United Kingdom

Topic: Retail

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New FOS webpages – complaints relating to home credit and financial difficulties

On 5 August 2019, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) published new webpages on complaints in relation to home credit, a type of unsecured cash loan arranged at the borrower’s home, and borrowers who are experiencing financial difficulties. Each webpage sets out the types of complaints that the FOS comes across, how it handles those specific … Continue Reading

Pensions Regulator consults on trustee guidance

On 31 July 2019, the Pensions Regulator (TPR) published a consultation paper on draft guides to deliver the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) recommendation for the TPR to produce guidance to trustees of occupational pension schemes on engaging with investment consultants and fiduciary managers. TPR’s guidance includes draft guides to: tendering for fiduciary management services; … Continue Reading

FCA launches package of pension related proposals

On 30 July 2019, the FCA published a package of pension related proposals designed to improve the quality of pension transfer advice and to help consumers get better value from their pension. These proposals include: consultation paper (CP19/25) setting out a proposed ban on contingent charging for pension transfer advice designed to protect customers from … Continue Reading

Pan-European Personal Product Regulation published in OJ

On 25 July 2019, there was published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJ) Regulation (EU) 2019/1238 on a pan-European personal pension product (PEPP). The Regulation will enter force on 14 August 2019. It will apply 12 months after publication in the OJ of the delegated acts referred to in Article 28(5) (Content … Continue Reading

FCA consults on guiding firms on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers

On 23 July 2019, the FCA launched a consultation on proposed guidance for firms on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers. The draft guidance sets out the FCA’s view of what the FCA Principles for Businesses (Principles) require of firms to ensure that vulnerable consumers are consistently treated fairly across financial services sectors. The FCA … Continue Reading

Commission guidance notice on the Unfair Contract Terms Directive

On 22 July 2019, the European Commission adopted a guidance notice on the interpretation and application of the Unfair Contract Terms Directive (UCTD). The main purpose of the guidance notice is to present, in a structured way, the interpretation which the Court of Justice of the EU has provided on the key concepts and provisions … Continue Reading

FCA Feedback Statement on fair pricing in financial services

On 18 July 2019, the FCA published a Feedback Statement 19/04 (FS19/04) summarising the main themes in the submissions received from an earlier Discussion Paper published in October 2018 (see previous blog post) on fair pricing in financial services. In the statement, the FCA provides further clarification on how it will apply its framework on … Continue Reading

Government responds to Consumers’ Access to Financial Services report

On 11 July 2019, the UK Government (the Government) published its response to the Treasury Committee report, ‘Consumers’ Access to Financial Services’, published on 13 May 2019. The report contained a number of recommendations including: firms should be required to always act in the customers’ best interests – a legal duty of care may be … Continue Reading

FCA multi-firm review – retail banking and business continuity planning

On 11 July 2019, the FCA published a new web page setting out its findings following a recent review of business continuity planning amongst a number of small and medium-sized retail banks, payment institutions and electronic money institutions. The FCA reports that most firms demonstrated a good understanding of the importance of business continuity planning … Continue Reading

ESAs publish recommendations on the supervision of retail financial services provided across borders

On 9 July 2019, the Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) published a report on the cross-border supervision of retail financial services. The report provides an overview of the main rules that apply in the EU in respect of consumer protection, conduct of business, and the cooperation between Member State national competent authorities … Continue Reading

Statutory report on the implementation of the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013

On 4 July 2019, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy published its first ever statutory report on the implementation of the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 (the Regulations). The Regulations implement the EU Consumer Rights Directive. The Regulations seek to do this in the UK by setting out: the … Continue Reading

Commission adopts Delegated Regulation amending PRIIPs Delegated Regulation to align transitional arrangements

On 3 July 2019, the European Commission adopted a Delegated Regulation which lays down a transitional arrangement under Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/653 that is consistent with the extended transitional arrangement in Regulation (EU) No 1286/2014. It allows manufacturers of packaged retail and insurance-based investment products (PRIIPs) that offer investment funds as the only underlying investment … Continue Reading

Product intervention measures taken by Sweden, France and the UK

On 2 July 2019, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) issued three opinions on product intervention measures taken by the national competent authorities (NCAs) of Sweden, France and the UK. ESMA’s opinion finds that the proposed measures are justified and proportionate and that it is necessary for NCAs of other Member States to take … Continue Reading

FCA confirms permanent restrictions on the sale of CFDs and CFD-like options to retail consumers

On 1 July 2019, the FCA published Policy Statement 19/18: Restricting contract for difference products sold to retail clients (PS19/18). In PS19/18 the FCA states that the new rules will require firms that offer contracts for difference (CFDs) and CFD-like options to retail consumers to: limit leverage to between 30:1 and 2:1 depending on the … Continue Reading

ESMA ceases renewal of product intervention measure relating to binary options

On 1 July 2019, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) announced that it will not renew the temporary prohibition of the marketing, distribution or sale of binary options to retail clients in the EU. ESMA is not renewing its temporary prohibition on the basis that most Member State national competent authorities have now taken … Continue Reading

Independent reviews of Interest Rate Hedging Products and the Connaught Income Fund Series 1

On 20 June 2019, the FCA announced that it had appointed independent reviewers for the lessons learned reviews commissioned by the FCA’s board. One review will cover the redress scheme for interest rate hedging products and the other will cover the regulation of firms involved with the Connaught Income Fund Series 1. John Swift QC … Continue Reading

FCA Dear CEO letter to CMCs

On 4 June 2019, the FCA published a Dear CEO letter setting out its expectations of claims management companies (CMCs) when they carry out financial promotions and/or act for their customers. The FCA notes that recently it has seen a number of issues regarding: CMCs acting for their customers without getting their appropriate consent or … Continue Reading