LIBOR Discontinuation: FCA non-representativeness announcement

The FCA today made its much anticipated announcement that all LIBOR settings will either cease to be provided by any administrator or will no longer be representative:

  • immediately after 31 December 2021, in the case of all sterling, euro, Swiss franc and Japanese yen settings, and the 1-week and 2-month US dollar settings; and
  • immediately after 30 June 2023, in the case of the remaining US dollar settings.

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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 (“FSMA”). Despite the outcome, it illustrates the risks for firms and individuals in using messaging systems such as WhatsApp. Continue reading

FCA prohibitions highlight increasing focus on non-financial misconduct

On 3 November, the FCA prohibited three individuals from working in the financial services industry following findings that they are not fit and proper. The three individuals were all approved persons at the time that they were convicted of serious indictable offences. These Final Notices confirm a trend we identified in our recent Top 10 Global Trends Regarding Investigations Involving Individuals: an increasing focus on non-financial misconduct. Continue reading

FCA’s Approach to International Firms

The FCA has published a consultation (CP20/20) on its general approach to international firms. The consultation and the finalised approach document published after consultation are intended to provide guidance that will help international firms understand the FCA’s expectations as they prepare for their applications for UK authorisation, informing firms’ decision about how they might want to structure their businesses to provide regulated financial services in the UK. The final approach document will supplement the FCA’s existing guidance on its approach to authorisation and supervision. Continue reading

HMT consultations on financial promotions: approving promotions and promoting cryptoassets

HM Treasury has announced two consultations on possible changes to the UK financial promotions regime:

  • a consultation on limiting the scope of firms that can approve financial promotions of unauthorised persons; and
  • a consultation on extending the financial promotions regime to include unregulated cryptoassets.

The deadline for responses to both consultations is 25 October 2020.

These consultations reflect the continued focus by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on marketing and the related risks to consumers, particularly following the mini-bond scandal, as well as the continued focus on the regulation of fintechs and cryptoasset technologies. Continue reading

Bank of England speech on payments trends and cryptoassets following Covid-19

Following Covid-19, the message from the UK financial regulators regarding payments firms and payments innovation has stepped up. Recently, the Bank of England published a speech given by Christina Segal-Knowles (Executive Director, Financial Market Infrastructure Directorate) on 11 June in which she discussed the emerging themes and challenges for payments firms and payments innovation. Continue reading

Joint Parliamentary Committee reports on pre-legislative scrutiny of draft Financial Services Bill 2011

Today, the Joint Committee appointed by both Houses of Parliament to conduct pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Financial Services Bill 2011, reported on its examination of the Bill. The report is critical of many aspects of the Bill as not going far enough, and recommends a number of significant amendments to the objectives, powers and accountability of the new regulators. This briefing summarises the recommendations. Continue reading