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Former Keydata boss stuck with £76 million FCA fine

The Upper Tribunal, the independent Court that hears appeals from FCA decisions, last week upheld the regulator’s decision to fine Stewart Ford, the former CEO of Keydata Investment Services Limited, a huge £76million (the largest FCA fine on an individual) and ban him from working in the financial services industry. The Tribunal decided that the FCA had been correct to ban and fine … Continue Reading

Breaking news. FOS money awards and jurisdiction: all change in 2019?

In a move designed to (in their own words) ‘ensure more complainants receive fair compensation’ and to ‘build consumer trust in the integrity of the industry’, on 16 October 2018 the FCA published a Consultation Paper in which the regulator outlines proposals for increasing the Financial Ombudsman Service money award limit from £150,000 to £350,000 for … Continue Reading

FCA Enforcement: an new approach?

The last 18 months or so has seen a slight readjustment or nuancing of the FCA’s “credible deterrence” policy (which was all about tough, targeted and public disciplinary action with increasing fines and naming and shaming) that has been at the heart of the regulator’s enforcement strategy since 2008.… Continue Reading

FCA caseload at record levels despite dropping more cases than ever

The Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) continues to see its caseload increase to record levels despite the fact that it is dropping more investigations than ever before. Recently published statistics reveal that in the year ending March 2018 a total of 208 investigations were ended compared to 115 in the previous year and 98 in 2015/16. … Continue Reading

Litigation privilege: sense prevails in the Court of Appeal

Last week the Court of Appeal (The Director of the SFO v Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation Limited [2018] EWCA Civ 2006) reversed the High Court’s controversial and troubling decision from 2017 that concerned the extent to which litigation privilege could apply to documents generated in the context of internal investigations. ENRC successfully argued that legal professional … Continue Reading

FCA’s Anti-Money Laundering Report highlights focus on firms’ financial crime controls

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published its annual Anti-Money Laundering Report on 19 July 2018, for the year ended 31 March 2018. In the report, the FCA reminded firms that due to the size and global nature of the UK financial industry, financial crime and AML remains a significant risk and is therefore one of … Continue Reading

FCA and PRA Consider Crypto-Assets

Hot on the heels of the FCA’s recent “Dear CEO” letter, the PRA has sent its own reminder to regulated firms considering, or already holding, crypto-assets. Whilst the FCA focussed on mitigating the financial crime risks faced from use of crypto-assets, the PRA focussed on the risk of exposure to these developing assets which (in … Continue Reading

FCA’s Director of Enforcement speaks on whether the financial services industry has improved ten years on from the Financial Crisis

At the recent Banking Litigation and Regulation Forum, the FCA’s Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, Mark Steward, discussed the measures implemented by the FCA to tackle the loss of confidence and trust in the financial industry following the Financial Crisis.… Continue Reading

The Court looks again at the rights of third parties identified in FCA notices

In the recent case of FCA -v- Grout [2018] EWCA Civ 71, the Court of Appeal confirmed the restrictive approach to third party rights pursuant to FCA notices previously laid down by the Supreme Court in Macris -v- FCA [2017] UKSC 19. We previously reported on the Macris decision on its way to the Supreme Court and following the judgment.… Continue Reading

The watchdog sniffs out CFDs

The Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) has recently turned its attention to firms who may mis-sell contracts for difference (“CFDs”) to customers. The FCA says that it has  a “serious concern” about the market. On 12 January 2018, following a 12 month review of the CFD market,  the FCA issued an ominous warning in the form of a “Dear CEO” letter addressed … Continue Reading

Look Back In Anger: FCA Enforcement in 2017

During 2017, the FCA imposed fines for misconduct on regulated businesses and individuals totalling over £229,500, 000. Whilst 2017 did not see a return to the number or size of fines imposed by the FCA in  2014/2015 (when billions of pounds of fines were imposed following interbank rate and FX related misconduct), the year did see a tenfold increase in FCA fines from 2016 (total … Continue Reading

Identifying individuals in FCA regulatory notices – Macris applied

Back in March 2017, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Financial Conduct Authority v Macris [2017] UKSC 19. We have previously reported on that decision on its way to the Supreme Court and following the judgment. In brief, Section 393 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (“FSMA”) provides individuals identified in … Continue Reading

Husband and wife investment advisors banned from working in financial services by the FCA for lack of integrity after concealing their assets

Last week the FCA announced that it had banned Mr John Chiesa and his wife Mrs Colette Chiesa from working in financial services for the “calculated way” that they deceived creditors after going into “sequestration” (the Scottish term for bankruptcy). Mrs Chiesa was also fined £50,000 for attempting to mislead the FCA during an FCA interview.… Continue Reading

Excellent turnout for the inaugural MLROs.com Northern Conference hosted by Squire Patton Boggs’ Birmingham office.

Founded in 2005 with 140 members, MLROs.com lead the way in ensuring that that financial institutions and practitioners are educated, supported and empowered to stop financial criminals. The very first MLROs.com Northern conference took place in Birmingham on Wednesday 11th October 2017, hosted by Squire Patton Boggs’ Birmingham office. The conference saw a strong turnout … Continue Reading

FCA refers investment consultancy and fiduciary management services to the competition watchdog for investigation

On 14 September 2017, alleged “serious concerns” lead the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) to reveal its final decision to exercise its jurisdiction under Part 4, Section 131 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (“the Act”). The FCA subsequently referred investment consultancy and fiduciary management services to the Competition Markets Authority (“CMA”) for a Market Investigation Reference … Continue Reading

Time is running out for firms to respond to FCA consultation on the extension of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime

By now, most FCA regulated firms will be aware that the FCA intends to extend the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (“SM&CR”) so that it applies to all FCA regulated firms from an as yet unspecified date in 2018 (most likely mid to late 2018). The FCA consultation period (in respect of Consultation Paper CP17/25 – “Individual Accountability: … Continue Reading

Upper Tribunal upholds Charles Palmer ban and fine

Background Charles Palmer (“Mr Palmer”) was the CEO and majority shareholder of Standard Financial Group Limited and a director/de facto CEO of the adviser network which comprised of Financial Limited and Investments Limited (“Firms”).   At its its hight  (in 2011) the network boasted 397 appointed representatives (“ARs“) and 516 registered individuals (“RIs“), whom between them … Continue Reading

Court of Appeal finds that banks had no duty to conduct an FCA ordered review with reasonable skill and care

Background The Court of Appeal has this week handed down judgment in three linked appeals (CGL Group and Others v Royal Bank of Scotland Plc and Others). These concerned interest rate hedging products (“Hedging Products“) that certain smaller businesses (including the Appellants) allege they were required to buy as a condition of loans made to them by three banks (in … Continue Reading

Financial Guidance and Claims Bill – tougher regulation for Claims Management Companies

Claims’ Management Companies (“CMCs”) offer legal claims and complaint management services to members of the public. Historically, CMCs work to bring large numbers of complaints against financial services companies and recent areas of focus have been PPI and interest rate hedging mis-selling complaints. Whilst some CMCs are reputable, others try to rally business through unsolicited calls/texts … Continue Reading

Regulator takes action to address risky lending practices

On 4 July 2017, the Prudential Regulation Authority (“PRA”) released a statement on consumer credit (“Statement”), following a review of consumer credit lending (“PRA Review”). The review included the examination of PRA regulated firms’ underwriting practices for credit cards, unsecured personal loans and motor finance.   As readers will be aware, there has been a good deal … Continue Reading
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