Weekly highlights—14 December 2017

Weekly highlights—14 December 2017

Welcome to the weekly Financial Services highlights from the Financial Services team for the week ending 14 December 2017.


House of Lords report ‘questions the government’s ability to deliver Brexit’

The House of Lords European Union Committee has published a report which outlines the potential impact of the UK leaving the EU without a deal and examines the feasibility of a transition period immediately post-Brexit. The report finds that 'no deal' would be economically damaging and would bring an abrupt end to cooperation between the UK and EU on issues such as counter terrorism, police and security and nuclear safeguards. It would also require controls to be established at the Irish land border. Lawyers from Pinsent Masons and Doughty Street Chambers say the report calls into question the government’s ability to deliver a Brexit deal. They also doubt that the government would accept the committee’s suggestion of extending the Brexit deadline beyond March 2019.

‘Breakthrough’ Brexit deal—what’s next?

The UK and the EU have agreed to move Brexit negotiations to the next phase. The government has published a policy paper in which it described the deal as a ‘breakthrough’. The agreement shows progress on various important withdrawal issues, such as the financial settlement, which will amount to between £35bn and £39bn. The agreement also shows progress on various separation issues, such as the decision of ‘no hard border’ between Northern Ireland and the Republic. The EU has told the UK the next stage of trade talks will not occur until February 2018 at the earliest. Industry leaders and legal experts cautiously welcome the progress, but suggest the ‘deal’ offers little concrete information regarding the UK’s future relationship with the EU, which critics suggest will prove far more challenging.

IRSG report calls on UK to maintain high regulatory standards post-Brexit

joint report by the International Regulatory Strategy Group (IRSG) and Linklaters calls for a review of the UK’s rule-making system for financial services post-Brexit to ensure it remains ‘proportionate, coherent and fit for purpose’. The IRSG says it does not want to see significant changes to regulation itself, nor a lowering of the UK’s ‘globally renowned high standards of regulation’.

Financial Conduct Authority updates

FCA publishes Handbook Notice 50

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published Handbook Notice No. 50, which includes changes to the FCA Handbook made by the FCA Board on 7 December 2017, together with feedback on consultations that will not have a separate policy statement. Among other things, the instruments make further changes to the FCA Handbook necessary to implement the recast Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II), which applies from 3 January 2018.

FCA sets out its approach to authorisation and competition

The FCA has published its proposed future approach to authorisation and its proposed future approach to competition as part of its Mission 2017. The FCA's Mission sets out the framework for the strategic decisions taken by the FCA and the reasoning behind its work. When the FCA launched its Mission earlier in 2017, it committed to publishing a series of documents that would explain its approach to regulation in more depth. The approach documents relating to authorisation and competition are the second and third in the series and follow on from its approach to consumers, which was published in November 2017.

Prudential Regulation Authority updates

PRA publishes final rules on fees and levies

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) has issued a policy statement (PS28/17) on PRA fees and levies, which provides feedback to consultation paper 16/17 and sets out final rules on model transaction fees, fees and Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) levies for insurers and fees for designated investment firms (DIFs).

Regulatory architecture

European ​Commission roadmap on completing EMU

The European Commission has published a package of measures on further deepening Europe's economic and monetary union (EMU). The Commission published details of the proposed timings for certain reforms relating to the banking sector and the capital markets union (CMU) and a proposed Regulation establishing the European Monetary Fund (EMF), which will act as a backstop to the single resolution fund (SRF).

Central Banks and Supervisors form network to green the financial system

Eight central banks and supervisors have established a Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System. The Network will help to strengthen the global response required to meet the goals of the Paris agreement and to enhance the role of the financial system to manage risks and to mobilise capital for green and low-carbon investments in the broader context of environmentally sustainable development. Members of the Network commit to exchange experiences, share best practices, contribute to the development of environment and climate risk management in the financial sector, and to mobilise mainstream finance to support the transition toward a sustainable economy.

ESAs publish amended technical standards on the mapping of ECAI

The Joint Committee of the three European Supervisory Authorities (the European Banking Authority (EBA), the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)—ESAs) has published two amended implementing technical standards (ITS) on the mapping of credit assessments of external credit assessment institutions (ECAIs) for credit risk. The amendments reflect the recognition of five new credit rating agencies (CRAs) and the deregistration of one CRA. The ITS are part of the EU Single Rulebook for banking and insurance aimed at creating a safe regulatory framework consistently applicable across the EU.

Valdis Dombrovskis sets out plans to attract private capital into green financial products

The European Commission’s Vice-President for the euro and social dialogue, financial stability and financial services, Valdis Dombrovskis, has given a speech on how the EU can meet its target of reducing carbon emissions by 40% by 2030. Mr Dombrovskis said it would require around €180bn in additional yearly low-carbon investments, which means private capital will be required as well as public sector investment. The speech set out some of the ways the Commission proposed to attract that private investment.

FCA conduct requirements

FCA publishes final rules and guidance implementing FAMR recommendations

The FCA has published a policy statement (PS17/25) with final rules and guidance implementing recommendations made by the Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR), as well as feedback on the responses to its consultation paper (CP17/28) from August 2017. The FCA is also consulting on proposals to retire some non-Handbook guidance that will be superseded by new requirements, including the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Directive 2014/65/EU) (MiFID II). The deadline for responses is 19 January 2018.

FCA updates on its work on financial advice given to members of the BSPS

The FCA has made a statement regarding concerns about financial advice received by members of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS). The BSPS is being restructured and this has prompted many members to consider if they should transfer out of a defined benefit (DB) scheme to a personal pension scheme.

FCA's Market Watch focuses on MiFID II transaction reporting

The FCA has published the December 2017 issue of Market Watch, its newsletter on market conduct and transaction reporting issues.

Prudential requirements

European Commission to consult on revision of Basel III

The European Commission has issued a press release stating that it has endorsed the package of amendments to the Basel III framework, the internationally agreed prudential standards for banks, that aim to finalise the post-crisis reforms. The agreement is the result of a strategic review of international reforms that was conducted by the Basel Committee with the aim of improving the balance between simplicity, comparability and risk sensitivity. The Commission says the agreement will now be subject to a consultation and impact assessment to evaluate the consequences for the EU economy before it can be translated into EU law, taking into account the results of the impact assessment.

European Parliament publishes report on finalisation of Basel III reforms

The European Parliament has published an ‘At a Glance’ report on the finalisation of Basel III post-crisis reforms. The overall aim of the reforms that have now been finalised is to restore credibility in the calculation of risk-weighted assets (RWAs) and improve the comparability of banks' capital. The report is mainly based on documents published by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) on 7 December 2017.

European Parliament draft report on the Commission’s CRR and CRD proposals

The European Parliament has published a draft report on the European Commission’s proposed amendments to the Capital Requirements Directive 2013/36/EU (CRD) and the Capital Requirements Regulation (EU) 575/2013 (CRR). The purpose of the revision is to continue the process of transposing the international rules already agreed as part of Basel III into European law. The report ‘warmly welcomes’ the overall objectives underpinning the revision of the CRR and CRD by the Commission, but sees a need for further improvement in some key areas.

Banking Union: Council of the EU and the European Parliament adopt text on IFRS 9 and large transition periods

The Council of the EU and the European Parliament have adopted the text of a Regulation amending the CRR as regards transitional arrangements for mitigating the impact of the introduction of IFRS 9 on own funds and for the large exposures treatment of certain public sector exposures denominated in non-domestic currencies of Member States. The Regulation forms part of the package of banking legislative proposals (the 'Banking Package') produced by the Commission pursuant to the Council's 2016 roadmap to complete the Banking Union.

PRA policy statement on Pillar 2A capital requirements and disclosure

The PRA has published policy statement 'Pillar 2A capital requirements and disclosure' (PS30/17), which provides feedback to responses to consultation paper (CP) 12/17 'Pillar 2A requirements and disclosure', and sets out final amendments to supervisory statement (SS) 31/15 'The Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process (ICAAP) and the Supervisory Review and Evaluation Process (SREP)' and Statement of Policy 'The PRA's methodologies for setting Pillar 2 capital'. These changes take effect from 1 January 2018, which will be the date on which Pillar 2A begins to be set as a firm-specific capital requirement rather than as individual guidance.

PRA publishes recovery planning PS29/17 and SS9/17

The PRA has published policy statement PS29/17 on recovery planning, which sets out the PRA's final expectations on the content of recovery plans and on the approach to recovery planning for groups containing a ring-fenced body. The PRA also published SS9/17 which sets out the PRA's expectations on the content of recovery plans and group recovery plans. PS29/17 and SS9/17 are relevant to UK banks, building societies, PRA-designated investment firms and qualifying parent undertakings ('firms') to which the recovery planning Part of the PRA Rulebook applies.

DExeEU memorandum on ECB's opinion on bank crisis management changes

The Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) has published an explanatory memorandum on the European Central Bank's (ECB) November 2017 opinion on the European Commission's package of proposals amending bank capital and resolution rules under the Banking Recovery and Resolution Directive 2014/59/EU(BRRD), the CRD IV and the CRR.

Regulation on encumbered and unencumbered assets published in the Official Journal

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/2295 of 4 September 2017 supplementing the CRR with regard to regulatory technical standards (RTS) for disclosure of encumbered and unencumbered assets has been published in the Official Journal.

Basel III results in no significant increase in overall capital requirements, says Committee

Alongside the finalisation of the Basel III post-crisis reforms, the Basel Committee has published the results of a cumulative quantitative impact study (QIS) conducted while developing the standards. The Committee believes that the information contained in the report will provide relevant stakeholders with a useful benchmark for analysis and provide an estimated impact of the Committee's finalisation of the Basel III reforms.

Commission adopts BRRD RTS 4 on recovery and resolution planning

The European Commission has adopted a delegated regulation supplementing the BRRD with regard to regulatory technical standards (RTS) specifying the criteria relating to the methodology for assessing the value of assets and liabilities of institutions or entities. The draft RTS further specify criteria for the methodology to be used for the valuation to be conducted in a resolution scenario.

PRA updates MREL SS16/16

The PRA has published an update to supervisory statement SS16/16 following consultation paper 15/17 (CP15/17) 'The minimum requirements for own funds and eligible liabilities'. This version of SS16/16 updates the version issued by the PRA on 8 November 2016.

EBA publishes Opinion on measures to address macroprudential risk

The EBA has published an Opinion following the notification by the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) of its intention to apply stricter liquidity requirements in order to address an increase in macroprudential risk, based on Article 458 of the CRR.

BCBS publishes discussion paper on sovereign exposures

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) has published a discussion paper on the regulatory treatment of sovereign exposures in the Basel framework. The paper is derived from a report by the Task Force on Sovereign Exposures, which was set up by the BCBS to review the regulatory treatment of sovereign exposures and recommend potential policy options. The deadline for comments is 9 March 2018.

Council of the EU adopts bank creditor hierarchy and IFRS 9/large exposures rules

The Council of the European Union has adopted two banking legislative acts: a directive on the ranking of unsecured debt instruments in insolvency proceedings (bank creditor hierarchy) and a regulation on transitional arrangements to phase in the regulatory capital impact of the IFRS 9 international accounting standard.

Council of the EU and Parliament adopt text on Securitisation Regulation

The Council of the EU and the European Parliament have adopted the text of a Regulation amending the CRR on prudential requirements for credit institutions and investment firms. The Regulation lays down the substantive elements of an overarching securitisation framework (Securitisation Regulation), with criteria to identify simple, transparent and standardised securitisations (STS) and a system of supervision to monitor the correct application of those criteria by originators, sponsors, issuers and institutional investors.

EBA revises validation rules in ITS on supervisory reporting

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

ECB transcript of the public hearing on its guidance on NPLs

The European Central Bank (ECB) has published the transcript of the public hearing held on 30 November 2017 on its consultation on a draft addendum to its guidance on banks on non-performing loans (NPLs).

PRA publishes results of firm feedback survey 2016/17

The PRA has published the results of its firm feedback survey for 2016/17. The annual survey gives PRA-regulated firms an opportunity to comment on their experience of being supervised, and asks firms to rate the PRA’s understanding of, and contribution to, their business models, strategies and markets. Other questions examine how firms interact with the PRA.

BoE speech: Making banks resolvable—the key to making resolution work

The Bank of England (BoE)’s executive director of its resolution directorate, Andrew Gracie, has given a speech at the Risk Minds Conference in Amsterdam on 4 December 2017. In the speech, Mr Gracie considered bank resolution progress since the G20 leaders put together the post-crisis financial reform agenda in summits in London and Pittsburgh in 2009.

Risk management and controls

FCA and PRA consult on extension of the SM&CR

The FCA has published a package of proposals on how firms and individuals will move to the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR). The PRA is also consulting on proposed changes to forms and other consequential changes and minor administrative amendments related to the extension of the SM&CR to insurers.

​FCA issues new Short Form A for those applying to perform senior management functions

The FCA has published a new Short Form A for EEA relevant authorised persons. The form must be completed by those who are applying to perform senior management functions.

GFMA publishes principles for cybersecurity penetration testing

The Global Financial Markets Association (GFMA) published a set of principles to guide the development of a commonly accepted framework for cybersecurity penetration testing. GFMA’s goal is to encourage dialogue and share insights between the industry and regulators that would result in a globally co-ordinated approach to the regulatory use of penetration testing.

Financial crime

European Parliament CLC agrees on money laundering penalties

The Civil Liberties Committee (CLC) of the European Parliament has issued a press release stating that it has agreed new measures to tackle money laundering and narrow the scope of organised crime. The measures agreed by the CLC followed a proposal put forward by the EU Commission in December 2016, which would set minimum rules for making money laundering a crime across the EU. As the legislation takes the form of a minimum harmonising directive, Member States would be free to go even further.

​House of Lords examines Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill

The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill continued to its committee stage, the first chance for line-by-line scrutiny, in the Lords on Wednesday 6 December. A fourth day of committee stage took place on Tuesday 12 December.

House of Commons Public Accounts Committee report on online fraud

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee report 'The growing threat of online fraud, states that banks are not doing enough to tackle the issue and their response has not been proportionate to the scale of the problem. The report says that banks need to take more responsibility and work together to tackle the problem head on. The Home Office is responsible for preventing and reducing crime, including online fraud.

New national economic crime centre an opportunity for 'cutting-edge expertise'

Amber Rudd has announced the UK is to create a national economic crime centre (NECC). The NECC will be based within the National Crime Agency (NCA) and will oversee the national police response to financial crime, backed by greater intelligence and analytical capabilities. The move is part of the government’s anti-corruption strategy, which attempts to target those culpable of economic crime in sectors such as policing, prisons and border force. The strategy also calls for greater transparency over the ownership of businesses. Barristers from 23 Essex Street say the much-anticipated introduction of private sector expertise into the anti-corruption strategy provides an opportunity to use cutting-edge expertise to tackle major economic offences.

Banking Protocol fraud prevention scheme to roll out nationally

UK Finance has announced that a fraud prevention team scheme—the Banking Protocol—developed by the finance industry, police and Trading Standards, has stopped more than £9m being passed to criminals in its first year of operation. The scheme enables bank staff to contact police if they suspect a customer is in the process of being scammed, with an immediate priority response to the branch. So far, the scheme has led to 101 arrests being made nationally.

Ross Peters jailed for 400 days for non-payment of a confiscation order

The FCA has announced that Ross Peters has been sentenced to 400 days’ imprisonment for failing to pay the full value of a confiscation order made against him. The confiscation order was for £136,238, but Mr Peters had paid only £20,869.08. The order was made on 10 January 2017 at a hearing before His Honour Judge Leonard QC at Southwark Crown Court, with an expiry date of 10 April 2017.

FCA conduct requirements

New FCA rules to help bank account comparisons

The FCA has published final rules requiring providers of personal and business current accounts to publish information to help customers compare the service they could receive from different providers. The FCA says the move will encourage competition in the sector, by allowing customers, the media and comparison websites to make ‘meaningful comparisons’.

Enforcement and redress

Complaints Commissioner makes recommendations regarding FCA's interaction with non-UK regulators

The Complaints Commissioner has issued a decision in which it makes recommendations regarding the interaction between the FCA and home country regulators in relation to foreign firms operating in the UK. It also suggests that the limitations of UK regulatory protection in such cases could be more clearly spelled out in the FCA register.

FCA—six guilty in £2.7m boiler room scam

The FCA has issued a press release stating that in a criminal prosecution brought by the regulator, three defendants were found guilty for their roles in a series of boiler rooms scams which led to the loss of more than £2.7m of investors’ funds.

FCA statement on RBS GRG report publication

The FCA has issued a statement in response to speculation about its reasons for not publishing the full Skilled Person's Report following the independent review of Royal Bank of Scotland's (RBS) treatment of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) customers transferred to its Global Restructuring Group (GRG), and the suggestion that the FCA did not publish because it was afraid of legal action.

MoU clarifies roles of Financial and Pensions Ombudsman services

The Pensions Ombudsman and the Financial Ombudsman Service have signed an updated version of their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to improve the framework for co-operation and the exchange of information on complaints that fall within their respective remits. The MoU aims to ensure that anyone with a pension complaint is aware of the respective organisations and is clearly directed to the right organisation so that their complaint is addressed properly and promptly.


Amended MiFID II systematic internalisers definition published in the Official Journal

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/2294 of 28 August 2017 amending Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/565 as regards the specification of the definition of systematic internalisers for the purposes of Directive 2014/65/EU (MiFID II) has been published in the Official Journal.

European Parliament extends scrutiny period for MiFIR derivatives trading obligation rules

The European Parliament has updated its procedure file for the European Commission’s delegated regulation on the derivatives trading obligation under Regulation (EU) 600/2014 (MiFIR) to extend the scrutiny period to three months. The scrutiny period was originally set for one month from 17 November 2017, but has now been extended until 17 February 2018.

Interim arrangements for MiFID II/MiFIR registers

From 3 January 2018, the date on which the majority of the provisions of MiFID II and MiFIR take effect, ESMA will be required to update existing registers maintained under MiFID I and maintain new registers required by MiFID II/MiFIR. ESMA has issued a press release stating that it is currently working on a new IT release for these registers for Q1 2018. Until the release is fully available, ESMA will publish, fortnightly, the latest information from the registers in an excel format which will be available for download.

FCA publishes 'Dear CEO' letter on PFOF

The FCA has published a ‘Dear CEO' letter on payment for order flow (PFOF). The letter reiterates that firms who continue to charge PFOF (ie the practice of brokers demanding payments from counterparties as a condition for conducting client business) will breach the new standards implemented in MiFID II, reminds firms that they must take action now to ensure compliance and warns against any attempted models that seek to avoid these rules.

Markets and Trading

Regulation extending transitional periods related to own funds requirements published in the Official Journal

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/2241of 6 December 2017 on the extension of the transitional periods related to own funds requirements for exposures to central counterparties set out in the CRR and Regulation (EU) 648/2012 (EMIR) of the European Parliament and of the Council has been published in the Official Journal.

DExeEU publishes explanatory memorandum on ECB's opinion on EMIR II

The Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) has published an explanatory memorandum on the European Central Bank (ECB)’s October 2017 opinion on the proposed Regulation amending EMIR (EMIR II). The proposed Regulation relates to the clearing obligation, the reporting requirements, the risk mitigation techniques for over the counter (OTC) derivative contracts not cleared by a central counterparty, the registration and supervision of trade repositories, and the requirements for trade repositories.

FCA responds to ESAs' statement on variation margin for physically settled FX forwards

The FCA has updated it EMIR webpage in response to the statement which the three ESAs issued on 24 November 2017 on the variation margin requirements under EMIR for physically settled FX forwards.

Updated ISDA letter confirms terms of Credit Derivative Transactions

The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) has released an updated letter confirming the terms and conditions of credit derivative transactions entered into by the two parties on the trade date referencing the Credit Derivatives Physical Settlement Matrix (version 24; December 8, 2017).  This confirmation constitutes a ‘confirmation’ as referred to in the ISDA Master Agreement.

FCA updates list of position limits for commodity derivative contracts

The FCA has published a further set of position limits on commodity derivative contracts which are traded on UK trading venues. The list includes bespoke and de minimis commodity derivative contracts which are aggregated for position limit purposes and their venue product codes (VPCs). The limits will apply from 3 January 2018 to positions held in the spot month and the other months' periods for each commodity derivative.

Council of the EU and the European Parliament adopt text on a framework for securitisation

The Council of the EU and the European Parliament have adopted the text of a Regulation laying down a general framework for securitisation and creating a specific framework for simple, transparent and standardised securitisation, and amending the UCITS IV, Solvency II, AIFMD, the Credit Ratings Agency and the EMIR. It aims to strengthen the legislative framework implemented after the financial crisis to address the risks inherent in highly complex, opaque and risky securitisation. It is essential to ensure that rules are adopted to better differentiate simple, transparent and standardised products from complex, opaque and risky instruments and to apply a more risk-sensitive prudential framework.

Consumer credit, mortgage and home finance

FCA updates webpage on CP17/10 regarding persistent debt and earlier intervention remedies

The FCA has updated its webpage on its consultation paper CP17/10 in relation to persistent debt and earlier intervention remedies, which was published in April 2017.

Treasury funds £2m competition to improve credit scores for UK renters

HM Treasury is funding a rent recognition challenge, letting participants compete to develop an application for recording and sharing UK rent payment data. The challenge aims to use this data to improve credit scores and access to mortgages for 11 million British renters.

FCA’s mortgage statistics for Q317 show continued increase in lending

The FCA has published the mortgage lending statistics for Q3 2017, based on the mortgage lending and administration returns (MLARs) submitted by regulated mortgage lenders and administrators. The FCA has also published commentary, technical notes and calculation of published aggregates. The statistics show a continued increase in mortgage lending activity compared to the previous quarter.

FCA Data Bulletin: Trends in regulated mortgage lending

The FCA has published the 11th edition of its Data Bulletin, which seeks to provide new insight into the different data that the FCA collects and uses from markets it regulates, consumer behaviour and its own operations. This edition of the Data Bulletin particularly focuses on regulated mortgage lending.

Insurance and pensions

PRA consults on Solvency II internal models update

The PRA has published a consultation paper 'Solvency II: Internal models update' (CP27/17), which proposes updated expectations of firms in respect of the model change process set out in supervisory statement (SS) 12/16 'Solvency II: Changes to internal models used by UK insurance firms' and internal model change policies set out in SS17/16 'Solvency II: internal models—assessment, model change and the role of non-executive directors'. The consultation paper also proposes a process for quarterly model change reporting.

Solvency II: Commission report on the power to adopt delegated acts

The European Commission has published a report (COM(2017) 740 final) to the European Parliament and the Council of the EU on the exercise of the power to adopt delegated acts conferred on the Commission pursuant to Solvency II.

EIOPA issues template for IDD insurance product information document

EIOPA has released an editable template for the standardised insurance product information document which manufacturers of non-life insurance products are required to draw up under the Insurance Distribution Directive 2016/97/EU. The file is in Adobe InDesign format only, and the layout, colours, fonts and logos conform to the technical specifications set out in the annex to the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1469.

EIOPA report examines digital impact on pensions and insurance sectors

EIOPA has published its sixth Consumer Trends Report outlining the major developments in the insurance and pensions sectors impacting European consumers. The report highlights the progressive presence of digital technologies across all stages of the insurance value chain, with biggest changes being observed in distribution channels, while the impact of mobile phone applications or robo-advisors in the pensions sector is still moderate.

PRA updates ISPV rules to reflect final regulations

The PRA has updated its November 2017 policy statement (PS26/17) regarding the authorisation and supervision of insurance special purpose vehicles (ISPVs), as well as the related supervisory statement (SS8/17), to reflect the fact that the Risk Transformation Regulations 2017, SI 2017/1212, were made on 5 December 2017 and commenced on 8 December 2017.

EIOPA opinion addresses consumer protection in the unit-linked market

EIOPA has published an opinion on monetary incentives and remuneration between providers of asset management services and insurers. The aim of the opinion is to promote consistent supervisory practices, to support insurance undertakings in addressing the conflicts of interest resulting from monetary incentives, and to ensure that sound principles are used in managing unit-linked products.

HM Treasury comments on new insurance linked securities rules

HM Treasury has issued a press release welcoming the new Risk Transformation Regulations 2017 that came into effect in the UK on 8 December 2017. The Regulations set out a new regulatory and supervisory framework for insurance linked securities (ILS) which is designed to attract ILS business to the UK.

Committee calls for cold calls to be banned now to stop pension scammers

The government should act now, through the Financial Claims and Guidance Bill, to ban pension cold calls and make people either take or expressly opt out of guidance before they can access their pension pot, according to a report from the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee.

PRA: Dear CEO letter on General Insurance Stress Test 2017 feedback

The PRA published a ‘Dear CEO’ letter sent to firms providing feedback on the general insurance stress test (GIST) exercise carried out in 2017.

MIFID II top five actions for pension schemes published by PLSA

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has published a guide outlining the top five actions that pension schemes need to take as the clock ticks towards the MiFID II (the European Union’s revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive) implementation deadline of 3 January 2018.

IAIS consults on an activities-based approach to systemic risk in the insurance sector

The International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) has published a consultation paper seeking feedback on its interim public consultation paper on an activities-based approach (ABA) to mitigating systemic risk in the insurance sector.

EU adopts position on technical revision of direct insurance agreement

The Council of the European Union has published a Decision on the position to be adopted on behalf of the European Union, in the EU-Switzerland Joint Committee concerning a technical revision of the Agreement on direct insurance other than life insurance.

FCA publishes statement on authorising and supervising ISPVs

The FCA has published a statement on authorising and supervising insurance special purpose vehicles (ISPVs) in which it sets out its approach and expectations when authorising and supervising ISPVs in line with the FCA's objectives and threshold conditions.

Payment services and systems

EBA publishes final guidelines on security measures under PSD2

The EBA has published its final guidelines on security measures for operational and security risks of payments services under the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2). The guidelines support the objective of PSD2 of contributing to an integrated payments market across the EU, promoting equal conditions for competition, and mitigating the increased security risks arising from electronic payments.

EBA publishes final draft technical standards on central contact points under PSD2

The EBA has published its final draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) on central contact points under the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) pursuant to Article 29(4) and Article 29(5).

EBA issues RTS and ITS for its electronic central register

The EBA has published final draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) and implementing technical standards (ITS) on the EBA electronic central register under the Payment Services Directive (PSD2). The RTS specify the procedures competent authorities (CAs) should follow when providing information to the EBA and those that apply to the EBA when processing and publishing that information. The ITS specify the information that will be made available on the EBA Register.

European Commission adopts PSD2 RTS on strong customer authentication

The European Commission has adopted a delegated regulation supplementing PSD2 (Directive 2015/2366) of the European Parliament and of the Council—the Payment Services Directive II) with regard to regulatory technical standards (RTS) for strong customer authentication (SCA) and common and secure open standards of communication. The Commission says the RTS take into account the various objectives of PSD2, including enhancing security, promoting competition, ensuring technology and business-model neutrality, contributing to the integration of payments in the EU, protecting consumers, facilitating innovation and enhancing customer convenience.

PSR publishes policy statement on Direct Debit Facilities Management

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has published PSR PS17/3: Direct Debit Facilities Management—Switching providers—Decision on changes to the Bacs Direct Debit rules, which sets out the PSR's decision on provisional conclusions and proposals to change the Direct Debit rules relating to the switching of Facilities Management (FM) providers.

PSR calls on LINK to consider the impact of ATM interchange fee cut

The PSR has responded to Which?’s call for the PSR to intervene over a proposal by LINK—the UK’s largest cash machine network—to lower its interchange fee by 20%. The proposal has raised fears of ‘ATM deserts’, with widespread closures of machines across Britain leaving consumers struggling to access cash. The PSR says it will consider whether any decision LINK makes goes against the interests of consumers, and is therefore inconsistent with the PSR’s statutory objectives. It says it will take regulatory action ‘as necessary’.

ECB approves consolidation of TARGET2 and T2S

The European Central Bank (ECB) has issued a press release stating that it has approved the consolidation of the Eurosystem’s real-time gross settlement system TARGET2 and the securities settlement platform TARGET2-Securities (T2S), and the development of a Eurosystem Collateral Management System. The ECB says that both projects will modernise existing systems and increase overall efficiency.

PSR board meeting minutes published

The PSR has published the minutes of its 13 September 2017 board meeting, when the board discussed its work with the FCA on authorised push payment (APP) scams, its ongoing work establishing the New Payment Systems Operator, the revised Payment Services Directive, and the Bank of England taking on the operation of the High Value Payment System (CHAPS).

Fintech and virtual currencies

Futures Industry Association CEO criticises cryptocurrency derivatives launch

CEO Walt Lukken of the Futures Industry Association (FIA) has published an open letter to Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chairman Christopher Giancarlo, expressing his concerns with the process in which cryptocurrency futures have come to market.

Dates for your diary

Date Topic Event
19 December 2017 Prudential requirements Deadline for responses to EBA ‘Discussion Paper: On the Significant Risk Transfer in Securitisation (EBA-DP-2017-03)’.

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About the author:
Prior to joining LexisNexis in 2016 as a paralegal, Lauren was an adjudicator at the Financial Ombudsman Service. There she resolved consumers’ complaints, and gained knowledge about a wide variety of financial products. Before this she studied Law at Nottingham Trent University.