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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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  • EC: Overview of decisions and on-going in-depth investigations in the context of the financial crisis

    16/04/2013
    The EC has published an updated table in respect of the state aid framework
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  • EC: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on markets in financial instruments repealing Directive 2004/39/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (Recast)/ Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on markets in financial instruments and amending Regulation [EMIR] on OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories

    16/04/2013
    Marked-up Presidency compromise texts dated 15 April 2013 has been published
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  • EC/European Parliament: Capital Requirements Regulation and Capital Requirements Directive (CRD IV)/ Statement by Jose Manuel Barroso and Michel Barnier

    16/04/2013
    The European Parliament has confirmed the results of its vote on the above in a press release which highlights that the... changes will mean a cap on bankers' bonuses; enhanced capital requirements on banks; a reduction in “nominal risk” assigned to loans extended to SMEs and a requirement for banks to disclose profits made, taxes paid and subsidies received country by country, as well as turnover and number of employees (more details on these issues are included in the first link below). From 2014, these figures should be reported to the EC and from 2015 made fully public. Banks are to be supervised by EU member states' competent authorities, in collaboration with EBA, whose supervisory powers will be expanded. The new rules must be formally approved by the Council of Ministers to apply from 1 January 2014. The EC statement welcoming the vote says that “we are setting up a body of unique rules, a Single Rulebook for all the banks in the single market with rules that are directly applicable in Member States without any possibility of regulatory arbitrage. And at the level of banking union, the Single Supervisory Mechanism will use this essential tool, once it will be fully operational”.
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  • FSB: OTC derivatives market reforms

    16/04/2013
    This is the fifth progress report by on OTC derivatives markets reform implementation which has been published just after the end-2012... deadline. It focuses on the status of international policy development, implementation of national and regional legislation and regulations and updates the assessment of progress in practical implementation measures to meet the G20 commitments relating to central clearing, exchange and electronic platform trading, reporting to trade repositories, capital requirements and standardisation. The report also highlights work needed to finalise implementation of the commitments. It is noted that, as implementation is still progressing after the end-2012 deadline, FSB’s OTC Derivatives Working Group will continue to monitor implementation of OTC derivatives reforms
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  • ICO Decision Notice: Financial Services Authority

    16/04/2013
    The complainant requested information about FSA enquiries into an overseas property investment scheme run by an unnamed company. FSA refused... to provide the requested information under ss40(2), s42, s43(2) and s44(1)(a) FOIA. ICO ruled that FSA correctly applied s40(2), se43(2) and s 44(1)(a) FOIA to withhold some of the requested information. As s42 was applied to the same information as section 44(1)(a) FOIA, ICO did not consider the application of s42 any further. However, ICO required FSA to comply with s1 FOIA in relation to the information to which no exemptions have been applied. These are the parts of the withheld information which were provided to ICO which were not marked with exemptions within 35 calendar days of the date of the decision notice.
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