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  • EU: Programme of the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the European Union (1 July - 31 December 2012)

    04/07/2012
    This document sets out the Presidency’s operational programme on all topics. With regard to financial services, it notes that priority... will be given to the finalisation of CRD IV; that work will be carried forward on Omnibus II; that the Presidency will seek to achieve an agreement with the European Parliament on the proposals for CRA III and the Transparency Directive. The Presidency will work towards an agreement on the revised MiFID/MiFIR/MAR rules, with a view to contributing to the establishment of a single rule book for EU financial services and will focus on a framework for resolution plans. It is also noted that the Presidency will continue “all the necessary work” on the financial transaction tax and says it is ready to explore possible compromise proposals.
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  • FATF: Specific risk factors in laundering the proceeds of corruption - assistance to reporting institutions

    04/07/2012
    This paper is written to assist reporting institutions – both financial and non-financial – that have a legal obligation to file... suspicious transaction reports, or otherwise engage in AML/CFT due diligence – to better analyse and better understand specific risk factors that may assist them in identifying situations posing a heightened risk of corruption-related money laundering risk.
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  • FOS: Ombudsman News 103

    04/07/2012
    Topics include: Natalie Ceeney looking at complains handling and rebuilding trust after banking computer problems; complaints figures for Q1; complaints about... “whole-of-life” policies and case studies involving mortgages and financial hardship. (NB: not available as a PDF at present)
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  • HMT: Sanctions for the directors of failed banks

    04/07/2012
    This consultation seeks comments on a proposal to introduce a “rebuttable presumption” that the director of a failed bank was not... suitable to be approved by the regulator to hold a position as a senior executive in a bank. The Government intends to consider whether to include any necessary legislation in the Financial Services Bill. The measure could be supported by complementary reforms (which the regulators could take forward) to clarify management responsibilities and change the regulatory duties of bank directors. The consultation also looks at the possibility of introducing criminal sanctions for serious misconduct in the management of a bank. If this proposal is taken forward, the Government would include the necessary legislation in another Bill during the present Parliament. Responses are required by 30 September 2012.
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  • HMT: Speech by Mark Hoban: Relationship between Government and financial services (4 July 2012)

    04/07/2012
    Text of the above, given to the St Stevens Club, follows, in which he discusses UK regulatory reform and argues “here... is one area where it is critical for us to reverse an unacceptable element of that interdependence – the state standing behind the banking system … . Banks and their investors cannot be allowed to privatise gain and socialise loss .. In summary, banks must be able to fail. But they must be able to fail safely”.
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  • HoL: Financial Services Bill

    04/07/2012
    A further sitting of the Committee stage was held on 3 July. Amendments discussed covered clause 3 of the Bill. ... The Hansard transcription follows. The Committee stage continues on 10 July 2012.
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  • SFO: Oxford Publishing Ltd

    04/07/2012
    This press release notes a High Court Order instructing Oxford Publishing Limited to pay £1,895,435 in recognition of sums it received... which were generated through unlawful conduct related to subsidiaries incorporated in Tanzania and Kenya. In 2011, the firm became aware of the possibility of irregular tendering practices involving its education business in East Africa and, following an investigation voluntarily reported certain concerns in relation to contracts arising from a number of tenders which its Kenyan and Tanzanian subsidiaries, OUPEA and OUPT, entered into between the years 2007 and 2010.
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  • FSA: Sage Financial Services Limited/Burns-Anderson Limited

    03/07/2012
    FSA reports that these firms have been put into liquidation and has provided a Q&A, in which it advises consumers that... financial advisers who were part of their networks of financial adviser firms will not be able to give advice for the time being (FSA provides a full list of such firms).
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  • FSA: Speech by Adair Turner: FSA’s Annual Public Meeting (3 July 2012)

    03/07/2012
    FSA has published the text of the above, in which Adair Turner discusses FSA’s work in the past within the context... of what the FSA has achieved over four years since the onset of the financial crisis. He also considers the recent investment banking issues and suggests “it’s fair to say that in the past the FSA has tended to a somewhat caveat emptor approach to wholesale conduct issues. … An insurance company or pension funds may be itself a large institution, but sitting behind the company or pension fund are retail investors: and any poor practice which unreasonably shifts income to the industry is at the expense of some end retail customer. There are no free lunches, and shoddy wholesale practice is not a victimless act, even in those cases where it is not defined as a crime. We will therefore need to think carefully how far we should shift our past approach to the supervision of wholesale conduct, and what resources and skills we need to be more effective in this area”. This will be an issue covered by an FCA approach document expected in the autumn. He also notes that FSA’s “best current estimate” of the cut over from FSA to FCA/PRA is April 2013, adding “it depends on the parliamentary timetable up to Royal Assent and the time needed thereafter for secondary legislation and regulations. From the point of view of the leadership and staff of the FSA, we want legal cut over to be as soon after March 1 as possible”.
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  • HoC: LIBOR (FSA investigation)/Banking union (2 July 2012)

    03/07/2012
    George Osborne has made a further statement in HoC, in which he confirms that the Government is to propose amendments to... the Financial Services Bill in the autumn “to ensure that all future fines paid by the financial services industry should go to the taxpayer” – this arrangement will be backdated to fines received from 1 April 2012. He has asked Martin Wheatley (CEO designate of FCA) to review what reforms are required to the current framework for setting and governing LIBOR. This will include looking at whether participation in the setting of LIBOR should become a regulated activity, at the feasibility of using actual trade data to set the benchmark, and at making initial recommendations on the transparency of the processes surrounding the setting and governance of LIBOR. The review will also look at the adequacy of the UK’s current civil and criminal sanctioning powers, with respect to financial misconduct and market abuse with regard to LIBOR and potentially other price-setting mechanisms in financial markets. Martin Wheatley will report in the summer on this matter. A further inquiry, on professional standards in the banking industry, has been announced. A motion to establish a Parliamentary Joint Committee, to be chaired by Andrew Tyrie, will take place soon and it is hoped that the Joint Committee will report at the end of the year. A link to the transcript of George Osborne’s statement and MPs’ reactions follows.  The second link is to David Cameron's earlier statement in HoC, in which he noted the latter enquiry and also commented on the banking union as discussed at the EC summit last weekend: "on the specific proposal of a banking union, I ensured that Britain will not be part of any common deposit guarantees or under the jurisdiction of any single European financial supervisor. I am very clear that British taxpayers will not be guaranteeing any Eurozone banks".
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