United Kingdom

Topic: Coronavirus

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BoE statement on the regulatory treatment of the UK Recovery Loan Scheme

On 6 April 2021, the Bank of England (BoE) issued a statement concerning the Government’s Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS). Specifically the statement sets out the PRA’s observations on whether the guarantees provided by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy under the RLS are eligible for recognition as unfunded credit risk mitigation … Continue Reading

Coronavirus linked forbearance: key findings

On 25 March 2021, the FCA published the findings from its multi-firm review where it considered mortgage and consumer credit firms’ implementation of the September 2020 Tailored Support Guidance (TSG) covering mortgages, consumer credit and overdrafts and the operational readiness of firms to support customers in financial difficulty. The key findings from the FCA review … Continue Reading

Misuse of the furlough scheme: an emerging risk in M&A

More than one in four UK employees (over 9 million people) have been furloughed during the course of the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the Scheme). HMRC considers that as much as £3.5 billion has been paid out in wrong or fraudulent claims and it has received over 20,000 reports of fraudulent furlough claims from … Continue Reading

Changes to regulatory reporting during coronavirus

On 5 February 2021, the FCA updated its web page concerning changes to regulatory reporting during coronavirus. The update provides that due to the challenges faced by firms and their auditors preparing audited financial statements during the COVID-19 pandemic, the FCA will allow flexibility in the submission deadline for FIN-A (annual report and accounts). The … Continue Reading

FCA report outlines practices firms can consider to reduce consumer harm caused by failed technology changes

On 5 February 2021, the FCA published a multi-firm review that looks at how firms implement technology change, the challenges caused when changes fail, and the steps firms can take to protect consumers from harm and disruption in the market. One of the goals of the review was to highlight practices utilised within the industry … Continue Reading

FCA publishes a business interruption policy checker and FAQs on business interruption coverage on its website

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published a ‘policy checker’ and a set of frequently asked questions in order to help policyholders understand whether they have valid claims under their business interruption policies in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic. The checker follows the Supreme Court decision in FCA v Arch Insurance (UK) Ltd. The … Continue Reading

EBA provides additional clarity on the implementation of selected COVID-19 policies

On 29 January 2021, the European Banking Authority (EBA) published its third COVID-19 implementation report which provides clarifications on questions that have been raised with it. The implementation report includes questions and answers on the guidelines on moratoria which is accompanied by a summary overview of the general payment moratoria in place in the EU. … Continue Reading

FCA confirms update to guidance on mortgages and consumer credit repossessions

On 27 January 2021, the FCA confirmed that it was updating its guidance on mortgages and consumer credit repossessions. In November 2020, the FCA published guidance providing that firms should generally not enforce repossessions before 31 January 2021. On 13 January 2021, the FCA published updated draft guidance for comment. For mortgages, the FCA is … Continue Reading

Finalised Guidance: Bounce Back Loan Scheme: guidance for firms using Pay as You Grow options

On 26 January 2021, the FCA published Finalised Guidance for firms that provide Pay as You Grow (PAYG) options under the Government’s Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) so that they understand the regulator’s expectations before they start collecting debts from customers. Chapter 7 of the FCA’s Consumer Credit sourcebook (CONC 7) applies to firms when … Continue Reading

FCA proposes update to guidance on mortgages and consumer credit repossessions

On 12 January 2021, the FCA announced that it was conducting a short consultation regarding updating its guidance for firms on the treatment of mortgage and consumer credit customers facing repossession. The FCA’s current guidance on mortgage repossessions means firms should not enforce repossessions before 31 January 2021 except in exceptional circumstances, such as a … Continue Reading

FCA publishes coronavirus financial resilience survey data

On 7 January 2021, the FCA published the results of its COVID-19 financial resilience survey data. The surveys were sent to solo-regulated firms to inform the FCA of the impact of the pandemic on firms’ financial resilience. The surveys did not cover the 1,500 largest firms in the UK financial sector who are regulated by … Continue Reading

FCA publishes draft guidance for policyholders on proving the presence of covid-19 within a particular area

Following the decision of the High Court in Financial Conduct Authority v Arch and others [2020] EWHC 2448 (Comm), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has decided to publish guidance in respect of the evidence and methodologies which policyholders may use to prove the presence of Covid-19. Although some aspects of the High Court decision have … Continue Reading

FCA consults on guidance on Bounce Back Loan Scheme and PAYG options

On 4 December 2020, the FCA issued a guidance consultation for firms collecting payments under a Bounce Back Loan (BBL) where the collection of that debt is a regulated activity. The BBL scheme is a government scheme that enables smaller businesses to access finance more quickly during the COVID-19 pandemic. On 24 September 2020, the … Continue Reading

Statement by the PRA on COVID-19 guidance for firms

On 9 November 2020, the PRA issued a statement on COVID-19 guidance for firms. The statement provides that the PRA recommends that the Chief Executive Officer senior management function (SMF1) is accountable for ensuring an adequate process for following and adhering to Government guidance. For firms that do not have an SMF1 Chief Executive Officer, … Continue Reading

FCA updates statement on workplace arrangements and work-related travel

On 9 November 2020, the FCA issued an updated statement regarding COVID-19 and workplace arrangements and work-related travel. The updated statement provides that: Firms should continue to follow relevant guidance to ensure they comply with any restrictions. For firms based in England, the advice is issued by the UK Government, while firms based in Scotland, … Continue Reading

FCA guidance consultation: Consumer credit and coronavirus – additional guidance for firms

On 2 November 2020, the FCA announced that it would be updating its temporary guidance on personal loans, credit cards, motor finance, rent to own, buy-now pay-later, pawn broking and high-cost short-term credit to support consumer credit customers financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. On 4 November 2020, the FCA issued a consultation on updating … Continue Reading

FCA announces further proposals to support mortgage borrowers impacted by coronavirus

On 2 November 2020, the FCA published a new webpage setting out proposals to provide further support for mortgage borrowers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.   The FCA is proposing to extend the availability of payment deferrals to support mortgage borrowers who are experiencing payment difficulties because of coronavirus.   The proposals, if implemented, mean … Continue Reading

FCA to announce further proposals to support consumer credit borrowers impacted by coronavirus

On 2 November 2020, the FCA issued a statement concerning consumer credit borrowers and the latest Government restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The FCA states that it will update its temporary guidance on personal loans, credit cards, motor finance, rent to own, buy-now pay-later, pawn broking and high-cost short-term credit to support consumer … Continue Reading

FATF October 2020 plenary: impacts of Covid-19 on AML and CTF; considerations for near-term future FATF assessments; and focus on the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction

On 21 to 23 October 2020, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) held its final quarterly plenary of 2020 as a virtual event. The discussions over three days mostly focussed on Strategic Initiatives reacting to the Covid-19 pandemic and progress made on country specific processes. The FATF also provided an update on their strategic focus … Continue Reading

FCA updates statement on firms’ complaint handling

On 20 October 2020, the FCA updated its webpage concerning firm handling of complaints during the COVID-19 pandemic. The FCA has provided updated information on payment protection insurance (PPI) complaints and reinforces its messaging about the importance of continuing to comply with complaint handling requirements. In particular, claims management companies are reminded of the FCA’s … Continue Reading
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