“Keep it Strong and Simple”: PRA speech on proposals for new post-Brexit prudential regime

On 12 November, Sam Woods (CEO of the PRA) used his Mansion House speech (the Speech) to discuss the merits of introducing a new “strong and simple” regime of prudential regulation for small banks and building societies in the wake of the UK’s exit from the EU, as well as providing some general commentary on the PRA’s post-Brexit approach.

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2020 Global Bank Review: #disruption

We are excited to launch the 2020 edition of our Global Bank Review#disruption.

While the banks sector has faced significant challenges before, the depth and breadth of Covid-19’s disruption has left banks in the position of having to brace for impact to their own businesses, whilst simultaneously demonstrating a change in culture, providing support to vulnerable customers, and supplying vital credit for regrowing our economies. Continue reading

Fintech 2021: from crisis to consolidation

For most people, life and work have changed fundamentally since the Covid-19 crisis began – and there are concerns that the crisis could still worsen again . Most areas of the world’s economy have been profoundly affected too, and the Fintech sector is no exception. Fintech has been both an epicentre of the crisis – and has also been central to recovery efforts, as payments have moved online and governments have sought to disburse financial support efficiently.

Our global Fintech team looks ahead to what 2021 holds for the sector, including fundraising, partnerships, M&A, and regulatory developments. Continue reading

HMT announces relaunch of UK Fintech Strategic Review

HM Treasury has announced the relaunch of its independent Fintech Strategic Review (the Review). The Review, originally announced in March (but delayed due to Covid-19), will aim to identify key priority areas for focus by the industry, policymakers and regulators in order to support the continued growth and mainstream adoption of Fintech solutions in the UK. The Review will be led by Ron Kalifa OBE (the former CEO of Worldpay).

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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

IOSCO proposes updated Outsourcing Principles as Covid-19 drives operational resilience to the top of the agenda

Having initially delayed its planned consultation exercise to allow the financial services sector to focus on responding to Covid-19, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) subsequently found the pandemic a catalyst to proceed. Therefore, at the end of May, IOSCO launched its consultation on proposed updates to the 2005 Outsourcing Principles for Market Intermediaries and the 2009 Outsourcing Principles for Markets; feedback on the proposed new Outsourcing Principles (OPs) is requested on or before 1 October 2020. The decision to proceed reflects the acknowledgement that outsourcing is a key element for consideration when assessing operational resilience across the sector.

This post gives a high level summary of the consultation, with a link to our briefing that focuses in more detail on: the scope of application; IOSCO’s definition of outsourcing; intragroup arrangements; concentration risk; and access and audit rights. To provide additional context to IOSCO’s proposals, the associated briefing also catalogues relevant proposals and initiatives which are running concurrent to the consultation exercise.

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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