FS weekly highlights—16 May 2019

In this issue

 

Brexit news
UK regulator updates
European regulator updates
Financial stability
Diversity in financial services
Risk management and controls
Financial crime
US and international financial crime regulation
Enforcement and redress
Markets and trading
MiFID II
Regulation of derivatives
Investment funds and asset management
Banks and mutuals
Consumer credit, mortgage and home finance
Consumer access to financial services
Insurance and pensions
Payment services and systems
FinTech and virtual currencies
Sustainable finance
Dates for your diary

 

Brexit news

 

UK Finance expresses concern at the EU’s no-deal Brexit contingency plans

UK Finance published a blog by its Director of International and Brexit Policy, Conor Lawlor, in which he argues that the EU-level financial services contingency measures for a no-deal Brexit announced so far are a helpful step, but address only limited elements of clearing-related issues and derivative services. They do not address the other key services that businesses utilise such as multi-currency lending, foreign exchange, and payment and cash management services. Mr Lawlor says UK Finance is concerned that significant gaps exist in product and service provision for EU-based customers of UK-based services.

BEIS explains rationale for British Steel emissions trading allowances deal

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Greg Clark MP, wrote to the chair of the Treasury Select Committee, Nicky Morgan MP, explaining the government’s decision to enter into a commercial agreement with British Steel Limited relating to its obligations under the EU emissions trading system (ETS). The system requires heavy industry and power producers to obtain and surrender allowances equal to their level of carbon emissions on an annual basis. Companies that are the most exposed to international competition are allocated a proportion of free ETS allowances annually. 

 

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UK regulator updates

 

FCA publishes board minutes for March 2019

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published the minutes of its board meeting on 28 March 2019. Among things discussed, the minutes note that HM Treasury is consulting on domestic legislation to implement an anti-money laundering (AML) regime for certain cryptoasset activities by January 2020. The FCA board also considered the FCA business plan 2019/20, proposals in relation to a duty of care and the potential approval of draft feedback statement, price discrimination in the cash savings market, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) budget and business plan 2019/2020 and finalising rules to permanently prohibit the sale of binary options to retail clients.

Andrew Bailey calls for ‘thorough debate’ on post-Brexit regulation, in new FCA podcast

The FCA published its first 'Inside FCA' podcast, in which CEO Andrew Bailey discusses key areas of the FCA’s business plan and his thoughts on the future of financial regulation. Mr Bailey calls for a ‘thorough debate’ on the type of regulation the UK wants in a post-Brexit world, including the future relationship between the UK and the EU.

UK and Hong Kong conclude inaugural financial dialogue

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen MP, and his Hong Kong counterpart James Lau concluded the inaugural UK-Hong Kong financial dialogue, committing to significantly enhance bilateral policy and regulatory co-operation. They also agreed to continue to discuss specific steps and measures to increase the breadth and depth of the partnership. 

 

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European regulator updates

 

ECB amends guidelines on the implementation of monetary policy in the Eurosystem

The European Central Bank (ECB) published amendments to its guidelines on the implementation of monetary policy in the Eurosystem. The new guidelines are available on the ECB’s website. Versions of the guidelines in 23 official EU languages are expected to be published in the Official Journal of the EU.

Council of the EU publishes briefing note for Economic and Financial Affairs Council meeting

The Council of the European Union published a background briefing for the meeting of its Economic and Financial Affairs Council to be held on 17 May 2019 in Brussels, where agenda items will include a presentation by the Finnish delegation and the European Commission on the outcome of the first meeting of the coalition of finance ministers for climate actions. The briefing also included an up to date progress report on financial services legislative files. 

 

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Financial stability

 

FSB RCG for Europe discusses vulnerabilities and response options

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) Regional Consultative Group (RCG) for Europe met in Bucharest at a meeting hosted by the National Bank of Romania on 7 May 2019. The group received an update on the FSB’s work programme and the deliverables to the June G20 meetings in Japan, and considered the implications of the growing use of artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data for the regulation and supervision of the financial system.

Commission and ECB to co-host conference on the international role of the euro, and launch European Financial Stability and Integration Review

The European Commission is to host its annual joint conference with the ECB on 16 May 2019, focusing this year on the international role of the euro. Finance ministers and representatives from the financial sector, EU institutions and academia will debate how to strengthen the use of the euro in capital markets and in the European banking sector. At the conference, the Commission will also launch its annual European Financial Stability and Integration Review (EFSIR).

 

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Diversity in financial services

 

BoE speech on benefits of gender equality for wider diversity and greater inclusion

The BoE published a speech given by its Deputy Governor and Chief Operating Officer, Joanna Place, entitled ‘Gender diversity is good for wider diversity and greater inclusion’. In her speech, given at the Women of the Square Mile 2019 event in London, Ms Place outlined the BoE’s approach to advancing gender equality within the context of advancing wider diversity. 

 

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Risk management and controls

 

BoE director on operational resilience in the UK financial sector

The Bank of England (BoE)’s Director of Supervisory Risk Specialists, Nick Strange, delivered a speech on operational resilience—defined by the BoE as ‘the ability of firms, FMIs [financial market infrastructures] and the sector as a whole to prevent, respond to, recover and learn from operational disruptions’. Mr Strange set out the BoE’s expectations and approaches to operational resilience, including cyber security, and the Financial Policy Committee’s work programme in this area.

FSB secretary general on the need for global co-operation in fight against cybercrime

The FSB published a speech by its Secretary General, Dietrich Domanski, on cyber security: finding responses to global threats, in which he called for international co-operation on cyber security, highlighted challenges for co-operation, and discussed the FSB’s work to promote cyber security against this backdrop.

ECB executive on the role of central banks in cybersecurity

Sabine Lautenschläger, a member of the executive board of the ECB, spoke on cybersecurity and the role of central banks, at a G7 2019 conference on co-ordinating efforts to protect the financial sector in the global economy. Ms Lautenschläger outlined a number of ways in which the ECB is addressing cyber-risk, including setting the Eurosystem cyber resilience strategy, red-teaming, and fostering strategic engagement between regulators and industry. 

 

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Financial crime

 

Delegated Regulation on mitigating money laundering and terrorist financing risks in third countries published in Official Journal

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/758 of 31 January 2019 supplementing Directive (EU) 2015/849 (MLD4) with regard to regulatory technical standard (RTS)’s for the minimum action and the type of additional measures credit and financial institutions must take to mitigate money laundering and terrorist financing risk in certain third countries was published in the Official Journal of the EU. The Regulation sets out additional measures that apply to these institutions where they operate in a third country whose law does not permit the implementation of group-wide AML and countering the financing of terrorism policies and procedures.

Decision on rules concerning transfer of personal data to national authorities in context of criminal or financial investigations published in Official Journal

A Decision of the Bureau of the European Parliament of 3 April 2019 on the implementing rules on the restriction of certain data subject rights in relation to the transfer of personal data by the European Parliament to national authorities in the context of criminal or financial investigations was published in the Official Journal of the EU. The Decision relates to the European Parliament’s ability to restrict data subjects’ rights relating to personal data, to protect the purpose and confidentiality of national criminal and financial investigations.

Directive on combating fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment published in OJ

Directive (EU) 2019/713 on combating fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment and replacing Council Framework Decision 2001/413/JHA was published in the Official Journal of the EU. Member States must implement the new rules within two years. The Directive shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal (30 May 2019).

FCA board discusses government proposed approach for supervision of certain cryptoasset businesses for AML purposes

The FCA published the minutes of its board meeting on 28 March 2019. Among other things, the minutes note that HM Treasury is consulting on domestic legislation to implement an AML regime for certain cryptoasset activities by January 2020. HM Treasury proposed additional elements that would require the UK to meet the relevant Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards and asked the FCA to take on supervision of the new regime.

Government publishes response to Select Committee scrutiny of Bribery Act 2010

The government published its response to the House of Lords Select Committee’s post-legislative scrutiny of the Bribery Act 2010. The Bribery Act Committee published its post-legislative scrutiny report on 14 May 2019, which made 35 conclusions and recommendations. In its response to the Bribery Act Committee’s report, the government considers and addresses each of the conclusions and recommendations made by the Committee. The government also highlights the high praise the Act received internationally as a successful anti-corruption tool.

Hacker jailed for attempted £16,500 TSB fraud

A 22-year-old man was sentenced to four years in prison for hacking into several TSB customers’ online banking accounts between March and October 2018, and attempting to transfer funds totalling £16,500. The fraud was spotted by TSB and the case was then referred to the dedicated card and payment crime unit (DCPCU), a specialist police unit funded by the banking and cards industry.

Metro Bank provides follow-up written evidence to Treasury Committee economic crime inquiry

The Head of Financial Crime Operations at Metro Bank, Mark Tingey, followed up on oral evidence to the Treasury Committee’s inquiry into economic crime, with written evidence providing further information. Mr Tingey’s written evidence concerned the details of fraudulent and ‘mule’ account closures, confirmation of payee, and reimbursement claims.

 

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US and international financial crime regulation

 

FSB secretary general on the need for global co-operation in fight against cybercrime

The FSB published a speech by its Secretary General, Dietrich Domanski, on cyber security: finding responses to global threats, in which he called for international co-operation on cyber security, highlighted challenges for co-operation, and discussed the FSB’s work to promote cyber security against this backdrop.

US FinCEN publishes cryptocurrency financial crime typologies and red flags

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)—a bureau of the US Department of the Treasury that collects and analyses information about financial transactions in order to combat domestic and international money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes— issued guidance on the application of FinCEN’s regulations to certain business models involving convertible virtual currencies (CVC), together with an advisory on illicit activity involving convertible virtual currency which is intended to assist financial institutions in identifying and reporting suspicious activity related to criminal exploitation of CVCs for money laundering, sanctions evasion, and other illicit financing purposes.

 

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Enforcement and redress

 

FCA Decision Notices against three firms and five individuals relating to pension advice and misleading the FCA

The FCA published Decision Notices in respect of three firms (Financial Page Ltd, Henderson Carter Associates Limited and Bank House Investment Management Limited) and five individuals (Andrew Page, Thomas Ward, Aiden Henderson, Robert Ward and Tristan Freer) for acting without integrity in relation to their pension advice business and misleading the FCA. Andrew Page, Thomas Ward, Aiden Henderson, Robert Ward, Tristan Freer and BHIM referred their Decision Notices to the Upper Tribunal where the parties will present their respective cases. Any findings in the Decision Notices are therefore provisional and reflect the FCA’s belief as to what occurred and how it considers their behaviour should be characterised.

FOS annual review highlights continued problems in short-term lending

The FOS published its annual review for 2018/19. The FOS says more than 388,000 complaints were brought in the period–the busiest for the service in five years, and up 14% on the year before. The figures showed a rise in complaints about consumer credit products and services, which grew by a further 89%, following last year’s 40% increase. When PPI is excluded, they represented one in every three new cases received in the period. Short-term lending was an area of particular concern.

FSCS urges LCF customers to register for updates as possible compensation grounds emerge

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) issued a press release saying it is keen to ensure London Capital and Finance (LCF) customers are kept up to date as it continues to explore whether there are grounds for compensation. FSCS is working closely with the FCA, administrators and external legal counsel.

Kevin Hollinrake calls for changes to the Dispute Resolution Service implementation steering group

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Fair Business Banking published a letter dated 3 May 2019 from its co-Chair, Kevin Hollinrake MP, to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond MP, about the Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) implementation steering group, which aims to design and implement a historic compensation scheme and a new dispute resolution mechanism for disputes between businesses and financial institutions. Mr Hollinrake says the group is making ‘positive progress’, but expresses concerns about the scheme which could ‘ultimately undermine trust in the system’.

 

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Markets and trading

 

ECB risk-free rate working group launches consultation on EONIA to €STR legal action plan

The ECB working group on euro risk-free rates launched a public consultation on its draft recommendations to address the legal implications for new and legacy contracts referencing the euro overnight index average (EONIA) as a result of the proposed transition from EONIA to the euro short-term rate (€STR). The consultation is open until 17:00 CET on 12 June 2019. The ECB will then produce a summary of the feedback received, which will be published on its website and considered by the working group at its meeting on 4 July 2019.

ESMA publishes European Commission request for technical advice on elements of MAR

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a formal request it received for technical advice on the report to be submitted by the European Commission under Article 38 of Regulation (EU) 596/2014 on market abuse (MAR). The letter, dated 20 March 2019, asks for ESMA’s advice on a number of matters including insider dealing and market manipulation, the definition of inside information, the prohibition on trading, a potential EU-wide framework for cross-market order book surveillance, and the benchmark provisions.

ESMA risk dashboard says risk outlook remains high but stable

ESMA published its risk dashboard for the European Union’s securities markets covering the first quarter of 2019. ESMA says the risk landscape in Q1 2019 remains largely unchanged compared to the fourth quarter of 2018.

FMSB chair Mark Yallop’s speech to IOSCO on FMSB past and future work

The FICC Markets Standards Board (FMSB) published a speech given by its chair, Mark Yallop, at the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) board meeting in Sydney. Mr Yallop explained why the FMSB was created, addressed some arguments as to why it might not work as intended, and outlined the FMSB’s work over the past two and a half years and what it hopes to do in the next three.

GLEIF publishes Q1 2019 LEI report

The Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) published its latest quarterly report highlighting key developments on the adoption of the legal entity identifier (LEI) and covering annual growth and renewal expectations, the level of competition between LEI issuing organisations operating in the global LEI system, and LEI renewal rates and reference data corroboration. The report also includes statistics on direct and ultimate parent information provided by legal entities.

 

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MiFID II

 

MiFID II: ESMA issues latest data on double volume cap

ESMA updated its public register with the latest set of double volume cap (DVC) data under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Directive 2014/65/EU) (MiFID II). The updates include DVC data and calculations for the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019, the period of 1 March 2018 to 28 February 2019, which was not published in April in accordance with the statements published on 19 March and 28 March 2019, as well as updates to already published DVC periods.

ESMA publishes SI regime data for equity and bonds

ESMA published updated data for the systematic internaliser (SI) calculations for equity, equity-like instruments and bonds. The data covers the total number of trades and total volume over the period October 2018-March 2019 for the purpose of the SI calculations for 24,909 equity and equity-like instruments and for 315,615 bonds.

ECJ holds that a prohibition on activities of tied agent fell outside scope of MiFID

In the case of Mastromartino v Consob (Case C-53/18) EU:C:2019:380, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that a temporary prohibition on the activities of a tied agent fell outside the scope of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (2004/39/EC) (MiFID). 

 

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Regulation of derivatives

 

Capital markets union: Council of EU adopts EMIR REFIT regulation

The Council of the European Union adopted the text of a new regulation amending the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (Regulation (EU) 648/2012) (EMIR). The new regulation, known as EMIR REFIT, is intended to improve the existing regulatory framework applying to the over-the-counter (OTC) derivative market and includes simplified rules for non-financial counterparties, small financial counterparties and pension funds using financial derivative products.

ISDA guidance on compliance with IM requirements following BCBS/IOSCO statement

The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) published  guidance on the steps a market participant needs to take if its aggregate average notional amount is above the relevant phase-in amount for initial margin (IM) regulatory requirements but one or more of its relationships does not exceed the IM exchange threshold.

Derivatives Service Bureau opens its 2019/2020 industry consultation

The Derivatives Service Bureau, founded by the Association of National Numbering Agencies to facilitate the allocation and maintenance of International Securities Identification Numbers, classification of financial instrument codes and financial instrument short names, for OTC derivatives, announced it opened its 2019/2020 consultation. Responses are sought by 5 June 2019.

FIA launches podcast on matters relevant to the global futures, options and derivatives industry

The Futures Industry Association (FIA) launched FIA Speaks—a podcast to provide greater insight into the people, major topics and trends in the global futures, options and derivatives industry. FIA Speaks will feature executives, regulators, industry experts and business visionaries exploring the issues and the trends of the industry. FIA Speaks will be hosted by FIA President and CEO Walt Lukken, with contributions from other FIA senior staff members.

 

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Investment funds and asset management

 

Proxy Advisors (Shareholders’ Rights) Regulations 2019

SI 2019/926: Provisions are made to transpose Article 3j of the revised EU Shareholder Rights Directive (SRD II) into UK law, in line with the UK’s obligations as a member of the EU. Article 3j of SRD II places requirements on proxy advisors, which primarily offer voting services and/or advice to shareholders in publicly listed companies, to make certain disclosures about the way in which they conduct their business. These Regulations will come into force on 10 June 2019.

European Parliament confirms non-objection to Level 2 measure under EuSEF Regulation

The European Parliament updated its procedure file to confirm that it does not object to the Commission Delegated Regulation of 4.2.2019 supplementing Regulation (EU) 346/2013 (the EuSEF Regulation) of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to conflicts of interest in the area of European social entrepreneurship funds.

European Parliament confirms non-objection to Level 2 measure under EuVECA Regulation

The European Parliament updated its procedure file to confirm that it does no object to the Commission Delegated Regulation supplementing Regulation (EU) 345/2013 (the European Venture Capital Funds (EuVECA) Regulation) with regard to conflicts of interest.

ESMA speech on sustainable finance and investor protection

The Head of the Investors and Issuers department at ESMA, Evert van Walsum, delivered the keynote speech at the Swedish Investment Fund Association's annual conference 2019 in Stockholm. Mr van Walsum spoke on sustainable finance, costs and fees borne by investors buying funds, and investor protection more generally, with a focus on disclosure-related issues.

ISDA publishes explanatory note on EMIR REFIT’s effect on AIFs

ISDA published an explanatory note providing a high-level overview of the effect the upcoming changes to EMIR, known as EMIR REFIT, on alternative investment funds (AIFs). The EMIR REFIT will result in an expansion of the scope of AIFs that are considered to be a ‘financial counterparty’ for the purposes of EMIR.

Better Finance analysis raises concerns about retention of revenues in securities lending

Better Finance–the European federation of investors and financial services users– issued a press release saying fund managers ‘frequently pocket large portions of the revenues of securities lending’. EU rules governing the practice of securities lending by Undertakings in Collective Investments in Transferable Securities (UCITS) funds stipulate that 100% of the income–net of direct and indirect operational costs–must be returned to the funds. Securities lending or repurchase agreements should always be aimed at increasing the return of the fund and can’t be used to generate surplus income for the fund management company. However, Better Finance says in practice many asset managers pocket from a third to nearly half of the revenues generated. 

 

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Banks and mutuals

 

Banking union: Council of EU adopts package of measures to reduce risk in the banking system

The Council of the EU adopted a package of banking reform measures, which sets out revised rules on capital requirements (the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR II) and Capital Requirements Directive (CRD V)) and resolution (the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) and the Single Resolution Mechanism Regulation (SRMR)). The new measures are intended to strengthen the banking union, reduce risks in the banking sector and further reinforce banks’ ability to withstand potential shocks.

FCA publishes update on work on price discrimination in cash savings market

The FCA updated its webpage on price discrimination in the cash savings market, to cover developments that took place since discussion paper 18/6 (DP18/6) was published and to set out the FCA’s next steps in this area.

ECB’s Pentti Hakkarainen discusses proportionality in EU bank supervision

Pentti Hakkarainen, a member of the supervisory board of the ECB, spoke on proportionality in banking supervision at the BIS-IMF policy implementation meeting in Basel. Mr Hakkarainen said banking supervision was fundamentally about preserving prudential soundness, and adapting supervisory practices and intensity to bank specifics must not in any way compromise financial stability. 

 

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Consumer credit, mortgage and home finance

 

FCA publishes notice of undertaking by James Brearley & Sons Limited

The FCA published an undertaking by investment manager James Brearley & Sons Limited under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (the CRA) and the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 (the UTCCRs) in relation to the term that sets out the firm’s right to end customers’ contracts. The FCA was concerned that the term could potentially be considered unfair under the CRA and the UTCCRs, as it provided the firm with discretion to terminate the contract without necessarily providing consumers with written notice in advance.

 

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Consumer access to financial services

 

Treasury Committee publishes report on access to financial services

The Treasury Committee published its 29th report of the 2017-2019 session, on Consumers’ access to financial services. The inquiry was launched on 9 November 2018 to assess the FCA’s definition of vulnerability and whether it can be practically applied by financial services providers; whether certain groups of consumers are excluded from obtaining a basic level of service from financial services providers; and whether vulnerable consumers pay more for financial services products. The report sets out the evidence received and the Committee’s recommendations for government and regulators.

Treasury Committee highlights key recommendations of its access to financial services report

The Treasury Committee published a summary of the conclusions of its report on access to financial services, which makes a series of recommendations to government and the regulator for how consumer access can be improved. Committee Chair Nicky Morgan MP said financial inclusion ‘should be of the utmost priority for financial services providers, the government, and financial regulators’, and said the report showed that while a ‘patchwork of improvements and adjustments’ are targeted at some groups of consumers, the ‘basic level of access is still not universal’. 

 

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Insurance and pensions

 

Commission adopts IDD RTS

The European Commission adopted the Commission Delegated Regulation of 13 May 2019 amending the Insurance Distribution Directive (EU) 2016/97 (IDD) with regard to RTS adapting the base euro amounts for professional indemnity insurance and for financial capacity of insurance and reinsurance intermediaries (C(2019) 3448 final).

EU investigation: Commission opens investigation into Insurance Ireland Insurance Link data pooling system

On 14 May 2019, the European Commission announced it opened a formal investigation to assess whether the conditions of access to Insurance Ireland's Insurance Link data pooling system may restrict competition in breach of Article 101 TFEU (Case AT.40511). Insurance Ireland is an association of undertakings with members including insurance companies and agents active in the insurance sector in Ireland.

PRA updates remuneration templates for insurers

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) published updated versions of the Remuneration Policy Statement reporting template for PRA Category 1 and 2 firms for the 2018 performance year, which Category 1 and 2 firms may use to demonstrate compliance with the Solvency II remuneration requirements, together with the Solvency II staff table. The templates may be downloaded from the Remuneration requirements for insurance section of the PRA’s Strengthening accountability webpage.

BoE publishes speech on insurance model use and misuse

The BoE published a keynote speech given by its executive director of insurance supervision, David Rule, at the Association of British Insurers’ Prudential Regulation Seminar. In his speech–entitled ‘Model use and misuse’–Mr Rule discusses insurance models and the growing importance of model risk management, and highlights some recent findings from the PRA’s work to guard against weakening over time of capital requirements calculated from internal models, or ‘model drift’.

EIOPA report on insurers’ use of big data analytics welcomed by industry

Insurance Europe, the European insurance and reinsurance federation, welcomed the recent report by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) on the use of big data analytics in motor and health insurance. Insurance Europe also called on EIOPA to continue monitoring developments and engaging with industry on the use of big data analytics by insurers, but said there is no need for new additional EU rules.

Pension Charges Bill

House of Commons first reading — A Bill to require pension providers to publish standardised information on charges for pension products; to make provision for a cap on such charges; and for connected purposes.

Master trust authorisation extension period closes

A total of 38 authorisation applications were submitted by master trusts as the extension period closes, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) revealed. Of the 10 schemes granted an extension, 8 filed an application, 1 scheme no longer meets the definition of a master trust, and another decided not to apply for authorisation. 

 

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Payment services and systems

 

PSR opens follow-up consultation on confirmation of payee

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) published consultation paper CP19/4: Confirmation of payee–Response to the first consultation and draft specific direction for further consultation, as a follow-up to consultation paper CP18/4–Responses to our consultation on general directions for the implementation of confirmation of payee). The PSR views the consultation as an important tool to further protect people from authorised push payment scams and prevent payments being accidentally sent to the wrong account.

Nominations sought to workstream on mobile initiated single euro payments area credit transfers

The ad-hoc multi-stakeholder group (MSG) on mobile initiated single euro payments area credit transfers, including instant transfers (MSG MSCT), facilitated by the European Payments Council (EPC), finalised the draft mobile initiated single euro payments area credit transfer interoperability implementation guidelines (MSCT IIGs) which are ready to be published soon for a three-month public consultation.

UK Finance blog on the challenges of developing ‘confirmation of payee’ service

UK Finance published a blog setting out its contribution to the development of a ‘confirmation of payee’ service and efforts to combat authorised push payment scams. Confirmation of payee is the authentication step requiring customers to enter the name of the account holder that they are paying, and which provides notice if that name differs from the one registered against the account.

CAT private action: Damages claims against Mastercard Inc and others for infringements of Articles 101 and/or 102 TFEU transferred to CAT from High Court

On 9 May 2019, the Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT) published a number of High Court orders dated 20 March 2019 transferring claims for damages made by several claimants against Mastercard Incorporated, Mastercard International Incorporated, Mastercard Europe SA and Mastercard/Europay UK Limited from the High Court to the CAT. The damages claims relate to alleged infringements of Articles 101 and/or 102 TFEU and/or Articles 53 and/or 54 of the EEA Agreement and/or Chapters I and/or II of the Competition Act 1998. The cases are H & H (Retail) Limited & Others v Mastercard Inc & OthersCoral Racing Limited & Others v Mastercard Incorporated & OthersMotor Fuel Limited & Others v Mastercard Incorporated & OthersGreene King Brewing and Retailing Limited & Others v Mastercard Incorporated & Others and Dune Group Limited & Others v Mastercard Incorporated & Others

 

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Fintech and virtual currencies

 

UK must continue to invest in tech businesses to ‘stay on top’

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Jeremy Wright, discussed ways to maintain momentum in making the UK one of the best places globally to start and grow a digital business in a speech delivered at the launch of the TechNation Report 2019. Wright states the UK’s digital economy is the leader in Europe, it is fourth in the world for scaleup investment and total venture capital investment in UK tech in 2018 was higher than any other country in Europe. Wright goes on to say that DCMS will study the reports recommendations and that change is needed to ‘stay on top’.

FCA board discusses government proposed approach for supervision of certain cryptoasset businesses for AML purposes

The FCA published the minutes of its board meeting on 28 March 2019. Among other things, the minutes note that HM Treasury is consulting on domestic legislation to implement an AML regime for certain cryptoasset activities by January 2020. HM Treasury proposed additional elements that would require the UK to meet the relevant FATF standards and asked the FCA to take on supervision of the new regime.

Clarification of legal status of cryptoassets and smart contracts

consultation on clarifying the status of cryptoassets, distributed ledger technology and smart contracts under English private law was launched by the Law Society in conjunction with UK Jurisdiction Taskforce (UKJT). Feedback received through the consultation will be taken into consideration when UKJT decide what should be addressed in the legal statement on these areas. Responses must be sent by 21 June 2019.

US FinCEN publishes cryptocurrency financial crime typologies and red flags

The FinCEN—a bureau of the US Department of the Treasury that collects and analyses information about financial transactions in order to combat domestic and international money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes— issued guidance on the application of FinCEN’s regulations to certain business models involving CVCs, together with an advisory on illicit activity involving convertible virtual currency which is intended to assist financial institutions in identifying and reporting suspicious activity related to criminal exploitation of CVCs for money laundering, sanctions evasion, and other illicit financing purposes. 

 

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Sustainable finance

 

European Commission report notes progress made on UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The Council of the European Union published a report from the European Commission on supporting sustainable development goals across the world. The report looks at how the EU is supporting the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with its 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs). In a section on sustainable finance, the report notes that innovative financing can help SDG implementation where other types of finance do not provide sufficient funds. It says the EU and its Member States developed innovative approaches to increase financial flows to developing countries. Innovative finance mechanisms, such as green bonds, debt swaps and financial transaction taxes generated over €2.4bn of investment in 2017, the report says.

ECB board member on how supervisors can help strengthen climate change resilience

The ECB published an interview with Frank Elderson, a member of its supervisory board and the chair of the central banks and supervisors’ network for greening the financial system (NGFS). Mr Elderson discussed the risk climate change poses to financial institutions and how supervisors can help strengthen resilience.

UNEP FI launches guidance on how climate change could impact investor portfolios around the world

Twenty institutional investors from 11 countries convened by the UN Environment Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) launched comprehensive investor guidance to help assess how climate change and climate action could impact investor portfolios around the world. These assessments enable investors to be more transparent about their climate-related risks and opportunities in line with the recommendations from the FSB’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. They will also help investors contribute to and benefit from the transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient economies. 

 

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Dates for your diary

 

DateSubjectEvent

 

16 May 2019

 

Markets and trading

 

The next meeting of the BoE’s Money Markets Committee’s Sub-committee on the UK Code will take place on 16 May 2019.

 

21 May 2019

European regulator updates 


EIOPA

The deadline for applications to join the EIOPA’s expert panel on the pan-European personal pension product (PEPP) Regulation is 21 May 2019.

 

21 May 2019Insurance

As part of its live and local series the FCA will host its ‘Regulatory update focusing on the extension of the SM&CR and the Insurance Distribution Directive’ Workshop in Leeds on 21 May 2019.

 

22 May 2019

Markets and trading


EMIR

 

Commission Implementing Decision(EU) 2019/684 on the recognition of the legal, supervisory and enforcement arrangements of Japan for derivatives transactions supervised by the Japan Financial Services Agency as equivalent to the valuation, dispute resolution and margin requirements of Article 11 of EMIR will enter into force on 22 May 2019.

 

22–23 May 2019Markets and trading

The Global Foreign Exchange Committee (GFXC) will hold its next meeting on 22-23 May 2019 in Tokyo.

 

 

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