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FCA regulates financial firms providing services to consumers and maintains the integrity of the UK’s financial markets. It focuses on the regulation of conduct by both retail and wholesale financial services firms.

OCT
28
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FCA, TPR and MaPS joint statement on Rolls-Royce defined-benefit pensions scheme

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Statements First published: 28/10/2020 Last updated: 28/10/2020

The FCA has issued a data request to a number of advisers who have advised on transfers from the Rolls-Royce defined benefit (DB) pension scheme.

The FCA, the Pensions Regulator (TPR) and the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) have been engaging with Rolls-Royce and the scheme’s Trustees in order to be vigilant against the risks associated with increased transfer requests as a consequence of redundancies.

All advisers should be clear on the FCA’s expectations when offering advice to members of the scheme. Where the FCA sees unsuitable advice, or bad practice, it will take action. TPR is working closely with the Trustee in its role to protect savers.

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OCT
28
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FCA charges Stephen Allen with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice 

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Press Releases First published: 28/10/2020 Last updated: 28/10/2020

The FCA has commenced criminal proceedings against Stephen Allen following an investigation. Mr Allen appeared today by video link at Westminster Magistrates Court in relation to a charge of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

The FCA alleges that between 21 July 2014 and 6 July 2017, Mr Allen conspired with Renwick Haddow to pervert the course of justice by disguising Renwick Haddow’s interest in the property known as 13 Brook Mews, London W2 3BW and its availability as an asset for the part satisfaction of any order that might be made in proceedings brought by the FCA against Renwick Haddow.

Mr Allen gave no indication as to his plea and the case was sent to Southwark Crown Court for a Plea and Trial Preparation Hearing on 25 November 2020.

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OCT
23
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FCA confirms measures to support closed book and interest-only/part-and-part mortgage borrowers

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Press Releases First published: 23/10/2020 Last updated: 23/10/2020

The FCA has confirmed the introduction of measures to support some closed book mortgage borrowers, some of whom may be mortgage prisoners. 

It has also issued guidance to help borrowers with interest-only and partial capital repayment (part-and-part) mortgages whose mortgages have matured since 20 March 2020 or will do so in the next 12 months, given the impact of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

The measures announced are:

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OCT
23
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FCA and PRA fine Goldman Sachs International £96.6m for risk management failures in connection with 1MDB

1MDB is a Malaysian state-owned development company that has been at the centre of billion-dollar embezzlement allegations. GSI underwrote, purchased and arranged three bond transactions for 1MDB in 2012 and 2013 that raised a total of US$6.5 billion for 1MDB. The 1MDB transactions were approved by global GSG committees that GSI participated in, and were booked to GSI.  

The 1MDB transactions involved clients and counterparties in jurisdictions with higher financial crime risk. GSI was also aware of the risk of involvement of a third party that GSI had serious concerns about. GSI failed to assess and manage risk to the standard that was required given the high risk profile of the 1MDB transactions, and failed to assess risk factors on a sufficiently holistic basis. GSI also failed to address allegations of bribery in 2013 and failed to manage allegations of misconduct in connection with 1MDB in 2015. 

Mark Steward, FCA Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, said: ‘Firms have a crucial role to play in tackling financial crime, and in helping to maintain the integrity of the financial system. GSI’s failure to take appropriate action in this case shows that it did not take this responsibility seriously. When confronted with allegations of bribery and staff misconduct, the firm’s mishandling allowed severe misconduct to go unaddressed. There is no amnesty for firms that tackle financial crime poorly, and the size of GSI’s fine reflects that.’ 

Sam Woods, Deputy Governor for Prudential Regulation and Chief Executive Officer of the PRA, said: ‘Failure to manage financial crime risk can have a significant adverse impact on a firm’s safety and soundness. We expect firms to manage risk, including financial crime risk, prudently and holistically and for allegations of bribery and misconduct to be taken very seriously.  The seriousness of the case and of GSI’s failures in connection with 1MDB are reflected in the size of the PRA’s fine.’

The investigation found that GSI breached a number of FCA and PRA principles and rules. Specifically, GSI failed to: 

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OCT
22
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Our letter to the TSC on passive servicing issues after the transition period

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Statements First published: 22/10/2020 Last updated: 22/10/2020

The FCA's Chief Executive, Nikhil Rathi, wrote a letter on 9 October to Rt Hon. Mel Stride MP, Chair of the Treasury Select Committee, about UK bank closures of the current accounts of customers living in the EU after the EU withdrawal transition period.

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OCT
22
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FCA welcomes Financial Services Bill

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Statements First published: 21/10/2020 Last updated: 21/10/2020

The FCA welcomes the Financial Services Bill introduced in Parliament, which will help to maintain high standards and provide greater clarity to firms. 

We particularly welcome the Bill’s provisions to amend the Benchmarks Regulation, which is intended to help manage and direct an orderly wind-down of critical benchmarks such as LIBOR.

This is an important milestone, but we urge market participants to maintain their focus on the transition away from LIBOR by the end of 2021. We encourage those impacted to read our Statement and related publications of 23 June for more information.

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OCT
21
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FCA writes joint letter on Brexit with the Bank to CEOs of insurance firms and updates its website for all firms

Jointly with the Bank of England, we have written a letter to CEOs of insurance firms on the importance of being prepared for the end of the transition period, in order to minimise disruption and ensure market stability.

This follows our joint letter with the Bank to CEOs of UK and international banks on 9 October.

Other firms may find it useful to consider these letters, and the FPC, EIOPA, EBA and ESMA statements, to help them prepare for the end of the transition period. 

UK authorities have put temporary measures in place to ensure that UK households and businesses will be able to continue accessing services from EU financial institutions after the end of 2020. These measures include the temporary permissions regime (TPR) and the use of the Temporary Transitional Power (TTP).

However, some volatility and disruption to financial services, particularly to EEA-based clients and customers, could arise. UK firms are continuing to make preparations and engage with clients and customers to minimise any disruption and it is important that they continue to do so. 

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OCT
16
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FCA proposes additional measures to help insurance customers in financial difficulty because of coronavirus

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Statements First published: 16/10/2020 Last updated: 16/10/2020

The FCA has published proposals on how firms should continue to seek to help customers who hold insurance and premium finance products and may be in financial difficulty because of coronavirus (Covid-19), after 31 October 2020. 

This guidance follows the temporary measures that have been in place since May this year. The proposed guidance sets out how firms should provide tailored support to consumers who have already had a payment deferral and those newly in financial difficulty due to changed circumstances relating to coronavirus.  

For insurance arrangements, this includes measures such as:

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OCT
13
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FCA regulation of consumer credit – during the pandemic and beyond

Speaker: Nisha Arora, Director of Consumer and Retail Policy
Event: Delivered online at the Financial Leasing Association Annual Regulation Conference 
Delivered: 13 October 
Note: This is a drafted speech and may differ from the delivered version

Highlights

  • Whilst the range of firms, consumers and uses of credit varies widely, across the board we want credit markets to achieve certain key outcomes for consumers.
  • We want to ensure credit markets work well for consumers – that means people don’t get into unaffordable debt and are treated well if they do.
  • The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has highlighted the need for the regulator, Government, industry and consumer and debt advice organisations to continue to work together in partnership to ensure that consumer credit markets work well for consumers.

Introduction 

Credit is absolutely vital to the economy and to people’s everyday lives. And its importance has become even more apparent in the last months as the pandemic has impacted the financial lives of millions of consumers and businesses. It has highlighted the need for many consumers, particularly the poorest and most vulnerable, to have access to affordable credit. More than ever, we need to work together to ensure credit markets work well and that consumers get the right outcomes. 

So I really welcome the opportunity to speak to you today and to give you my reflections on: 

  • why credit markets have been and remain a priority for the FCA
  • what outcomes we consider to be critical to well-functioning credit markets 
  • how our work in the past years and recent months has reflected that, and will continue to do so going forward.

The importance of credit markets  

Consumer credit is used by millions of people every day, with 85% of all UK adults holding at least one credit or loan product.  

It is also by far the largest sector we supervise in terms of number of firms, with around 40,000 firms authorised by the FCA. These firms vary in size and complexity and offer a wide range of products to consumers for different purposes.

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OCT
13
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East West Insurance Company Limited enters administration

East West Insurance Company Limited (East West) is an insurance firm authorised and regulated in the UK by the PRA and the FCA. 

On 12 October 2020, following application to the High Court of Justice, East West was placed into administration.

The firm has ceased writing any new insurance, and has been focused on claims management and run-off. The firm had a range of insurance policies including building guarantee policies.

The Court has appointed Richard Barker and Simon Edel, both of Ernst & Young LLP (EY), as Joint Administrators of East West, following an application by the directors. 

If you are an East West policyholder, the administration of East West doesn't automatically end or cancel your contract of insurance, and you'll be covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if you're an eligible policyholder. The administrators will write to you in due course. They will also write to you with their proposals for the administration, usually within 8 weeks of appointment. 

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