are still many questions to be answered on smart contract regulation, Commissioner Quintenz expressed a number of important views that should make market participants pause before assuming that activity in smart contracts will avoid CFTC scrutiny.

    Commissioner Quintenz explained that, in his view, the first step the CFTC should take when considering a smart contract is to understand the basic nature of the contract and whether it is within the CFTC's jurisdiction. For example, is the contract a product that must be traded on an exchange? Does the protocol itself perform the functions of an exchange, which may trigger registration requirements? While the answers will of course be different for every smart contract, Commissioner Quintenz made clear that he believes existing CFTC regulations can and should be applied to such contracts where appropriate.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: FinTech
  • UK Conduct Regulator Publishes Finalized Approach to Competition
    10/15/2018

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published its finalized Approach to Competition, following feedback to its consultation between December 2017 and March 2018 on a draft of its approach document. The FCA's Approach to Competition should be read alongside the FCA Mission, which was first published in October 2016.

    In the approach document, the FCA outlines its "competition objective" of promoting effective competition in the interests of consumers in particular markets and its "competition duty," which requires it to discharge its general functions in a way that promotes effective competition in the interests of consumers. It then explains how it advances its competition objective by: (i) using market studies to examine market structures and dynamics and imposing rule changes to improve consumer outcomes if necessary; (ii) using its powers under the Competition Act 1998 to investigate anti-competitive behavior under U.K. and EU law; and (iii) implementing regulation with the aim of supporting competition in the interests of consumers.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Competition
  • UK Conduct Regulator Invites Applications for Cohort Five of Its Regulatory Sandbox
    10/15/2018

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has announced that the application window has opened for cohort five of its regulatory sandbox. The FCA announced the successful applicants to the previous cohort in July 2018.

    The FCA's sandbox is part of the FCA's Project Innovate, which was launched in 2014.  The regulatory sandbox has been in operation since 2016 and provides a controlled environment for firms that satisfy the relevant eligibility criteria to test innovative products and services with real customers.

    The deadline for completed applications for cohort five is November 30, 2018.

    View the FCA webpage.

    View details of the successful applicants to cohort four.
    TOPIC: FinTech
  • UK Regulator Considers Potential Regulatory Refinements for Climate Change
    10/15/2018

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a Discussion Paper on climate change and green finance in which it calls for comment on potential changes to its regulatory approach in these areas. The Discussion Paper sets out specific action that the FCA intends to take in the short term in four focus areas - capital markets disclosures, public reporting requirements, green finance and pensions.

    First, the FCA is considering whether the regulatory approach to disclosures by issuers in the capital markets should be amended. In particular, the FCA is asking for comments on: (i) the difficulties that issuers may have in determining materiality of climate-related issues such that a specific disclosure would be warranted; (ii) whether investors would benefit from greater comparability of disclosures; (iii) whether further prescribed requirements on climate-related disclosures should be introduced to facilitate more consistent disclosures by issuers. This final point includes whether the introduction of a "comply or explain" approach to the Task Force on Climate-related Disclosures would facilitate more effective markets.

    Read more.
  • UK Prudential Regulator Consults on Managing Financial Risks from Climate Change
    10/15/2018

    The Prudential Regulation Authority has published a consultation paper on a draft Supervisory Statement on managing the financial risks from climate change. The consultation follows the PRA's publication in September 2018 of its report "Transition in thinking: The impact of climate change on the U.K. banking sector." The consultation paper is relevant to banks, insurers, re-insurers, building societies and PRA-designated investment firms. The PRA wants firms to take a strategic approach to financial risks from climate change by taking into account current and credible risks and identifying actions needed now to mitigate existing and future risks.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Consults on Enforcement Powers under the Securitization Regulation
    10/12/2018

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a further consultation on implementation of the EU Securitization Regulation. The Securitization Regulation (also known as the STS Regulation) and a related amendment to the Capital Requirements Regulation came into effect on January 17, 2018. The majority of the provisions of the Securitization Regulation and the related amendment to the CRR will apply directly across the EU from January 1, 2019. While the Securitization Regulation is directly applicable, HM Treasury must make certain legislative amendments to align provisions of U.K. law with the Regulation. The FCA must also align its Handbook and launched a first consultation in August 2018 on its proposals for Handbook amendments.

    In this further consultation, the FCA is consulting on proposed amendments to its Decision Procedure and Penalties manual (DEPP) and to its Enforcement Guide, to reflect the expected provisions of a Statutory Instrument which is expected to be laid before Parliament by HM Treasury in December 2018.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Securities
  • UK Government's Guidance on Approach to Sanctions in a 'Hard Brexit' Scenario
    10/12/2018

    The U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office has published guidance on the U.K. government's approach to implementing sanctions in the event that no deal is agreed between the EU and the U.K. on the U.K.'s exit from the EU. If there is no deal, the U.K. will leave the EU on March 29, 2019.

    The U.K. currently implements sanctions agreed by the UN Security Council, according to international law requirements, and the EU, as provided for in EU legislation and U.K. implementing legislation. In the event of a "hard Brexit," the U.K. would continue to implement sanctions agreed by the UN Security Council and would have the power to adopt other sanctions under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018. The FCO would publish the names of individuals and organizations subject to U.K. sanctions.

    Read more.
  • UK Prudential Regulator Proposes Period of Overlap for Transition to New Pillar 2 Reporting Template
    10/12/2018

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has published a consultation proposing a six-month overlap period following the introduction of the new Pillar 2 Liquidity reporting template (PRA110) from July 1, 2019. The Capital Requirements Directive gives national regulators discretion to set additional Pillar 2 liquidity requirements, to capture those liquidity risks that are either not captured or not fully captured under the Pillar 1 framework. The final element - Pillar 3 - involves public reporting of capital. The PRA published its final Policy Statement on the introduction of its Pillar 2 framework in February 2018. The PRA110 template was scheduled to replace the existing "daily flows" and "enhanced mismatch" liquidity reports (FSA047 and FSA048) from July 1, 2019.

    Since its Policy Statement, the PRA has reassessed the risks from transitioning to the PRA110 template and considers it prudent to delay the termination of FSA047 and FSA048, to ensure data quality and continuity. The PRA proposes that the PRA110 is introduced on July 1, 2019 as planned. However, between then and January 1, 2020, firms should additionally continue to submit liquidity reports using FSA047 and FSA048. The overlap will allow the PRA and firms alike to assess the quality of PRA110 reporting.

    The PRA is inviting comments on the proposal by November 12, 2018. The PRA considers that the short consultation period is justified due to the fact that firms are already reporting using FSA047 and FSA048.

    View the consultation paper (PRA CP22/18).

    View details of the PRA's Pillar 2 Policy Statement.
  • US Securities and Exchange Commission Halts Fraudulent Initial Coin Offering
    10/11/2018

    The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it halted a planned initial coin offering and related pre-ICO sales by Blockvest LLC and its founder, Reginald Buddy Ringgold, III. In seeking an emergency court order, the SEC alleged that Blockvest had falsely claimed that it and its affiliates received regulatory approval from various agencies, including the SEC and a fake agency called the "Blockchain Exchange Commission." Blockvest and Ringgold also allegedly used the National Futures Association seal in making false claims about their regulated status, even after the NFA sent them a cease-and-desist letter for doing so.

    The SEC also charged that Blockvest and Ringgold violated the antifraud and securities registration provisions of the federal securities law. The SEC sought injunctions, return of ill-gotten gains plus interest and penalties, and a bar against Ringgold participating in any future offering of securities.

    The Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division's Cyber Unit, Robert A. Cohen, said that "the SEC does not endorse investment products and investors should be highly skeptical of any claims suggesting otherwise." In addition, the SEC's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission's Office of Customer Education and Outreach jointly issued an investor alert on the use of false claims regarding SEC and CFTC endorsements.

    View the SEC's announcement.
    TOPICS: EnforcementFinTech
  • Securities and Exchange Commission Reopens Comment Period on Capital, Margin and Segregation Requirements for Security-Based Swap Dealers and Major Security-Based Swap Participants
    10/11/2018

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has voted to reopen the comment period and request additional comments on proposals for capital, margin and segregation requirements for security-based swap dealers (SBSDs) and major security-based swap participants (MSBSPs) and capital requirements for broker-dealers. The Commission approved the measure by a 4-1 vote, with only Commissioner Robert Jackson Jr. dissenting.

    The Commission initially published in 2012 a proposal on capital and margin requirements for non-bank SBSDs and MSBSPs, and segregation requirements for all SBSDs. The Commission published proposed provisions to establish the cross-border treatment of these rules in 2013 and an additional capital requirement for nonbank SBSDs in 2014. By reopening the comment period, the Commission stated that it is looking to provide market participants with an opportunity to provide comments that account for regulatory and market developments since the initial publication of the proposals, as well as the potential economic effects of the proposals in light of such developments. The Commission has previously indicated that it intends to finalize these rules prior to commencing registration of SBSDs and MSBSPs.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Derivatives
  • UK Financial Conduct Authority Consults on Guidance Under the Extended Senior Managers Regime
    10/11/2018

    The Financial Conduct Authority has published a consultation paper on proposed guidance on the Statement of Responsibilities (SoR) and Responsibilities Maps required under the Senior Managers and Certification regimes. The extended SM&CR will apply to all firms authorized under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and regulated by the FCA, as well as EEA and third-country (non-EEA) branches. SM&CR will be extended to FCA solo-regulated firms from December 9, 2019.

    Read more.
  • Draft UK Post-Brexit Legislation to Onshore the EU Markets in Financial Instruments Package
    10/11/2018

    HM Treasury has published a draft of the Markets in Financial Instruments (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018, along with explanatory information. The draft Regulations are primarily relevant for MiFID II-authorized firms including investment banks, stock and futures exchanges, broker-dealers, investment advisers and investment managers.

    The draft Regulations have been prepared in preparation for a "no-deal" scenario, in which the U.K. exits the EU on March 29, 2019 without a ratified Withdrawal Agreement. The no-deal scenario would mean that there would be no transitional period following Brexit and that the U.K. would be treated as a third-country after exit day. The changes set out in the draft Regulations will not take effect if the U.K. enters a transition period.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Recommends Vigilant Ongoing Monitoring of Crypto-Assets
    10/10/2018

    The Financial Stability Board has published a report entitled "Crypto-asset markets: Potential Channels for future financial stability," in which it outlines its findings following its assessment of the crypto-asset markets in 2018.

    The FSB has considered the primary risks present in crypto-assets markets as low liquidity, volatility, leverage risks, as well as technological and operational risks (including cyber security risks). The FSB considers that crypto-assets lack the key attributes of sovereign currencies and do not serve as a common means of payment, a stable store of value or a mainstream unit of account. Based on the available information, the FSB considers that crypto-assets do not pose a material risk to global financial stability at this time. However, the FSB's report highlights that there could be financial stability implications from these primary risks through a variety of transmission channels including: (i) confidence effects; (ii) financial institutions' exposures to crypto-assets, related financial products and entities that are financially impacted by crypto-assets; (iii) the level of market capitalisation of crypto-assets; and (iv) the extent of their use for payments and settlements.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: FinTechSecurities
  • UK Regulator Provides Information on Brexit Process for Credit Rating Agencies, Trade Repositories and Data Reporting Services Providers
    10/10/2018

    The Financial Conduct Authority has published three press releases announcing how entities can register with it as a credit rating agency, a trade repository or apply for temporary authorization as a data reporting services provider in preparation for the U.K. leaving the EU without a deal. The press releases follow the draft legislation and explanatory guidance recently published by HM Treasury and the FCA's first consultation on onshoring the EU technical standards through changes to its rulebook.

    For credit rating agencies, the U.K. intends to establish a conversion regime (for U.K. CRAs and third-country CRAs currently registered or certified by the European Securities and Markets Authority) and a temporary registration regime (for newly established U.K. entities that are part of a group of CRAs with an existing ESMA registration before exit day). The FCA's CRA press release informs CRAs of how they can notify the FCA of their intention to use one of these regimes and provides an indicative timeline for the legislation and regime to be put into place.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Consults on Brexit-Related Changes to Its Rulebook and Binding Technical Standards
    10/10/2018

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published its first consultation on proposed changes to the FCA Handbook to ensure a functioning legal and regulatory framework for financial services in the event of a "no-deal" scenario whereby the U.K. exits the EU on March 29, 2019 without a ratified Withdrawal Agreement in place and there is consequently no transitional period for firms. The proposed amendments will not take effect if the U.K. enters into a transitional period after exit day.

    The consultation includes the FCA's proposals in relation to the Binding Technical Standards it has been empowered by HM Treasury to amend prior to Brexit and to maintain afterward. These are the retained EU "Level 2" delegated and implementing regulations that set out regulatory technical standards and implementing technical standards. The consultation also sets out the FCA's proposed approach to non-legislative "Level 3" materials such as guidelines, recommendations and opinions that will also be onshored.

    The FCA states in the consultation that the majority of the proposed changes are consequential in nature and follow the amendments to retained EU law that HM Treasury is proposing, as set out in the series of financial services-related statutory instruments being made under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Consults on Post-Brexit Temporary Permissions Regime for EEA Firms and Funds
    10/10/2018

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a consultation on its proposed approach to a Temporary Permissions Regime for EEA firms and investment funds that currently provide services in the U.K. - either via a branch or cross-border - pursuant to a single market passport. The proposed TPR is designed to minimize the potential harm caused by an abrupt loss of the passport in a "no-deal" scenario, in which the U.K. exits the EU without a ratified Withdrawal Agreement, which would mean that there would be no transitional period following Brexit and that the U.K. would be treated as a third-country after exit day. The TPR will enable EEA firms and investment funds to continue to provide services in the U.K. for a limited period following exit day.

    The proposed TPR will take effect on March 29, 2019 in the event of no deal. Should the U.K. and EU negotiations lead to ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement, the TPR will not enter into force. Instead, during the transitional period, firms and investment funds would continue to have access to the same passporting arrangements as they do now.

    Read more.
  • Post-Brexit UK Law to Exclude EU Laws on the European Supervisory Authorities
    10/09/2018

    HM Treasury has published guidance stating that the laws establishing the three European Supervisory Authorities and the European Systemic Risk Board will be revoked in their entirety once the U.K. has left the EU. The ESAs are the European Securities and Markets Authority, the European Banking Authority and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority. These ESAs and the ESRB are part of the EU framework for supervision and regulation of the EU financial services sector. The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 automatically incorporates such EU legislation into U.K. laws when the U.K. leaves the EU.

    At the point of Brexit, the ESAs and the ESRB will no longer perform functions in relation to the U.K. and the EU legislation that established them will be inoperable in U.K. laws. HM Treasury intends to use a statutory instrument to revoke those laws in their entirety so that they do not become applicable on Brexit. Where other EU legislation automatically incorporated into U.K. law refers to the ESAs or ESRB, statutory instruments will either amend the law or revoke it, as appropriate.

    View the guidance.
  • UK Financial Policy Committee Publishes Outcome of its October Meeting
    10/09/2018

    The Financial Policy Committee has published a statement from its meeting held on October 3, 2018 where it reviewed developments since June 19, 2018. The FPC continues to consider that the U.K. banking system is sufficiently robust to withstand the disruption of a "hard Brexit" and that there is no need for additional capital buffers for banks as a result. The FPC is of the view that the banking system would be able to absorb, in addition to a disorderly Brexit, further costs that might arise from trade tensions. However, the FPC is concerned about the lack of action taken by EU authorities to address the risks of disruption in the event of the U.K. leaving the EU without a deal on March 29, 2019. In particular, the FPC would like mitigating action to be taken to address the risks associated with derivatives contracts and the transfer of personal data.

    Aside from the risks presented by Brexit, the FPC considers that domestic risks are still at a standard level overall. However, the FPC is concerned about the swift growth of leveraged lending and intends to: (i) assess the implications for banks in the 2018 stress test; and (ii) review the impact of the increasing role of non-bank lenders and changes in the distribution of corporate debt. The FPC has decided to maintain the U.K. countercyclical capital buffer rate at 1% and will review the rate again at its meeting on November 28, 2018.

    Read more.
  • European Supervisors Announce 2019 Work Priorities
    10/09/2018

    The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (that is, the European Banking Authority, the European Securities and Markets Authority and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority) has published its 2019 Work Programme. EIOPA will Chair the Joint Committee in 2019. The Work Programme provides details of the Joint Committee's key workstreams for 2019.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Consults on Illiquid Assets and Open-Ended Funds
    10/08/2018

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has launched a consultation on illiquid assets and open-ended funds, following responses from stakeholders to a discussion paper it issued early in 2017. After observing the impact of certain temporary fund suspensions following the U.K.'s 2016 referendum on exiting the EU, the FCA considers that open ended funds investing in illiquid assets have a potential structural liquidity mismatch which, under stress, can create a "first mover" advantage that may lead to runs on funds and sales of fund assets at reduced prices.

    The FCA is consulting on a number of proposals to alleviate the risk of poor outcomes to retail investors in open ended funds, specifically non-UCITS retail schemes (NURSs), that invest in illiquid assets. The consultation includes a proposed approach to defining "inherently illiquid assets," examples of which include property or infrastructure investments.

    In addition to the responses received to its discussion paper, the FCA's consultation proposals are also informed by its supervisory work and by the revised version of the Recommendations on Liquidity Risk Management for Collective Investment Schemes published in February 2018 by the International Organization of Securities Commissions.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • UK Government Proposes Temporary Transitional Powers for UK Financial Regulators to Ease Brexit Adjustments
    10/08/2018

    HM Treasury has published an Approach Paper setting out its proposal for a temporary transitional power to be given to the U.K. financial regulators to assist firms to adapt to the post-Brexit regulatory framework in an orderly manner in the event of a "no deal" scenario.

    It is proposed that the Bank of England, the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority are granted a temporary power to award transitional relief from regulatory requirements where the requirements have been introduced or have changed as a result of onshoring financial services legislation. The power would relate to regulatory requirements in the PRA and FCA rules, onshored EU technical standards, onshored EU financial services regulations or delegated regulations and relevant U.K. primary or secondary legislation. The regulators would be able to grant transitional relief by issuing a "direction" setting out the terms of the relief, including whether the relief would apply to particular firms, classes of firms or to all firms. The power would not be available where a specific transitional arrangement has already been put in place for firms through regulations made under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act because HM Treasury believes that additional relief would not be necessary.

    Read more.
  • Draft UK Post-Brexit Regulations to Onshore the EU Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive Published
    10/08/2018

    HM Treasury has published draft Bank Recovery and Resolution and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 to onshore the EU Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive in preparation for the U.K.'s exit from the EU. An explanatory guide to the draft Regulations has also been published. The draft Regulations will make changes to the existing U.K. legislation which transposed the BRRD into U.K. law, which is mainly the Banking Act 2009 and the Bank Recovery and Resolution (No 2) Order 2014, and to certain Delegated Regulations adopted by the European Commission under the BRRD. The aim of the draft Regulations is to ensure that the U.K. Special Resolution Regime is "legally and practically workable on a standalone basis" when the U.K. leaves the EU.

    Read more.
  • Draft UK Post-Brexit Legislation to Onshore Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive Published
    10/08/2018

    HM Treasury has published a draft of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018, along with explanatory information. The draft Regulations will onshore the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive for Brexit.

    The draft Regulations are primarily relevant for Alternative Investment Fund Managers that are already regulated in the U.K. under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Regulations 2013 and AIFMs currently marketing EEA AIFs in the U.K. They are also relevant for fund managers that market EEA Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) into the U.K. HM Treasury has published separately the draft U.K. legislation to onshore EU legislation for UCITS funds for Brexit.

    The draft Regulations have been prepared in preparation for a "no-deal" scenario, in which the U.K. exits the EU on March 29, 2019 without a ratified Withdrawal Agreement. The no-deal scenario addressed in the draft Regulations involves no transitional period following Brexit and the U.K. being treated as a third-country under EU law after exit day. The changes set out in the draft Regulations will not take effect on exit day if the U.K. enters a transition period.

    Read more.
  • Draft UK Post-Brexit Legislation to Onshore EU UCITS Directive Published
    10/08/2018

    HM Treasury has published a draft of the Collective Investment Schemes (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018, along with explanatory information. The draft Regulations will onshore the Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) Directive for Brexit.

    The draft Regulations are primarily relevant for EEA fund managers operating UCITS authorized in the U.K., fund managers marketing EEA UCITS into the U.K. and depositaries that provide services to U.K. authorized funds. HM Treasury has also published separately the draft U.K. legislation to onshore EU legislation for Alternative Investment Funds for Brexit.

    The draft Regulations have been prepared in preparation for a "no-deal" scenario, in which the U.K. exits the EU on March 29, 2019 without a ratified Withdrawal Agreement. The no-deal scenario would mean that there would be no transitional period following Brexit and that the U.K. would be treated as a third-country after exit day. The changes set out in the draft Regulations will not take effect on exit day if the U.K. enters a transition period.

    Read more
  • UK Plans Transitional Regime for Credit Ratings for Potential "No Deal" Brexit
    10/08/2018

    HM Treasury has published explanatory guidance on a proposed U.K. regulation to onshore EU legislation on credit rating agencies in the event of a "no deal" scenario resulting from the EU-U.K. Brexit negotiations. If no deal is reached, the U.K. exits the EU on March 29, 2019. The draft statutory instrument is still being prepared and the approach as set out in the guidance may change as a result. It is expected that the draft SI will be published and also laid before Parliament before the end of the year.

    Read more
  • European Supervisory Authority Issues Opinion on Position Limits for UK Natural Gas Derivatives
    10/05/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published an Opinion (dated September 24, 2018) on position limits for U.K. Natural Gas Contracts, for the purposes of the position limit regime established by the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. MiFID II and its secondary legislation establish the position limits regime for commodity derivatives. For illiquid contracts, the position limits are set in the legislation. However, where contracts are liquid, position limits are set by the relevant national regulator and notified to ESMA. Secondary legislation under MiFID II sets out Regulatory Technical Standards for the methodology national regulators should use and the factors they should consider when setting position limits.

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority notified ESMA in February 2018 of the position limits the FCA intends to set for U.K. Natural Gas commodity futures and options contracts. In its Opinion, ESMA confirms that the spot month position limit and the other months' position limit are consistent with the objectives of MiFID II and compliant with the methodology established by the relevant RTS.

    Read more.
    TOPICS: DerivativesMiFID II
  • UK Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation Publishes First Annual Review
    10/05/2018

    The U.K. Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation has published its Annual Review for the period from April 2017 to March 2018. OFSI was established in March 2016 with the objective of raising awareness of financial sanctions, assessing and addressing suspected sanctions breaches and providing a professional service to the public and industry. The Annual Review provides an overview of:
    • U.N. and EU financial sanction regimes implemented by OFSI;
    • OFSI's work on asset freezing and a breakdown of funds frozen;
    • action taken by OFSI following reports of suspected breaches of financial sanctions;
    • licenses issued by OFSI during the period; and
    • awareness-raising activities.
    The Annual Review also outlines OFSI's forward plans in the above areas. This includes: (i) a plan to improve searchability of OFSI's Consolidated List of financial sanctions targets; (ii) potentially imposing monetary penalties in 2018-19; (iii) further activities to raise awareness, including the publication of more targeted guidance on financial sanctions compliance and on changes to the legal framework for sanctions; and (iv) Brexit preparations.

    View the Annual Report.

  • US FDIC Seeks to Improve Communication, Transparency and Accountability
    10/05/2018

    The U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation published a notice and request for comment seeking input on how to improve the efficacy, efficiency and transparency of the agency’s communication with insured depository institutions.  The notice outlines current forms of communication, including, regulations, policies, procedures and guidance; news and updates; industry data, educational materials and outreach; general communication; and direct communication.  The notice requests comment with respect to the efficiency, ease of access and content of communications with insured financial institutions.  Comments to the FDIC’s notice are due no later than December 4, 2018.

    Read more.
  • Draft UK Post-Brexit Legislation to Onshore Trade Repositories' Obligations and Establish Temporary Recognition Regime
    10/05/2018

    HM Treasury has published a draft of the Trade Repositories (Amendment and Transitional Provision) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018, along with explanatory information. The draft Regulations are primarily relevant for Trade Repositories in both the U.K. and the EU that are currently registered with and supervised by the European Securities and Markets Authority and that are planning to continue servicing the U.K. market after the U.K.'s exit from the EU on March 29, 2019.

    The draft Regulations have been prepared to ensure that the U.K.'s legal framework for reporting of derivatives trades to TRs will continue to operate effectively after exit day. The draft Regulations amend the version of the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation that will be retained on Brexit. The draft Regulations transfer to the Financial Conduct Authority the functions carried out by ESMA for the registration of TRs. They also establish: (i) a temporary registration regime that will enable U.K. and EU TRs that wish to establish a new U.K. legal entity to benefit - on complying with certain requirements - from temporary registration while the FCA considers their application; and (ii) a conversion regime that will allow U.K. TRs that are currently registered with ESMA to be registered as authorized U.K. TRs by the FCA from exit day.

    Read more.
  • Global Foreign Exchange Committee Update and Survey on Adoption of the FX Global Code
    10/04/2018

    The Global Foreign Exchange Committee has published an update on the ongoing work of its four priority working groups: (i) the cover and deal working group; (ii) the disclosures working group; (iii) the buy-side outreach working group; and (iv) the working group on embedding the FX Global Code. The GFXC was established in 2017 as a forum for participants in the wholesale foreign exchange markets and its terms of reference include addressing misconduct in FX markets by facilitating adoption of the global principles of good practice enshrined in the FX Global Code.

    The update refers to the recent launch (on September 28, 2018) of a survey by the working group on embedding the FX Global Code. Completed surveys are requested by October 19, 2018. The aims of the survey are to measure awareness and adoption of the FX Global Code among market participants and to inform the GFXC's further work on embedding and integrating the code into the global FX markets. The survey results will be considered at the GFXC's next meeting, which will be held in November.

    View the survey.

    View the press release.
  • US and Australian Regulators Agree FinTech Information Sharing Arrangement
    10/04/2018

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission have signed an arrangement designed to support cross-border FinTech innovation through their respective FinTech initiatives, LabCFTC and the ASIC Innovation Hub. The arrangement will facilitate information sharing between the two regulators in respect of emerging trends and developments, regulatory issues pertaining to FinTech innovations and best practices, among other things. It also includes a referral mechanism that will allow the CFTC and ASIC to refer to one another innovators that wish to operate or have questions about operating in the other's jurisdiction. The arrangement further calls for joint proofs of concept, trials and innovation competitions, where permitted, as well as periodic meetings to update each other on FinTech and RegTech trends and developments of common interest.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: FinTech
  • European Supervisory Authority Withdraws Guidelines for Algorithmic Trading Controls
    10/03/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a decision (dated September 26, 2018) of its Board of Supervisors to withdraw its existing Guidelines for trading platforms, investment firms and national regulators on systems and controls in an automated trading environment.

    The Guidelines were published by ESMA in 2011 to provide important clarifications to ensure a common, uniform and consistent application of the original Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and its secondary legislation (MiFID I). The content of the Guidelines has now been incorporated within, and consequently superseded by, detailed provisions in the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and its secondary legislation (MiFID II) and the Market Abuse Regulation.

    The Guidelines have been withdrawn effective from September 26, 2018.

    View the ESMA decision.
    TOPIC: MiFID II
  • UK Regulator Finds E-Money Firms Have Effective Anti-Money Laundering Controls
    10/03/2018

    The Financial Conduct Authority has published a report on the outcome of its thematic review into money laundering and terrorist financing risks in the e-money sector. The report focuses on e-money products, including prepaid cards and digital wallets. The FCA assessed the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing controls of 13 authorized Electronic Money Institutions and registered small Electronic Money Institutions. The review included consideration of business models that involve distributing e-money through agents and distributors.

    The FCA's review did not cover activities that are not regulated by the FCA (for instance, gift cards that can be used only within a limited network or prepaid products denominated in a cryptocurrency) or money remittance services provided by the EMIs.

    Read more.
  • US Federal Reserve Board Seeks Comment on Facilitating Faster Payments
    10/03/2018

    The U.S. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System published a notice and request for comment with respect to potential measures that could be taken to improve the efficiency and speed of payment services, specifically regarding the facilitation of real-time interbank settlement of “faster payments”—a term generally used to convey a future payment and settlement system that is fast, convenient and accessible.  The notice highlights that while traditional payment methods, such as checks, ACH payments, and credit card transactions have created a payment systems infrastructure that is universal, safe and reliable, this does not necessarily translate into speed and efficiency.  The notice suggests that the current system has resulted in a gap between the speed and efficiency of the payment systems infrastructure and user expectations.  The notice provides background regarding Federal Reserve Board initiatives associated with faster payments, including its Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System initiative and Faster Payments Task Force, provides an overview of the faster payments construct, and introduces potential faster payment models, including deferred net settlement of interbank obligations and real-time gross settlement of interbank obligations.  The notice also discusses potential actions that the Federal Reserve Board could undertake to support faster payments, including the development of “24x7x365” real-time interbank settlement and the creation of a liquidly management tool to help promote, support and drive participation in real-time interbank settlement.

    View full text of the request for comments.
  • US Federal Financial Regulatory Agencies Release Joint Statement on Sharing Bank Secrecy Act Resources
    10/03/2018

    The U.S. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and National Credit Union Administration released an interagency statement regarding the sharing of Bank Secrecy Act resources among banks through collaborative arrangements intended to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and benefit from specialized expertise by pooling resources among banks.

    Read more.
  • European Parliament Adopts Resolution on Distributed Ledger Technologies
    10/03/2018

    The European Parliament has adopted a non-legislative resolution entitled "distributed ledger technologies and blockchains: building trust with disintermediation." Of particular relevance to the financial services sector, the European Parliament is requesting that the European Commission and other EU authorities take various steps to maximize the potential of this technology in the EU.

    Read more.
  • EU Opinion Attempts to Clarify the Market Size Calculation for Ancillary Activity Exemption under MiFID II
    10/02/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has issued an opinion addressed to EU national regulators on the market size calculation for the ancillary activity exemption under the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive.

    MiFID II provides an exemption from the requirement for authorization as an investment firm when dealing on own account, or providing investment services to clients in commodity derivatives, emission allowances or derivatives thereof, provided that the activity is an ancillary activity to their main business at group level and the main business is not the provision of investment services within the meaning of MiFID II or banking activities under the Capital Requirements Directive. Delegated Regulation (EU 2017/592) sets out the criteria for establishing when an activity should be considered as ancillary to the main business at group level, including the rules for calculating the overall market trading activity of a firm.

    ESMA's opinion provides guidance to market participants and national regulators on determining market size figures, since there is no centralized, publicly available record of transactions for commodity derivatives and emission allowances. ESMA acknowledges that the data it has used for the guidance may have limitations in terms of accuracy and completeness and states that national regulators may use alternative data provided by market participants for the calculation.

    View the opinion.
    TOPIC: MiFID II
  • European Supervisory Authorities and European Commission Disagree on Retail Fund Investor Disclosures
    10/01/2018

    The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (i.e., the European Banking Authority, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority and the European Securities and Markets Authority) has published a letter it has sent to the European Commission, in response to a request from the European Commission on August 10, 2018 for the ESAs to develop guidance on facilitating the production and distribution of information on investment funds.

    Read more.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • UK Prudential Regulator Consults on Changes to Forms for Regulatory Transactions
    10/01/2018

    The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority has launched a consultation entitled "Regulatory transactions: Changes to notification and application forms." The proposals in the consultation are for the amendment of various PRA forms that are used for applications and notifications for regulatory transactions. The PRA has chosen to combine the proposals into one substantial consultation paper to avoid having to issue multiple separate consultations on the same forms. The affected forms are located in the Passporting, Change in Control, Insurance Special Purpose Vehicles (ISPVs) and Notifications Parts of the PRA Rulebook.

    The consultation proposals are relevant for PRA-authorized firms and any firms that have, or intend to acquire, a qualifying holding in a PRA-authorized firm.

    Comments on the consultation are invited by November 1, 2018. The PRA expects that the proposals will take effect immediately after the publication of its planned Policy Statement.

    View the consultation paper (PRA CP 21/18).
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Recommends Tightening of Third-Country Requirements
    10/01/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a letter (dated September 26, 2018) from ESMA Chair Steven Maijoor addressed to Valdis Dombrovskis, the Vice President of the European Commission. The purpose of the letter is to contribute to any further work the Commission may undertake on the investor protection and intermediaries-related requirements under the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Fines Retail Bank for Failures During a Cyber Attack
    10/01/2018

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a final notice issued to a U.K. Retail Bank for breaches of Principle 2 of the FCA's Principles for Businesses. Principle 2 requires authorized firms to conduct their business with due skill, care and diligence. The Bank was subjected to a cyber-attack in November 2016, when attackers deployed an algorithm to generate authentic debit card numbers that were then used to make unauthorized transactions. While the attack did not involve loss or theft of customers' personal data, the FCA found that the attack left the Bank's personal current account holders vulnerable to a largely avoidable incident that occurred over 48 hours.

    Read more
  • EU Ban Relating to Binary Options Extended
    10/01/2018

    Following its announcement in August 2018, the European Securities and Markets Authority has published notice of the extension of 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 is extending the ban because the threat to investor protection has not been addressed yet through a change in EU legislation and national regulators have either taken no action or have taken insufficient action to address the potential harm.

    Read more.
  • European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes Its 2019 Priorities
    10/01/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published its Annual Work Programme for 2019, dated September 26, 2018. ESMA sets out its focus areas for 2019 and provides details of expected outputs within each of the areas. ESMA also indicates that a number of pieces of EU legislation may be reviewed. These include the Market Abuse Regulation and the clearing obligation under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation, in addition to the reviews that have already been announced.

    Read more.
  • Proposed Revisions to EU Guidelines on Stress Testing of Money Market Funds
    09/28/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has opened a consultation on proposed updates to the Guidelines on stress test scenarios for Money Market Funds under the Money Market Fund Regulation. The MMF Regulation has applied directly across the EU since July 21, 2018. MMFs are fund vehicles that invest in highly liquid short-term debt instruments, such as government bonds and often regarded as a short-term cash management function alternative to bank deposits.

    The MMF Regulation tasks ESMA with developing Guidelines on common reference parameters of the stress test scenarios to be included in the stress tests that managers of MMFs are required to conduct. ESMA's original Guidelines, published in March 2018, include specifications for the stress tests, including common parameters and scenarios which take into account certain hypothetical risk factors. The Guidelines must be reviewed at least annually and updated for any market developments.

    The consultation paper proposes updating the section in the Guidelines on the establishment of common reference stress test scenarios, the results of which should be included in the reporting template that managers of MMFs are required to use. ESMA is seeking feedback on the methodology, risk factors, data and the calculation of the impact. The calibration of stress test scenarios is not within scope of the consultation. However, feedback on how to calibrate the scenarios would be welcomed by ESMA.

    Responses to the consultation should be submitted by December 1, 2018. ESMA intends to finalize the revised Guidelines in Q1 2019.

    View the consultation paper.
    TOPIC: Funds
  • EU Contracts for Difference Product Intervention Measures to be Extended
    09/28/2018

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has announced that its various restrictions on the sale, distribution and marketing of Contracts for Difference to retail investors will be extended from November 1, 2018 for a further three months.

    ESMA adopted two temporary product intervention Decisions under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation in June this year, one relating to binary options and another to CFDs. ESMA has powers under MiFIR to impose prohibitions or restrictions on certain financial instruments, financial activities or practices to address 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 and it would then fall to member states to impose similar restrictions at a national level, if they so wish. The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority is expected to consult before the end of the year on whether to make permanent the EU's temporary prohibition on marketing, distribution and sale of binary options to retail investors. The In