14Apr

Does your firm require assistance with reviewing its financial promotions? Could you benefit from any compliance support? If so, please contact Scott Robert on 0161 914 5727.

See Scott Robert’s regulatory roundup for the first half of April:

  1. The FCA has released its Financial Promotions data for the first quarter of 2021:
    The FCA has released its data on Financial Promotions which were referred for review by multiple sources. Covering the first quarter of 2021 a total of 441 financial promotions were reviewed by the FCA. The FCA categorised the financial promotions by sector and revealed that 47% of all financial promotions it viewed which concerned retail lending were asked to be changed or removed. The FCA found retail lending as the least compliant financial service when it came to distributing financial promotions. In second place was retail investments at 26%. Moreover the FCA noted 75% of all promotions that needed to be amended or withdrawn concerned social media or website material. For more information, the FCA’s data breakdown can be viewed here.

 

  1. Finalised guidance from the FCA has been published for insurance, debit and credit card providers on cancellations and refunds:
    Firms which provide insurance, debit and credit cards now have finalised guidance from the FCA on how to handle requests from consumers for cancellations and refunds. This guidance applies from April 2nd to whenever the FCA deems the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic to subside. The finalised guidance was made in consideration to the various responses the FCA has received in its consultation. Insurance, debit, and credit card firms which require further guidance on providing refunds or cancellations during this pandemic should review this document to ensure continued compliance with the FCA for treating customers fairly (PRIN 6) and its other principles of business.
  2. The FCA and Bank of England are encouraging market participants in the sterling non-linear derivatives market to switch to SONIA by the 11th of May:
    Liquidity providers within the sterling non-linear derivatives market are being encouraged to discontinue the soon to be defunct LIBOR (London Inter-Bank Offered Rate) on their quoting conventions and instead use SONIA (Sterling Overnight Index Average). SONIA is the preferred rate to replace LIBOR in most cases as the ‘The Working Group’ seeks to move general GBP liquidity away from LIBOR by the end of the year when the deadline for LIBOR use ends. The full statement from the FCA and Bank of England can be found here.
  3. Mark Steward, the Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight has delivered a speech on the importance of purposeful Anti-Money Laundering controls:
    Mark Steward, an executive director of the FCA delivered a speech to the AML & ABC forum highlighting the importance of firms retaining adequate anti-money laundering (AML) controls. Mark Steward highlighted the biggest sanctions within the last 12 months relating to AML prevention failures and inadequate protections against financial crime. A recent example being the criminal proceedings issued against NatWest PLC. Thus, the FCA are renewing their focus on supervising firms to ensure they have effective AML procedures in place. The speech also served to advise firms on how the FCA investigates AML activity and the key indicators that increase the likelihood of AML occurring. The full speech script can be found here.

Notable FCA dates this month:

  • Deadline for open consultation responses for funeral plans ends on the 13th April 2021. Firms can respond here.
  • The FCA’s Business plan is due for publication this month. This business plan identifies the FCA’s area of focus and priorities for the year. For those interested, here is last years business plan as an example. Scott Robert will look to provide a summary of the plan once published.

Please visit our website to see how we can support you or if you have any questions regarding the information in this newsletter, please contact us today on 0161 914 5727 or email enquires@scottrobert.co.uk.

Scott Robert.