The following posts provide a snapshot of selected UK, EU and global wholesale financial regulatory developments of interest to banks, investment firms, broker-dealers, market infrastructures, asset managers and corporates.
Edinburgh Reforms: Changes to the Laws of the UK Financial Services Sector
The U.K. Government has announced on a series of initiatives, billed as the Edinburgh Reforms, to reform the laws for the U.K. financial services sector. The proposals cover:
- Reforms to Ring-Fencing Regime;
- Implementation of Post-Brexit Financial Regulatory Framework;
- Growth and Competitiveness Remit for U.K. Regulators;
- Reforms to Wholesale Markets;
- Faster Settlement;
- Senior Manager's and Certification Regime;
- Changes to Promote Investment and Growth in Financial Services;
- Sustainable Finance;
- FinTech and Digital Assets; and
- Consumer Credit.
HM Treasury Publishes Final Policy Following Financial Services Future Regulatory Framework Review
HM Treasury has published its final response to the Financial Services Future Regulatory Framework Review in which it sets out the government's policy approach to reforming the U.K.’s regulatory architecture post-Brexit. The response is published on the same day as the Financial Services and Markets Bill is introduced to Parliament, which will implement in legislation these significant reforms.
Read more.ATTORNEYS: Sandy Collins, Thomas Donegan, Wilf Odgers
TOPICS : Brexit for Financial Services, Financial Services
UK Parliament Creates New Sub-Committee on Financial Services Regulations
The House of Commons Treasury Committee has announced the creation of a new sub-committee that will scrutinize financial services regulatory proposals and has published a report setting out the approach that Parliament will take to its scrutiny role now that the U.K. has left the EU. The new sub-committee will be called the Sub-Committee on Financial Services Regulations, and its members will initially be all the members of the Treasury Committee. The sub-committee has been set up because Parliament's examination of regulatory proposals is likely to increase when existing EU regulations are moved to the rulebooks of the U.K. regulators, resulting in an assessment by the regulators as to whether those rules are appropriate for the U.K. Among other things, the new Sub-Committee on Financial Services Regulations will have powers to "send for persons, papers and records", to seek and take evidence and report on its findings.ATTORNEYS: Thomas Donegan, Sandy Collins
TOPIC : Financial Services
UK Treasury Committee Makes Recommendation for Future Regulatory Framework Review
The House of Commons Treasury Committee has published a report on the Future of Financial Services Regulation setting out its view on the priorities for regulatory change in the U.K. now that the U.K. has left the EU. The report considers some of HM Treasury's proposals in the Future Regulatory Framework Review and presents its related recommendations. It also makes specific recommendations for the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
Read more.ATTORNEYS: Thomas Donegan, Sandy Collins
TOPICS : Bank Prudential Regulation & Regulatory Capital, Financial Services, FinTech, Payment Services
UK Conduct Regulator Commits to Three-year Strategy of Improving Outcomes of Regulation
The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a three-year Strategy on improving outcomes of regulation and its 2022/23 Business Plan. In the 2022-2025 Strategy, the FCA outlines its expectations of financial services across all sectors, with a view to the overall outcomes that firms should achieve. There are three outcomes for both the wholesale and retail markets, which are fair value, access and confidence. An additional outcome of suitability and treatment applies for the retail markets, to ensure that consumers are treated well and are sold products and services that are suitable for them. The 2022/23 Business Plan sets out the detailed work that the FCA will undertake over the next year to meet the commitments made in its Strategy.
Read more.ATTORNEYS: Sandy Collins, Barnabas W.B. Reynolds
TOPICS : Consumer Protection, Financial Services, FinTech, MiFID II
Financial Stability Board Publishes 2022 Work Priorities
The Financial Stability Board has published a letter to G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors outlining its work priorities for 2022, which are:
- Supporting financial market adjustment to a post-COVID-19 world: the FSB observes vulnerabilities in the financial system, such as embedded leverage in some parts of the system and rising real estate and other asset valuations, which could pose risks to stability in the event of tightening financial conditions. Uneven unwinding of pandemic support measures is also a risk and the FSB will prepare an interim report in July and final report in October on policy considerations to support a more even global pandemic recovery.
Read more.ATTORNEYS: Thomas Donegan, Chloe Barrowman
TOPICS : Environmental, Social and Governance, Financial Services, FinTech, Payment Services
HM Treasury Proposes Reforms in Latest Financial Services Future Regulatory Framework Review Consultation
HM Treasury has launched a consultation, the Financial Services Future Regulatory Framework Review: Proposals for Reform. The consultation paper presents the government's response to the feedback received to the October 2020 FRF Review consultation and numerous proposals to progress the approach. Responses to the consultation may be submitted until February 9, 2022.
Read more.ATTORNEYS: Sandy Collins, Barnabas W.B. Reynolds
TOPIC : Financial Services
UK Financial Conduct Authority Publishes Proposals to Revamp its Decision-Making Process
The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a consultation paper on proposals to change its decision-making process. The objective of these proposals is to make the FCA a nimbler regulator that can make faster and more effective decisions. Responses to the consultation may be submitted until September 17, 2021. The FCA intends to publish a Policy Statement before the end of the year, likely in November, and envisages that the revised decision-making framework would start in November, too. Any cases that are being considered by the Regulatory Decisions Committee would remain with the RDC under the existing processes.
Read more.ATTORNEYS: Chloe Barrowman, Sandy Collins
TOPIC : Financial Services
UK Financial Services Act 2021 Published
The U.K. Financial Services Bill has received Royal Assent from Her Majesty the Queen and has become an Act of Parliament, the Financial Services Act 2021. Some provisions of the Act came into force on the date of Royal Assent, with a limited number following on June 29, 2021. The majority of the Act will come into force on a date specified in regulations yet to be made by HM Treasury.
UK Regulators Publish Dear CEO Letter for Banks and Building Societies on Deposit Aggregators
The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority have published a joint Dear CEO letter addressed to CEOs of U.K. banks and building societies on the risks of accepting deposits from deposit aggregators.
HM Treasury Published Response to Phase I of UK's Financial Services Future Regulation Framework Review
HM Treasury has published its response to the call for evidence on Phase I of the U.K. Financial Services Future Regulatory Framework Review. The FRF Review was announced in March 2019 and will assess whether the U.K. financial services regulatory framework is fit for purpose, taking into account the U.K.'s exit from the EU, climate change and other global and technological challenges. The call for evidence on Phase I of the Review focussed on how the Government and regulators work together to ensure the best outcome for the financial services sector.
Bank of England Publishes Plan for UK Financial Sector Data Collection
The Bank of England has published a plan to transform its ability to collect data from the financial services sector over the next decade. Three key principles of the plan are: (i) defining and adopting common data standards that are consistent across the financial sector; (ii) modernizing reporting instructions to improve how they are written and implemented; and (iii) integrating reporting to facilitate a more efficient approach to data collection. The Transformation Plan was prompted by Huw Van Steenis' 2019 report on the "Future of Finance", which highlighted the importance of data standards and protocols and the value of harnessing data. The BoE published a response to the "Future of Finance" report, in which it undertook to deliver a world-class data strategy.
UK Conduct Regulator Publishes Approach to International Firms
The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published its final Approach to international firms, setting out its approach to authorization and supervision of international firms providing or seeking to provide financial services that require authorization in the U.K. The FCA has also published a feedback statement summarizing its response to the submissions received in response to its consultation last year. The Approach Document sets out the conditions against which a firm will be assessed and discusses the circumstances in which firms may present higher risks and how the risks could be mitigated. It generally proposes that U.K.-authorized firms should have a U.K. place of business, so would not result in any new regime for EU firms which are currently using the "temporary permissions regime".
The FCA's Approach Document is not relevant to firms that are operating in the U.K., but do not need authorization to do so, for example, those firms using the Overseas Persons Exclusion. It is not also not relevant for payment services firms, e-money institutions, depositaries, trustees and managers of U.K. authorized funds, international alternative investment fund managers and international benchmark administrators.
Firms that are or would be subject to dual regulation, should also consider the approach of the Prudential Regulation Authority to the supervision and authorization of firms.
View the FCA's Approach to International Firms.
View the FCA's feedback statement.
View details of the PRA's consultation on its approach to supervising international banks.
UK Government Proposes Extending Regulatory Perimeter to Capture Stablecoins
HM Treasury has opened a consultation on the proposed U.K. approach to crypto-assets and stablecoins, in particular a proposal to bring stablecoins into the U.K. regulatory perimeter. Responses to the consultation may be submitted until March 21, 2021. The government will consider the responses to the consultation and publish a response with further details on how the approach would be implemented in law. If the policy approach is followed, the regulators would consult further on rules for firms.
UK Government Seeks Input on UK Framework for Cross-Border Financial Services
HM Treasury has launched a call for evidence on the U.K.'s framework for cross-border financial services. HM Treasury is considering policy approaches for ensuring the U.K. framework is fit for the future given the U.K.'s exit from the EU, including consideration of how effective and proportionate regulation can support attracting investment and liquidity to the U.K. Responses to the consultation may be submitted until March 11, 2021.
UK Parliament Publishes Financial Services Bill for Post-Brexit Regulatory Framework
The U.K. Government has published a Financial Services Bill setting out a proposed regulatory framework for the financial services industry following the U.K.'s exit from the EU. The Bill is part of the U.K.'s wider initiative under the Future Regulatory Framework Review to re-frame its regulatory framework. Although Brexit has brought challenges to the financial sector, there may also be post-Brexit opportunities for the U.K. to seize. The aim of these reforms is to cement the U.K.'s position as a global financial centre of excellence. A core piece of that will be to set conditions that continue attracting business to the U.K. and to look for opportunities to cut "red tape" whilst at the same time maintaining the U.K.'s globally recognized high regulatory standards.
HM Treasury Consults on Phase II of UK's Financial Services Future Regulation Framework Review
HM Treasury has launched a consultation on Phase II of the U.K.'s Financial Services Future Regulatory Framework Review. Phase II focuses on how the U.K.'s financial services regulatory framework must be adapted to be fit for the future given the U.K.'s exit from the EU. The first part of Phase II, to which this consultation relates, seeks to establish a blueprint for financial services regulation. Responses to the consultation should be submitted by February 19, 2021. The second part of Phase II will constitute a final package of proposals and will be consulted on later in 2021.
UK Government Consults on International Regulatory Cooperation Strategy
The U.K. Government has launched a consultation on its future international regulatory cooperation strategy. The consultation has been prompted by a report published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In its report, the OECD set out 25 recommendations for how the U.K. can improve its policies and practices in shaping and complying with international agreements and collaborating with international counterparts when designing and enforcing regulations. The report is intended to cover regulatory practices in general, meaning banking regulation falls within the scope of the recommendations. With the U.K. having left the EU on January 31, 2020, and the end of the U.K.'s transitional period due to end on December 31, 2020, the U.K. Government believes there is an opportunity to build new regulatory practices that support the future prosperity of the U.K.
UK Government Launches Payments Landscape Review
HM Treasury has launched a call for evidence on the U.K.'s payments landscape, which is the first stage of the Payments Landscape Review announced in June 2019. The government is seeking input on the opportunities, gaps and risks that need to be addressed to support the U.K.'s position as being at the forefront of payments technology. Responses may be submitted until October 20, 2020. The government will publish a summary of the responses it receives and set out next steps for the review.
In the call for evidence, the government sets out the steps taken to achieve the aims that were published in 2012 to support the high-level strategy of ensuring that end user consumers and businesses benefit from the U.K. payment networks. Feedback is sought on the extent to which those aims have been achieved.
HM Treasury also discusses the main incentives for new payment systems and services, covering the New Payments Architecture, Faster Payments, the impact of Open Banking on how the systems are used, trends towards new service providers and payment chains and development in cross-border payments. The call for evidence also reflects on the wider work being undertaken on crypto-assets and stablecoins.
View the call for evidence on the U.K.'s payments landscape.
UK Insolvency and Governance Bill Published
The U.K. Government has published the U.K. Corporate Governance and Insolvency Bill. The Bill amends aspects of insolvency and company law to assist firms struggling to cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures include:
- A new moratorium giving companies breathing space from creditors while they investigate rescue options;
- A prohibition on contractual termination upon insolvency clauses, preventing suppliers from refusing to supply goods while a company is going through a rescue process;
- A temporary removal of liability for wrongful trading for company directors who try to keep their businesses operating through the pandemic;
- A temporary prohibition on the filing of statutory demands and winding up petitions by creditors; and
- Temporary permission for companies to hold closed Annual General Meetings.
Financial Services Exemptions in UK Insolvency and Governance Bill
The U.K. Government intends to exempt financial services firms from certain provisions of the new U.K. Corporate Governance and Insolvency Bill. The Bill, announced on March 28, 2020, will amend aspects of the U.K. insolvency regime (as set out under the Insolvency Act 1986) in light of the financial difficulties faced by many businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bill also includes provisions for companies’ annual general meetings and filing requirements during the COVID-19 crisis.
HM Treasury Exempts Certain Bounce Back Loans From Regulatory Regime
HM Treasury has published the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Order 2020, exempting certain loans made under the U.K. Government's Bounce Back Loan Scheme from regulation under the U.K. financial regulatory regime. The Order applies to loans of £25,000 or less made under the BBLS by commercial lenders to sole traders, unincorporated associations and partnerships of four people. These loans will be classed as exempt credit agreements and will therefore largely not be subject to the provisions of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
Financial Stability Board COVID-19 Actions
The Financial Stability Board has announced its coordinated actions with FSB members to support the real economy and maintain financial stability in the wake of COVID-19. Key actions include:
- Information sharing – FSB members are sharing information on the actions taken to deal with COVID-19, which include lending and liquidity support, market functioning support and measures to support business continuity of both financial institutions and regulators;
HM Treasury Exempts COVID Corporate Financing Facility from Regulated Activity Regime
HM Treasury has published the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Exemption) (Amendment) Order 2020, exempting the COVID Corporate Financing Facility from the U.K.'s regulated activity regime. The Order will come into effect from March 23, 2020. The exemption means that the COVID Corporate Financing Facility is not subject to the U.K. prohibition on conducting regulated activities in the U.K. under section 19 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
EU Opinion on Italian Accepted Market Practice in Accordance with the Market Abuse Regulation
The European Securities and Markets Authority has published an opinion supporting the Italian Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa’s (Consob) revised accepted market practice on liquidity contracts for the purposes of the Market Abuse Regulation. The Market Abuse Regulation provides certain prohibitions against market manipulation but allows “accepted market practices” (AMPs) as a defense against allegations of market manipulation. To benefit from the defense, it is necessary to establish that a relevant transaction was conducted for legitimate reasons and in accordance with a formally accepted AMP. AMPs must be established by national regulators and notified to ESMA. ESMA will then issue an opinion on the compatibility of the AMP with MAR and whether its establishment would threaten market confidence.
European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes 2020-2022 Strategic Orientation
The European Securities and Markets Authority has published its Strategic Orientation for 2020-2022, setting out its longer-term objectives for regulating financial markets. The previous Strategic Orientation covered the period from 2016-2020 and so is coming to an end this year. Looking forward, ESMA aims to:
- develop the EU Capital Markets Union by encouraging wider retail investor participation, which would assist with the diversification of funding sources and efficiency of capital markets;
- promote sustainable finance and long-term oriented capital markets as part of the EU's commitment to meet the UN's Sustainable Development Goals by 2030;
- examine the opportunities and risks of digitalization and technology for market participants and regulators;
- guarantee the EU's voice in financial markets, aiming to maintain the openness of EU financial markets and develop EU co-operation with third-country authorities to ensure investor protection and financial stability; and
- encourage proportionality, particularly with respect to SMEs and innovative companies, where ESMA may need to tailor its initiatives to meet its objectives.
View ESMA 2020-2022 Strategic Orientation.
New EU Regulation Enhances European Supervisory Authorities' Powers
An EU Regulation has been published amending the European Supervisory Authorities' powers under various pieces of EU legislation. The Regulation grants ESMA additional powers to monitor market data and authorize benchmark administrators under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation and the Benchmarks Regulation, respectively. It also amends the legislation founding the European Banking Authority, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority and the European Securities and Markets Authority, granting them additional powers to facilitate their supervisory duties. The Regulation will enter into force on December 30, 2019. The provisions regarding ESMA's enhanced supervisory powers over market data and benchmarks will apply from January 1, 2022. All other provisions regarding the European Supervisory Authorities' enhanced powers will apply from January 1, 2020.
European Parliament Publishes Resolution on EU Financial Services Regulation for Third Countries
The European Parliament has published a resolution on relationships between the EU and third countries concerning financial services regulation and supervision. The resolution follows the publication of a report in August 2018 by the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs setting out its proposal for the European Parliament’s resolution, which comes in the wake of the U.K.’s upcoming exit from the EU. The key factors prompting the resolution include the need to mitigate risks to financial stability arising from a possible no-deal Brexit, the need for clarification of the relationship between third-country markets and the EU’s single market in the interests of broader financial stability and the fact that existing third-country equivalence rules are not currently subject to a single framework.
International Organization of Securities Commissions Consults on Combating Conduct Risks in Debt Capital Raising
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.TOPICS : Conduct & Culture, Financial Services, Securities
EU Expert Group on Regulatory Obstacles to Financial Innovation Publishes Recommendations on Regulatory Framework for FinTech
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.
New EU Regulation on Promotion of Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprise Growth Markets
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.
Financial Stability Board Publishes Reports on Implications of BigTech and Cloud Services
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.
New Regulation and Directive Governing Prudential Requirements for EU Investment Firms
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.
UK FICC Market Standards Board Consults on Draft Statement of Good Practice for Sovereign and Supranational Fixed Income Markets Auctions
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.
UK Conduct Regulator Publishes Consultation on Extension of Senior Managers Regime to Benchmark Administrators
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.TOPICS : Conduct & Culture, Financial Services
European Banking Authority Consults on Draft Technical Standards on Passport Notifications Under Capital Requirements Directive
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.
European Commission Confirms Fitness of EU Supervisory Reporting Requirements for Financial Services
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.
UK Conduct Regulator Postpones Implementation Date for Brexit Contingency Plans
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.TOPICS : Brexit for Financial Services, Financial Services, Funds, MiFID II
European Banking Authority Publishes Opinion on Strengthening Depositor Protection in the EU
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.
Regulatory Oversight Committee Launches Consultation on Legal Entity Identifiers for General Government Entities
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
European Central Bank Publishes Report on the Risk Management Implications of the Euro Risk-Free Rates Provisions
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.TOPICS : Derivatives, Financial Services, LIBOR Transition, Securities
Financial Stability Board Publishes Letter to G20 Ministers on Effect of Reforms and Future Work
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.
UK Government Responds to Committee Report on Conduct Authority's Perimeter of Regulation
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.
European Supervisory Authorities Publish Joint 2020 Work Programme
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.
European Securities and Markets Authority Publishes 2020 Work Priorities
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.
UK Statutory Instrument Published to Amend Benchmark Regulations
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.
UK Court Rules on Withholding Identity of Peer-To-Peer Lenders
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.TOPICS : Financial Services, Shadow Banking
Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates Publishes Summary of Responses to Discussion Paper on SONIA Referencing Conventions
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.TOPICS : Financial Services, LIBOR Transition, Securities
UK Conduct Regulator Concludes No Changes Needed to Banking Senior Managers Regime
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.TOPICS : Conduct & Culture, Corporate Governance, Financial Services, Funds
UK Committee Recommends Enhancing the Financial Conduct Authority's Powers and Remit
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.