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    The FCA’s Work to Date on U.K. Retirement Outcomes Shows a Need for Encouragement, Not Intervention
    (Published August 29, 2017) The media interest generated by the FCA’s publication of its Interim Report on the Retirement Outcomes Reviewis not surprising. Whenever reports like this are published, there is invariably lots to talk about, especially in this case, given the degree of interest in pensions since the new regime was introduced in 2015. This is made even more interesting, not just because the FCA has set out how the new pensions regime is shaping up, but because it is already suggesting ways in which it can take action to intervene, in order to fix what are believed to be emerging problems. Martyn Oughton takes a closer look.
    Dear Sam – We May Need Some More Time for These Brexit Plans
    (Published August 29, 2017) Back in April 2017, the PRA’s CEO Sam Woods wrote a short letter to all firms under the PRA’s remit asking for something that might be considered straightforward – the contingency plans firms had in place for the U.K.’s impending withdrawal from the European Union (or E.U.), a pertinent matter for those firms engaged in cross-border activity in other E.U. (and European Economic Area (E.E.A.)) member states. A fairly simple request you might think; but there is one dynamic acknowledged in the letter which makes this interesting – the possibility that the U.K. could leave the E.U. with no reciprocal trading arrangements and no interim period during which to find its feet on its own.Martyn Oughton delves deeper.
    The new MiFID rules for U.K. complaint handling as incorporated into DISP in January 2017
    (Published August 29, 2017) To say that the FCA mistreats is an understatement. It amends it on an almost annual basis, dropping random material in mostly where it does not belong. PS 17/14 continues that trend by creating a new DISP 1.1A solely for MiFID II complaints due to come into force on 3 January 2018. Most of it duplicates rules that already appear elsewhere in DISP. Adam Samuel reports.
    In a Bind: How CCAR Constrains U.S. Bank Strategy
    (Published August 15, 2017) Wolters Kluwer’s Will Newcomer states that “the risk aversion that is part of being a banker has been accentuated when viewed through the CCAR process.” This Risk.net article explores the impacts that the CCAR stress test regulation (Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review) has had for the nation’s largest banks.
    Start accounting for CECL
    (Published July 31, 2017) Commenting on the new CECL rules’ impacts on banks’ accounting practices, Wolters Kluwer characterizes the regulation in ICBA’s Independent Banker magazine article accordingly: “The whole purpose is to capture a truer picture of risk…throughout the enterprise.”
    FCA embarks on PEP interpretation with a heavy heart
    (Published August 7, 2017) The Financial Action Task Force's (FATF’s) recommendations 12 and 22 require national governments to instruct their financial institutions and designated non-financial businesses and professions (‘gatekeepers’) to be very guarded in their business relationships with 'politically exposed persons' or PEPs. Its latest pronouncements on the subject have found their way into the European Union's fourth money-laundering directive of 2015 and thence into the United Kingdom's latest Money Laundering Regulations, which came into force at the end of last month (June 2017). Now the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published guidance of its own to give financial firms its own interpretation of the new requirements. This can be found in an advisory paper entitled "FG17/5: The treatment of politically exposed persons for AML purposes." Chris Hamblin reports.
    The FCA re-visits the compliance Chamber of Horrors, pension transfers in CP 17-16
    (Published July 25, 2017) Pension transfers are the nightmare subject of financial services compliance. Practitioners and regulators with memories of the 1990s recall the enormous amounts of compensation and administrative time and expensive incurred in trying to unravel some appalling financial recommendations given to transfer out of occupational schemes. Yet, even after the disappearance of commission for advised transactions following the Retail Distribution Review, this subject continues to offer substantial pots of money from which financial advisers may feast by offering advice services going forward on the basis of a percentage of the fund concerned. On top of this, as the Thematic Review in 2014 illustrated, the use by employers of incentives to transfer, in attempts to reduce pension scheme liabilities, and a recent bond bull market which has generated weirdly high transfer values have added further temptations. Pension transfers are the classic high risk/high reward business. Adam Samuel reports.
    Four Questions to Find Out if Fintech is Going Mainstream
    (Published July 24 2017) The rise of fintech as a specific concept over the last ten years or so has taken the previous financial technology model of slow and steady development and turned it on its head. Spurred on by greater technological capabilities and reliance on connectivity, the financial services industry and consumers are looking for opportunities to transact with each other and manage finances. As a result, a significant number of businesses have sprung up around the world to satisfy those demands and to create new ones. Martyn Oughton comments.
    A fine mess
    (Published July 13, 2017) Take the high road. That’s the wish of the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, for the future of financial services regulations as it reaches what he describes as “a fork in the road” that could lead on the one hand to a damaging distrust or on the other to the free and more efficient flow of capital between countries, with immense benefits for mankind. Selwyn Parker comments on this.
    Taking a grip on the new AML-CTF regime implementing into the UK
    (Published July 6, 2017) The core aims and provisions behind the latest European-led updates on anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing (AML/CTF) have now been on the change radar for some time since the main ‘Official Journal’ provisions of the 4th anti-money laundering directive (4MLD) were published by the EU back in mid-2015 (2015/849). The 4MLD practicably replacing the provisions introduced some 10 years previous to reflect the developing global guidelines and standards, and to build on the risk-assessment, due-diligence and monitoring practices and the underlying arrangements expected to deliver and ensure an effective and proportionate regime. Steve Blackbourn comments.
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