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Category Archives: Regulatory Reform

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UK to Adopt a New SPAC Listing Regime From 10 August 2021

The revised criteria allow UK-listed SPACs to avoid a suspension of their shares when announcing a de-SPAC deal. By Nicola Higgs, David Berman, Chris Horton, James Inness, Rob Moulton, Anna Ngo, and Charlotte Collins The UK, acting through the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), will implement a new SPAC listing regime from 10 August 2021. This follows a consultation launched in April … Continue Reading

HM Treasury Initiates Post-Brexit Review of the UK’s AML and CTF Regime

Recent publications come in light of UK’s “greater autonomy” in setting AML and CTF regulations following Brexit. By Jon Holland, Rob Moulton, and Jonathan Ritson-Candler Background to the review On 22 July 2021, HM Treasury published both a Call for Evidence on a review of the UK’s anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) regulatory … Continue Reading

FCA Consults on Post-Brexit Changes to PRIIPs Regulation

UK rules will diverge from the much-criticised EU framework. By Nicola Higgs and Charlotte Collins On 20 July 2021, the FCA published a Consultation Paper (CP21/23) on amending the UK PRIIPs Regulation. The FCA has long held concerns about the PRIIPs framework, and pre-Brexit had been heavily involved in efforts to persuade EU lawmakers to … Continue Reading

ESMA Publishes Guidance on SPACs

ESMA warns against investor protection risks and provides guidance on expected disclosures. By Nicola Higgs, Chris Horton, James Inness, Rob Moulton, Oliver Seiler, Isabella Porchia, and Charlotte Collins On 15 July 2021, ESMA published a statement on the prospectus disclosure and investor protection issues raised by special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs). SPAC activity in the … Continue Reading

ESMA Statement Warns on Payment for Order Flow

New ESMA guidance less strict than the established UK position on PFOF. By Rob Moulton, Axel Schiemann, Thomas Vogel, and Charlotte Collins On 13 July 2021, ESMA published a statement on payment for order flow (PFOF), the practice of brokers receiving payments from third parties for directing client order flow to these third parties as … Continue Reading

UK Regulators Launch Discussion on Diversity and Inclusion

Discussion Paper opens debate on potential new rules to improve diversity in financial services. By Rob Moulton, David Berman, Paul Davies, and Charlotte Collins On 7 July 2021, the FCA, the PRA, and the Bank of England published a joint Discussion Paper on diversity and inclusion in the financial sector. The regulators, in particular the … Continue Reading

HM Treasury Consults on UK Wholesale Markets Reform

Proposals signal that the UK government is willing to diverge significantly from EU rules. By Rob Moulton and Charlotte Collins On 1 July 2021, HM Treasury published a consultation on its Wholesale Markets Review. The Review was established to determine how the UK’s approach to regulating secondary markets needs to adapt post-Brexit, and to ensure … Continue Reading

Private Bank Briefing – June 2021

By Rob Moulton, Nicola Higgs, Anne Mainwaring, and Charlotte Collins The latest edition of our Private Bank Briefing provides a roundup of legal and compliance issues impacting private banks and their clients from Q2 2021. In this edition, we cover sustainable finance developments, the regulators’ expectations regarding operational resilience and outsourcing, and the PRA’s plans … Continue Reading

Taskforce Proposes New Approach to Financial Regulation in the UK

A report from the Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform provides recommendations for how the UK can “re-imagine” its approach to regulation post-Brexit. By Rob Moulton, Stuart Davis, and Charlotte Collins On 16 June 2021, the Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform (the Taskforce) published a report (the Report) providing recommendations for how … Continue Reading

FCA Consults on Rule Changes to Accommodate SPACs

Proposed changes to the UK Listing Rules would allow certain SPACs to avoid a listing suspension. By Nicola Higgs and Charlotte Collins On 30 April 2021, the FCA published a Consultation Paper (CP21/10) on changes to the UK Listing Rules to better accommodate special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs). Whilst currently there is a presumption that … Continue Reading

What to Know About the New CFTC Cross-Border Swaps Regime

A comprehensive guide to the new rule, which largely supersedes prior CFTC guidance that had informed market practice for over seven years. By Yvette D. Valdez, Adam Bruce Fovent, and J. Ashley Weeks On November 13, 2020, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC’s) final rule on the cross-border application of aspects of the swaps … Continue Reading

Second FCA Consultation on New Prudential Regime for Investment Firms

Latest FCA consultation focuses on remuneration, risk management and governance, and liquidity requirements. By Rob Moulton and Charlotte Collins On 19 April 2021, the FCA published its second Consultation Paper (CP21/7) on the new UK investment firms prudential regime (IFPR). The IFPR will create a new prudential regime for FCA-authorised MiFID investment firms, and will … Continue Reading

Private Bank Briefing – March 2021

By Rob Moulton, Nicola Higgs, Anne Mainwaring, Becky Critchley, and Anna Lewis-Martinez The latest edition of our Private Bank Briefing provides a roundup of legal and compliance issues impacting private banks and their clients from Q1 2021. In this edition, we cover some of the key regulatory announcements relating to MiFID II and the impact … Continue Reading

FCA Confirms Dates for Cessation of LIBOR Benchmarks

By Becky Critchley and Anna Lewis-Martinez On 5 March 2021, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) formally announced the dates for the cessation of all London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) benchmark settings currently published by ICE Benchmark Administration (IBA). The FCA also confirmed that where a “synthetic” LIBOR is available after the cessation dates, the … Continue Reading

Independent Review Provides Recommendations for Improving UK Listing Regime

The recommended reforms aim to make the UK’s listing regime more competitive while maintaining high standards of corporate governance, shareholder rights, and transparency. By Chris Horton, James Inness, and Anna Ngo A new independent review (the Review), led by Lord Hill, has been released that provides recommendations on how the UK can improve its listings … Continue Reading

FCA Publishes Review of Asset Managers’ Implementation of MiFID II Product Governance Rules

FCA found instances of non-compliance with the product governance rules which, in its view, increases the risk of investor harm. By Nicola Higgs, Anne Mainwaring, and Jonathan Ritson-Candler Background On 26 February 2021, the FCA published a webpage setting out eight asset management firms’ implementation of the UK MiFID II product governance requirements. The sample … Continue Reading

UK to Regulate Buy-Now-Pay-Later Market

The Woolard Review emphasises the urgency to bring all BNPL products under FCA supervision and sets out recommendations for the unsecured credit market. By Stuart Davis, Becky Critchley, and Anna Lewis-Martinez The UK government has announced that interest-free buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) credit agreements will be regulated by the FCA. Currently, the BNPL market operates under an … Continue Reading

10 Key Focus Areas for UK-Regulated Financial Services Firms in 2021

This annual publication outlines some of the primary focus areas in 2021 for UK-regulated financial services firms. Some of these topics are attracting attention because they are an emerging trend, or because they are at a key stage in the implementation cycle. Other topics are longstanding, but remain at the top of the PRA’s and … Continue Reading

PRA Publishes Findings on Its Evaluation of the SMCR

The PRA has released a largely positive report, along with nine follow-up actions and recommendations on the SMCR for PRA-regulated firms. By Rob Moulton, Katy Sanders, and Anna Lewis-Martinez The PRA reviewed the operation of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR) against its original objectives and examined whether there have been any unintended consequences. … Continue Reading

Key Regulatory Developments in Hong Kong and Singapore: November 2020

Regulators propose new regulations for virtual asset exchanges and enhanced customer identity verification requirements, and launch an innovative commercial data interchange. By Farhana Sharmeen, Simon Hawkins, Kenneth Y.F. Hui, and Marc Jia Renn Tan This blog post summarises key regulatory developments in Hong Kong and Singapore during November 2020, including: — The Hong Kong FSTB’s … Continue Reading

Monetary Authority of Singapore Proposes Stricter Identity Verification Requirements

The proposal would require financial institutions to use certain categories of information for non-face-to-face verification before undertaking transactions or requests. By Farhana Sharmeen and Gen Huong Tan In November 2020, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (the MAS) published a consultation paper proposing to issue a Notice on Identity Verification (the Notice) that would require financial … Continue Reading
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