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  • FCA: Former mortgage broker committed to trial for conducting unauthorised business

    02/05/2013
    FCA reports on Michael Lewis, who has now been committed for trial to Maidstone Crown Court in relation to 13 counts... of conducting unauthorised business contrary to s23 FSMA and three counts of assisting a fraud by false representation. FCA notes that he had been issued with a prohibition order in August 2011. On 29 April 2013, the court made an order under the Contempt of Court Act 1981 which stated that although the simple fact of the prohibition order can be published there “should be no publication of any findings or the circumstances founding the basis of the prohibition order imposed by the FSA on 9 August 2011 due to a substantial risk of prejudice to the administration of justice”. This order will continue until formally varied by a court.
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  • FCA: Interest-only mortgages research/GC13/2: Dealing fairly with interest-only mortgage customers who risk being unable to repay their loan

    02/05/2013
    FCA has published research into consumers’ ability to repay their interest-only mortgages when they mature, which found that although many... people should be in a good position to repay their mortgage when it is due for repayment, a number of borrowers, especially those who need to repay before 2020 will need to take control of their mortgage repayment planning now. To that end, FCA, CML and BSA are working together to ensure lenders contact their borrowers in order to prompt them into checking their plan for repayment is on track and considering the options available to them. FCA also considers the long-term view, which indicated that some borrowers are underestimating the problem of repayment and that around 13% of borrowers surveyed said they did not understand the terms of the loan at the point of sale. FCA has published a guidance consultation to set out its expectations for firms, which include: considering what options can be offered to interest only customers; having a written strategy setting out the firm’s policy and procedure for managing mortgage loans that might not be repaid at the end of the term; training front line staff on how to deal with borrowers in line with their strategy to ensure a fair outcome; having a communications strategy which encourages consumer engagement; assessing affordability if any variation to an existing mortgage significantly increases monthly repayments or revised terms extend the loan into retirement; giving customers sufficient time to consider their options around repaying their mortgage; and collecting sufficient management information to establish whether their overall strategy to the maturity of interest only mortgages is working. Responses to this are required by 3 June 2013. FCA is to monitor progress and provide further assistance to firms where needed.
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  • FSCP: Consumer bulletin

    02/05/2013
    This edition provides an EU update and discusses FSCP’s recently announced “four pillars to enhance consumer protection”.
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  • HMT: Transposition of the AIFM Directive:

    02/05/2013
    A short document in Q&A format.
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  • PRA: Speech by Andrew Bailey: The new approach to financial regulation (1 May 2013)

    02/05/2013
    This speech was given at the Chartered Banker Dinner in Edinburgh. He discusses regulation, particularly in respect of banking and... insurance; resolution planning (he notes: “if failure is orderly, and does not compromise our public policy objectives, the responsibility should rest with the board and management for failing to serve the private interest of their shareholders and creditors”); funding for lending and FPC’s objectives and recommendations.
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  • ABI: Selling telematics motor insurance policies/”‘Pay how you drive”’ motor insurance

    01/05/2013
    ABI, in association with BIBA, has published guidance for insurers and consumers with regard to the above. The industry guide... defines good practice to ensure that customers buying these products continue to be treated fairly and their data is protected. It sets out: actions for managing and handling telematics data to ensure compliance with data protection legislation and maintain consumer confidence in the industry’s use of personal data and steps to ensure customers are treated fairly and minimise instances of customer detriment. The consumer guide explains what to expect from such a policy; the importance of driving behaviour in affecting the cost of motor insurance; other benefits that these policies can offer and data protection issues.
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  • ESMA: Emergency measure by the Greek HCMC under Section 1 of Chapter V of Regulation No 236/2012 on short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps

    01/05/2013
    ESMA has published its opinion on the emergency measure by the Greek Hellenic Capital Markets Commission under the Short Selling Regulation.... The measure was expected to enter into force on 1 May 2013 at 0:00:01 hours (Athens time) and to be applicable until 24:00:00 (Athens time) on 31 July 2013. ESMA considers that there are adverse developments relating to the banking sector which constitute a serious threat to financial stability and to market confidence in Greece; that the measure which is targeted at credit institutions admitted to trading on the Athens Stock Exchange remains appropriate and proportionate to address the above mentioned threats that persist in Greece and the duration of the measure is justified and appreciates the HCMC’s statement in its notification of intent whereby the measure may be lifted during the period of enforcement of the measure, if appropriate.
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  • FCA: Updating disclosures to reflect the creation of the FCA and PRA

    01/05/2013
    FCA notes that, following the creation of FCA and PRA and the renaming of the public register, the regulator expects firms... to review their documents and other disclosures as a priority, to ensure they are up-to-date and accurate, so as not to confuse or mislead consumers. Firms are reminded that transitional periods are not available where obligations derive from European law (including PSRs and certain provisions in COBS 5, COBS 6, COBS 9 and COBS 13). FCA states that firms must be able to demonstrate that they have plans to make these updates at the earliest practicable opportunity.
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  • FRC: Plan and Budget 2013-2016

    01/05/2013
    Following a period of consultation, FRC has published this document noting that the plan, for the first time, is based on... a longer, three year, time horizon enabling the FRC to focus on how it and its stakeholders move forward in line with the shifting UK and European agenda. Among workstream items highlighted, FRC notes that it will consider updates to the Corporate Governance Code in the autumn of 2014 based on its monitoring findings and will consult on whether guidance to directors (Turnbull Guidance) needs to be further updated
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