Chancellorʼs Mansion House speech 2019

In the Chancellorʼs 2019 Mansion House dinner speech, delivered on 20 June 2019, Philip Hammond announced a review of the UK regulatory framework and payments landscape in 2019. Among other things, Mr Hammond announced:

  • a review of the payments landscape, bringing together policymakers and regulators to make sure that regulation and infrastructure keeps pace with new payments models;
  • the government's intention to launch a major, long-term review into the future of the UKʼs regulatory framework. The aims of the review will include supporting innovation and protecting consumers; and
  • HM Treasury will work with the FCA to build on the open banking initiative and give small businesses, as well as consumers, power over all of their financial data.

The first phase of the review will involve improving co-ordination between regulatory authorities, starting with a summit of all the relevant regulators in a few weeks. Following this, HM Treasury will publish a call for evidence.

John Glen delivers speech at the CityUKʼs annual conference

HM Treasury has published a speech given by John Glen, Economic Secretary to HM Treasury, in which he highlights a number of key issues for the financial services sector. Mr Glen speaks about being the longest serving Economic Secretary since 2010, the successes he has seen the City achieve in that time, and what more can be done to ensure London remains a global financial hub.

In particular, Mr Glen states that the government needs to listen to the City, end Brexit-related uncertainty, maintain the Cityʼs place at the centre of the global financial system, and learn the lessons of the financial crash. In turn, the City must also recognise the governmentʼs broader obligations to society. There also needs to be a focus on financial inclusion and skills and talent.

Mini-bonds: HMT review update

HM Treasury has published a letter from John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, to Nicky Morgan, House of Commons Treasury Select Committee Chair, providing an update on its review of policy on non-transferable debt securities issued by companies to consumers ("mini-bonds"), which forms part of the governmentʼs response to the failure of London Capital & Finance (LCF). The letter provides more details on the scope of the review.

Financial Conduct Authority

FCA Perimeter report 2018/19

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published its first FCA annual perimeter report. The regulatory perimeter determines which firms require authorisation and what level of protection consumers can expect for the financial services and products that they purchase.

In the report, which will be published yearly, the FCA sets out:

  • what the FCA does and does not regulate;
  • what challenges the perimeter presents and the actions the FCA is taking to overcome them;
  • what this means for consumers; and
  • whether there are any issues with the perimeter which might require legislative or other changes.

The main challenges identified in the report fall under the following heads:

  • consumer confusion over how they are protected;
  • firm activity outside the perimeter affecting the FCA's public interest objectives; and
  • swiftly evolving markets and business models.

Announcing the report, Andrew Bailey, Chief Executive of the FCA, said:

" is clear that the boundary between what we do and do not regulate is complex. It is not set out in a single piece of legislation, but is an amalgamation of UK and EU legislation that has developed over time. We regulate different activities for different purposes, with different powers and tools. We may have an opportunity to create a simpler approach post-Brexit. This year we have started to consider the future of regulation to help determine the UK financial services framework after Brexit. The perimeter is a critical part of that work and I hope this report informs the important discussions ahead."

FCA CP19/21: Proxy Advisors (Shareholdersʼ Rights) Regulation implementation

The FCA has published a consultation, CP19/21, on changes to the Decision Making and Penalties Manual (DEPP) and the Enforcement Guide (EG) on its new responsibilities over proxy advisors.

The revised Shareholders Rights Directive (SRD II) sets out to strengthen the position of shareholders and to ensure that decisions are made for the long-term stability of a company. It sets out new transparency obligations on proxy advisors. The Proxy Advisor (Shareholderʼs Rights) Regulations 2019 implement that part of the SRD II which relates to proxy advisors. The Regulations aim to encourage greater transparency in the way in which they carry out their work and provide proxy advisor services.

The FCA is designated as the competent authority over proxy advisors and proposes to apply its existing enforcement processes where it investigates and takes action under the Regulations.

The consultation closes on 26 July 2019.

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