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For further information on the effects of COVID-19 on financial services, see: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—key developments for financial services lawyers and
Coronavirus (COVID-19)—key financial services issues.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) published some frequently asked questions (FAQs) providing clarity on the implementation of its Guidelines on reporting and disclosure of exposures subject to measures applied in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The implementation questions and technical clarifications are included in a newly added section 4 of the ‘EBA Report on the implementation of selected COVID-19 policies’, first published on 7 July 2020.
Sources: EBA provides clarity on the implementation of the reporting and disclosure framework in the context of COVID-19 measures and
EBA REPORT ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF SELECTED COVID-19 POLICIES.
TheCityUK highlighted the need for urgent action to convert, restructure and repay the high levels of debt small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have built up in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. It called for the government to take this action
in order to ‘help hundreds of thousands of SMEs get back on their feet, save millions of jobs, protect billions of pounds of taxpayer money and help power the UK’s economic recovery’.
Source: SME recapitalisation essential to prevent further 3 million job losses.
The Banking Standards Board hosted a regulatory roundtable discussion, alongside the City Mental Health Alliance (CMHA), the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority, on the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of the workplace.
The meeting, which was held on 14 July 2020, was attended by CEOs and directors from the banking and financial services sector.
Source: BSB, CMHA, FCA and Bank of England CEO regulatory roundtable.
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The Financial Markets Law Committee (FMLC) published its response to HM Treasury’s consultation, launched in June 2020, on the UK’s proposed approach to transposing Directive (EU) 2019/879 (BRRD II). In its response,
the FMLC highlighted some issues of legal uncertainty arising from HM Treasury’s intention to diverge from EU law on those parts of BRRD II that will come into effect after the end of the Brexit implementation period.
Source: Letter to HM Treasury: Transposition of BRRD II: 11 August 2020 .
For further information, see: Impact of Brexit: BRRD—quick guide
The Financial Markets Law Committee (FMLC) wrote to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) in response to its consultation on whether the government’s power to designate additional courts and tribunals as having the ability to depart from
retained EU case law should be extended. In its response, the FMLC urges the MoJ not to extend this power but recommends that, if the ability to depart from retained EU case law is extended to the lower courts, a stricter test should
be imposed than that which is currently applied by the Supreme Court.
Source: Letter to Ministry of Justice: Departure from retained EU case law: 12 August 2020.
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published 12 opinions on position limits regarding commodity derivatives under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and Regulation (MiFIR). In each case,
ESMA found that the proposed position limits are consistent with the objectives established in MiFID II and with the methodology developed for setting those limits.
Source: ESMA agrees position limits under MiFID II .
For further information, see: MiFID II—commodity derivatives—position limits.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published its policy development update (PDU) for August 2020, providing information on its recent and upcoming publications and an update since its last PDU on 3 July 2020.
Source: Policy development update.
HM Treasury reported on the US–UK Financial Innovation Partnership (FIP) meeting of 5 August 2020, in which participants exchanged views on ‘topics of mutual interest’ such as digital payments, operational
resilience, cross-border testing of innovative financial services, and regulatory and supervisory technology, as well as bilateral market access issues, connections between financial technology firms and financial institutions,
and the forthcoming US financial services trade mission to the UK in June 2021.
Source: Joint Statement on the U.S. - UK Financial Innovation Partnership meeting.
The FCA published a letter addressed to senior partners/directors of auditors of FCA-authorised firms noting that the impact of COVID-19 is being felt widely and is affecting all the entities it regulates in ways
that may not have been predicted. The letter reminds audit firms that in the current financial climate, it is vitally important that they are mindful of their reporting duties in relation to significant matters
arising, for instance under chapter 3 of the FCA’s Supervision Manual (SUP3) of the FCA Handbook, sections 342(5) and 343(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA 2000),
and UK auditing standards.
Source: FAO: Senior partner/director of the audit firm—Reporting obligations.
The EBA published a revised version of its draft implementing technical standards (ITS) on supervisory reporting version 3.0 along with two sets of guidelines on disclosures and supervisory reporting requirements.
The guidelines and revised ITS are intended to clarify the application of certain ‘quick fix’ amendments made to the Capital Requirements Regulation (EU) 575/2013 (CRR) by Regulation
(EU) 2020/873 (the Amending Regulation) as part of a targeted banking package to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sources: Final report: Guidelines amending Guidelines EBA/GL/2018/01 on uniform disclosures under Article 473a of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 (CRR) on the transitional period for mitigating the impact of the introduction of IFRS 9 on own funds to ensure compliance with the CRR ‘quick fix’ in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,
Final report: Guidelines on supervisory reporting and disclosure requirements in compliance with the CRR ‘quick fix’ in response to the COVID‐19 pandemic,
Final report: Draft implementing technical standards on supervisory reporting by institutions under Regulation (EU) No 575/2013, accommodating Regulations (EU) 2019/876 (CRR2) and 2020/873 (CRR quick fix in the light of COVID-19) and
EBA publishes guidance on impact of CRR adjustments in response to the COVID‐19 pandemic on supervisory reporting and disclosure.
For further information, see: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—targeted EU banking package.
The Bank of England (BoE) published its quarterly Monetary Policy Report alongside its Financial Stability Report for August 2020, together with a record of Financial Policy Committee (FPC) meetings
held on 29 July and 3 August 2020. The documents summarise the impact that COVID-19 is having on the UK economy and financial stability, and the steps that the BoE and FPC are taking to keep
interest rates low and ensure the financial system can support UK households and businesses. The Financial Stability Report also discusses the FPC’s views on Brexit, Libor and payments
Sources: Monetary Policy Report and Financial Stability Report - August 2020 and
Financial Policy Summary and Record - August 2020 .
The BoE published a technical annex which accompanies its August 2020 Financial Stability Report. The annex describes the data and assumptions used to produce the analysis in the ‘UK corporate
sector and Covid-19’ section of the August Financial Stability Report.
Source: Technical annex: Updated estimates of the cash-flow deficit of UK companies in a Covid-19 scenario - Financial Stability Report August 2020.
UK Finance published a blog discussing the Bank of England (BoE)’s August 2020 Financial Stability Report and its ‘reverse stress test’ on the impact of COVID-19 on banks’
capital buffers. The author notes that a reverse stress test is not a prediction of what could happen, but rather a means for understanding how banks might fare if the UK economy encountered
one of the two posited pathways.
Source: COVID-19: still a severe stress but its impacts on UK banks and the economy may be attenuating.
The Basel Committee released consultative documents on proposed principles for operational resilience, as well as views on updating its principles for the sound management of operational
risk (PSMOR). The Committee believes that, given the critical role banks have in financial systems, increasing their resilience and enabling them to better absorb shocks will help safeguard
the entire financial system. Comments should be submitted by 6 November 2020.
Source: Basel Committee releases consultative documents on principles for operational risk and operational resilience .
HM Treasury published its annual report for the 2018 to 2019 tax year on anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) supervision. The report says that the UK’s
supervisory regime is comprehensive and its response to economic crime has been recognised as world-leading. Nevertheless, more remains to be done to tackle illicit finance.
Source: Anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing: supervision report, 2018/2019 .
The Wolfsberg Group published FAQs on how financial institutions can identify, mitigate and manage money laundering risks by undertaking source of wealth (SoW) and source of funds
(SoF) checks on relevant customers, when appropriate and/or required by applicable regulation. The FAQs are targeted predominantly at the private banking/wealth management customer
segments and take into consideration controls and procedures recognised in the Wolfsberg AML Principles for Private Banking.
Source: Wolfsberg Group frequently asked questions (FAQs): Source of wealth and source of funds (private banking/wealth management).
Better Finance published a position paper welcoming the European Commission’s roadmap on the New Consumer Agenda, which will address the role of consumers in the
post-crisis economic recovery, as expressed in the EU’s recovery plan adopted on 27 May 2020. It makes suggestions for better consumer protection on digital and
green products, improved pension provision, enforcement options and greater stakeholder engagement.
Source: Better Finance position paper on the new consumer agenda.
UK Finance published a blog listing good practice tips on complaints-handling, and ensuring customers feel valued. The blog cites 2019 research which found that, when
handled well, complaints can help businesses retain customers longer, develop deeper and more valuable relationships, and generate new customers through advocacy.
Source: Can complaining build relationships?.
UK Finance published a blog discussing conduct issues and customer satisfaction against the background of the coronavirus pandemic. The author argues that a rise in
complaints—and websites sharing them—emphasises the need to embed clear accountability in day-to-day management and to report more clearly on actions
Source: Conduct and culture in a post-COVID-19 world.
The FCA issued a press release in which it announced that in a case brought by the regulator, the High Court has ordered two companies and three individuals
to pay a total of £10,715,000 in restitution to members of the public who were induced to transfer their pensions into self-invested personal pensions
(SIPPs). The order was made on 7 August 2020 against Avacade Limited (in liquidation), Alexandra Associates (UK) Limited trading as Avacade Future
Solutions (AA), Craig Lummis, Lee Lummis and Raymond Fox.
Source: High Court orders illegal pension introducers Avacade, Alexandra Associates and their directors to pay £10,715,000 restitution to consumers.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued an order dated 16 July 2020 granting several JPMorgan and Crédit Agricole group companies leave to
intervene in support of an appeal by several HSBC group companies against a September 2019 ECJ judgment that annulled a fine imposed on HSBC by
the European Commission for its involvement in a euro interest rate derivatives cartel but affirmed the Commission’s conclusion that HSBC
had infringed Article 101(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The Commission’s decision had also
named JPMorgan and Crédit Agricole as members of the cartel.
Sources: Order of the President of the Court in Case C‑883/19 P (16 July 2020) and
Order of the President of the Court in Case C‑883/19 P (16 July 2020).
The Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) has ordered the FCA to pay Financial Solutions (Euro) Ltd (FSE) £20,360 in respect of the costs
it incurred challenging a decision by the FCA to cancel FSE’s permission under Part 4A of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. According to the Tribunal, the FCA’s decision to cancel
FSE’s Part 4A permission was unreasonable and the FCA had acted unreasonably in defending Tribunal proceedings on the basis of that decision,
so the Tribunal had jurisdiction to make a costs order.
Source: Financial Solutions (Euro) Ltd v The Financial Conduct Authority:  UKUT 0243 (TCC).
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it has revoked the directions given to HSBC on 1 April 2019 on confirmation by the
implementation trustee that HSBC was compliant with Article 14.1 of the Retail Banking Market Investigation Order 2017 with respect to
app-to-app redirection functionality.
Source: Retail banking market investigation .
The FCA published a speech by Mark Steward, its executive director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, which was delivered at the
‘ShareSoc Webinar: building market and investor confidence’ on 3 August 2020. Steward talks about the FCA’s
core mission, ‘ensuring our markets work well’, involving informed investors making decisions based on timely and accurate
information. Steward stressed the importance of markets operating on the basis of genuine, competitive forces of supply and demand,
high standards of stewardship and social responsibility, deep liquidity, strong governance, clear rules and both responsible and
Source: FCA Speech capital market regulation and coronavirus.
The European Commission confirmed that the Joint Committee under the EU and Swiss Linking Agreement agreed on the 2020 calendar for
transfers of allowances between the EU and Swiss emission trading registries on 30 July 2020. As there is still no permanent direct
link between the registries, the first transfer through the provisional solution is expected to be executed on the 28 September
2020. Following the initial transfer, the provisional solution will be applied a further nine times, with transfers taking place
twice a month, except for September, up until December 2020, when transfers will be executed twice weekly.
Source: 2020 calendar for transfers of allowances between the EU and Swiss emission trading registries.
The European Commission is seeking feedback on its proposal for a regulation which makes targeted amendments to the Benchmarks Regulation
(EU) 2016/1011 (BMR) regarding the exemption of certain third country foreign exchange benchmarks and the designation
of replacement benchmarks for certain benchmarks in cessation. The feedback period runs from 11 August until 6 October
Source: Financial benchmarks (for interest rates, stock-exchange prices, exchange rates, etc.) – review of EU rules.
For further information, see: Benchmarks Regulation—essentials.
The Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published a report which investigates
how liquidity provision has evolved in equity securities markets in recent years. The report, entitled ‘Liquidity
Provision in the Secondary Markets for Equity Securities’, was based on a survey of regulatory authorities,
trading venues and market intermediaries, and identifies key elements of market making programs that may help to
‘promote the provision of liquidity, strengthen investor confidence and foster fair and efficient markets’.
Source: IOSCO examines the evolution of liquidity provision in equity securities markets.
The Financial Stability Board (FSB) published the responses it received to its May 2020 consultation on guidance
on financial resources to support central counterparty (CCP) resolution and on the treatment of CCP equity
in resolution. The FSB expects to publish the final guidance by the end of 2020.
Source: Public responses to consultation on guidance on financial resources to support CCP resolution and on the treatment of CCP equity in resolution.
The PRA’s director for UK deposit takers, Mel Beaman, wrote to CEOs of non-systemic building
societies agreeing to suspend the relevant guidance levels on fixed rate lending limits in the
Specialist Sourcebook. The decision follows a request from the Building Societies Association and
is in response to the current COVID-19 environment.
Source: Letter from Mel Beaman ‘Building societies sourcebook—fixed rate lending guidelines’.
The Single Resolution Board (SRB) published a new set of documents to give operational guidance to
banks on the implementation of the bail-in tool. The documents include guidance on bail-in playbooks
and instructions for bail-in data sets, which are accompanied by an explanatory note.
Source: SRB publishes guidance documents for the bail-in operationalisation.
The European Parliament published on its website an answer from the European Commission responding
to a written question on the extent to which Article 16(4) of the Fourth Money Laundering Directive
((EU) 2015/849) (MLD4) and Article 15 of the Payment Accounts Directive (2014/92/EU) (PAD)
support the refusal of access to basic bank accounts and business bank accounts based on the customer's
location in other member states.
Sources: European Commission’s answer to the question 7 August 2020 and
European Parliament’s publication of written question from 2 July 2020.
The FMLC published its response to HM Treasury’s consultation, launched in June 2020, on the
UK’s proposed approach to transposing BRRD II. In its response, the FMLC highlighted some
issues of legal uncertainty arising from HM Treasury’s intention to diverge from EU law on
those parts of BRRD II that will come into effect after the end of the Brexit implementation period.
For further information, see: Impact of Brexit: BRRD—quick guide
The Chair of the Supervisory Board of the European Central Bank (ECB), Andrea Enria, responded to a
letter from Martin Schirdewan, MEP, on the supervision of Wirecard Bank AG. In his response, Enria
provides some background on the structure of Wirecard AG and on the cooperation between the ECB
and national competent authorities (NCAs) in the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM).
Source: Letter from Andrea Enria to Martin Schirdewan, 5 August 2020 .
The ECB published an interview with Edouard Fernandez-Bollo, representative to the Supervisory Board,
in which he discusses the ECB’s supervisory expectations for mergers and acquisitions, which
are aimed at ensuring that consolidation increases resilience in the banking system.
Source: Edouard Fernandez-Bollo: ‘Consolidation can secure safe and sound banks’.
The European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) published a paper by two members of its Advisory Scientific
Committee (ASC) on reforming bank stress testing in the EU in light of a discussion paper published
by the EBA on the issue in January 2020. The paper expresses serious concerns about the EBA’s
two main proposals and suggests reforms to the methodological side of the existing approach instead.
Source: Reforming bank stress testing in the EU: reflections in light of the EBA’s discussion paper on the issue .
The ECB published its August 2020 report on banks’ internal capital adequacy assessment process
(ICAAP) practices. The report details the range of ICAAP practices observed in a sample of 37 banks
and summarises the results of a structured analysis of ICAAP practices based on the ICAAP packages
submitted by a representative sample of significant institutions in 2019. The analysis highlights
areas where banks’ practices appear to be ‘further developed’, as well as those
where the ECB believes that ‘additional work is warranted’.
Source: ECB report on banks’ ICAAP practices.
The FCA published its findings of a review into relending by firms that offer high-cost credit.
The review raises concerns about poor practices on behalf of firms and notes that almost
half of consumers regretted borrowing more money. The report sets out the FCA’s expectations
on how firms in the sector must treat consumers as they begin to lend again.
Sources: FCA highlights concerns when credit firms allow repeat borrowing and
Relending by high-cost lenders .
For further information, see: The regulation of high-cost short-term credit.
The House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee published its Twenty Fourth Report,
in which it draws the draft Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental
Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 to the special attention
of the House. Appendix 1 of the report includes some additional information provided by
HM Treasury regarding the draft regulations.
Sources: Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee: Twenty Fourth Report and
Appendix 1: Draft Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020.
The FCA published finalised updated guidance setting out its expectations for insurance
and premium finance firms when considering the fair treatment of existing customers
in financial difficulty, due to circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The original version of the guidance was published on 14 May 2020 and came into
force on 18 May 2020. The FCA also published feedback statement FS20/13, which
summarises the feedback it received on its proposed measures as well as its response.
Sources: Coronavirus and customers in temporary financial difficulty: updated guidance for insurance and premium finance firms and
FS20/13: Coronavirus and customers in temporary financial difficulty: feedback on draft updated guidance for insurance and premium finance firms.
The International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) extended the deadline
for responding to its call for feedback on the impact of COVID-19 on the insurance
sector, supervisors and the future work of the IAIS. Feedback, which was originally
requested by 28 August 2020, must now be submitted by 4 September 2020.
Source: Request for feedback on the impact of COVID-19 (webpage update to extend deadline).
The BoE updated its webpage, ‘A new messaging standard for UK payments:
ISO 20022’, to confirm that it will go live with ISO 20022 in April
2022 as currently planned but on a like-for-like basis, to help direct
participants manage the issues of truncation ahead of SWIFT’s adoption
of ISO 20022 in late 2022. The update follows the BoE’s communication
in July 2020 of a change in its migration approach for CHAPS messages to
Source: A new messaging standard for UK payments: ISO 20022 (updated webpage).
The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) published a thought piece by its Head of
Policy, Genevieve Marjoribanks, on getting the right outcomes for the victims
of authorised push payment (APP) scams. According to Marjoribanks, positive
steps have been taken since the introduction of the Contingent Reimbursement
Model (CRM) Code in 2019, but more remains to be done, and the PSR wants
industry to do everything it can to come up with a permanent solution to
reimburse defrauded consumers.
Source: Getting the right outcomes for the victims of APP scams.
The EBA launched two RegTech industry surveys seeking feedback from
financial institutions and ICT third-party providers. The EBA is
seeking to better understand the extent and the impact of the use
of technology-enabled innovation for regulatory, compliance and
reporting requirements by regulated institutions, raise awareness
of RegTech within the regulatory and supervisory community, and
inform any relevant future policy discussion. Feedback is sought
by 30 September 2020.
Sources: EBA consults on the use of RegTech solutions and ways to support the uptake of RegTech across the EU,
Survey addressed to financial institutions and
Survey addressed to ICT third-party providers.
The Saudi G20 presidency and the Bank for International Settlements
Innovation Hub (BISIH) have issued a press release which provides
an update on progress made on the G20 TechSprint initiative, following
a midpoint review of the hackathon-style competition with 20 shortlisted
Source: Saudi G20 presidency and BIS Innovation Hub update on the progress made in the G20 TechSprint initiative.
The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) published the Islamic
Financial Services Industry (IFSI) Stability Report 2020,
which provides updates on trends in growth and industry
developments, as well as analytical and structural outlooks.
It also examines the resilience of the IFSI against the
market disturbances caused by the outbreak of COVID-19
and other vulnerability factors across the Islamic banking,
Islamic capital market (ICM) and takāful segments.
Source: The IFSB issued the Eighth Edition of its Annual Flagship Publication: the Islamic Financial Services Industry (IFSI) Stability Report 2020.
14 August 2020
Deadline for responses to the FCA’s
consultation on Certification
Regime implementation extension.
Banks and mutuals
Deadline for responses to the EBA’s
consultation on draft regulatory
technical standards (RTS) for contractual
recognition of stay powers under the
Deadline for responses to HM Treasury’s
consultation on updating the UK’s
prudential regime before the end of
the Brexit implementation period.
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