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FCA’s Consumer Duty good practice and areas for improvement update – Constructive Criticism or Hard Discipline?

When considering the FCA’s enforcement of Consumer Duty, it could be likened to a school teacher attempting to discipline a class. The FCA so far is attempting to retain the authority akin to a headmaster with an iron fist, rather than a flailing substitute teacher with a “kick me” sign attached to their back. Whether … Continue Reading

Opening salvo – enforceability of litigation funding agreements in a post-PACCAR world?

The recent interim judgment of Therium Litigation Funding A IC v Bugsby Property LLC [2023] EWHC 2627 (Comm) appears to give us an early indication of what might become key battlegrounds between Third-Party Funders and certain funded litigants in the wake of the Supreme Court’s impactful determination in R (PACCAR) v Competition Appeal Tribunal [2023] … Continue Reading

Ready or not, here comes the Consumer Duty

Since July 2022 when the FCA published its rules and guidance to implement the Consumer Duty, much ink has been spilled on what it will mean for affected firms. Now, with the clock ticking down to implementation on 31 July 2023, the FCA has published the findings of its review of a number of larger … Continue Reading

FCA tightens appointed representative regime

In August 2022, the FCA released a policy statement introducing improvements to the appointed representative (“AR“) regime. In its policy statement, the FCA provides feedback on its earlier consultation, and sets out new rules to make authorised financial firms more responsible for their ARs. In its press release, the FCA says that whilst some principal … Continue Reading

Is the FCA catching on to its AFrO and AFO powers?

My colleague Ben Ticehurst, a Director in our UK Government Investigations and White Collar team, recently shared a timely insight on increased use by the Financial Conduct Authority of Account Freezing Orders (“AFrOs”) and Account Forfeiture Orders (“AFOs”) on our Anticorruption Blog.  He reports on the recent decision for the FCA to secure its first … Continue Reading

Use it or lose it: FCA accelerates crack down on unused regulatory permissions

The Financial Conduct Authority’s new powers to more swiftly cancel or change firms’ regulatory permissions have now come into effect. These powers are particularly aimed at firms that have permissions they are not using. Firms can be required to prove they are carrying out the regulated activities they have permissions for, or risk losing their … Continue Reading

A ‘Fundamental Shift’ in Financial Regulation – Further FCA Consultation on New Consumer Duty

2022 looks set to be a busy year for regulated firms dealing with retail customers. Following its initial consultation in May 2021, on 7 December 2021 the FCA issued a further consultation (CP21/36), announcing its desire to “fundamentally shift” the mindset of regulated firms, by implementing a new consumer duty later this year.… Continue Reading

The FCA Perimeter Report 2020/21 – Key Points for Firms

The scope of the FCA’s powers and remit is not a simple matter, as the FCA readily acknowledges. The FCA’s regulatory “perimeter” derives primarily from from FSMA and the universe of secondary legislation surrounding it, particularly the Regulated Activities Order (“RAO”). However it also derives powers and responsibilities from various UK and on-shored EU-legislation in … Continue Reading

PRA increases pressure on firms to improve regulatory reporting processes

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) recently a Dear CEO letter titled “Thematic Findings on the reliability of the regulatory reporting“, outlining the current inadequacy of finance firms’ regulatory reporting procedures and the importance of comprehensive processes. The letter summarizes the PRA’s findings following its investigations carried out since October 2019, and a number of s.166 … Continue Reading

LCF mini-bond holders withdraw appeal against FSCS

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) confirmed on 23 August that London Capital and Finance (LCF) mini-bond holders have withdrawn their appeal against an important March 2021 High Court decision dismissing their judicial review claim.  FSCS confirmed that the litigation had been concluded without any change to any of its earlier decisions on LCF claims.… Continue Reading

FCA Business Plan 2021/22 – transformation, accountability, and regulatory priorities for the coming year

The FCA’s annual business plan is a closely watched indicator of what we can expect from the regulator in the coming year. The recently published Business Plan for 2021/22 indicates the FCA’s focus on continued transformation and greater accountability as a regulator. It also sets out key priorities for the FCA for  the coming years … Continue Reading

FCA issues updated statement on insurers making deductions for Government support from COVID-19 business interruption settlements

Last month, the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) published updated guidance regarding COVID-19 business interruption settlements and deductions made for Government support. The FCA first commented on this issue in August 2020, following reports that some insurers were making deductions for Government support received by policyholders, when calculating payments for business interruption insurance claims. The FCA’s … Continue Reading

GameStopped? Regulators react to the “short squeeze”

While trading frenzies are as old as the markets themselves, the novelty of widespread retail trading in obscure US stocks fueled by Reddit chat forums has prompted recent interventions by regulators on both sides of the Atlantic. Unfortunately the FCA’s terse 29 January statement on “recent share trading issues” gave little insight into how it … Continue Reading

FCA Launches Defined Benefit Advice Assessment Tool

Last month, the FCA launched its Defined Benefit Advice Assessment Tool (“DBAAT“) as part of its strategy to reduce harm to consumers and improve the suitability of defined benefit (“DB“) transfer advice. The tool will help firms to understand precisely how the FCA assesses the suitability of DB transfer advice.… Continue Reading

Findings of the FRC’s Audit Committee research point towards audit sector reform

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has just published the outcome of new research into the approach that Audit Committee Chairs (ACCs) take to audit quality. The findings suggest inconsistency among ACCs on what constitutes audit quality, and how it should be approached, which the FRC says “lends weight to the proposals for reforms in the … Continue Reading

BI Insurance Update – FCA publishes draft guidance on proving the presence of COVID-19

At the end of last week, the FCA announced that it had commenced a consultation exercise on a piece of draft guidance it has prepared to assist policyholders, insurers and insurance intermediaries to prove the presence or otherwise of COVID-19 in a particular area, which is a requirement of some Business Interruption (BI) policies.… Continue Reading
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