No change to the FCA’s approach to enforcement and penalties

On 12 February, the FCA’s Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, Mark Steward, delivered the keynote address at the City & Financial Global Investigations and Enforcement Conference in London. This latest speech focused more broadly on the FCA’s approach to enforcement. In this article, we explore the implications for firms of some of the key messages of the speech. Read more

ESMA publishes report on product intervention measures under MiFIR

The European Securities and Markets Authority (“ESMA”) has recently published final technical advice on the effects of product intervention measures under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (“MiFIR”). ESMA makes recommendations in relation to the product intervention framework under MiFIR, including proposing extending the framework to alternative investment fund managers (“AIFMs“) and UCITS management companies. … Read more

SFO Internal Guidance on Evaluating a Compliance Programme

On 17 January 2020 the UK Serious Fraud Office (“SFO“) updated its Operational Handbook to include a new chapter on evaluating a compliance programme (the "New Chapter"). The New Chapter considers the relevance of compliance programmes for SFO cases and how the SFO will investigate the effectiveness of a compliance programme. The SFO's Operational Handbook is for internal SFO guidance, does not constitute official guidance to third parties and is published in the interests of transparency. However, it can be instructive in revealing the SFO’s approach to certain matters. In this briefing we provide an overview of the New Chapter. Read more

FCA asks banks to explain new overdraft rates

The FCA has today written to the UK’s major retail banks, asking them to provide evidence of how they have arrived at their new overdraft interest rates, which have all been set at around 40%. The FCA also asked the banks to clarify how they will deal with customers who could be worse off following the changes, and expects firms to take “positive steps” to helps these customers – for example, by reducing or waiving interest, or offering a continuation of overdraft borrowing at current rate of interest. Read more

FCA publishes Dear CEO letters to asset managers and alternative investment firms

The FCA this week published two template ‘Dear CEO’ letters, one to asset managers and one to alternative investment firms, highlighting the FCA’s views on the key risks posed to customers and markets, and setting out its supervision strategy for the coming months. The FCA’s asset management portfolio comprises firms that predominantly directly manage mainstream … Read more

Hong Kong data protection reform: what you need to know

On 20 January 2020, the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau (CMAB) together with the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (Privacy Commissioner), published a consultation paper raising important data protection issues and proposing possible amendments to the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Cap. 486) (PDPO), after having reviewed the existing data protection regime in Hong Kong. These include possibly introducing a mandatory data breach notification mechanism, requiring data users to specify a retention period for personal data collected, raising the sanctioning powers of the Privacy Commissioner as well as potentially making data processors more accountable. Read more