United Kingdom

Topic: Investigations and enforcement

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Landmark US-UK Data Access Agreement Enters into Force

On 3 October 2022, the Data Access Agreement (DAA) between the UK and US (see our earlier blog here) came into force.  In this blog post we look at this landmark agreement and consider its impact. What is the US-UK Data Access Agreement? Under the new agreement, on receipt of a qualifying lawful order telecommunication … Continue Reading

ESMA makes public statement on European common enforcement priorities for 2022 annual financial reports

On the 28 October 2022, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) issued its public statement setting out the European common enforcement priorities (ECEP) for the 2022 annual financial reports of issuers admitted to trading on EEA regulated markets. The recommendations in the statement will be considered by national enforcers when they monitor and assess … 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

The new Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill: its plans to reform Companies House and improve policing of cryptoassets

In this post, we summarise the new Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill (the Bill) which was published on 22 September 2022 and the significant reform proposed to the role of Companies House. The Bill proposes giving Companies House improved investigation and enforcement powers and makes changes to strengthen regulators’ powers to seize and detain … Continue Reading

The New Economic Crime Bill and plans to expand the Serious Fraud Office’s investigative Powers

In recent years, the UK government has been seeking to tackle ever-growing financial crime and money laundering. In this post, we summarise the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill (the Bill) published on 22 September 2022 as well the expansion of the Serious Fraud Office’s (SFO) investigative powers under the Bill in an effort to … Continue Reading

Current trends in UK litigation and investigations for financial institutions

In this post, we summarise emerging litigation and investigations trends and their practical implications for financial institutions (FIs). Litigation Litigation trends are largely dependent on social and political changes and we continue to see the impact of the global pandemic and the related financial downturn on emerging litigation trends. Civil fraud claims 2022 has seen … Continue Reading

FCA publishes financial promotions intervention data for Q2 2022

On 22 July 2022, the FCA published its financial promotions quarterly data for Q2 2022. Between April and June 2022, 374 promotions were amended or withdrawn following FCA intervention. Retail investments and retail lending were the sectors with the highest amend/ withdraw outcomes and in 58% of cases website or social media promotions were involved. … Continue Reading

The Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 – the conundrum of strict liability

The Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 (the Act), which came into force in March 2022, aimed amongst other things, to give UK sanctions authorities greater power to take enforcement action and impose penalties on persons that breach sanctions restrictions, through the introduction of a “strict liability” test. These new powers of the UK’s … Continue Reading

Financial Ombudsman Service publishes new guidance for consumers and businesses regarding complaints that involve gambling-related harm

On 27 July 2022, the Financial Ombudsman service (FOS) announced that it has published two new webpages on the subject of complaints that involve gambling-related harm. One page is directed at consumers and the other is directed at businesses.  Key points on the page directed at businesses include that: The FOS has been contacted by … Continue Reading

Upper Tribunal considers the application of the MLRs to a cryptoasset exchange provider and comments on FCA procedures

Vladimir_Consulting_Limited_v_The_Financial_Conduct_Authority.pdf (publishing.service.gov.uk) Introduction The business of Vladimir Consulting Limited (VCL) involved trading in cryptocurrency such as bitcoin on peer-to-peer exchanges which provide a market place for sellers and buyers of cryptocurrency.  The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (MLRs) were amended with effect from 10 January 2020 … Continue Reading

FCA publishes decision notice regarding a fine of £5.8 million for Ghana International Bank Plc in connection with failings in its anti-money laundering controls over its correspondent banking activities

Anti-money laundering and the prevention of financial crime continues to be a key focus for the FCA, which reiterated in its most recent Business Plan its commitment to continue to use its enforcement powers to pursue those committing financial crime and their enablers.   According to the notice published on 23 June 2022, the FCA has … Continue Reading

ESG – Key regulatory risks for financial services firms in the UK and US and how to manage them

Investors are increasingly seeking sustainable financial products and ESG investing, traditional investing combined with sustainable or otherwise philanthropic aims, has seen huge growth in recent years. Regulated firms are also seeking to improve their own ESG performance more generally to build stronger relationships with their stakeholders, including those who use their services. Whilst the growing … Continue Reading

Recent developments signal a rise in sanctions enforcement risk for UK regulated firms

Whilst historically there have been relatively low levels of sanctions enforcement in the UK, in light of recent developments, in the coming months we expect to see more scrutiny in this area and increased enforcement activity in relation to sanctions breaches. In our latest briefing, first published on Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence on 24th June … Continue Reading

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
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