Brexit – a possible UK exit from the EU

In the UK, the General Election is a few days away and with it is the prospect of a Referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union (EU) by the end of 2017, if the Conservatives form the next Government.

In our briefing, we consider the implications from a legal perspective of a UK exit from the EU.    Continue reading

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Filed under EU, UK

Cybersecurity – managing a crisis in the digital era – Part 2

Information security and system resilience are strategic issues for every business, with media reports of security breaches in businesses, government agencies and other organisations now a daily occurrence.  This is the second in our three part e-bulletin series on the latest developments in relation to cybersecurity.  The first note discussed best practices in relation to cybersecurity policy. It highlighted the importance of having established policies in place to ensure that organisations, and their data, are protected.

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Filed under Asia, Australia, China, Corporate Crime, Hong Kong

UK: Proposed FCA Technical Notes on closed-ended investment companies

You would be forgiven if the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”)’s rather plainly titled ‘Primary Market Bulletin No. 11‘ passed you by in the lead up to our, now distant, Easter break.  If that is so, and you have even a passing interest in listed funds, then this briefing is for you.  It summarises the Bulletin’s proposals for six new technical notes that relate directly to closed-ended investment companies listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange plc under chapter 15 .  The Bulletin also proposes an amendment to an existing procedural note on block listings.   Continue reading

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Filed under FCA, Funds, UK, UK Regulations

The EU publishes amended guidance on financial sanctions

The Council of the European Union recently published a revised version of the EU Best Practices for the effective implementation of restrictive measures.  The guidance it contains provides some clarification of the many issues which arise in practice for both Member States and for persons and entities subject to sanctions or otherwise affected by their application.   Significant uncertainties in the interpretation of EU sanctions do, however, remain.  Continue reading

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Filed under EU, France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Sanctions and Money Laundering, Spain, UK

Cybersecurity – managing a crisis in the digital era

Information security and system resilience are strategic issues for every business, with media reports of security breaches in businesses, government agencies and other organisations now a daily occurrence. Continue reading

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Filed under Asia, Australia, Corporate Crime, Hong Kong

Assessing and enhancing the legal and contractual aspects of CASS compliance

In the years since the Lehmann collapse there is no doubt that firms have been heavily focussed on CASS compliance, particularly on operational detail and accuracy. But last week’s record CASS fine is a reminder of the critical need to understand, assess and verify the legal and contractual architecture underpinning those processes; and to develop and maintain strong governance oversight.  Continue reading

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Filed under Banking, FCA, Investment banking, Retail Banks, UK, UK Regulations

Market abuse update – April 2015

2014 was marked by record fines for benchmark manipulation globally, criminal prosecutions for insider trading and market manipulation, and the first publication of warning notices.  The start of 2015 has seen some notable cases in the UK, US and Australia, and as the FCA makes individual accountability a priority in its business plan, it has taken its first public LIBOR actions against senior managers and traders.  Several important court rulings in Europe have impacted the interpretation Continue reading

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Filed under Americas, Asia, EU, Europe, European Regulation, FCA, France, Hong Kong, Singapore, UK, US

Hong Kong court dismisses investor’s counterclaim against bank for mis-selling of financial products

The Court of First Instance has recently handed down its judgment in DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited v Sit Pan Jit (HCA 382/2009), which concerned a claim by DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited (DBS) against its former customer, Sit Pan Jit, for failing to meet margin calls in respect of certain investments and a counterclaim by Mr Sit against DBS for mis-selling those investments. Continue reading

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Filed under Asia, Asset management, Hong Kong

Iran sanctions – US and EU announce framework agreement including proposals to suspend sanctions

On April 2, 2015 representatives from the US, EU and Iran announced that, following extensive negotiations, the “P5+1″ (China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and the US) and Iran had agreed parameters (the “Parameters”) for a joint comprehensive plan of action regarding Iran’s nuclear program (the “JCPOA”).  Whilst the final provisions of the JCPOA have yet to be agreed, the Parameters set out the framework around which the JCPOA will be drafted between now and June 30 and include the provision for significant relaxations of UN, US and EU sanctions currently in force against Iran.  Continue reading

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Filed under Americas, Europe, Sanctions and Money Laundering, US

UK: FCA and HM Treasury publish approach to UK implementation of MIFID II

The FCA and HM Treasury have published the first set of papers on the UK implementation of MiFID II:

  • FCA discussion paper “Developing our approach to implementing MiFID II conduct of business and organisational requirements” (DP15/3); and
  • HM Treasury consultation paper “Transposition of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II” (HMT consultation paper).

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Filed under Banking, Consultations, EU, Europe, European Regulation, FCA, HM Treasury, UK