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  • Final Notice: Kevin Wells

    18/04/2013
    FCA has issued a prohibition order against this individual, MD of Montpelier Pension Administration Services Limited, from performing any significant influence... function at any regulated firm, and also censured him. He would have been fined £58,500 but for the fact that he was able to show that the penalty would cause serious financial hardship. FCA had concluded that he did not have an adequate understanding of the SIPP operator’s regulated activities and corresponding regulatory responsibilities or of his own responsibilities as MD. FCA states that he had led a rapid expansion of the business, away from standard investments, but had not identified or mitigated the risks involved for the firm’s SIPPs and SIPP members as a result and that he did not understand, or make reasonable efforts to understand, the firm’s capital and compliance needs. FCA found that client assets rules had been breached; third parties had not been vetted and monitored and that there was inadequate knowledge of the assets the firm administered for clients. In the accompanying press release, Tracey McDermott states: "I would recommend that anybody operating, or thinking of operating, a SIPP reads the final notice in detail; it covers almost all aspects of SIPP operation and is a good indicator of the standards we expect”. .It is noted that this is the first time senior management of a SIPP operator has been banned and that the regulator’s focus on SIPP operators remains ongoing The firm cancelled its authorisation in October 2011 and the business book was purchased by another SIPP operator.
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  • FSB: Data gaps Initiative on a common data template for G-SIBs

    18/04/2013
    FSB has announced that its working group convened to deliver improvements to the availability, quality and consistency of data on these... major global financial institutions has implemented the first phase of the initiative, with the start in March 2013 of the harmonised collection and pooling of improved consolidated data on bilateral counterparty credit exposures of major systemic banks, as well as their consolidated aggregated exposures. The latter are to be reported according to the guidelines already implemented in the context of BIS statistics. Confidential data will be held centrally by an international data hub hosted by BIS, and reports based on these data will be shared only with national supervisory authorities participating in the network pursuant to a multilateral framework. Participating authorities have formed a governance group to oversee the pooling and sharing of information. The item also notes plans for the next two phases.
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  • IOSCO: Regulation of retail structured products

    18/04/2013
    This consultation analyses trends in the retail structured product market and proposes a regulatory toolkit for IOSCO members. The toolkit... covers: a potential regulatory approach to retail structured products; potential regulation of the product design and issuance; potential regulation of product disclosure and marketing; potential regulation of the product distribution; and potential regulation of post-sales practices. Responses are required by 13 June 2013.
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  • FCA: How the Financial Conduct Authority will investigate and report on regulatory failure

    18/04/2013
    This document sets out FCA’s thinking on how it will meet the new statutory requirement to investigate possible instances of regulatory... failure and provide reports to HMT. The statement of policy, which has been approved by the FCA Transitional Board and which HMT has given its consent for FCA to publish, is included as Annex 1 to this document. Chapter 6 of the document sets out hypothetical examples to illustrate whether FCA thinks the statutory test would or would not have been met and Chapter 7 details the investigation process. The statement of policy applies from 1 April 2013 for events arising on or after that date. FSA states that it expects to learn whether it has set the threshold for events with a significant adverse effect on its objectives at the right level, and whether it has placed the right emphasis on the related qualitative factors, through the experience of applying the policy. It notes that, given the changing regulatory landscape, including the change in the scope of FCA to regulate consumer credit from April 2014, and the continuing development of its strategy to meet the competition objective and duty, FCA expects to review the policy after a year in operation. FCA welcomes comment on the document, which it will feed into its review (although it is emphasised that any changes in the statement of policy will have to be approved by HMT).
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  • BIS/IOSCO: Implementation of principles for financial market infrastructures

    17/04/2013
    It has been announced that BIS and IOSCO have started the process of monitoring implementation of the principles (international standards for... payment, clearing and settlement systems, including CCPs and trade repositories) which were originally issued in April 2012. A first assessment is currently underway examining whether jurisdictions have made regulatory changes that reflect the principles and responsibilities in the principles. Results of this assessment are due to be published in Q3 2013.
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  • EC: Green Paper on the insurance of natural and man-made disasters

    17/04/2013
    The document poses a number of questions concerning the adequacy and availability of appropriate disaster insurance in order to assess whether... or not action at EU level could be appropriate or warranted to improve the market for disaster insurance in the EU.  Responses are required by 30 June 2013.
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  • FCA: Operation Cotton

    17/04/2013
    FCA reports that it has charged eight men with conspiracy to defraud and criminal offences relating to the carrying out of... a regulated activity without authorisation or exemption and, in the case of one of the men, providing false information to FSA, contrary to FSMA. The charges arise out of Operation Cotton, an ongoing FCA investigation into the activities of three land banking companies: Plott UK Limited, European Property Investments (UK) Limited and Stirling Alexander Limited. These companies are believed to have taken over £5m from UK investors between 2008 and 2011. FSA had previously successfully brought civil proceedings against the first two named firms which were wound up. The named individuals have been bailed to attend City of London Magistrates Court on 10 May 2013. FCA also notes that one of the individuals, a solicitor, has also been charged with money laundering contrary to POCA.
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  • FCA: Speech by Martin Wheatley: Building on experience (17 April 2013)

    17/04/2013
    Text of the above, given at the Lansons “'The future of financial services' event, follows. He discusses FCA’s identity, structure... and powers. He also notes: “from 1 April next year, we will be taking on our regulation of the consumer credit industry. This is as much a new responsibility as it is a new power. Easily trebling the number of firms we are responsible for overnight. But I think everybody would agree that parts of this industry – payday loans spring to mind – are in dire need of a new regulatory approach”. He concludes “we should remember that good regulation should never be caricatured as a simple choice between consumer interest and business self-interest”.
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  • FCA/PRA: CRD IV

    17/04/2013
    Further to yesterday’s announcement by the European Parliament, FCA and PRA intend to publish two consultations. The main one, due... to be published in the summer, will set out the changes to rules to remove current provisions covered in the new Regulation and to implement the Directive and relevant discretions provided in the Regulation. It should be noted that the Regulation will, in substance, replace the majority of the current capital requirements provisions in the Rulebooks (which can be found broadly in BIPRU and GENPRU). The second consultation will cover specific issues relating to the procedure for transitioning, as appropriate, existing waivers, which is expected to be conducted before or as part of the main consultation. The press releases state that in the meantime firms should discuss any queries or issues, in the first instance, with their supervisor or through their usual FCA/PRA contacts.
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  • HoC: Financial Services (Banking Reform) Bill 2012-13

    17/04/2013
    Links to the Hansard transcript of the Public Bill Committee debate on 16 March 2013 appear below together with a copy... of the Bill as amended in the Committee. New clauses proposed include: FSCS review of company savings schemes; professional standards; ringfencing; duty of care; remuneration consultants; financial crime unit (as part of SFO); protection for whistleblowers; review into competitiveness; bank account portability; publication of trends in bank lending; promotion of mutual societies and annual assessment of developments in respect of risk-weighting.
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