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Will Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) proposals add to the administrative and operational burden for firms holding client money? James Smethurst of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer says firms need to consider the impact on their client money and assets operations carefully.
Where are we now?
Proposals from the FCA on material changes to the rules in relation to client money, custody assets and mandates could see the introduction of multiple client money pools and an extension to the scope of the mandate rules. Changes are proposed to the client assets rules which are applicable to firms subject to the client assets sourcebook with the aim of enhancing the client assets regime to provide improved results for customers. The consultation (Review of the client assets regime for investment business--CP13/5) closed on 12 August 2013 for indirect client clearing proposals and will close on 11 October 2013 for all others.
Is a review of client asset handling regime necessary?
The principal reason for the FSA/FCA undertaking a review of the client assets regime was the difficulties with the operation of the current regime, highlighted by the collapse of Lehman Brothers and, to a lesser extent, MF Global. The current proposals include some changes to bring the client money rules into line with certain requirements in the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) relating to margin segregation and porting for indirect client
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