United Kingdom

Topic: Investigations and enforcement

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The Corporate Criminal Liability Options Paper

Following an 18-month consultation process, on 10 June 2022, the UK Law Commission published a lengthy options paper (here with a summary here) for the UK Government on how it can improve the law to ensure that corporates are effectively held to account for committing serious crimes (the Options Paper). This article sets out the … Continue Reading

Cyber-attacks are on the increase: reminder of FCA and PRA expectations on regulated firms

It has been reported that, in 2021, the FCA experienced a 52% increase in reports of “material” cyber security incidents and we expect this upward trend to continue into 2022.  The rise in ransomware in particular was highlighted in the very recent paper published by UK Finance, which called on UK authorities to focus on … Continue Reading

New RT Plus podcast – Beyond Sanctions – Enforcement

The next instalment of our Beyond Sanctions podcast series is now available to stream and download on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. In this episode, David Harris and Katie Stephen, Co-Heads of our Contentious Financial Services Group in London, discuss some recent developments regarding sanctions enforcement for regulated firms. For further updates in this area please … Continue Reading

Financial Crime Outlook

As the economy starts to recover following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, regulatory changes are under way in the anti-money laundering and market abuse space. In addition, the events in Ukraine, and the wide range of financial sanctions imposed on Russia in response, are having a significant impact on financial markets and must now … Continue Reading

Kyla Shipping v Freight Trading [2022] EWHC 376 (Comm): litigation privilege and investigations by a third party expert

The recent case of Kyla Shipping grappled with the question of whether, in the circumstances, litigation privilege applied to investigations by a third party expert.  The Commercial Court ultimately upheld a challenge to the claimants’ assertion of litigation privilege over an expert report on the basis that it was not prepared for the dominant purpose … Continue Reading

New resource hub: Governance reviews – are you prepared?

The pandemic, and the associated move to hybrid working, and the current geopolitical environment are creating a number of unique governance challenges for regulated firms across the financial services industry. Whilst regulators understand the broader backdrop that firms face, they have also remained clear throughout that firms must take reasonable steps to meet their regulatory … Continue Reading

Russian sanctions – practical guidance for regulated firms

We recently published a blog reporting on governance considerations for regulated firms in relation to Russian sanctions. As the sanctions landscape continues to evolve, impacted firms operating in different jurisdictions are grappling with overlapping and differing requirements, and global firms will need to ensure a coordinated approach across their operations. We have set out below … Continue Reading

Financial Institutions and the hybrid work environment

The onset of the pandemic in March 2020 forced financial institutions (FIs) across the world to change their working practices. Large numbers of employees moved from working in an office five days a week to working from home as countries locked down. Today, it appears unlikely that FIs will return to their previous working models … Continue Reading

New SFO Investigation into Arena Television Limited

On Wednesday 23 February, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), in conjunction with the National Crime Agency (NCA), conducted a ‘dawn raid’ culminating in two arrests and searches of three properties as part of its criminal investigation into the collapsed broadcaster, Arena Television Limited (Arena). The investigation centres on questions raised by administrators regarding the validity … Continue Reading

Economic Crime (Anti-Money Laundering) Levy

On 1 March 2022, the Finance Act 2022 was published on the legislation.gov.uk website. Part 3 of this Act provides for a new tax called the economic crime (anti-money laundering) levy and establishes that the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, the FCA and the Gambling Commission to be responsible for the collection and … Continue Reading

UK Supreme Court confirms expectation of privacy for individuals under criminal investigation

Executive Summary The UK Supreme Court recently confirmed in Bloomberg LP (Appellant) v ZXC (Respondent) [2022] UKSC 5 that in the UK a person under criminal investigation has a reasonable expectation of privacy prior to being charged. Background The claimant, an individual anonymised as ZXC, had been under criminal investigation by UK law enforcement.  Bloomberg … Continue Reading

Businesses only have one year left to register unresolved historical banking complaints with the Business Banking Resolution Service

On 24 February 2022, the Business Banking Resolution Service (BBRS) issued a press release urging businesses with outstanding historical banking disputes to see if they can apply for support using an online tool as the deadline for historical complaint applications is just one year away, closing on 14 February 2023. Professional services businesses are also … Continue Reading

UK financial crime enforcement: what lies ahead in 2022?

2021 was an extraordinary year in financial crime. In this blog we consider recent UK developments, the key issues emerging in 2022 and the practical implications for companies. Taking a step back from these developments, we see four key overarching themes: An increased focus from authorities on the effectiveness of preventative systems and controls when … Continue Reading

NRF contributes chapter to GIR’s Practitioner’s Guide to Global Investigations

The UK and US white-collar crime teams have again authored the chapter Production of Information to the Authorities in the sixth and latest edition of Global Investigations Review – The Practitioner’s Guide to Global Investigations. Information requests from regulators continue to raise a host of complex legal and practical issues for entities and individuals. The chapter sets … Continue Reading

House of Commons’ Treasury Committee report on economic crime

On 2 February 2022, the House of Commons’ Treasury Committee (Committee) published a report on economic crime. The report examines the following: The scale of economic crime and the Government’s Economic Crime Plan, which was launched in July 2019. Data from the Office for National Statistics for the year ending June 2021 suggests there was … Continue Reading

HM Treasury guidance on monetary penalties for breaches of financial sanctions

The Policing and Crime Act 2017, as amended by the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018, (2017 Act) creates powers for HM Treasury to impose monetary penalties for breaches of financial sanctions. The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) is the part of HM Treasury that applies these powers. On 28 January 2022, the OFSI … Continue Reading

Fraud-related investigations and their impact on financial institutions

Since the pandemic began in March 2020, there has been a rise in fraudulent behaviour as fraudsters look to take advantage of members of the public and financial institutions (FIs). Phishing, text scams and small-scale fraudulent activity targeting the British public were up 285% in the first half of 2021; HM Revenue and Customs estimates … Continue Reading

RT Plus – PS 21/16 on issuing statutory notices: A new approach to decision makers

A new episode of RT Plus is available now to stream and download. In this episode, Katie Stephen, Co-Head of the Contentious Financial Services Group in London, is joined by Rebecca Dulieu, Senior Associate, to discuss the FCA’s recent Policy Statement on issuing statutory notices, under which the FCA is reforming its decision-making process. Katie … Continue Reading

Financial Institutions – Regulatory outlook for 2022

As 2021 draws to a close, we look ahead to the trends and new requirements that we may see over the next twelve months for financial institutions (FIs) in the white collar crime sphere as regulators, legislators and individuals continue to adapt to the pandemic and prevailing public opinion. 1. An increase in fraud-related investigations … Continue Reading

U.S. Strategy on Countering Corruption: Key points for international companies

On 6 December 2021, the Biden Administration released its strategy on countering corruption (the Strategy) along with an accompanying fact sheet, building on President Biden’s earlier announcement that he viewed the fight against corruption as one of the core U.S. national security priorities.  The five-point strategy places particular focus on a coordinated international approach to … Continue Reading

Manipulative trading practices: A guide for banks’ legal and compliance departments

UK regulators have sent strong messages to financial institutions operating manipulative trading practices. As at 31 March 2021, the Financial Conduct Authority had 17 market manipulation cases open according to its 2020-21 Annual Report and the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets has also made it clear that market manipulation will not be tolerated. To … Continue Reading

US Congressional subcommittee expands its investigation into FinTech companies and pandemic fraud

Like the US Department of Justice, Congress is sharpening its focus on lenders and FinTech companies who facilitated pandemic-relief programs. In the latest development, the United States House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis issued letters to two companies demanding documents and responses to specific questions. It is clear that investigations into pandemic-relief fraud are … Continue Reading

UK Finance 2021 Financial Abuse Code

On 10 December 2021, the UK Finance published its 2021 Financial Abuse Code. The Code was launched in 2018 to increase awareness and understanding amongst firms and their staff of financial abuse and how to recognise it. It has now been revised and aligned with recent legislative and regulatory developments including the Financial Conduct Authority’s Guidance … Continue Reading
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