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  • ESMA: Guidelines on certain aspects of the MiFID suitability requirements/Guidelines on certain aspects of the MiFID compliance function requirements

    06/07/2012
    ESMA has published two final sets of guidelines aimed at both market participants and national competent authorities who should incorporate them... into their supervisory practices. It is noted that ESMA found a number of shortcomings in the implementation of the MiFID suitability requirements, including failure to ask clients the right questions; failure to collect the necessary and relevant information; failure to interpret correctly the information provided by the client; and failure to recommend a suitable investment when the right information has been provided. The suitability guidelines focus on the need for firms to have in place appropriate arrangements to enable them to meet the suitability requirements on an on-going and consistent basis for any client, and irrespective of the distribution channel used.  The compliance function guidelines focus on: the responsibilities of the compliance function for monitoring, reporting and advising; the organisational requirements of the compliance function for the standards of effectiveness, permanence and independence; the extent of interaction of the compliance function with other functions, and the outsourcing of the tasks of the compliance function; and approaches for competent authority review of compliance function requirements. Competent authorities will have two months following the publication of the official translations of these documents to confirm their compliance or intention to comply, with reasons for non-compliance, to ESMA. The guidelines will then apply 60 days after the end of the reporting period for competent authorities. Financial market participants are not required to report whether they comply with these guidelines.
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  • HMT: The future of building societies

    06/07/2012
    In this discussion paper, HMT sets out its aspirations for the building societies sector, including the key role it sees for... the sector as part of the future for UK financial services, including its proposed approach to developing the legislative framework for building societies. Section 3 of the document sets out Government proposals pm how it proposes to apply the principles behind the Independent Commission on Banking reforms to the building societies and its current attitude to other potential legislative developments of relevance to the sector. The Government intends to amend the Building Societies Act so that the prohibitions applied to ring-fenced banks will also be applied to building societies. Responses are required by 6 September 2012.
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  • HoC: Bank of England (Appointment of Governor) Bill

    06/07/2012
    The second reading of this Bill took place on 6 July. The purpose of the Bill is to give TSC,... or its successor bodies, the power to consent to the appointment of the Governor of BoE. John McDonnell MP notes that “the Government’s Financial Services Bill is creating an immensely powerful post in the Governor of the Bank of England … Between the time of choosing the appointment of the Governor of the Bank of England as the subject of my private Member’s Bill and debating it, the world has changed somewhat. Last week’s revelations about the role of Barclays bank—and, more than likely, others—in the LIBOR scandal have given the Bill a new context, and there is a new significance in the appointment of the Governor of the Bank of England”. Mark Hoban responded by arguing that “we are improving the parliamentary scrutiny of the Bank. As a result of the Financial Services Bill, we will see more regular reports into regulatory failure … There are risks, however, in giving the Treasury Committee a veto over appointments. There could be an impact on market stability, with a risk of undermining market confidence”. The debate was adjourned and will resume on 13 July 2012.
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  • HoC: Professional standards in the banking industry (5 July 2012)

    06/07/2012
    The HoC debate on the proposed Joint Committee to look at banking culture begins on p35 and concludes on p67 of... this document.
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  • SFO: LIBOR

    06/07/2012
    SFO has published a press release confirming that its director has decided formally to accept the LIBOR matter for investigation
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  • SOCA: Annual Report & Accounts 2011/12

    06/07/2012
    The report discusses aspects of SOCA’s work throughout the year, with sections on criminal finances and profits, cyber crime and fraud... and also considers “next steps” for 2012/13. SOCA notes that it is working with the Home Office to ensure continuity of service and a smooth transition into NCA.
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  • EC: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on insider dealing and market manipulation (market abuse)

    06/07/2012
    This Presidency compromise text has been published ahead of discussions at a meeting of the Working Party on Financial Services on... 11 July 2012.. The document is marked up to show changes.
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  • Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service: Scottish banking sector

    05/07/2012
    This short press release notes that the Crown Office has confirmed that an investigation into the Scottish banking sector has been... under way for some time and that its scope will now be extended following “recent developments”. The Serious and Organised Crime Division is leading the investigation.
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  • EC: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on criminal sanctions for insider dealing and market manipulation

    05/07/2012
    This document highlights outstanding issues in MAD ahead of Working Party discussions on 9-10 July 2012. These include descriptions of... administrative and criminal offences; the ne bis in idem principle; privilege against self-incrimination and penalties.
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  • EC: Short selling

    05/07/2012
    The EC has today adopted a Delegated Act which sets out important technical rules needed to ensure the uniform application and... enforcement of the Short Selling Regulation. This specifies the cases in which sovereign credit default swaps are considered covered, and therefore not banned in accordance with the Regulation. Investors can demonstrate that the sovereign credit default swap contracts they have entered into are covered by demonstrating either a quantitative or a qualitative correlation between the hedged assets and liabilities and the sovereign credit default swap. Other issues addressed include technical rules relating to the reporting of short positions in shares and sovereign debt, and the thresholds which can trigger a short term suspension of short selling in illiquid shares and other financial instruments. A related regulatory technical standard on short selling was also adopted by the EC, based on a draft submitted by ESMA. The Implementing Regulation will enter into force on the day following its publication in the Official Journal, and shall apply from 1 November 2012, except for the provisions on the principal trading venue which shall apply from the date of entry into force.
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