Court of Appeal overturns refusal to approve Prudential/Rothesay Life transfer

The Court of Appeal has today allowed an appeal from Mr Justice Snowden’s refusal to approve the transfer of some 370,000 annuities from The Prudential Assurance Company Limited to Rothesay Life plc. The court has confirmed that there were errors in Mr Justice Snowden’s approach to the exercise of the court’s discretion on insurance business transfers and has delivered some much needed clarity to the Part VII process. Read more

FCA criminal prosecution for destruction of documents – lessons for firms

The Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) ) has been unsuccessful in its attempted prosecution of a former banker, Konstantin Vishnyak, for destroying documents relevant to an FCA investigation brought against him for suspected insider dealing offences. This marks the first time the FCA has exercised its powers in connection with a destruction of documents offence under section 177(3)(a) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (“FCA”). Despite the outcome, it illustrates the risks for firms and individuals in using messaging systems such as WhatsApp. Read more

Corporate Crime update – November 2020

Welcome to the November 2020 edition of our corporate crime update – our round up of developments in relation to corruption, money laundering, fraud, sanctions and related matters. Our update now covers a number of jurisdictions. Read more

ESMA confirms EU’s hardline stance to MiFIR Derivatives Trading Obligation post-Brexit

In a frustrating twist to the dangerously slow-moving narrative on cross-border financial market access post- Brexit, ESMA yesterday (25 November) issued a public statement confirming the EU's hardline stance to the derivatives trading obligation (DTO) under MiFIR.  The DTO requires EU investment firms to trade certain classes of derivatives only on EU-authorised trading venues – or third country trading venues certified by the European Commission as equivalent. No such equivalence decision has been made or signalled by the EU for purposes of the DTO – and ESMA's latest statement declines to offer any forbearance or similar relief to EU firms currently using UK venues for this purpose. Read more

FSB consults on regulatory and supervisory risks with financial sector outsourcing and third-party relationships

Regulation and supervision of outsourcing arrangements and third-party relationships entered into by financial institutions continues to be an area of great focus for regulators.  The FSB’s latest discussion paper sets out an overview of the regulatory and supervisory landscape on outsourcing and third-party risk management across a number of jurisdictions based on a survey carried out in Q1 2020.  The deadline for providing feedback is 8 January 2021. Read more

Airline Services Limited – “SFO Secures Third DPA of 2020”

On 30 October 2020, Mrs Justice May, sitting in the Crown Court in Southwark, approved the UK’s ninth deferred prosecution agreement (“DPA”) between the UK Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) and Airline Services Limited (“ASL”) (read the SFO press release here). The investigation was only made public on 22 October 2020 after the SFO announced that a DPA was reached in principle at a private hearing held the previous day before Mrs Justice May. Read more