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

  • European Banking Authority Publishes Opinion on Money Laundering Risks
    03/03/2021

    The European Banking Authority has published its latest biennial opinion on money laundering and terrorist financing risks affecting the EU financial sector. Key risks relate to: (i) virtual currencies; (ii) the provision of financial products and services through FinTech firms; (iii) weaknesses in counter-terrorism financing systems and controls; (iv) "de-risking" by firms which leads to riskier customers resorting to alternative payment channels; (v) supervisory divergence; (vi) crowdfunding platforms; (vii) divergent approaches to tackling tax-related crimes; and (viii) the COVID-19 pandemic.

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  • European Securities and Markets Authority Proposes Improvements to Transparency Directive
    03/03/2021

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has written to the European Commission proposing a series of improvements to the EU Transparency Directive, taking account of lessons learned in the Wirecard case. Wirecard, a German payments group, collapsed in 2018 when it was revealed that €1.9bn was missing from its public accounts. Several of its senior managers remain under police investigation for alleged crimes including fraud and market manipulation. In ESMA's view, the case has highlighted the need for timely and effective enforcement of financial information and proposes the following amendments to the EU Transparency Directive to help achieve this.

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  • European Banking Authority Publishes Revised Guidelines on Risk Factors for Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing
    03/01/2021

    The European Banking Authority has published revised Guidelines on money laundering and terrorist financing risk factors for credit and financial institutions to consider when conducting business relationships and occasional transactions. The Guidelines will enter into force three months after their publication in all official EU languages and will replace the EBA's existing ML/TF Guidelines.

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  • Financial Action Task Force Launches Consultation on Guidance on Proliferation Financing Risk Assessment and Mitigation
    03/01/2021

    The Financial Action Task Force has launched a consultation on its proposed non-binding Guidance on proliferation financing risk assessment mitigation. The FATF updated its Guidance for proliferation financing risks under Recommendation 1 and its Interpretive Note of the FATF Recommendations in October 2020. The new proposed Guidance is intended to provide a common understanding about how countries and firms can implement the new requirements.

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  • UK Conduct Regulator Sets Out Supervision Strategy of Retail Banks
    02/05/2021

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a letter addressed to the CEOs of retail banks setting out the FCA's approach to retail bank supervision in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    In the letter, the FCA identifies the key risks of harm that retail banks' activities may pose over the next two years, sets out its expectations of the actions retail banks need to take to mitigate the risks and discusses the work that the FCA will undertake to ensure firms are meeting the expectations. The risks are grouped into the following four priority supervisory areas:
     
    1. ensuring fair treatment of borrowers, including those in financial difficulties;
    2. ensuring good governance and oversight of customer treatment and outcomes during business change over the next two years;
    3. ensuring operational resilience over the next two years and beyond; and
    4. minimizing fraud and other financial crime.

    View the FCA's letter.
  • UK Financial Conduct Authority Establishes Temporary AML Registration Regime for Crypto-Asset Businesses
    12/16/2020

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has established a temporary registration regime for crypto-asset businesses that were operating in the U.K. prior to January 10, 2020. The regime will allow crypto-asset firms to continue providing services in the U.K., notwithstanding that they have not yet been registered with the FCA.

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  • Final Draft EU Technical Standards for SME Growth Markets Under Market Abuse Regulation
    11/05/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published its final report and final draft Technical Standards on the amendments to the Market Abuse Regulation for the promotion of SME Growth Markets. SME Growth Markets were a new sub-category of multilateral trading facility introduced by the revised Markets in Financial Instruments package in January 2018 to facilitate access to capital for SMEs. ESMA is mandated to prepare: (i) Regulatory Technical Standards on liquidity contracts; and (ii) Implementing Technical Standards on insider lists and to submit those to the European Commission by September 1, 2020. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the delivery of the final draft RTS and ITS have been delayed and ESMA acknowledges that it is unlikely that they will be adopted in time for the application of the amendments to MAR, which is January 1, 2021. The final report outlines ESMA's proposals and provides the final draft RTS and ITS that ESMA has submitted to the European Commission for consideration.

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  • Financial Action Task Force Updates Guidance for Proliferation Financing Risks
    10/23/2020

    Following its consultation earlier this year, the Financial Action Task Force has finalized amendments to Recommendation 1 and its Interpretive Note. Recommendation 1 provides guidance on assessing risks and applying a risk-based approach to money laundering and terrorist financing risks. The FATF has updated the Recommendation to require countries and the private sector to identify and assess risks of potential breaches, non-implementation or evasion of the targeted financial sanctions obligations referred to in Recommendation 7 linked to proliferation financing risks.

    View the FATF's statement.

    View the updated FATF Recommendations.
  • UK Parliament Publishes Financial Services Bill for Post-Brexit Regulatory Framework
    10/21/2020

    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.

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  • Financial Stability Board Publishes Final Recommendations on Global Stablecoins
    10/13/2020

    Following its consultation earlier this year, the Financial Stability Board has published a final report on the regulation, supervision and oversight of global stablecoin arrangements. In the report, the FSB discusses the characteristics of GSCs, the risks posed by GSCs, existing approaches to regulating and supervising GSCs and issues with cross-border supervision of GSCs. Alongside the report, the FSB has published a summary of the responses to its consultation.

    Read more.
  • EU Securities Authority Recommends Changes to EU Market Abuse Regulation
    09/24/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a final report on the review of the Market Abuse Regulation. MAR requires the European Commission to report on certain aspects of the operation of MAR, including where appropriate, making recommendations for legislative change. ESMA's final report and recommendations will support the work by the Commission on producing that report. The proposals will mostly affect issuers of financial instruments admitted to trading or trading on a trading venue, investment firms and asset management firms.

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  • UK Treasury Committee Seeks Answers from UK Bodies on FinCen Papers and Economic Crime
    09/22/2020

    The U.K. Treasury Committee has written to the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, HM Revenue and Customs and the U.K. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, seeking answers to a series of questions on the actions each of the bodies are taking to combat economic crime and the significance of the "FinCen files" leak. The FinCen files are essentially a series of leaked suspicious transaction reports originally sent by banks to the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network between 2000-2017 notifying FinCen of suspicious transactions.

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  • Financial Action Task Force Highlights Red Flag Indicators Associated With Virtual Assets
    09/14/2020

    The Financial Action Task Force has published a report on red flag indicators of money laundering and terrorist financing in virtual assets. The FATF highlights that although virtual assets have the potential to create efficiencies and enhance innovation, they can also be used by money launderers and terrorist financers to launder proceeds or finance illicit activities. The FATF recognizes that virtual assets may be used outside of the regulated financial system and to hide the origins or destination of funds. These factors make it harder for financial entities and regulators to identify suspicious activities. The report is therefore intended to assist financial institutions, virtual asset service providers, regulators and authorities to overcome these challenges.

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  • European Banking Authority Publishes Advice on Steps to Strengthen the EU's AML/CTF Legislation
    09/10/2020

    The European Banking Authority has published an Opinion recommending that the European Commission establish a single rulebook on anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing. The EBA’s Opinion, and report annexed to the Opinion, are in response to the Commission’s call for advice on defining the scope of application and the enacting terms of an AML/CTF regulation that is to be adopted. The EBA sets out how to address the gaps and vulnerabilities in the EU framework, mostly due to divergent national approaches across the EU. The EBA is proposing that in the areas where national differences and practices disadvantage the EU’s fight against AML/CTF, directly applicable rules should be introduced in a new EU regulation. According to the EBA, this would cover customer due diligence, AML/CTF systems and controls and certain key supervisory processes such as risk assessments, cooperation and enforcement.

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  • UK Conduct Regulator Proposes to Extend Financial Crime Reporting Obligation
    08/24/2020

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has launched a consultation proposing to extend the annual financial crime reporting obligation to regulated firms undertaking regulated activities that the FCA views to be potentially posing as a higher money laundering risk. Responses may be submitted until November 23, 2020. The FCA intends to publish its final policy and amended rules by Q1 2021.

    The FCA introduced the annual financial crime reporting obligations in 2016 for banks, investment firms, building societies, mortgage lenders, large electronic money institutions, certain large consumer credit firms, life insurers and retail investment and mortgage intermediaries. Relevant firms must provide details annually on, among other things, the jurisdictions and types of customers as well as the number of suspicious activity reports to the FCA. The obligation only captures certain firms subject to FCA supervision under the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations of 2017.

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  • European Banking Authority Seeks to Promote RegTech Use
    08/12/2020

    The European Banking Authority has opened a consultation on RegTech and supporting the use of RegTech across the EU. Responses may be submitted until September 30, 2020. The EBA intends to report on the use of RegTech in the first half of 2021. The survey is focused on financial institutions and ICT third party providers. The EBA is seeking to understand the extent and impact of RegTech for regulatory, compliance and reporting requirements of regulated firms. In particular, the EBA is looking at mapping and understanding existing RegTech solutions, identifying barriers and risks relating to the use of RegTech and analyzing how to facilitate the application of RegTech across the EU. The consultation covers ongoing monitoring of business relationships and transactions for anti-money laundering obligations, creditworthiness assessments, compliance with security standards, including information security, cybersecurity and payment services and supervisory reporting.

    View the EBA's survey.
  • Wolfsberg Group Statement on Developing an Effective Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing Program
    08/12/2020

    The Wolfsberg Group has published a statement on how financial institutions can develop an effective anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing program. The Wolfsberg Group was established in 2002 and comprises thirteen banks. Its objective is to develop frameworks and guidance for the management of financial crime risks, providing an industry perspective to effective financial crime risk management.

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  • European Banking Authority Call for Input on De-Risking
    08/04/2020

    The European Banking Authority has launched a call for input on 'de-risking', whereby financial institutions avoid, rather than manage, the risks associated with money laundering or terrorist financing by terminating business relations with entire regions or classes of customers. The EBA is aiming to establish why financial institutions choose to de-risk instead of managing the related risks and to better understand the impact on access to financial services. Responses to the call for input can be provided until September 11, 2020. The feedback received will assist the EBA in preparing its next Opinion on the money laundering or terrorist financing risks impacting the EU which is due in Q1 2021.

    View the call for input on de-risking.
  • Financial Action Task Force Publishes 12-Month Review on Revised FATF Standards for Virtual Assets
    07/07/2020

    The FATF has published the results of its 12-month review into the revised FATF standards published in June 2019, designed to help tackle money laundering and terrorist financing risks connected with virtual assets and virtual asset service providers. The FATF's revised standards introduced a new Interpretive Note to Recommendation 15 on New Technologies, which clarified how countries should apply the FATF standards to virtual assets and VASPs, as well as updated guidance on a risk-based approach for virtual assets and VASPs. When the revisions were published, the FATF undertook to conduct a 12-month review of the changes.

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  • Financial Action Task Force Report on Stablecoins
    07/07/2020

    The Financial Action Task Force has published a report on issues of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing in relation to global stablecoins and stablecoins. The report was mandated by the G20 in October 2019, when it also published its own report on the impact of global stablecoins. The FATF uses the term "so-called stablecoins" in its report to avoid endorsing the use of the phrase "stablecoins", which it views as a marketing term used by promoters of such coins. The term "so-called stablecoins with the potential for mass production" refers to global stablecoins. The FATF has, in parallel, published a 12-month review of its revised FATF standards on virtual assets and virtual asset service providers setting out areas in which the FATF intends to provide updated guidance to cover newly identified risks and provide clarifications.

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  • UK Government Publishes Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020
    07/06/2020

    HM Treasury has published the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020, a new piece of U.K. legislation designed to target those involved in serious violations of human rights. The Regulations come into force on July 6, 2020. They apply to relevant conduct by any person across the whole of the U.K. but also have extra-territorial effect, additionally applying to conduct by U.K. persons (including U.K. incorporated companies and overseas branches of such companies) outside the U.K. and by any person in the territorial sea adjacent to the U.K.

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  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Publishes Final Updated AML Guidelines
    07/02/2020

    The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has published final updated guidelines on the "Sound management of risks related to money laundering and financing of terrorism". The updated guidelines apply to all banks, banking groups and relevant regulators.

    The updated guidelines include detailed guidance on the interaction between prudential and AML/CFT supervision to enhance the effectiveness of the supervision of banks' AML/CFT regimes. The updated guidelines also merge and replace two other Basel Committee documents, namely Customer due diligence for banks (October 2001) and Consolidated KYC risk management (October 2004). The guidelines should be read in conjunction with other Basel Committee papers, such as the Core principles for effective bank supervision, as well as relevant guidance published by the Financial Action Task Force.

    View the updated guidelines.
  • Financial Action Task Force Sets out Priorities for 2020-2022
    07/01/2020

    The new German Presidency of the Financial Action Task Force commences today and has set out its objectives for 2020-2022.

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  • Financial Action Task Force Consults on Updating Guidance for Proliferation Financing Risks
    06/30/2020

    The Financial Action Task Force has opened a consultation on amendments to Recommendation 1 and its Interpretive Note. Recommendation 1 provides guidance on assessing risks and applying a risk-based approach to money laundering and terrorist financing risks. The FATF is proposing to update the Recommendation to require countries and the private sector to identify and assess risks of potential breaches, non-implementation or evasion of the targeted financial sanctions obligations referred to in Recommendation 7 linked to proliferation financing risks. Responses to the consultation may be submitted until August 31, 2020. The FATF intends to consider the feedback at its plenary session in October 2020.

    View the consultation paper.
  • European Banking Authority Call for Input on Impact of De-Risking on Financial Institutions and Consumers
    06/15/2020
    The European Banking Authority has launched a call for input to understand why financial institutions choose to “de-risk” (meaning they elect not to service a particular customer or category of customers on the basis of higher money laundering and terrorist financing risks) instead of managing the risks of working with those customers. Responses are sought from financial institutions and end users by September 11, 2020. The call for input will inform the EBA’s Opinion on the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing affecting the EU’s financial sector.
     
    View the EBA's call for input.
  • UK Government Amends Sanctions Legislation
    06/13/2020

    HM Treasury has published the Sanctions (EU Exit) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations and the Sanctions (EU Exit) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No. 2) Regulations, amending certain aspects of the U.K. sanctions regime. The legislation is made under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018, which was introduced to enable the U.K. Government to implement international sanctions following its departure from the EU. The majority of the SAMLA provisions entered into force on November 22, 2018.

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  • UK Joint Money Laundering Steering Group Publishes Revised Guidance
    06/01/2020

    The Joint Money Laundering Steering Group has published amendments to its Guidance following its consultation launched on February 3, 2020. The revisions to the Guidance account for changes introduced by The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019, which came into force on January 10, 2020. The 2019 Regulations amend the existing Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 to incorporate changes arising from the EU's Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive.

    The JMLSG's consultation on proposed new Guidance on how the U.K. Money Laundering Regulations apply to crypto-asset exchange providers and custodian wallet providers closed on May 18, 2020. The final new Guidance is still to be published.

    The JMLSG is currently consulting on draft guidance on Pooled Client Accounts, with comments due by June 10, 2020.

    View the June 2020 JMLSG Guidance.

    View details of the JMLSG's consultation on pooled client accounts.

    View details of the JMLSG's consultation on crypto-asset exchange provider and custodian wallet provider guidance.
  • UK Joint Money Laundering Steering Group Consults on Pooled Client Accounts Guidance
    05/14/2020

    The U.K. Joint Money Laundering Steering Group has launched a consultation on draft guidance on Pooled Client Accounts. The JMLSG Guidance is provided for firms in the financial sector. A PCA is a bank account opened with a financial institution by a customer, to administer funds that belong to the customer's clients. The customers clients' money will be co-mingled but the customer's clients will not be able to directly instruct the financial institution to carry out transactions. The JMLSG is proposing guidance on the risks, risk assessments, written agreements and due diligence that might be needed when a financial institution opens and administers a PCA for a customer. The consultation closes on June 10, 2020.

    View the consultation paper.
  • Bank for International Settlements Reports on Financial Crime During COVID-19
    05/14/2020

    The Bank for International Settlements has published a report on financial crime during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Report provides an overview of the increase in financial crime observed since the COVID-19 outbreak, which includes an increase in cyber threats, greater misuse of online financial services and virtual assets to move illicit funds and possible corruption associated with government stimulus funds. The Report also describes the cyber resilience measures proposed by national and international agencies and the AML actions taken by supervisory bodies, including the issuance of public statements to raise awareness of COVID-19-related AML risks, provision of guidance on the application of existing AML/CTF frameworks and coordination with the financial sector for the reporting of COVID-19-related fraud.

    Read more.
  • European Banking Authority to Act on Dividend Arbitrage Trading Schemes
    05/12/2020

    In response to the November 2018 request of the European Parliament to conduct an enquiry into dividend arbitrage trading schemes, the European Banking Authority has published a report (dated April 28, 2020) on the approach of national regulators across the EU to tackle market integrity risks associated with dividend arbitrage trading schemes. The EBA has also published a ten-point Action Plan to address the risks arising from such schemes. Both the report and Action Plan accompanied the EBA's letter to the European Parliament that describes its actions and the steps it intends to take in the future on this issue.

    The report sets out the findings arising from the enquiry, which consisted of surveys of national authorities responsible for anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing and of national prudential regulators. The EBA found that dividend arbitrage trading schemes are not possible in all EU member states and that, where they are possible, they are not always regarded as a tax crime. The EBA concluded that AML and prudential authorities approach dividend arbitrage trading schemes in different ways and there are variations in the extent to which the handling of the proceeds from these schemes by financial institutions constitutes money laundering.

    Read more.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Issues Guidance on Financial Crime Controls and Information Security During COVID-19
    05/06/2020

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has issued guidance on financial crime controls and information security for financial services firms during COVID-19. The FCA notes the increase in cyber-crime during the COVID-19 pandemic, the risks of which may be magnified by operational disruptions arising from working from home arrangements. Firms are expected to be proactive in managing the increased risks during this period, including being vigilant about the potential increase in cyber risks, ensuring they maintain appropriate governance and oversight arrangements, reviewing the impact of COVID-19 on their information security defenses and ensuring that general notification requirements are followed and significant cyber incidents are reported.

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  • EU Consultation on SME Growth Markets
    05/06/2020

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has launched a consultation on the functioning of the small and medium-sized Growth Markets regime under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II and on draft technical standards for the promotion of the use of SME Growth Markets to be developed under the Market Abuse Regulation. SME Growth Markets were a new sub-category of multilateral trading facility introduced by MiFID II in January 2018 to facilitate access to capital for SMEs. The consultation closes on July 15, 2020.

    Read more.
  • Financial Action Task Force Reports on Financial Crime During COVID-19
    05/04/2020

    The Financial Action Task Force has published a report on financial crime (including money laundering and terrorism financing activities) during COVID-19, identifying challenges, good practices and policy responses to the emerging threats and vulnerabilities.

    The increased threats identified include fraud from criminals attempting to profit from the pandemic, a spike in cyber crime, particularly phishing emails and spam campaigns and a corresponding impact on other predicate crimes including human trafficking, exploitation of workers, online child exploitation and organized property crime. In conjunction, confinement and social distancing measures designed to combat COVID-19 are impacting government and private sector capacity to implement AML and CTF obligations.

    Read more.
  • Financial Stability Board Consults on Global Stablecoins
    04/14/2020

    The Financial Stability Board has launched a consultation on global stablecoin arrangements. The consultation is in response to the G20 mandating the FSB to analyze potential regulatory issues posed by global stablecoins and to advise on multilateral responses. Responses to the consultation should be submitted by July 15, 2020. The FSB's final report is expected to be published in October 2020.

    Read more.
  • Financial Action Task Force Issues Statement on Remaining Vigilant to AML and CFT Risks During the COVID-19 Pandemic
    04/01/2020

    The Financial Action Task Force has published a statement on measures to combat illicit financing during the coronavirus pandemic. The key messages are that the FATF supports the use of the flexibility built into the risk-based approach to anti-money laundering and counter-financing terrorism. However, it warns financial institutions to remain vigilant to new and emerging finance risks arising due to COVID-19, such as frauds arising due to difficulties in customer due diligence in person or reductions of monitoring due to remote working, or due to possible risks of fraud in government cash handout schemes. It reminds firms that they should ensure that they continue to effectively mitigate risks and are able to detect and report suspicious activities. In addition, the FATF urges financial institutions to use responsible digital customer onboarding and the delivery of financial services wherever possible and refers institutions to the FATF's recently released Guidance on Digital ID. Furthermore, the FATF encourages countries and financial institutions to consider appropriate use of simplified due diligence measures to assist in the delivery of government benefits established in response to the pandemic.

    View the FATF's statement.

    View details of the FATF's Guidance on Digital ID.

    Details of other regulatory responses to COVID-19 are available on our COVID-19 Research Center.
  • UK Conduct Regulator Dear CEO Letter to Firms on Consumer Protection During COVID-19 Pandemic
    03/31/2020

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has published a Dear CEO letter addressed to firms providing services to retail investors on the actions they should be taking to protect consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Firms are expected to provide strong support and service to consumers, to be transparent with their customers and to report to the FCA immediately if they foresee themselves getting into financial difficulty.

    Read more.
  • UK Joint Money Laundering Steering Group Consults on Crypto-Asset Exchange and Custodian Wallet Provider Guidance
    03/18/2020

    The U.K. Joint Money Laundering Steering Group has launched a consultation on its proposed new Guidance on how the U.K. Money Laundering Regulations apply to crypto-asset exchange providers and custodian wallet providers. The proposed Guidance will form a new Sector 22 section in Part II of the existing JMLSG Guidance. Comments on the proposed Guidance should be submitted by May 18, 2020.

    Read more.
  • Guidance Published on Digital Identification Technologies for Anti-Money Laundering Purposes
    03/06/2020

    The Financial Action Task Force has published Guidance on how digital identification technologies can be used to conduct some aspects of customer due diligence for anti-money laundering purposes. The FATF presents a risk-based approach to the use of digital ID software, relying on a set of open source, consensus-driven assurance frameworks and technical standards for digital ID systems. In addition, the FATF sets out a series of recommendations for relevant authorities, regulated entities (meaning financial institutions, virtual asset service providers and designated non-financial businesses and professions) and digital ID services providers. The Guidance is non-binding, however, it clarifies the FATF's standards.

    View the FATF's Guidance on digital ID.
  • EU Consultation on Revised Risk Factor Guidelines for Assessing Money Laundering Risks
    02/05/2020

    The European Banking Authority has launched a consultation on proposed revisions to the Risk Factor Guidelines for financial institutions to assess money laundering and terrorist financing risks. The proposed changes aim to take into account the most recent revisions to the EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (i.e. 5MLD) and newly identified risks, including those specified in the EBA's implementation reviews. The consultation closes on July 6, 2020.

    Read more.
  • UK Joint Money Laundering Steering Group Proposes Amendments to Guidance
    02/03/2020

    The Joint Money Laundering Steering Group has opened a consultation on proposed amendments to its Guidance. The revisions to the Guidance are to account for changes introduced by The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019. The Regulations amend the existing Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017, incorporating changes arising from the EU’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive. 

    Read more.
  • UK Government Launches Consultation on Application of EU Fifth Money Laundering Directive to Trusts
    01/24/2020

    HM Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs have launched a consultation on the implementation of rules governing the registration of trusts under the EU Fifth Anti Money Laundering Directive. Responses to the consultation should be submitted by February 21, 2020.

    Read more.
  • International Organization of Securities Commissions Recommends UTC Clock Synchronization to Facilitate Market Abuse Monitoring
    01/16/2020

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

    View IOSCO's report.
  • Bank of England and UK Conduct Regulator Announce Proposals for Financial Sector Data Reforms
    01/07/2020

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

    Read more.
  • New EU Regulation Enhances European Supervisory Authorities' Powers
    12/27/2019

    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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Read more.
  • EU Council Pushes for Further Harmonization of EU Anti-Money Laundering Rules
    12/05/2019

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

    Read more.
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