FS weekly highlights—12 September 2019

FS weekly highlights—12 September 2019

In this issue

 

Brexit news
UK, EU and international regulators and bodies
Regulated activities
Authorisation, approval and supervision
Prudential requirements
Financial stability, recovery and resolution
Risk management and controls
Financial crime
Crowdfunding
Competition in financial services
Enforcement and redress
Markets and trading
MiFID II
Regulation of capital markets and Capital Markets Union
Regulation of derivatives
Investment funds and asset management
Banks and mutuals
Regulation of insurance
Regulation of personal pension and stakeholder products
Payment services and systems
Sustainable finance
Dates for your diary

 

Brexit news

 

Financial Services (Implementation of Legislation) Bill 2017-19 falls with prorogation of Parliament

Following the prorogation of Parliament on 9 September 2019 until 14 October 2019, the Financial Services (Implementation of Legislation) Bill fell and will not be carried over under current procedures. The Bill was intended to provide the government with the power to implement and make changes to ‘in flight’ files of financial services legislation for two years after the UK's withdrawal from the EU in the absence of a withdrawal agreement being reached (ie in a no-deal scenario).

Financial Services (Electronic Money, Payment Services and Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019

SI 2019/1212: This enactment is made in exercise of legislative powers under the European Communities Act 1972 and the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 in preparation for Brexit. This enactment amends UK primary and subordinate legislation in relation to financial services in order to ensure a coherent and functioning financial services regulatory regime is in place in the UK once it leaves the EU. It comes into force partly on 6 September 2019 and fully immediately before exit day.

Capital Requirements (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019

SI 2019/1232: This enactment is made in exercise of legislative powers under the European Communities Act 1972 and the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 in preparation for Brexit. This enactment amends pieces of UK financial services subordinate legislation and retained direct EU legislation governing the amount of capital which banks and other financial institutions are required to hold in order to ensure that the related legislation continues to operate effectively once the UK is no longer a member of the EU. It comes into force partly on 6 September 2019 and fully on exit day.

Prospectus (Amendment etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019

SI 2019/1234: This enactment is made in exercise of legislative powers under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 in preparation for Brexit. This enactment amends pieces of UK primary and subordinate legislation and retained direct EU legislation in relation to financial services in order to ensure a coherent and functioning financial services regulatory regime is in place in the UK once it leaves the EU. It comes into force partly on 6 September 2019, partly immediately before exit day and fully on exit day.

Prime Minister’s prorogation advice to the Queen deemed unlawful by Court of Session

The Inner House of the Court of Session, the highest civil court in Scotland, ruled that the prime minister’s advice to HM the Queen, to prorogue parliament for five weeks, was unlawful, as it was deemed to be motivated by stymying parliament. The court made an order declaring that the advice to the Queen and subsequent prorogation was null and void, due to the unlawfulness of the advice. Graham Horn, associate at MacRoberts, says the decision comes with ‘potentially significant’ legal implications.

Risk Transformation and Solvency 2 (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019

SI 2019/1233: This enactment is made in exercise of legislative powers under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 in preparation for Brexit. This enactment amends pieces of UK subordinate legislation and retained direct EU legislation in relation to financial services in order to ensure that the related legislation will continue to operate effectively once the UK is no longer a member of the EU. It comes into force partly on 6 September 2019, partly immediately before exit day and fully on exit day.

FCA warns firms to be prepared for no-deal Brexit

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is warning firms to ensure they are aware of what they need to do to prepare for the potential of a no-deal Brexit, or risk an impact on their business.

FCA postpones accessing and using data in wholesale markets call for input

In its 2019/20 business plan, the FCA said that it would publish a call for input (CFI) to explore the access and use of data in wholesale markets. The FCA expected to publish this CFI in Q2 2019/20. In a press release the FCA stated that the regulator is mindful of the resources that stakeholders, who would ordinarily respond to the CFI, are dedicating to preparing for and implementing the change resulting from the UK’s exit from the EU. Therefore, the FCA decided to postpone this publication to allow firms to focus more time on EU withdrawal.

ESC comments on proposed EU crowdfunding and P2P lending regulatory framework

The European Scrutiny Committee (ESC) published comments on the proposed EU crowdfunding and P2P lending regulatory framework. The ESC notes that the outcome of the legislative deliberations on the Crowdfunding Regulation remains unclear, because the European Parliament adopted its position based on the Commission’s original ‘opt-in’ system. Considering the substantial divergence in the negotiating positions of the Council and the European Parliament, and the uncertainty about the potential application of the final legislation in the UK in the context of Brexit, the ESC decided to retain the proposals under scrutiny.

Business Finance Council launched to support SME lending on Brexit

Ministers from the Treasury, Cabinet Office and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) met with senior UK bankers to launch a new Business Finance Council, which aims to encourage support for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) affected by Brexit. The government says £1.3bn will be available to lenders in guarantee schemes through the government-owned British Business Bank.

Andrea Enria on the EU financial challenges ahead and the SRB’s priorities

The European Parliament published a transcript of the public hearing with the chair of the Single Resolution Board (SRB), Andrea Enria, held in Brussels on 4 September 2019. Mr Enria discussed regulatory and supervisory challenges in banking in the new legislative term, preparations for Brexit, and anti-money laundering in the banking union. Mr Enria was also asked about leverage lending, stress testing and the guide to harmonised rules on internal models for banks recently published by the ECB.

Valdis Dombrovskis on Brexit and the EU’s financial services work ahead

European Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis delivered the keynote address at the European Parliamentary Financial Services Forum reception in Brussels on 4 September 2019. He said the EU was making preparations for a no deal Brexit and making available financial support to Member States who are most affected by a no deal Brexit, but at the same time remained willing to work constructively with the UK on any concrete proposals compatible with the Withdrawal Agreement.

Brexit Bulletin—no election, no Speaker and no no-deal

On 9 September 2019, MPs voted to reject a motion calling for an early Parliamentary election brought by the Prime Minister (PM) in response to MP’s support for the European Union (Withdrawal) (No 6) Bill and avoiding no-deal Brexit on 31 October 2019. The vote was cast on the same day that the extension Bill reached Royal Assent, and Parliament prorogation began from the end of proceedings on 10 September 2019. Professor Adam Cygan from the University of Leicester says that the outcome 'put the PM in a difficult position' and considers the likely next steps. 

 

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UK, EU and international regulators and bodies

 

Andrea Enria on the EU financial challenges ahead and the SRB’s priorities

The European Parliament published a transcript of the public hearing with the chair of the SRB, Andrea Enria, held in Brussels on 4 September 2019. Mr Enria discussed regulatory and supervisory challenges in banking in the new legislative term, preparations for Brexit, and anti-money laundering in the banking union. Mr Enria was also asked about leverage lending, stress testing and the guide to harmonised rules on internal models for banks recently published by the ECB.

ECOFIN outlines financial affairs priorities for the Finnish Presidency

The Finnish Presidency of the Council of the EU is outlining its priorities to parliamentary committees in a series of meetings. The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) said the Presidency plans to make progress on the capital markets union and the banking union, including tackling banks’ non-performing loans as well as work on the European deposit insurance scheme. It also seeks to tackle tax fraud and profit shifting, together with harmonising digital taxation in the EU and introducing a financial transaction tax. The Presidency also wants to make the EU’s financial infrastructure more resilient to cyber threats and intertwine economic and environmental policies to fight climate change.

Mission letter from Ursula von der Leyen to Valdis Dombrovskis

The president-elect of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, wrote a mission letter to Commission executive vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis, setting out the latter’s responsibilities over the next five years. As executive vice-president, Dombrovskis holds dual functions: to be responsible for financial services and to chair the Commissioners’ Group on an Economy that Works for People, which means leading the work on deepening the economic and monetary union.

ECON publishes transcript of public hearing with Christine Lagarde

The European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) published the transcript of its public hearing with Christine Lagarde, which took place on 4 September 2019, ahead of a plenary vote on her candidacy as president. The transcript includes a Q&A session. Also published is a draft report on the appointment of the president of the ECB, which includes Lagarde’s answers to 76 written questions.

European Parliament approves Yves Mersch as vice-chair of the ECB supervisory board

The European Parliament approved the appointment of Yves Mersch as vice-chair of the supervisory board of the European Central Bank (ECB), and instructed its President to forward this decision to the Council, the Commission, the ECB, and the governments of the Member States.

Treasury Committee appoints Catherine McKinnell MP as interim chair

The Treasury Committee appointed Catherine McKinnell MP as its interim chair. Following the appointment of Nicky Morgan MP as secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, members of the Committee had appointed John Mann as interim chair, but Mann since announced that he is standing down as an MP following his appointment as an independent adviser to the government on antisemitism. The election for the new chair was expected to take place on 11 September 2019, but is postponed now that Parliament is prorogued. 

 

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Regulated activities

 

Andrew Bailey comments on the FCA’s preparation for potential funeral plan remit

The chief executive of the FCA, Andrew Bailey, wrote to the Treasury Select Committee in response to a letter from the former chair, Nicky Morgan MP, on HM Treasury (HMT)’s proposal to bring regulation of funeral plans into the FCA’s remit. In the 26 July 2019 letter, Bailey said the FCA could not pre-empt the outcome of the consultation but was conducting research on what it would need to do if the plan went ahead. HMT’s consultation closed on 25 August 2019. 

 

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Authorisation, approval and supervision

 

FCA webpage helps firms prepare for key people directory submissions

The FCA published a webpage on its new public register for checking the details of key people working in financial services. Banks, building societies, credit unions and insurance companies must submit their data between 9 September 2019 and 9 March 2020. All other firms must submit theirs between 9 December 2019 and 9 December 2020.

SM&CR: FCA updates webpages for solo-regulated firms

The FCA updated its information webpages designed to assist FCA solo-regulated firms implement the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR). Additional information includes greater detail on how firms should submit form K (Conversion Notification), in addition to a new section explaining how the SM&CR will apply to sole traders. The FCA highlights to firms that Senior Management Function 3 —executive director function—extends beyond members of the governing body, in addition to highlighting the fact that there is no requirement to complete criminal record checks on the existing APR form A, but there is on the SM&CR form A. The updated webpages are:

  1. Checklists for solo-regulated firms implementing SM&CR
  2. Conversion from the Approved Persons Regime to the SM&CR
  3. Additional considerations for solo-regulated firms
  4. More information on SM&CR categorisation for solo-regulated firms
Inside FCA podcasts on SM&CR conduct rules, certification and regulatory references for solo-regulated firms

The FCA published two ‘Inside FCA podcasts’ on the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) directed at solo-regulated firms. The FCA’s head of the conduct specialists department, David Blunt, considers first, the implementation of the conduct rules and second, certification and regulatory references.

UK Finance report on the evolution and reform of SM&CR in banking

UK Finance and Ashurst published a joint report entitled SM&CR: Evolution and reform. The aim of the report is to understand the practical impact of the SM&CR in the UK banking industry and highlight possible improvements. The key finding is that industry respondents regard the introduction of the SM&CR as a positive development which led to improvements in behaviours and processes within firms. Suggestions for reform include revisiting the regulatory reference template to remove the ‘catch all’ question.

Written evidence to Treasury Select Committee on Premier FX collapse highlights potential FCA and Barclays failings

The House of Commons Treasury Select Committee published further written evidence (FCA0006 and FCA0007) provided to it by a Premier FX (PFX) payment service user and member of the PFX liquidation committee in relation to the collapsed currency firm. The written evidence sets out key facts and questions regarding the conduct of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as PFX’s regulator and the conduct of Barclays Bank in carrying out its anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) responsibilities. 

 

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Prudential requirements

 

Capital Requirements (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019

SI 2019/1232: This enactment is made in exercise of legislative powers under the European Communities Act 1972 and the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 in preparation for Brexit. This enactment amends pieces of UK financial services subordinate legislation and retained direct EU legislation governing the amount of capital which banks and other financial institutions are required to hold in order to ensure that the related legislation continues to operate effectively once the UK is no longer a member of the EU. It comes into force partly on 6 September 2019 and fully on exit day.

Hybrid and Other Mismatches (Financial Instrument: Exclusions) Regulations 2019

SI 2019/1251: Provisions are made to replace existing legislation exempting regulatory capital issued by banks and insurers from counteraction under the hybrid and other mismatch rules in the UK. UK tax policy allows deductions for the costs of regulatory capital securities which banks and insurers are required to hold to provide stability for those sectors and for the wider UK economy. These Regulations ensure the exemption continues to apply and extend it to additional categories of instruments which banks may be required to hold. These Regulations will come into force on 29 November 2019.

PRA consults on proposed improvements to the pre-issuance notification regime

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) published consultation paper CP20/19, which sets out proposed amendments to the pre-issuance notification (PIN) regime applicable to PRA-authorised Capital Requirements Regulation (575/2013) (CRR) firms. The PRA says the proposals would make the PIN regime more risk-sensitive and proportionate, and would allow firms greater flexibility in issuing capital instruments. Feedback is sought by 9 December 2019.

EBA to clarify the prudential treatment applicable to own funds instruments at the end of the grandfathering period

The European Banking Authority (EBA) announced its intention to provide clarity on the appropriate treatment of the so-called ‘legacy instruments' by 31 December 2019, when the benefits of the grandfathering period will expire. The aim of the clarification is to preserve a consistent and high-quality capital base for EU institutions under the CRR.

EBA revises validation rules in its ITS on supervisory reporting

The EBA issued a revised list of validation rules in its implementing technical standards (ITS) on supervisory reporting, highlighting those which were deactivated either for incorrectness or for triggering IT problems. Competent Authorities throughout the EU are informed that data submitted in accordance with these ITS should not be formally validated against the set of deactivated rules.

Donald Kohn speech on bank stress testing in the UK

Donald Kohn, an external member of the Financial Policy Committee of the Bank of England (BoE), gave a speech at the London School of Economics, Money Macro and Finance 50th Anniversary Conference, on the stress testing regime of the major UK banks. Mr Kohn considered areas including how the countercyclical capital buffer (CCyB) is informed by the results of the tests, as well as how they both work in practice. He also discussed potential opportunities for research topics in this area. 

 

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Financial stability, recovery and resolution

 

Andrea Enria on the EU financial challenges ahead and the SRB’s priorities

The European Parliament published a transcript of the public hearing with the chair of the SRB, Andrea Enria, held in Brussels on 4 September 2019. Mr Enria discussed regulatory and supervisory challenges in banking in the new legislative term, preparations for Brexit, and anti-money laundering in the banking union. Mr Enria was also asked about leverage lending, stress testing and the guide to harmonised rules on internal models for banks recently published by the ECB.

UK government sells remainder of claim against Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander Limited

The economic secretary to the Treasury, John Glen MP, made a written ministerial statement announcing that the government sold the remainder of a claim against Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander Limited (in administration) (KSF) acquired by the government during the 2007-2008 financial crisis. The government’s claim was held by the FSCS, which compensated KSF depositors at the time of the financial crisis. The sale to Tavira Securities Limited generated proceeds of £17.8m for the Exchequer, which was within the hold valuation range. 

 

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Risk management and controls

 

ECB opinion discusses remuneration measures for the financial sector

The ECB published an opinion following a request from the minister for finance of the Netherlands for an opinion on a draft Dutch law on remuneration measures for the financial sector. 

 

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Financial crime

 

Andrea Enria on the EU financial challenges ahead and the SRB’s priorities

The European Parliament published a transcript of the public hearing with the chair of the SRB, Andrea Enria, held in Brussels on 4 September 2019. Mr Enria discussed regulatory and supervisory challenges in banking in the new legislative term, preparations for Brexit, and anti-money laundering in the banking union. Mr Enria was also asked about leverage lending, stress testing and the guide to harmonised rules on internal models for banks recently published by the ECB.

PRA writes to CEOs setting out AML/TF responsibilities following EBA opinion

The executive director for prudential policy at the PRA, Vicky Saporta, wrote to the CEOs of PRA-regulated firms subject to the CRR drawing their attention to the EBA opinion on anti-money laundering/terrorist financing (AML/TF) risks in prudential supervision (EBA-OP-2019-08), published on 24 July 2019. In the letter Saporta sets out the PRA’s expectations in line with the EBA opinion.

EBA chair discusses EU AML/CTF systems and warns an EU regulation may be needed

The EBA published an introductory statement by its chair, Jose Manuel Campa, on the EBA’s work on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). It was delivered to the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON).

FCA chair calls for ‘more coherent system’ to fight investment fraud

The chair of the FCA, Charles Randell, delivered a speech at the Cambridge Symposium on Economic Crime on ‘the fight against skimmers and scammers’. The speech was focussed around the wider system for tackling investment fraud, and Randell called for financial firms and technology companies to assume responsibility to minimise fraud. He also called for reform, in order to make the system more coherent.

FATF updates consolidated AML/CTF assessment ratings

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) published an updated overview of the AML and CTF ratings of the 205 jurisdictions that each committed to implementing the FATF Recommendations. The table provides an up-to-date overview of the ratings that assessed countries obtained for effectiveness and technical compliance (last updated on 5 September 2019). These should be read in conjunction with the detailed mutual evaluation reports, which are available on the website below.

FATF publishes updated global AML/CFT ratings and two follow-up reports

FATF published an updated overview of the AML and CFT ratings of the 205 jurisdictions committed to implementing the FATF Recommendations. It also published follow-up reports on the AML and CTF regimes in the Dominican Republic and Panama. 

FATF president on technological developments in ML/TF

The president of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Xiangmin Liu, gave a speech on technological developments in money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF), at the Queen Mary University of London/HSBC annual lecture on financial crime. Liu discussed the threats new technology posed, but also how FATF sought to harness the opportunities it offers.

FCA brings first prosecution in relation to an FSMA 2000 destruction of documents offence

Following prosecution by the FCA, Konstantin Vishnyak appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in relation to one count of destroying documents which he knew or suspected were or would be relevant to an investigation. This is the first prosecution by the FCA in relation to a destruction of documents offence under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. 

 

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Crowdfunding

 

ESC comments on proposed EU crowdfunding and P2P lending regulatory framework

The ESC published comments on the proposed EU crowdfunding and P2P lending regulatory framework. The ESC notes that the outcome of the legislative deliberations on the Crowdfunding Regulation remains unclear, because the European Parliament adopted its position based on the Commission’s original ‘opt-in’ system. Considering the substantial divergence in the negotiating positions of the Council and the European Parliament, and the uncertainty about the potential application of the final legislation in the UK in the context of Brexit, the ESC decided to retain the proposals under scrutiny. 

 

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Competition in financial services

 

Competition (Amendment etc) (EU Exit) (No 2) Regulations 2019

SI 2019/1245: This enactment is made in exercise of legislative powers under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 in preparation for Brexit. This enactment amends UK subordinate legislation in relation to competition in order to correct deficiencies in competition legislation arising from EU exit and in the event that no deal is reached on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. These Regulations retain decisions, which contain commitments given by parties to address competition concerns identified in the course of EU anti-trust investigations or merger reviews, made by the European Commission under EU regulations. It comes into force immediately before exit day. 

 

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Enforcement and redress

 

Premier FX investors set out FCA failings in written evidence to Treasury Select Committee

Premier FX (PFX) payment service users and members of the PFX liquidation committee provided written evidence to the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee (FCA0008, FCA0009) with regards to the collapsed currency firm. The written evidence sets out key facts surrounding the collapse of PFX and argues that the FCA was negligent in its authorisation and supervision of PFX. The Treasury Committee is asked to review written evidence of FCA failings in relation to PFX’s activities and to ensure that those who lost money are fully compensated.

Written evidence to Treasury Select Committee on Premier FX collapse highlights potential FCA and Barclays failings

The House of Commons Treasury Select Committee published further written evidence (FCA0006 and FCA0007) provided to it by a Premier FX (PFX) payment service user and member of the PFX liquidation committee in relation to the collapsed currency firm. The written evidence sets out key facts and questions regarding the conduct of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as PFX’s regulator and the conduct of Barclays Bank in carrying out its anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) responsibilities.

FCA brings first prosecution in relation to an FSMA 2000 destruction of documents offence

Following prosecution by the FCA, Konstantin Vishnyak appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in relation to one count of destroying documents which he knew or suspected were or would be relevant to an investigation. This is the first prosecution by the FCA in relation to a destruction of documents offence under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

FSCS to protect customers of East London Credit Union Ltd (trading as Waltham Forest Community Credit Union)

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) announced that East London Credit Union Ltd—trading as Waltham Forest Community Credit Union—failed on 11 September 2019, stopped trading and is now in default. The FSCS said it will compensate within seven days the vast majority of the 5,500 members of the Walthamstow-based credit union, automatically paying back customer money according to the account details it receives from the credit union. 

 

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Markets and trading

 

ESMA trends, risks and vulnerabilities report, and updated Dashboard, say risks remain high

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published its second trends, risks and vulnerabilities report for 2019, alongside the statistical annex and an updated Risk Dashboard No. 3 2019, which show the risk landscape in Q2 2019 remains largely unchanged compared with the previous quarter. In Q2, EU financial markets were characterised by increasing equity market prices and stable liquidity supply in secondary bond markets, with volatility episodes resulting from breakdowns in trade negotiations. According to ESMA’s report, securities markets remain the key risk area based on high valuation by historic standards.

ISDA releases FAQs concerning EURIBOR benchmark reforms

As the European Money Markets Institute (EMMI) plans to transition from the current Euro Interbank Offered Rate (EURIBOR) to the hybrid methodology by the end of 2019, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) published a frequently asked questions (FAQs) document in relation to EURIBOR benchmark reforms. ISDA stated that this document may be updated from time to time.

ISDA webpage collates links to ‘plain English’ offered rates guides

ISDA collated a set of links to ‘plain English’ guides to derivatives referencing LIBOR and other inter-bank offered rates. The guides cover LIBOR in the five currencies in which it is currently published (USD, GBP, CHF, JPY and EUR), EURIBOR, TIBOR, Euroyen TIBOR, BBSW, HIBOR and CDOR (each an IBOR) and their current administrators.

FCA postpones accessing and using data in wholesale markets call for input

In its 2019/20 business plan, the FCA said that it would publish a CFI to explore the access and use of data in wholesale markets. The FCA expected to publish this CFI in Q2 2019/20. In a press release the FCA stated that the regulator is mindful of the resources that stakeholders, who would ordinarily respond to the CFI, are dedicating to preparing for and implementing the change resulting from the UK’s exit from the EU. Therefore, the FCA decided to postpone this publication to allow firms to focus more time on EU withdrawal.

FCA advises on polling and market abuse as election looms

The FCA published guidance for investors on how to handle information gleaned from unpublished election polling data as the UK faces up to the prospect of a third general election in four years. 

 

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MiFID II

 

IOSCO consults on proposed amendment to clock synchronisation recommendation

The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published a consultation report on clock synchronisation, which is important when timestamping recordable events for regulatory purposes. In the report, IOSCO seeks views on a proposal to stipulate that, where jurisdictions introduced a synchronisation requirement for business clocks, they should be synchronised to co-ordinated universal time. The consultation closes on 13 November 2019.

ESMA publishes responses to consultation on cost of market data and consolidated tape under MiFID II/MiFIR

ESMA published the responses it received to its consultation on the development in prices for pre- and post- trade data and on the consolidated tape (CT) for equity instruments under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (Directive 2014/65/EU) (MiFID II) and Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (Regulation (EU) 600/2014) (MiFIR). The consultation was launched in July 2019 and ran until 6 September.

ESMA publishes responses to call for evidence on certain investor protection topics under MiFID II

ESMA published responses it received to its call for evidence on the impact of the inducements and costs & charges disclosure requirements under MiFID II. The consultation was launched in July 2019 and ran until 6 September. 

 

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Regulation of capital markets and Capital Markets Union

 

Prospectus (Amendment etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019

SI 2019/1234: This enactment is made in exercise of legislative powers under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 in preparation for Brexit. This enactment amends pieces of UK primary and subordinate legislation and retained direct EU legislation in relation to financial services in order to ensure that there is a coherent and functioning prospectus regime in the UK, once it leaves the EU. It comes into force partly on 6 September 2019, partly immediately before exit day and fully on exit day.

ISLA publishes paper on securities financing transactions and the LEI

The International Securities Lending Association (ISLA) published a paper entitled ‘The LEI and Securities Financing Transaction Regulation (SFTR)’. The paper is intended to provide information on the introduction of the global legal entity identifier (LEI) for financial markets, and its relevance and application around the industry, in light of the Securities Financing Transaction Regulation (EU) 2015/2365 (SFTR) reporting requirements, which will begin to apply to market participants in 2020.

ISLA publishes new guide to securities lending

ISLA published its new Regulator & policy maker guide to securities lending, produced in association with Finadium. It forms part of a series of guides developed for relevant market participants and industry stakeholders and covers, among other things, the mechanics of the market and the actors involved.

AFME paper outlines key factors for growth of green securitisation market in Europe

The Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) published a paper outlining the key factors needed to boost the growth of a green securitisation market in Europe. The paper notes that while demand for green securitisation bonds is still relatively low, many institutional investors increased their commitment to investing in green assets and AFME members are also seeing an increasing number of queries around green securitisations. AFME therefore expects this market to grow considerably in the near term.

ESMA publishes transcript of latest ESEF video tutorial

ESMA published a transcript of its third video tutorial on the European single electronic format (ESEF). It builds on two earlier tutorials on the ESEF published by ESMA, which are available on ESMA’s website and Youtube channel. 

 

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Regulation of derivatives

 

ISDA webpage collates links to ‘plain English’ offered rates guides

ISDA collated a set of links to ‘plain English’ guides to derivatives referencing LIBOR and other inter-bank offered rates. The guides cover LIBOR in the five currencies in which it is currently published (USD, GBP, CHF, JPY and EUR), EURIBOR, TIBOR, Euroyen TIBOR, BBSW, HIBOR and CDOR (each an IBOR) and their current administrators.

ISDA announces multi-lateral IM self-disclosure exercise for Phases 5 and 6

ISDA announced that it is running a multi-lateral initial margin (IM) self-disclosure exercise for Phases 5 and 6. This is intended to help the industry be best prepared for IM requirements ahead of 1 September 2020 (Phase 5) and 1 September 2021 (Phase 6), and follows on from the 23 July 2019 statement by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the International Organization of Securities Commissions confirming their agreement to extend the final implementation date for the IM requirements to 1 September 2021. 

 

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Investment funds and asset management

 

ESMA develops stress simulation framework for investment funds

ESMA published an economic report setting out a detailed framework to be used for stress simulations for the investment fund sector. The method is accompanied by a case study involving 6,000 undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS) bond funds.

ESMA publishes responses to survey on short-termism

The ESMA published responses to its call for evidence on potential undue short-term pressures on corporations stemming from the financial sector.

IA sets out talent strategy to meet investment industry needs

The Investment Association (IA) published a talent strategy setting out its vision for skills development within the industry. The IA says it worked with members to explore the context in which the sector operates, considering how the changing nature of the industry will impact on its talent needs, and the impact that public policy and regulation will have on the talent landscape. It is designed to complement and support members’ own internal talent strategies, and focuses on areas that will have greatest benefit for IA members. 

 

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Banks and mutuals

 

Andrea Enria on the EU financial challenges ahead and the SRB’s priorities

The European Parliament published a transcript of the public hearing with the chair of the SRB, Andrea Enria, held in Brussels on 4 September 2019. Mr Enria discussed regulatory and supervisory challenges in banking in the new legislative term, preparations for Brexit, and anti-money laundering in the banking union. Mr Enria was also asked about leverage lending, stress testing and the guide to harmonised rules on internal models for banks recently published by the ECB.

Donald Kohn speech on bank stress testing in the UK

Donald Kohn, an external member of the Financial Policy Committee of the BoE, gave a speech at the London School of Economics, Money Macro and Finance 50th Anniversary Conference, on the stress testing regime of the major UK banks. Mr Kohn considered areas including how the CCyB is informed by the results of the tests, as well as how they both work in practice. He also discussed potential opportunities for research topics in this area.

 

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Regulation of insurance

 

Risk Transformation and Solvency 2 (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019

SI 2019/1233: This enactment is made in exercise of legislative powers under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 in preparation for Brexit. This enactment amends pieces of UK subordinate legislation and retained direct EU legislation in relation to financial services in order to ensure that the related legislation will continue to operate effectively once the UK is no longer a member of the EU. It comes into force partly on 6 September 2019, partly immediately before exit day and fully on exit day.

Hybrid and Other Mismatches (Financial Instrument: Exclusions) Regulations 2019

SI 2019/1251: Provisions are made to replace existing legislation exempting regulatory capital issued by banks and insurers from counteraction under the hybrid and other mismatch rules in the UK. UK tax policy allows deductions for the costs of regulatory capital securities which banks and insurers are required to hold to provide stability for those sectors and for the wider UK economy. These Regulations ensure the exemption continues to apply and extend it to additional categories of instruments which banks may be required to hold. These Regulations will come into force on 29 November 2019. 

 

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Regulation of personal pension and stakeholder products

 

Ten of the UK’s largest pension schemes endorse the Cost Transparency Initiative standards

Ten of the UK’s largest pension schemes publicly endorsed the Cost Transparency Initiative’s new standards, which were launched in May 2019. The standards comprise templates and guidance which will allow standardised reporting of costs and charges by asset managers and other suppliers of services to pension schemes. The aim is to help pension scheme trustees to compare costs and charges across different investment management suppliers and asset classes. 

 

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Payment services and systems

 

Financial Services (Electronic Money, Payment Services and Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019

SI 2019/1212: This enactment is made in exercise of legislative powers under the European Communities Act 1972 and the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 in preparation for Brexit. This enactment amends UK primary and subordinate legislation in relation to financial services in order to ensure a coherent and functioning financial services regulatory regime is in place once the UK leaves the EU. It comes into force partly on 6 September 2019 and fully immediately before exit day.

PSR sets out reasons for not retrospectively applying the APP scam Code

The Treasury Committee published written evidence from the Payments Systems Regulator (PSR) on the potential for historic compensation for the victims of authorised push payment (APP) scams. The PSR said applying the Contingent Reimbursement Model Code for APP scams retrospectively would mean payment service providers (PSPs) must compensate customers based on standards that didn’t exist at the time of the fraud.

PSR responds to discussion paper on data in payments industry

The PSR published the responses it received to its discussion paper DP18/1 on data in the payments industry, alongside its own response paper RP19/1. DP18/1 was issued in June 2018 to examine how the increasing importance and use of payments-related data can affect the payment industry and consumers. The response paper summarises the feedback the PSR received from stakeholders and sets out its own responses as well as, where necessary, clarifications on some of the issues raised.

PSR publishes responses to its discussion paper on the LINK interchange fee structure

The PSR published consultation paper 19/5 (CP19/5): ‘Responses to our discussion paper on the LINK interchange fee structure and summary of our roundtable discussion’. The PSR will study the submissions to both calls for views, along with the discussions with stakeholders at its roundtable events, in order to further help shape its understanding and inform its work. 

 

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Sustainable finance

 

New climate disclosure e-learning courses launched to accelerate implementation of TCFD recommendations

The Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSG) launched a climate-related financial disclosure e-learning platform designed to help organisations fill the knowledge gap and enhance their disclosures of climate-related information. The launch follows the publication by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) of its second status report in June 2019, in which it noted that although disclosures improved, they remain far from the scale needed.

AFME paper outlines key factors for growth of green securitisation market in Europe

AFME published a paper outlining the key factors needed to boost the growth of a green securitisation market in Europe. The paper notes that while demand for green securitisation bonds is still relatively low, many institutional investors increased their commitment to investing in green assets and AFME members are also seeing an increasing number of queries around green securitisations. AFME therefore expects this market to grow considerably in the near term.

ESMA publishes responses to survey on short-termism

ESMA published responses to its call for evidence on potential undue short-term pressures on corporations stemming from the financial sector.

Pentti Hakkarainen outlines the place of banking supervision in greening the financial system

The ECB published a speech by Pentti Hakkarainen, a member its supervisory board, on greening the economy and the part banking supervisors play in fighting climate change. He said the financial sector can bring about swift and profound changes for the better and act as one of the drivers towards a greener economy. But he said it is not up to supervisors or regulators of banks to conduct climate politics: ‘Our job is to ensure that banks are safe and sound.’

 

 

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Dates for your diary

 

DateSubjectEvent

 

12 September 2019

 

Consumer credit

 

As part of PS19/17: Buy Now Pay Later offers – feedback on CP18/43 and final rules the FCA confirmed that:
—full disclosure measures for Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) offers will come into force on 12 September 2019
—CONC 3 of the FCA’s Consumer Credit sourcebook (Financial promotions and communications with customers) will be updated with effect from 12 September 2019 to reflect communications in relation to BNPL or similar offers, and
—CONC 4.2.15 (Pre-contract disclosure and adequate explanations) will also be updated with effect from 12 September 2019 to include BNPL agreements.

 

13 September 2019UK, EU and international regulators and bodies

The deadline for feedback to the PRA’s annual report is 13 September 2019.

 

13 September 2019Payment services and systems

Implementation of version 3.1.1. of the Open Banking Standard is expected by 13 September 2019 to align with standards under Directive (EU) 2015/2366 (PSD2).

 

13 September 2019Authorisation, approval and supervision

Prudential regulation

The deadline for feedback to FCA CP19/20: Our framework: assessing adequate financial resources is 13 September 2019.

 

13 September 2019Prudential regulation

The rules set out in the PRA’s updated versions of its supervisory statement 17/13 on credit risk mitigation and supervisory statement 31/15 on the internal capital adequacy assessment process and the supervisory review and evaluation process will be effective from 13 September 2019.

 

13 September 2019Sustainable finance

The deadline for feedback to the European Commission's technical expert group on sustainable finance’s call for feedback on the taxonomy for sustainable economic activities (published June 2019) is 13 September 2019.

 

14 September 2019Payment services and systems

The EBA PSD2 guidelines apply from 14 September 2019.

 

14 September 2019Payment services and systems

Under Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/389 the regulatory technical standards supplementing PSD2 with regard to strong customer authentication and common and secure open standards of communication will apply from 14 September 2019.

 

15 September 2019Insurance

The deadline for feedback to FCA CP19/23: Signposting to travel insurance for consumers with medical conditions is 15 September 2019.

 

15 September 2019Markets and Trading

The chair of the supervisory board of the ECB requested that recipients of his letter, regarding the ongoing interest rate benchmark reforms mandated by the FSB, and the use of risk-free rates, reply by 15 September 2019 to a questionnaire that contains quantitative and qualitative fields to help the ECB assess the significance of benchmark reform and transition for each institution.

 

16 September 2019UK, EU and international regulators and bodies

Markets and Trading

The deadline for applications to join the ESMA Data Advisory Group is 16 September 2019.

 

18 September 2019Brexit

The deadline for feedback on BoE and PRA’s consultation UK withdrawal from the EU: Changes following extension of Article 50 (CP18/19) is 18 September 2019.

 

18 September 2019Payment services and systems

Deadline by which the European Commission must review Directive 2014/92/EU (the Payment Accounts Directive).

 

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About the author:
Pietra has completed the Bar Professional Training Course at the University of Law and was called to the Bar in 2019. Prior to the BPTC, Pietra undertook a law degree at the University of Bristol.