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Welcome to the weekly Financial Services highlights from the Financial Services team for the week ending 22 March 2018.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published an exchange of letters between its CEO, Andrew Bailey, and the director general of the Association of British Insurers (ABI), Huw Evans. Mr Evans had written to the FCA to clarify ABI members' duties to treat their customers fairly and other relevant regulatory requirements in the context of changes that may happen when the UK leaves the EU.
The European Commission published an updated draft of the Withdrawal Agreement currently being negotiated between the UK and the EU, highlighting progress made in the latest round of technical talks, including agreement in principal on the terms of transition. Although described as a ‘significant step’ in the Brexit negotiations, a number of issues remain subject to agreement and clarification, including the priority issues specific to Ireland and Northern Ireland. Richard Eccles, partner at Bird & Bird, discusses the Northern Ireland/Ireland aspect of the agreed text.
The chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), Steven Maijoor, delivered a speech on the capital markets union (CMU) and the review of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs), Brexit, and the impact of PRIIPs and MiFID II. On Brexit, Mr Maijoor warned against intra-EU regulatory arbitrage, saying financial centres in the EU27 should be free to compete based on the particular strengths they can offer relocating firms, like speed and efficiency, but in all cases the EU rulebook should be consistently applied.
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