Katie Stephen (UK)

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FCA Market Watch 73 – CfDs and spread bets

Recently, the FCA published Market Watch 73 which covered the regulator’s market abuse peer review into firms that offer contracts for difference (CfDs) and spread bets. The Market Watch followed the FCA’s earlier Dear CEO letter which was published last December which highlighted the FCA’s expectations of firms offering CfDs (including in relation to the … Continue Reading

Whistleblowing – latest FCA quarterly data and key practical steps to manage reports

Whistleblowing remains a key tool for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to identify actual or potential harm to consumers, markets, the UK economy and wider society. On 4 May 2023, it published its latest whistleblowing data for the final quarter of 2022 (for the months October to December 2022) (Q4 2022). During this quarter, the … Continue Reading

FCA publishes findings from the whistleblowing qualitative assessment survey 2022

On 4 May 2023, the FCA published the findings from the whistleblowing qualitative assessment survey it carried out in 2022. Following information received via the survey, the FCA has set out actions to improve the confidence of whistleblowers, which includes the following: The FCA was disappointed to see the dissatisfaction expressed by many survey respondents. … Continue Reading

New briefing note: IT migration and outsourcing – lessons from the latest SMCR enforcement case

On 13 April 2023, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) fined the former Chief Information Officer (CIO) of TSB Bank plc (TSB), Carlos Abarca, £81,620 for failing to take reasonable steps to ensure that TSB adequately managed and supervised appropriately its outsourcing arrangements in relation to its 2018 IT migration programme in breach of PRA Senior Manager Conduct … Continue Reading

FinTech and cryptoasset firms: Governance considerations

In light of recent market developments, firms in the FinTech space should be taking steps to review and enhance as needed their internal governance arrangements since these are key to mitigating the risk of misconduct and mistakes and consequential investigations, enforcement and claims, which can significantly impact not only the business but also its staff. … Continue Reading

Wolfsburg Group publishes updated ABC programme guidance

On 17 April 2023, the Wolfsburg Group published an updated version of its anti-bribery and corruption compliance programme guidance. The publication is designed to provide guidance to the financial services industry on how to develop, implement and maintain an effective anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) compliance programme, and should be read in conjunction with applicable legislation, … Continue Reading

Government publishes Economic Crime Plan 2 2023-2026

On 30 March 2023, the Government published the Economic Crime Plan 2 for 2023- 2026. The Economic Crime Plan 2 builds on the foundations of its predecessor with new actions to improve the system-wide response to economic crime through enhanced cooperation between Government, law enforcement, supervisory agencies and the private sector. The Economic Crime Plan … Continue Reading

New EU measures against money laundering and terrorist financing

On 28 March 2023, the European Parliament announced that MEPs have approved stricter rules to close existing gaps in combatting money laundering, terrorist financing and evasion of sanctions in the EU. MEPs from the Economic and Monetary Affairs and Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committees adopted their position on three pieces of draft legislation … Continue Reading

ESMA raises concerns over proposed changes to the insider list regime in the Market Abuse Regulation

On 20 March 2023, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a letter, addressed to the European Parliament and Council, raising concerns over proposed changes to the insider list regime in the Market Abuse Regulation. The proposed changes, put forward by the European Commission (Commission) in December 2022 as part of the Listings Act … Continue Reading

New briefing note: Ten key steps to reduce the risk of a greenwashing regulatory enquiry

Identifying and preventing greenwashing is a growing priority for regulators around the world. In the UK, there are a number of regulators active in this space, including not only the financial services regulators such as the Financial Conduct Authority, but also the Advertising Standards Authority, the Competition and Markets Authority and the Financial Reporting Council. … Continue Reading

Governance back in the spotlight: BoE and FCA announce actions against LME Clear and LME in connection with March 2022 nickel market suspension

On 3 March 2023, the Bank of England (BoE) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced further actions being taken by them in connection with the London Metal Exchange’s (LME) temporary suspension of nickel trading in March 2022. These latest updates, as further detailed below, act as a reminder of the current regulatory focus on … Continue Reading

New briefing note: Dawn Raids – Key practical steps for firms

Firms should have in place, and keep up to date and easily accessible, a documented policy and procedure which employees must follow in the event of an unannounced visit from a regulator. To assist firms in this area we have published a new briefing note setting out a reminder of some of the key steps … Continue Reading

FCA commences criminal proceedings against five individuals for conspiracy to commit insider dealing and money laundering

Demonstrating its continuing focus on preventing, detecting and punishing market abuse, on 25th January 2023, the FCA announced that it has commenced criminal proceedings against five individuals, alleging that they conspired to commit offences of insider dealing between December 2019 and March 2021. In addition to insider dealing, the five individuals are charged with money … Continue Reading

Key points from the FCA’s most recent whistleblowing data

On 12 January 2023, the FCA published its whistleblowing data for the period July to September 2022 (Q3 2022). During this period, it received 291 new whistleblowing reports, containing 734 allegations. Most of the new reports were received via the online reporting form and the majority of whistleblowers provided their contact details, rather than seeking … Continue Reading

Takeaways from the FCA’s latest Skilled Person data

On 11 January 2023, the FCA published its latest quarterly Skilled Person data for the period July to October 2022 (Q2 2022/23). There were 11 reports commissioned during this time (following nine in the first quarter of the year). This is broadly in line with the number of reports commissioned last year (when 38 reports … Continue Reading

New briefing note: Governance – lessons for 2023 from regulatory enforcement

It is widely recognised that poor culture has been a major root cause of past conduct failures. To assist firms in this area, we have analysed some of the key FCA enforcement cases from the past year to draw out some learning points on governance, focusing on the following themes: roles and responsibilities; oversight; policies … Continue Reading

Spotlight on the Appointed Representatives regime: new FCA webpage on section 165 request for principal firms

On 8 December 2022, the FCA published a new webpage concerning the section 165 data request which it is sending to principal firms asking for more information about their appointed representatives. The webpage also includes responses to common questions. Principal firms have until 28 February 2023 to respond to the request.… Continue Reading

Spotlight on the Appointed Representatives regime: the new rules come into force

On 8 December 2022, the FCA’s new rules for the Appointed Representatives (AR) regime come into effect. In our previous briefing note covering the FCA’s Policy Statement on the updated AR regime we described 5 key areas of change and key steps for principal firms to consider when preparing for the new regime. As part … Continue Reading

New briefing note – Spotlight on the Appointed Representatives regime: what you should be doing now

We have published a new briefing note, Spotlight on the Appointed Representatives regime: what you should be doing now. This briefing note follows our first briefing note on the revised Appointed Representatives regime. In this briefing note, we have focussed on five key areas including where the FCA has revised its original consultation proposals. We … Continue Reading

Germany’s plan to legalise recreational cannabis poses anti-money laundering risks for UK business

Germany has become the latest country to agree on a plan to legalise recreational cannabis use among adults in a move that presents significant opportunities for investments in the EU’s largest economy. The Federal Cabinet has approved the key points paper for the legalisation, however a concrete draft law will only be presented once it … Continue Reading

FCA publishes Consultation Paper on sustainability disclosure requirements and investment labels

On 25 October 2022, the FCA published Consultation Paper CP22/20 on sustainability disclosure requirements (SDR) and investment labels. In the Consultation Paper, the FCA expresses that there are growing concerns that firms may be making exaggerated, misleading or unsubstantiated sustainability-related claims about their products; claims that don’t stand to closer scrutiny (so-called ‘greenwashing’). The FCA … Continue Reading

New briefing note: Key takeaways in relation to the FCA’s decision concerning Sir Christopher Gent

The FCA has recently fined Sir Christopher Gent, former non-executive Chairman of a global medical products and technologies company (the Company), £80,000 for the unlawful disclosure of inside information relating to the Company in contravention of the EU Market Abuse Regulation (EU MAR). The published decision contains a number of key takeaways in relation to … Continue Reading

Global webinar on 18 October 2022: Crypto regulatory investigations and enforcement – Key developments and practical steps for clients

Against the backdrop of recent turmoil in the crypto market and with increasing regulatory scrutiny in this area, understanding the regulators’ approach to investigations and enforcement and how best to avoid the common pitfalls is even more of a priority. In the latest webinar of our financial services crypto series, members of our global financial … Continue Reading