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  • HoL EU Sub Committee A - Economic and Financial Affairs: Reform of the EU banking sector

    19/10/2012
    The uncorrected evidence in respect of a hearing which took place on 16 October 2012, which took evidence from Mark Harding... (Group General Counsel, Barclays) and Richard Kibble, (Group Director, Strategy and Corporate Finance, RBS) has now been published together with a volume of written evidence in relation to this inquiry.
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  • NAPF: Defining ambition: views from the industry on achieving risk sharing

    19/10/2012
    This is described as the first in a series of research publications by NAPF designed to promote discussion and debate about... some of the key pension and investment issues of the day. It is noted that there has been widespread interest in so-called “defined ambition” outcome since its proposal earlier this year – a NAPF survey showed that 55%) of workers would choose to save into a pension with lower returns if they were guaranteed a minimum income in retirement. This collection of essays discusses what DA is and the type of regulatory framework needed to facilitate its creation.
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  • TSC: The FSA’s report into the failure of RBS

    19/10/2012
    TSC’s report identifies issues arising from FSA’s own report into the failure of RBS that may merit further legislative or regulatory... change. The report also considers the value of the reporting process for understanding the causes of RBS’s failure and for ensuring that appropriate lessons have been learnt. It argues that FSA should have intervened at an early stage and recommends that the Government includes an explicit requirement for PRA to approve major bank acquisitions and mergers in forthcoming legislation and that HMT, working with the relevant public bodies, report on the legislative or other changes it proposes to make to the current regime regulating acquisitions in the banking sector. FSA is strongly criticised, particularly over its enforcement processes and its original decision not to publish the RBS report. With regard to the former, TSC expresses “considerable surprise to this Committee that nobody (with the partial exception of Mr Jonny Cameron, RBS Executive Director and Chairman of RBS’s Global Banking and Markets Division) has been held meaningfully accountable for the failure of RBS” and suggests “it is deeply regrettable that the current rules bias enforcement activity towards technical breaches to the detriment of attention to the most important regulatory failures. We request that the regulators report to the Treasury Committee on what amendments to the statutory rules and to the general law they believe are desirable in order to improve the effectiveness of the enforcement regime. We also call on the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards to examine this issue”. BoE is strongly criticised for failing to carry out reviews to examine aspects of its own performance in this period and TSC is demanding “a radical improvement” of BoE’s own governance. TSC also recommends that the Government consult on whether additional legislation is required to ensure that directors or other senior executives of failed banks cannot work in other regulated industries in future, or to make the system more certain and that the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards consider future regulation on sanction against directors, including strict liability.
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  • Upper Tribunal Decision: Raymond Wagner

    19/10/2012
    In a 2011 Decision Notice, FSA advised the applicant that it intended to issue a prohibition order against him and impose... a fine of £100,000 on the grounds that he had knowingly inflated his income to obtain a residential mortgage and had deliberately allowed false and inflated income figures to be submitted on his behalf in order to obtain four buy-to-let mortgages. In addition, FSA found that he had failed to have in place proper systems and controls and, as a result, two employees of Ambergate Business Services Limited had been able to submit mortgage applications containing false information. The applicant accepted the prohibition order, but challenged whether it was appropriate to impose a financial penalty and, if so, the level of that penalty. He noted that the alleged misconduct took place in May 2005, but until June 2008, it had not been FSA policy to impose financial penalties on individuals for knowing involvement in mortgage fraud. The Upper Tribunal heard evidence from FSA on the change of approach and concluded that it had not constituted a change in the 5 law applicable at the time of the violation. The applicant disputed FSA’s evidence that he had been knowingly involved in mortgage fraud by submitting a residential mortgage application which contained false and misleading information through Ambergate for his own benefit and, following an adjournment in which FSA gave further consideration to the matter and the applicant sought and obtained legal advice., the parties came to an agreement, subject to the consent of the Upper Tribunal.. FSA expressed itself satisfied that, whilst the applicant recklessly allowed a regulated mortgage application which contained false and misleading details about his income to be submitted to a lender, his conduct was not deliberate and he did not deliberately mislead the lender and took the view that, as an approved person, he had failed to act with integrity. With the agreement of the parties, the Upper Tribunal directed that the prohibition order should stand; no financial penalty should be imposed and no order for costs should be made.
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  • BoE: Speech by Andrew Haldane: The Bank and the banks (18 October 2012)

    18/10/2012
    Text of the above, given at Queen’s University, follows. He looks at BoE’s response to financial crises over its history,... up to and including the new regulatory framework (“supervision will be front-foot, testing for stress before it strikes and visits to the zoo need to be cancelled. It will be also tolerant of bank failure – Barings Mark 2 rather than Mark 1 – so that market discipline can work its magic.”).
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  • EBA: Speech by Andrea Enria: Deleveraging and segmentation of the Single Market (18 October 2012)

    18/10/2012
    Text of the above, given at the National Bank of Poland’s conference, follows. He discusses issues surrounding deleveraging and also... notes: A lot of emphasis is being put on the need to find delicate and complex balances in weighing the votes of Member States’ representatives at the relevant tables, both at the EBA and the ECB. I would invite to think out of the box and consider also decision making mechanisms that are less based on country representation and more on technical skills and accountability frameworks. We need the best people we have in Europe to design high quality rules and implement effective supervision, in the common interest of savers in the whole area; and we need mechanisms to ensure that their decisions do not unduly penalise any actor in the Single Market. More reliance on independent decision making bodies, composed of experts selected on the basis of their technical skills, would put all countries, in and outside the euro area, on the same footing”.
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  • Final Notice: Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (UK) Limited

    18/10/2012
    FSA has fined the firm £600,000 for failings in the governance of its with-profits business. The firm’s governance failings came to... light following two significant transactions it executed in 2008 and 2009. These transactions impacted upon one of the firm’s with-profits funds, holding approximately 114,000 policies and £1.2bon in assets. The firm’s with-profits committee failed to adequately review these transactions, while its board of directors did not approve the transactions. It is noted that FSA has not criticised the merits of these two transactions, but has found that the review and approval process followed by the firm was deficient. which led to an unacceptable risk that proper independent judgement would not be applied to the transactions. The firm would have been fined £750,000, but agreed to settle and thus qualified for a 20% (Stage 2) discount.
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  • FSA: Speech by Martin Wheatley: The FCA: the future of conduct regulation (17 October 2012)

    18/10/2012
    A further speech given at BBA's conference has been published.  Topics include: FCA's approach (specifically to consumer protection, competition and... LIBOR/market integrity) and how FCA will operate.
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  • HMT/NAPF: Pensions Investment Platform

    18/10/2012
    It is reported that NAPF and PPF have announced that several major UK pension funds have signed up to the Pension... Investment Platform (PIP). NAPF states that these include the BAE Systems Pension Funds, BT Pension Scheme, Pension Protection Fund, The Railways Pension Scheme, Strathclyde Pension Fund, and West Midlands Pension Fund. The intention is that the founding investors will provide around half of the target £2bn of investment capital for the fund, before it launches in early 2013.
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  • HoC: EU Savings Directive : recent developments

    18/10/2012
    This HoC library document considers the background of the EU Savings Directive and the implications on withholding tax.
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