United Kingdom

Topic: Investigations and enforcement

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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

Proposed UK failure to prevent fraud offence: What do you need to do now?

Updated Friday 8 September 2023 The UK Government intends to introduce a new “failure to prevent fraud” offence as an amendment to its Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill (the Bill). On 11 April 2023, the Home Office published a fact sheet (which was updated on 20 June 2023) and tabled an amendment to introduce the failure to prevent … Continue Reading

Emerging Data Sources Present New Challenges (and Opportunities) for Litigation and Investigations

A recent survey of senior in-house lawyers found that a majority are concerned about the impact of emerging data sources such as collaboration platforms and cloud file-sharing tools. Rightly so, as the pandemic and shift to hybrid working patterns have accelerated the expansion of the corporate data footprint. Traditional channels such as email and laptops are no longer the only data sources that must be addressed when considering data preservation requirements, or in litigation and … 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

HM Treasury publishes anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism supervision report 2020-22

On 19 December 2022, HM Treasury published the anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CTF) supervision report 2020-22. The report provides information about the performance of AML/CTF supervisors between 6th April 2020 – 5th April 2022 and fulfils the Treasury’s obligation, under section 51 of the Money Laundering Regulations (MLRs), to publish an … Continue Reading

Financial crime investigations in the UK: looking ahead to 2023

As we enter a recession against the backdrop of ongoing geopolitical instability, we expect to see significant financial crime enforcement and investigations in 2023, including a focus on emerging areas such as ESG, cryptocurrencies, and significant developments in financial sanctions. We predict that developments in 2023 will include: 1. Fraud We expect to see continued political … Continue Reading

Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill – an attempt to reduce economic and financial crime

On Friday 25 November 2022, the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill (the Bill) entered Parliament. The Committee Stage (Commons) was brought to a conclusion on Tuesday 29 November 2022. The Bill, as amended by the Public Bill Committee, was published on 30 November 2022. The Bill proposes various reforms designed to reduce economic and … Continue Reading

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