United Kingdom

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FCA urges Claims Management Companies and High Cost Lenders to work better together

On 31 March 2021, the FCA issued a press release reminding high cost lenders (HCLs) and claims management companies (CMCs) that it expects them to work together to resolve disputes and disagreements in the interest of their customers. HCLs and CMCs are also encouraged to agree streamlined claims handling processes with each other, where possible. … Continue Reading

FCA confirms Finalised Guidance for advising on Defined Benefit transfers

On 30 March 2021, the FCA published Finalised Guidance 21/3: Advising on pension transfers (FG21/3). Since the pension freedoms were introduced in April 2015, the FCA’s work on defined benefit (DB) transfer advice shows firms do not always provide the quality of advice that is required. It remains the FCA’s view that it is in … Continue Reading

Draft FCA Guidance: Mortgages and coronavirus: further updated tailored support guidance for firms

On 5 March 2021, the FCA set out proposals to update its January 2021 guidance “Mortgages and Coronavirus: Tailored Support Guidance”. The proposed updates to the earlier guidance are contained in paragraphs 1.2 and section 7 (repossessions).  In section 7 the FCA is proposing to introduce updated guidance for firms from 1 April 2021, to … Continue Reading

PS21/1: Breathing Space Regulations: changes to our Handbook

On 26 February 2021, the FCA published Policy Statement 21/1: Breathing Space Regulations – changes to our Handbook (PS21/1). In PS21/1 the FCA sets out the changes it is making to the Handbook to take into account The Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 (the … Continue Reading

FCA launches guidance for firms on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers

On 23 February 2021, the FCA published Finalised Guidance 21/1: Guidance for firms on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers (FG21/1). FG21/1 applies to all firms where the Principles for Businesses (Principles) apply, regardless of sector. It applies to the supply of products or services to retail customers who are natural persons, even if a … Continue Reading

FCA finds the Covid-19 pandemic leaves over a quarter of UK adults with low financial resilience

On 11 February 2021, the FCA published the results of its latest Financial Lives survey. The annual survey provides a wealth of information about consumers’ attitudes towards managing their money, the financial products they have and their experiences of engaging with financial services firms. The executive summary is in two parts. In the first part, … Continue Reading

ESAs issue final report on amendments to the PRIIPs KID

On 3 February 2021, the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) submitted to the European Commission a final report containing final draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) on amendments to the key information document for packaged retail and insurance-based investment products (PRIIPs). The final report follows a consultation paper that the ESAs launched on 16 October 2019. The … Continue Reading

FCA report – The Woolard Review – A review of change and innovation in the unsecured credit market

On 2 February 2021, the FCA published a report on change and innovation in the unsecured consumer credit market following a review by its former Interim Chief Executive, Christopher Woolard. The review sets out how regulation can better support a healthy market for unsecured lending, taking into account the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, changing … Continue Reading

Video blog: HMT confirms new regulation of ‘buy now pay later’ sector

Following the publication of the Woolard Review report and the exchange of letters between Mr Woolard and the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen MP, it is clear that the days of unregulated ‘buy now pay later’ products in the UK is drawing to a close. In this short video blog, retail specialist, Matthew … Continue Reading

FSCS Plan and Budget 2021/22

On 22 January 2021, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) published its plan and budget for 2021/22. Highlights from the plan and budget include: The total levy for 2020/21 is £700m. The supplementary levy for 2020/21 will be £78m, of this £44.5m will be invoiced in early February. The FSCS expects for 2021 that there … Continue Reading

CP21/2 Financial Services Compensation Scheme – Management Expenses Levy Limit 2021/22

On 22 January 2021, the PRA and FCA jointly published a Consultation Paper setting out proposals for the Management Expenses Levy Limit (MELL) for the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) for 2021/22. Under section 223(1) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA), the FCA and the PRA must set a limit for the … Continue Reading

FCA consults on restricting CMC charges for financial services and products claims

On 21 January 2021, the FCA published Consultation Paper 21/1: Restricting CMC charges for financial services and products claims (CP21/1). Under the Financial Guidance and Claims Act 2018 (FGCA) Parliament transferred the regulation of claims management companies (CMCs) to the FCA and gave the regulator a duty to make rules about CMC fees for claims … Continue Reading

Dear Board of Directors letter to debt firms published by the FCA

On 18 January 2021, the FCA wrote to the board of directors at debt firms (being debt purchase, debt collection and debt administration firms) to set out they key risks associated with these types of firms, the FCA’s expectations of them and how it plans to supervise the sector. In spite of the impact of … Continue Reading

FCA publishes Defined Benefit Advice Assessment

On 15 January 2021, the FCA published a Defined Benefit Advice Assessment Tool (DBAAT). Supervising defined benefit (DB) transfers has been a key priority for the FCA since the pension reforms, commonly known as the ‘pension freedoms’, were introduced in 2015. The DBAAT is designed to help firms and pension transfer specialists understand the FCA’s … Continue Reading

Commission Delegated Regulation of 18.12.2020 supplementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1238 with regard to RTS specifying the requirements on information documents, on the costs and fees included in the cost cap and on risk-mitigation techniques for the pan-European personal pension product

On 18 December 2020, the European Commission adopted a Delegated Regulation supplementing Regulation 2019/1238 with regard to regulatory technical standards specifying the requirements on information documents, on the costs and fees included in the cost cap and on risk mitigation techniques for the pan-European Personal Pension Product together with annexes. The regulatory technical standards are … Continue Reading

FCA portfolio letter to SIPP operators

On 2 December 2020, the FCA published a letter it had sent to the board of directors of firms assigned to the SIPP operators’ portfolio. The letter sets out the FCA’s key concerns and expectations for firms in the portfolio. The FCA’s key concerns are set out under four broad headings: financial resources, complaints handling, … Continue Reading

Conduct Healthcheck | Take our questionnaire

The global pandemic has brought the importance of good conduct and fair customer outcomes firmly into the spotlight. Whilst this principle is clear, how to interpret it effectively across different sectors, customer service arrangements and delivery models can be challenging. Businesses have also had to rapidly adapt to the broad and growing range of guidance … Continue Reading

FCA sends ‘Dear CEO’ letter setting out its strategy for Price Comparison Websites

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has sent a ‘Dear CEO’ letter to Price Comparison Websites. The letter identifies the key risks of harm which it believes Price Comparison Websites (PCWs) pose to their customers and the markets in which they operate. PCWs are expected to review the harms identified and take steps to reduce the … Continue Reading

The Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020

On 18 November 2020, there was published on the legislation.gov.uk website, The Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020. HM Government has issued two consultations on the debt respite scheme. First, a call for evidence ran between October 2017 and January 2018. HM Government’s response was … Continue Reading

Ombudsman News 155

On 19 October 2020, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) published the latest issue of its newsletter Ombudsman News (issue 155). The newsletter covers: Quarterly complaints data. Between July and September 2020, the FOS continued to see an increase in complaints from people who borrowed money, who then felt the debt was unaffordable. Complaints arising from … Continue Reading
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