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  • COPFS: Guidance on the approach of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service to reporting by businesses of bribery offences

    26/11/2012
    This guidance reports that to mark the commencement of the Bribery Act, the Lord Advocate approved an initiative for businesses to... “self-report” bribery offences. This initiative ran for an initial period of 12 months from 1 July 2011. At the conclusion of this period the initiative was reviewed and the Law Officers instructed that it was to continue for a further 12 months, until 30 June 2013.
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  • Final Notice: Capita Financial Managers Limited

    26/11/2012
    FSA has issued a public censure against the firm for its failings in relation to the CF Arch cru funds between... June 2006 and March 2009. The firm was the ACD of the CF Arch cru funds. In July 2006, the firm delegated the investment management of the funds to a third party, Arch Financial Products LLP (Arch). The funds were then invested indirectly in private finance and private equity assets. While the firm delegated the investment management of the funds to Arch, it remained responsible for the overall performance of the regulatory obligations in relation to the funds. The firm did not have sufficient processes in place to monitor Arch, even though Arch had not acted as an investment manager before and did not adequately identify and mitigate the conflicts of interest between Arch and the funds that arose as a result of the CF Arch cru structure, which involved a complex network of onshore and offshore companies and private market investments. The funds were eventually suspended in March 2009 as a result of concerns that there was insufficient liquidity in one of the sub-funds to meet investors’ demands to sell their shares. In addition, the firm did not have adequate processes in place to identify when the information it used to value the funds might not be reliable and whether alternative measures should be used to price the funds fairly, although it is not clear that such measures would have resulted in different prices being used. The firm did not begin to investigate the valuation and pricing of the funds’ investments in detail until late 2008. FSA notes that a £54m payment scheme was voluntarily established in June 2011 by the firm, Bank of New York Mellon Trust and Depositary and HSBC Bank plc for investors. The firm required the financial support of its ultimate parent, Capita Group plc, to make its £32m contribution to that payment scheme. The firm could not fund both such a substantial contribution to the payment scheme and a financial penalty. This was taken into account in FSA’s decision not to impose a financial penalty on it.
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  • Final Notice: UBS AG

    26/11/2012
    FSA has fined the firm £29.7m (discounted from £42.4m for early settlement) for systems and controls failings that allowed Kweku Adoboli... to cause substantial losses totalling US$2.3bn as a result of unauthorised trading. FSA believes that UBS failed to take reasonable care to organise and control its affairs responsibly and effectively, with adequate risk management systems and failed to conduct its business from the London Branch with due skill, care and diligence. Highlighted failings include: ineffective computer system to assist in risk management; deficiencies in trade capture and processing; inadequate front office supervision; breaches of risk limits going without any discipline for doing so; a focus on efficiency as opposed to risk control among support staff of the ETF desk; a failure to investigate the underlying reasons for the substantial increase in profitability of the ETF desk despite the fact that this could not be explained by reference to the end of day risk positions. It is noted that profit and loss suspensions to the value of $1. 6bn were requested by Kweku Adoboli during the course of August 2011. Prior to 18 August 2011, these were accepted without challenge or escalation. It is noted that the penalty was fixed at 15% of the revenue of the UBS’s Global Synthetic Equities division “is intended to make it clear that the FSA expects much higher standards from the firms we regulate. The firm agreed to engage an independent firm to conduct a substantive investigation into the unauthorised trading incident, expending considerable resources (approximately £16m to date) in doing so. UBS's new senior management has committed significant resources to undertake an extensive programme of remediation. UBS has taken disciplinary action against employees who were involved in the events which gave rise to these breaches, including clawing back bonuses and withholding 50% of their deferred compensation from relevant individuals totalling more than £34m. FSA conducted its investigation in coordination with the FINMA which has also made its findings public. FINMA has also taken action against UBS in relation to the breach which is the subject of this Notice and UBS has undertaken to comply with the separate requirements imposed on it by FINMA.
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  • OFT: Unfair terms in consumer contracts: a new approach?

    26/11/2012
    This is OFT’s response to the above-mentioned Law Commission paper. OFT mainly concentrates on the specifc questions on if it... agrees whether the current law on which terms should be exempt from the assessment of fairness under the Unfair Terms Directive is unduly uncertain; and whether the UTCCR should be reformed. OFT recommends there is a further formal consultation on the draft amended regulations, once available. The wording of the new provisions will be crucial for the achievement of some of the objectives of the reforms.
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  • Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards: Banking standards

    26/11/2012
    PCBS has published the corrected evidence from the hearing given on 8 November 2012 attended by Professor Rosa Lastra (University of... London), Dorothy Livingston (Law Society of England and Wales and Bob Penn (Allen & Overy).
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  • The Bank Levy: International Tax Enforcement Arrangements (Federal Republic of Germany) Order 2012/2933

    26/11/2012
    This Order brings into effect international tax enforcement arrangements in respect of the exchange of information foreseeably relevant to the administration... or enforcement of the bank levy and the equivalent German levy. The arrangements are contained in a Convention and a Protocol (“the double taxation arrangements”) made between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Federal Republic of Germany for the avoidance of double taxation. The double taxation arrangements were given effect by the Double Taxation Relief (Bank Levy) (Federal Republic of Germany) Order 2012. (Date in force: 16/12/12)
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  • DWP: Reinvigorating workplace pensions

    23/11/2012
    This strategy paper sets out the Government’s “reinvigoration objectives” for workplace pensions. Chapter 2 of the document discusses how the... Government has been looking to ease the regulatory burden on employers with respect to DB schemes and key factors which affect outcomes for savers in DC schemes. It also considers the potential benefits of a pensions market with a smaller number of larger-scale, multi-employer pension schemes. Chapter 3 looks at the case for greater risk sharing in pension schemes, including “defined ambition” schemes. Chapter 4 considers automatic enrolment, key principles for pensions information and plans to improve pensions information.
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  • EC: Buying consumer credit on-line

    23/11/2012
    In this press release, the EC reports that, following a crackdown on websites offering consumer credit online, over 75% of websites... checked now give satisfactory information to clients and that more than 3 out of 4 sites checked a year ago now comply with EU law (compared with only 30% in September 2011). Of the 70% of sites flagged for further investigation at the time, 10% were finally deemed compliant and 35% were corrected after action by national authorities. The remaining websites either no longer exist or are subject to on-going administrative or court proceedings
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  • FMLC: Regulation of credit rating agencies

    23/11/2012
    FMLC has written to Sharon Bowles MEP saying it believes that serious legal uncertainty would arise from the implementation of certain... provisions concerned with civil liability which are contemplated in the proposal for, and various drafts of, CRA III, particularly with regard to the reversal of the burden of proof on claimants.
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  • FMLC: Short Selling Regulation

    23/11/2012
    FMLC has written to ESMA with a response to its September 2012 consultation setting out what it believes are a number... of legal uncertainties when the consultation is looked at in conjunction with the Regulation.
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