Reg-Alert

Reg-Alert
Regulatory News and Updates

2022/06/23 07:00 - Financial Conduct Authority
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is using data to tackle online fraud faster by scanning approximately 100,000 websites created every day to identify those that appear to be scams.

Where the FCA identifies fraudulent websites, it is proactive in requesting the website host shut them down, though it does not have the powers to force them to. Between May 2021 and April 2022, the FCA added 1,966 possible scams to its consumer warning list – over a third more than during the same period the previous year.
100,000 sites per day is approximately the number of new internet domains registered every day. The FCA has no enforcement powers over website content, especially that hosted outside of the UK, but being aware of potential new scam sites will be a useful tool for them.
2022/06/22 12:00 - Financial Conduct Authority
The Financial Conduct Authority will pursue a re-trial of Stuart Bayes and Jonathan Swann for insider dealing offences.

This follows the Court's decision on 25 May 2022 to discharge the jury after they were unable to reach a verdict following an eight-week trial at Southwark Crown Court.

The court set the date of 11 September 2023.
The only criminal trial for insider dealing in 2022 could not reach a verdict. The FCA has sought a retrial which is set for 2023. The FCA receives around 90 Suspicious Transaction Reports (STORs) each week.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined JLT Specialty Limited (JLTSL) £7,881,700 for financial crime control failings, which in one instance allowed bribery of over $3m to take place.
"Between 21 November 2013 and 6 June 2017, JLTSL paid $12.3m in commission to JLT Colombia Wholesale Limited, the parent company of JLT Re Colombia, which in turn paid $10.8m to the third-party introducer. This introducer then paid over $3m to government officials at a state-owned insurer in order to help retain and secure their business for JLTSL and JLT Re Colombia."
2022/06/17 14:21 - Financial Conduct Authority
People seeking to abuse the insider knowledge they have to make a quick buck place their fingers on the scales. As well as disadvantaging those who play by the rules, they undermine confidence in markets that are vital for companies seeking capital and investors building their savings. It is natural and legitimate therefore that people have questions for us as the markets regulator about what we're doing to prevent and tackle such market abuse.

Where it is right to do so we take criminal action. Already this year we have been in court for a trial in which the jury was unable to reach a verdict. We have another trial involving two defendants scheduled to start in October 2022 and a further three cases in which prosecution decisions will be made relating to 10 individuals before the end of the year.
There are 30 million trades per day in listed companies. Last year this generated 90 STORs per week from market participants. This year there has been only 1 criminal prosecution case heard (no verdict was reached) and 1 more scheduled for October 2022. Either the market is incredibly honest or the systems for detecting and prosecuting market abuse are not very effective?
The government has published its response to a consultation on the upcoming Data Reform Bill.
"The response outlines plans to reduce burdens on business by enabling organisations to create flexible and proportionate compliance regimes. It includes proposals for improved data sharing practices to support delivery of public services. And it commits to maintaining the robust standards of data protection crucial to protecting the public."
2022/06/15 07:15 - European Banking Authority
The European Banking Authority (EBA) today published its Annual Report which describes in detail the activities and achievements of the Authority in 2021 and provides an overview of the key priorities for the coming year.
This is worth reading by compliance teams. It details the expanding scope of the EUCLID data collection regime which will translate into further reporting requirements down the line.
2022/06/14 11:02 - Financial Conduct Authority
Banks and building societies will need to assess the impact of changes to their services, for example shorter branch opening times, under updated guidance proposed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The FCA is also consulting on requirements for more detailed analysis on how firms assess the impact on customers when they plan to close a branch, remove or convert an ATM or reduce the services they provide.
While this guidance is aimed at protecting access to cash and local banking services, it hints that the FCA is keen to see all firms performing assessments to understand the wider impact when they make changes to services.
2022/06/10 12:03 - Financial Conduct Authority
Speech by Jessica Rusu, FCA Chief Data, Information and Intelligence Officer, at Money20/20 Amsterdam.

Highlights

Can a regulator be innovative? Can regulation be written differently? And can the financial services industry see regulation as partner in promoting healthy markets and better services for consumers?
The next few years will bring about significant innovation and change in financial services.
When used correctly and responsibly, data and technology can offer new and innovative services to consumers.
We face another period of global economic uncertainty. Nevertheless, regulators can successfully harness the same forces that are transforming financial services, to provide more effective, proactive, and scalable regulation, to support innovation and effective competition, and protect consumers.
This speech touched on recent disasters in the crypto world such as the Luna / Terra stablecoin collapse. The FCA talked about recent government policy changes that will allow the FCA to take a more flexible approach to regulation and intervene where risk is identified before rules are written in the handbook.
Speech by Sheldon Mills, Executive Director, Consumers and Competition, delivered at Financial Inclusion Virtual Summit 2022

See the link for the full transcript.
Notable points for firms are "While the headline average inflation rate is at 9% and rising, the Institute of Fiscal Studies estimates that the poorest households may face average inflation rates of as high as 14%, compared to 8% for the richest households." FCA research shows that in 2021, 14% of crypto purchasers used some form of borrowing to fund their investments.
2022/05/25 15:52 - Financial Conduct Authority
After failing to reach a verdict in a trial at Southwark Crown Court brought by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the jury was discharged. The FCA will now consider whether to seek a re-trial of Stuart Bayes and Jonathan Swann for insider dealing.
The alleged offending took place between 2 May 2016 and 10 June 2016 and involved trading in shares in British Polythene Industries plc (BPI), ahead of an announcement that RPC Group plc was to acquire BPI. During this period, Mr Bayes was employed by RPC Group plc, and Mr Swann worked as a tenancy support officer. The total profit from the insider dealing was approximately £138,700.
2022/05/23 11:00 - Financial Conduct Authority
The FCA, jointly with the Bank of England, and with the endorsement of the Treasury, has today published a Discussion Paper on Money Market Fund (MMFs) reform. This seeks views to inform the development of MMF reform proposals. The FCA has also published guidance on the UK MMF Regulation.

MMFs are a type of open-ended investment fund, considered to be a low-risk investment that gives investors credit risk diversification and a place to hold, rather than grow, their assets.

The Covid pandemic put severe strain on MMFs as investors quickly sought access to cash. There is concern amongst authorities that underlying vulnerabilities within MMFs and threats to financial stability remain. Financial Stability Board (FSB) members, including the UK, agreed to assess and address the vulnerabilities that MMFs pose in their country.