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Breach of Competition Law by Asset Managers leads to FCA Fines – First Formal Decision from the FCA under its Competition Enforcement Powers

The conclusion of a three-year investigation into price collusion in an initial public offering (‘IPO’) saw the FCA issue a decision, on 21 February 2019, which finds three investment firms (the ‘Firms’) to have breached competition law with fines of £414,900 have been imposed as a result. This is the FCA’s first formal decision under … Continue Reading

FCA warns firms about misleading financial promotions for unregulated products

Last week, the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) published a letter addressed to the CEOs of all regulated firms concerning financial promotions. In particular, the FCA highlighted its concerns over financial promotions that falsely implied that all of a firm’s activities were regulated by the FCA or the Prudential Regulation Authority (“PRA”), when in fact they were … Continue Reading

FCA reminds senior managers to take an active role in AML procedures

Last week the FCA published a Decision Notice which imposed a fine of £76,400 on the former CEO of Sonali Bank (UK) Ltd (“SBUK“), Mohammed Ataur Rahman Prodhan (“Mr Prodhan“), for “acting without due skill, care and diligence and for being knowingly concerned in a breach by SBUK of its obligations to maintain effective anti-money laundering … Continue Reading

Cryptoassets Taskforce: Report Indicates Path Forward for UK’s Cryptoasset and DLT Approach

In light of rapid developments in the market, the substantial potential of applications of distributed ledger technology (DLT), and growing evidence of the risks associated with cryptoassets; the Chancellor of the Exchequer launched the Cryptoassets Taskforce, comprising HM Treasury (HMT), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England (BoE), in March 2018 as … Continue Reading

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
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