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Not a risk worth taking – FCA fines and bans pensions’ advisor

Earlier this month, the FCA fined a former advisory firm director £23,400 for overseeing the transfer of £112m of pension retirement funds in to risky investments. The FCA is concerned about unsuitable advice around pensions’ transfers and this latest action sends another strong regulatory message to the market about the FCA’s “get tough” approach towards … Continue Reading

FCA begins contacting pensions advice firms over suitability and value concerns

The retirement income market is a key area of FCA focus, particularly the suitability of both products and advice as the industry adapts to pension freedoms. In the FCA’s Sector View Report published on 18 February 2020, Pension freedoms are highlighted as one of the continuing key drivers of change in the sector with more … Continue Reading

Court of Appeal confirms that no special rules apply to regulators when it comes to documents protected by legal professional privilege

In a welcome and robust defence of the scope of legal professional privilege (LPP), the Court of Appeal in Sports Direct International Plc v Financial Reporting Council [2020] EWCA Civ 177,  reiterated last week that there are no exceptions to the protections afforded by LPP unless it is used to hide criminal actions or where … Continue Reading

Dear CEO letter to asset managers warns of further FCA focus on the sector in 2020

On 20 January 2020 the FCA published a Dear CEO Letter to Authorised Fund Managers (AFMs). The letter is directed at AFMs that predominantly directly manage mainstream investments, or advise on mainstream investments, excluding wealth managers and financial advisers. The letter outlined the FCA’s supervision priorities for those firms, and the FCA will expect firms … Continue Reading

The regulator strikes back

The Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA“) has successfully applied to the Upper Tribunal to strike out an appeal made by P.F. International Limited (“P.F International“), against the FCA’s variations of the Company’s regulatory permissions, due to its breaches of lending rules.… Continue Reading

Court refuses defendants’ document request at £86million FCA pensions’ trial

Last week, the Court prevented two unregulated introducers and their directors (the “Defendants“) from seeing documents linked to an investigation by the FCA into pensions’ providers and financial providers that did business with the Defendants. The Defendants are currently on trial in the High Court and stand accused of having given unauthorised and misleading advice about … Continue Reading

New Year’s Resolutions: FCA warns insurance firms to tackle non-financial misconduct

On 6 January 2020, the FCA published a letter addressed to the CEOs of general insurance firms. This letter sets out the FCA’s expectations for firms to be proactive in tackling non-financial misconduct in the sector and envisions that the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (“SM&CR“) will provide “…an opportunity and catalyst to transform the … Continue Reading

Business Banking Resolution Service launches new dispute resolution pilot for larger SMEs: a new Financial Ombudsman Service?

On 1 November 2019, the Business Banking Resolution Service (“BBRS”) launched a new dispute resolution pilot in preparation for the introduction of its new service, which was originally announced in November 2018 by UK Finance, a trade body for British lenders. The service aims to provide alternative dispute resolution services for “larger” eligible small and … Continue Reading

PRA updates its policy on settlement of enforcement action

Back in the Summer we reported on the Prudential Regulation Authority’s (“PRA”) explanation of its approach to enforcment action against those who the PRA think have broken the rules. In a further development last week the PRA updated its policy on settlement of enforcement action (“Updated Policy”), which consolidates proposals in its April 2019 consultation report (CP10/19). It aims to … Continue Reading

PRA explains its approach to enforcement

At the Financial Services Lawyers’ Association meeting last week, Miles Bake, Head of Legal at the Enforcement & Litigation Division of the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) discussed the PRA’s approach to enforcement, gave an overview of recent PRA enforcement actions/investigations and explained the Enforcement Division’s (ED) future agenda.… Continue Reading

Senior compliance officer and trader imprisoned for insider dealing following FCA investigation

At the end of last month a senior compliance officer at UBS AG (“UBS“) and her financial securities trader associate were each sentenced to three years imprisonment for five offences of insider dealing, following successful criminal proceedings brought by the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA“). Confiscation proceeding are also being pursued against both defendants.… Continue Reading

Outsourcing Failures leave Raphaels Bank with £1.89m Fine

Raphael & Sons plc (the “Bank“) has been hit by separate fines from the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (together, the “Regulators“) of £775,100 and £1,112,152 respectively. An IT issue with one of the Bank’s third party card processor’s left over 3,300 customers unable to use their prepaid cards on Christmas Eve … Continue Reading

FCA found partially liable for loss caused by errors in Financial Services Register

The Financial Regulators Complaints Commissioner has recommended that the Financial Conduct Authority makes an ex gratia payment of £6,500 to an individual complainant. The recommended payment represents 50% of the total loss suffered by the Complainant as a result of errors in the Financial Services Register. The Complaints Commissioner acknowledged that the FCA should not … Continue Reading
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