Shearman & Sterling LLP | Financial Regulatory Developments Focus
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.

  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 for IRS denominated in the G4 currencies will apply to small financial counterparties and AIFs from June 21, 2019 and to non-financial counterparties from December 21, 2018, and for IRS denominated in CZK, DKK, HUF, NOK, SEK and PLN, from August 9, 2018. The CDS clearing obligation is in force only for clearing members of EU CCPs. The CDS clearing obligation for large financial counterparties, AIFs and NFCs will apply from August 9, 2019. It will apply 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.
  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Scottish Court Says Court of Justice of the European Union Should Rule on Whether Brexit Notification Can Be Revoked
    09/21/2018

    The Court of Session has delivered an Opinion allowing a reference to be made to the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary ruling on whether the U.K. can unilaterally revoke its notice of withdrawal from the EU - Wightman v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union [2018] CSIH 62 (21 September 2018).

    Under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, the United Kingdom gave notice to the EU Council on March 29, 2017 that it would leave the EU. The notification means that unless an agreement is reached between the U.K. and the EU, and absent any agreement to extend the two-year period, the U.K. will exit the EU on March 29, 2019.

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  • US-UK Financial Regulatory Working Group Holds Inaugural Meeting
    09/18/2018

    The U.S.-U.K. Financial Regulatory Working Group has issued a statement following its inaugural meeting held on September 12, 2018 in London. Participants discussed the outlook for financial regulatory reforms and future priorities, including possible areas for deeper regulatory cooperation to facilitate further financial services activity between U.S. and U.K. markets. Participants also discussed Brexit-related issues, including: (i)  U.S.-U.K. financial regulatory issues resulting from the U.K.’s exit from the EU;  and (ii) the implications of Brexit for financial stability and cross-border financial regulation, including contractual continuity and potential cliff-edge risks.

    The Working Group was established in April 2018 to serve as a forum for staff from the U.S. Department of the Treasury and HM Treasury and financial regulatory authorities to exchange views on the regulatory relationship between the U.S. and the U.K. Its objectives 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.

    The next meeting of the Working Group will be held in the first half of 2019 in Washington, D.C.

    View the statement
  • UK Regulator Publishes Application Requirements for EEA Market Operators Seeking Recognition
    09/14/2018

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

    View the FCA's statement.

    View the FCA's Direction
  • Post-Brexit UK Secondary Legislation Published For Temporary Permissions Regime For Payments Services
    09/05/2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    View the draft Regulations.

    View the explanatory guidance.
  • UK Post-Brexit Secondary Legislation on Short Selling Published
    08/09/2018

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

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

    Read more.
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