Herbert Smith Freehills launches updated guide to cross-border financial services investigations

Financial services firms conduct their business activities across markets and borders, often performing services and holding data in locations other than those in which they interact with their clients.  Over a decade after the financial crisis, their regulators remain under sustained public and political pressure to improve customer outcomes and punish poor conduct.  When issues arise, those regulators frequently need to seek assistance from their global counterparts to be able to unravel what has occurred, irrespective of where it took place.

Understanding how and when regulators interact with each other and with firms across borders, how firms are required, or expected, to respond, and how to handle multiple proceedings in different jurisdictions, is more critical than ever.

This fourth edition of “The Long Arm of Regulation: Responding to Cross-Border Financial Services Investigations”, Herbert Smith Freehills’ guide to cross-border financial services investigations, gives an overview of how to approach these issues, and aims to assist firms in navigating the differing regimes across 15 key jurisdictions, including, for the first time in this edition, South Africa. The guide covers a range of important topics, including the regulators’ breadth of powers, mechanisms for obtaining – and withholding – information, consequences for failing to comply, and the management of competing confidentiality and reporting obligations.

In producing this publication, we have drawn on the expertise of our financial services regulation practice across our international network of offices and through our formal alliance with Prolegis (Singapore). In addition, we are enormously grateful for contributions from law firms Anderson Mori & Tomotsune (Japan), Stibbe (the Netherlands) and Homburger (Switzerland).

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Product Intervention Powers and Design and Distribution Obligations in Financial Services: A Cross-Border Perspective

Authors: Hannah Cassidy, Clive Cunningham, Natalie Curtis, Javier de Carlos, Katherine Dillon, Matthias Gippert, Leopoldo Gonzalez Echenique, Vincent Hatton, Patricia Horton, Pierre Le Ninivin, Kai Liebrich, Natasha Mir, Stuart Paterson, Fiona Smedley, Jenny Stainsby, Jennifer Xue

Many regulators view their ability to intervene as one of their key supervisory tools to reduce harm in cases where there is a risk of significant consumer detriment or threat to financial markets.

At the same time, many jurisdictions have put in place product governance regimes for financial services firms which aim to avoid, or at least mitigate from an early stage, any potential risks of failure to comply with investor protection rules. In particular, the design and distribution obligations under these product governance regimes aim to overcome the limitations of disclosure and ensure that firms which manufacture and distribute financial products take some responsibility and adopt a more targeted customer-centric approach.

The stages of development, level of detail, scope and coverage of regulators’ product intervention powers, and the product design and distribution obligations under product governance regimes, vary across jurisdictions.

Our guide (which can be found here) summarises the frameworks in selected jurisdictions, allowing a high-level comparison of the different regimes and offering a glimpse of the direction of travel.

KEY CONTACTS

Clive Cunningham
Clive Cunningham
Partner, London
+44 20 7466 2278
Fiona Smedley
Fiona Smedley
Partner, Sydney
+61 2 9225 5828
Hannah Cassidy
Hannah Cassidy
Partner, Hong Kong
+852 21014133
Natalie Curtis
Natalie Curtis
Partner, Singapore
+65 6868 9805

Corporate Crime autumn update 2018

Welcome to the autumn 2018 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.

For the full update on each jurisdiction, please click on the name of the jurisdiction below where we provide a brief overview of what is covered. Continue reading

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Extra-territorial scope of MAR: impact on non-EU firms

Article 2(4) of MAR applies the "prohibitions and requirements" within MAR to behaviour that occurs both within the EU and in a third county.  In other words, MAR is intended to have extra-territorial effect, capturing individuals and firms operating outside of the EU. 

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Market abuse update – April 2016

This will be our last quarterly Market Abuse update before 3 July 2016, the date when both the new Market Abuse Regulation and the Criminal Sanctions (Market Abuse) Directive come into application across Europe. Some significant pieces of the regulatory jigsaw have yet to be slotted into place, so we have set out the current state of play in a little more detail. Both pieces of legislation have significant extra-territorial implications: in this briefing we highlight some quirks in the potential application of the criminal regime.

The advent of new regulation has not led to any significant let-up of regulators’ enforcement efforts, and this briefing also reviews some recent cases in the UK, the US and Australia.

Our full e-bulletin is available here.

EU reaches agreement on the General Data Protection Regulation

After almost four years of debate, the European Commission, Parliament and Council have finally reached political agreement on the proposed General Data Protection Regulation (the "GDPR"). The final text of the GDPR will now need to be formally approved by the European Parliament and the Council at the beginning of 2016. There will then be a two year implementation period before the GDPR comes into effect, meaning that organisations should expect the new rules to apply from sometime in 2018.  To read more about the GDPR from our TMT team, click here.

Corporate Crime Monthly Update October 2015

Welcome to the October 2015 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. For the full update on each jurisdiction, please click on the name of the jurisdiction below. Below we provide a brief overview of what is covered in each update.

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EU: ESMA disagrees with the EBA on proportionality: guidelines on remuneration under UCITS V are published for consultation

On 23 July 2015, the European Securities and Markets Authority (“ESMA”) published its draft guidelines on the implementation of the UCITS V remuneration principles for consultation.  In the consultation, ESMA’s approach to the application of proportionality differs from that of the European Banking Authority (EBA) in its consultation on revised CRD IV remuneration guidance, with ESMA suggesting that the co-legislators may have envisaged the possibility that the application of proportionality could lead to the disapplication of certain of the remuneration principles.    Continue reading

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