Global Financial Regulatory Blog

Category Archives: Regulatory Reform

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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

Landmark Judgment Rules in Favour of Latham Client, Rothesay Life Plc

Court of Appeal sets out correct approach to transfer of long-term Insurance. Victoria Sander, Jon Holland, Alex Cox, and Duncan Graves Latham & Watkins has won an appeal on behalf of Rothesay Life Plc (Rothesay) in an unprecedented challenge to the High Court’s refusal to sanction the transfer of around 370,000 annuity policies in August … Continue Reading

Podcast – Brexit & Financial Services: Preparing for the End of the Transition Period

FCA’s Stephen Hanks discusses onshoring and how to ensure regulatory compliance before the year’s end. With the end of the Brexit transition period looming, many financial services firms are asking what they need to do between now and the end of the year to ensure regulatory compliance. In this episode of Connected With Latham, Anne … Continue Reading

HM Treasury Consults on Post-EU Financial Services Regulatory Framework

The UK government signals a diversion from the onshored regime towards a more flexible financial services regulatory framework. By Rob Moulton, Anne Mainwaring, and Anna Lewis-Martinez HM Treasury has published a consultation paper marking the start of Phase II of its financial services review, which will focus on the broader regulatory framework for financial services … Continue Reading

Key Regulatory Developments in Hong Kong and Singapore: September 2020

Regulators consult on anti-money laundering guidelines and issue guidance on cybersecurity, best execution, and senior management accountability. By Farhana Sharmeen, Simon Hawkins, Kenneth Y.F. Hui, and Marc Jia Renn Tan This blog post summarizes key regulatory developments in Hong Kong and Singapore during September 2020, including: (i) the SFC’s consultation on enhancements to its Guideline on … Continue Reading

ESMA’s “Final” Word on the MAR Review

By Rob Moulton and James Inness After lengthy consultation ESMA has published a detailed Final Report setting out its views on how to improve MAR. The ball is now firmly in the Commission’s court as to the next steps. Latham & Watkins has produced a detailed summary for clients.… Continue Reading

SEC Expands the Definitions of AI and QIB

The changes would allow more individuals and institutions to invest in private offerings of unregistered securities. By Alexander F. Cohen, Paul M. Dudek, Joel Trotter, Dana G. Fleischman, Stephen P. Wink On August 26, 2020, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) expanded the definitions of accredited investor (AI) and qualified institutional buyer (QIB). Notably, … Continue Reading

SMCR: FCA Updates Expectations on Fitness and Propriety Assessments and Conduct Rules Training

The FCA has provided updated guidance on the SMCR for solo-regulated firms, with new information on good and bad practices in two key areas. By David Berman and Anna Lewis-Martinez On 14 August 2020, the FCA updated its webpage on the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR) for solo-regulated firms. The updates include tables setting … Continue Reading

Key Regulatory Developments in Hong Kong and Singapore: July 2020

Regulators are consulting on how to enhance trust business regulation, introduce new omnibus legislation, and encourage best practices in sustainable banking. By Farhana Sharmeen, Simon Hawkins, Kenneth Hui, and Marc Tan This blog post summarises key regulatory developments in Hong Kong and Singapore during July 2020, including: The HKMA’s publication of examples of good practices … Continue Reading

Latham Collaborates on Pioneering Paper for Outsourcing in Financial Services

New resource developed following increased regulatory focus on outsourcing. Latham & Watkins has partnered with the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) and law firms Matheson and BSP to develop: Outsourcing – Guidance on the Legal and Regulatory Framework, a pioneering resource examining the key European legislation, rules, and guidance for financial services firms … Continue Reading

HM Treasury Policy Statement Addresses Pressing Concerns With PRIIPs Regulation

The UK government has proposed amendments to the UK PRIIPs regime with performance information in the KID to differ from the EU “performance scenario” requirement. By Nicola Higgs and Anna Lewis-Martinez On 30 July 2020, HM Treasury published a policy statement on amendments to the Packaged Retail Investment and Insurance-based Products (PRIIPs) Regulation. The policy … Continue Reading

UK Government Proposes to Strengthen Protections Around Promotion of Financial Products and Cryptoassets

HM Treasury is planning significant changes to the financial promotion regime, including expanding its scope to certain cryptoassets, and amending the approval process for promotions of unauthorised firms. By Stuart Davis, Sam Maxson, and Anna Lewis-Martinez On 20 July 2020, HM Treasury published two consultation papers on a regulatory framework for approval of financial promotions … Continue Reading

CJEU Invalidates EU-US Privacy Shield

A ruling by the EU’s top court invalidates the key mechanism for transferring personal data from the EU to the US and imposes additional conditions for use of the standard contractual clauses. By Gail E. Crawford, Fiona M. Maclean, Michael H. Rubin, Ulrich Wuermeling, Calum Docherty, and Amy Smyth On 16 July 2020, the Court of … Continue Reading

Dear CEO: UK Banks and Insurers Should Embed Approaches to Managing Climate Change Risks by End-2021

The PRA expands its supervisory expectations for firms on managing climate-related financial risk — publishing a Dear CEO guidance letter. By Nicola Higgs and Anna Lewis-Martinez On 1 July 2020, the PRA published guidance in the form of a Dear CEO letter to banks, insurers, and other PRA-regulated firms on managing climate-related financial risk. The … Continue Reading

Federal Regulatory Agencies Finalize Amendments to the Volcker Rule’s Covered Fund-Related Restrictions

The amended rule includes modifications to existing exclusions and creates new exclusions for the activities and investments of certain issuers. By Alan W. Avery and Pia Naib The US federal regulatory agencies responsible for implementing the Volcker Rule recently issued a rule (Final Rule) to finalize proposed modifications to certain restrictions related to “covered funds” … Continue Reading
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