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See Scott Robert’s regulatory roundup for June:
- HM Treasury has produced their response outlining the Regulatory Framework for Approval of Financial Promotions by authorised firms for unauthorised firms.
The Government has set out its response to the consultation into section 21 of the Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA) wherein there is a general prohibition to communicate financial promotions unless the entity is an authorised person. Unauthorised persons (those who are not authorised by the FCA) cannot communicate a financial promotion unless the arrangement falls under an exemption, or their communication is approved by an authorised person. This current arrangement is under scrutiny as the consultation identifies ‘there is no specific assessment authorised firms must undergo before they are able to approve financial promotions of unauthorised firms.’To address this concern and the associated risks attached to it, the consultation proposes two methods to remedy the issue. Firstly, an amendment to FSMA wherein authorised firms are no longer able to approve an unauthorised person’s financial promotions unless the authorised firm has gained approval from the FCA to be able to review non-authorised persons financial promotions. Alternatively, the consultation proposes to amend the Regulated Activities Order to make the approval of an unauthorised person’s financial promotions require part 4A permissions, hence becoming a regulated activity in its own right.
The Government has responded favourably to the former meaning, in the near future, it is likely firms will no longer be able to approve unauthorised person’s financial promotions without seeking consent from the FCA first. The consultation paper response can be found here.
- The EU Commission has approved the UK in its adequacy decision for personal data sharing within the Eurozone.
The Information Commissioner’s Office has reported that the European Commission has finalised its adequacy decision with an approval for the UK. This means the EU has found the UK’s data compliance framework robust enough to ensure personal data can flow, without impediment, between the Eurozone and the UK. As the UK left the EU at the end of last year the UK implemented all enforced EU legislation (including the GDPR) to ensure a seamless transition, thus, this decision outcome was expected. Firms should not encounter any disruption with their interactions and data-sharing with third-party Eurozone based firms for the immediate future. The UK Government has expressed an intention to replace the GDPR with a different, more business friendly data protection regime however, it is unclear how much these proposals will differ from the existing GDPR framework and whether that will prompt the EU Commission to rescind its adequacy decision later down the line. The ICO’s statement can be found here.
- The FCA has banned ‘Binance Markets Limited’, a cryptocurrency exchange from carrying out any regulated activity with immediate effect.
Binance Markets Limited the UK entity of the wider Binance Group has been banned from conducting any regulated activity within the UK. Binance is the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange and while the FCA does not strictly regulate cryptocurrencies it still does require the exchange firms to register with the FCA. The FCA has moved to ban the firm and noted none of the entities within the group have permissions to conduct regulated activity. The FCA cannot stop UK customers from engaging with Binance as it is based within the Cayman Islands however, by announcing the ban, the FCA wants to encourage UK customers to move away from the vendor. The FCA announcement can be viewed here.
- The FCA has announced a webinar for its expected Business Plan 2021.
The FCA has announced that its annual Business Plan will be revealed on July 15th at 8:30am. Niki Rathi, the FCA’s Chief Executive will deliver a speech to outline the Business Plan via a webinar. Firms can register for the webinar here. Firms can refer to our previous newsletter in April where the FCA delayed their Business Plan by three months.
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