Insurers in call to cancel professional indemnity insurance for solicitors who are struggling to pay premiums

Earlier this month, the International Underwriting Association (“IUA“), the body representing underwriters in London that are separate from Lloyd’s, penned an open letter calling on the legal industry to allow insurers to cancel professional indemnity policies when lawyers fail to pay their premiums in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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FCA’s proposed changes to AML reporting could catch out crypto exchanges

Earlier this week the FCA announced proposals to extend anti-money laundering reporting requirements in its financial crime controls to include virtual currency exchanges, such as all cryptoasset exchange providers and custodian wallet providers. The aim of the change is to strengthen AML defences.

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Slap on the wrist for ruling with an iron fist: ‘Unreasonable’ FCA ordered to pay mortgage broker’s legal costs

Earlier this month, an Upper Tribunal Judge ordered the FCA to pay a mortgage broker’s legal costs. The Judge deemed the FCA’s decision to pull the business’ trading permissions for not having insurance amid a wide mortgage fraud probe, “unreasonable”.

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The FCA’s Conduct Rules – The New Requirement to Report

Investment Fund GraphSince 9 December 2019, the majority of FCA solo-regulated firms have been subject to the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) including the Conduct Rules which set basic standards of good personal conduct against which the FCA can hold people to account. As such, the rules are enforceable by the FCA and are intended ‘to improve individual accountability and awareness of conduct issues across firms.’

Whilst most firms are now familiar with the Conduct Rules, 2 November 2020 marks the first time that most solo-regulated firms will have to submit an annual notification regarding breaches of the Conduct Rules where disciplinary action has been taken. This is a requirement under section 64C FSMA and requires firms to report details about individuals who have committed breaches of the Conduct Rules, details of what Conduct Rules have been breached and details of disciplinary action taken (issuance of a formal written warning, suspension or dismissal, or the reduction or recovery of a person’s remuneration). The report is called REP008, and must be completed and submitted using Gabriel. The important thing to note, however, is that all firms must submit an annual notification even if there haven’t been any Conduct Rule breaches resulting in disciplinary action at that firm.

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FCA warns insurers to act fairly when paying small business COVID-19 related claims

Earlier this week, the FCA warned that it would get tough on against insurers that it finds are acting unfairly in paying COVID-19 related insurance claims. This was in response to complaints from small business groups that insurers are deducting the costs of Government grants from insurance pay-outs.

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FCA proposes extension to temporary relief for insureds

The FCA has been reviewing temporary measures that came into force in the insurance and premium finance markets on 18 May 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement released last week, the FCA announced its proposal to extend the series of temporary measures designed to help those policyholders, “who may be in temporary financial difficulties because of coronavirus.”

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Cryptoasset update: FCA report shows increased usage as HM Treasury consults on expanded financial promotions requirements

The FCA has been increasingly interested in cryptoassets as their use in the UK has grown. In October 2018, the FCA published a joint report alongside the Bank of England and the Government as part of the UK Domestic Taskforce on Cryptoassets. In March 2019, the FCA commenced research into consumer attitudes and awareness of cryptoassets and following the joint report and the FCA’s research, the Government made a pledge in its March 2020 Budget that it intended to consult on measures to bring certain cryptoassets into the scope of financial promotions regulation.

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Government to provide COVID-19 insurance for film and TV productions

Following its intervention in the trade credit insurance market back in May, the UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has just announced the launch of a Government-backed scheme worth £500 million pounds for domestic film and TV productions that are struggling to get COVID-19 related insurance. The inability of producers to access such insurance through the open market has had a considerable impact on the ability of the creative sector to fully restart work on productions and filming as lockdown restrictions are eased in the UK.

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