Regulation round-up November 2013

Information for all firms

Fees and levies Consultation Paper: Policy Proposals for 2014/15

Our consultation paper proposes changes to the way we levy fees, including how much firms will be charged to offer consumer credit services. It also sets out our proposed fees for consumer credit providers, a new fee block for investment firms that safeguard and administer assets or hold client money, as well as fees for approved reporting mechanisms and some minor adjustments to the fees regime.  

Cash savings market study

We are conducting a study into cash savings to see whether competition in this market is working well for consumers and identify obstacles consumers meet with when switching their savings accounts.

Anti-money laundering (AML) and anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) systems and controls thematic review

Our recent thematic review found examples of good and poor practice for both AML and ABC systems and controls. All firms must maintain robust defences and risk management frameworks, which identify and mitigate the risks of money laundering, bribery and corruption. Our financial crime guide for firms may be useful when reviewing your systems and controls.

Banks

Dear CEO letter: Standard Variable Rates (SVR)

A number of mortgage lenders have engaged with us recently about changing their mortgage contracts, most notably their SVRs. We have published a Dear CEO letter to clarify our position and remind lenders of the relevant rules and regulations that apply.

Monthly Interest Rate Hedging Products update

We have published our latest statistics on bank reviews into interest rate hedging products.

Clive Adamson speech: Ensuring the UK remains open for business – requirements for foreign-owned firms

At the Association of Foreign Banks (AFB) conference, Clive outlined the basics of what conduct regulation means for firms, how the FCA is supporting the evolving business models, the role of senior management in this process and the increased risks posed by financial crime.

Linda Woodall speech: Building a common language in the mortgage market

At the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) conference, Linda outlined our supervisory approach and demystified some of the key elements. She also discussed how this is likely to change moving forward.

Financial Advisers

Changing customers to post-RDR unit classes

We have published guidance to give firms greater clarity on how to move their clients to a new clean unit class. Central to this is our expectation that nominees who wish to ‘bulk convert’ customers to clean unit classes should be able to demonstrate that a conversion is in the clients’ best interest. If a bulk conversion takes place, clients should be given prior notification.

Crowdfunding Consultation Paper

We have published a consultation paper which proposes regulations designed to protect investors using loan-based crowdfunding platforms and investment-based crowdfunding.

Chris Woolard speech: Improving the consumer experience

At the Tax Incentivised Savings Association’s (TISA) Annual Conference Chris outlined our competition mandate, consumer strategy and market research and intelligence function.  

Mortgage Brokers

Mortgage Market Review (MMR)

In line with our MMR implementation timetable, we will issue our second and final readiness tracking survey in December. We will ask you to state your general readiness and where you require any final clarification from us.  Please check your compliance contact email address is up to date to ensure that you receive the survey. You can find more information on our website.

Dear CEO letter: Standard Variable Rates (SVR)

A number of mortgage lenders have engaged with us recently about changing their mortgage contracts, most notably their SVRs. We have published a Dear CEO letter to clarify our position and remind lenders of the relevant rules and regulations that apply.

Linda Woodall speech: Building a common language in the mortgage market

At the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) conference, Linda outlined our supervisory approach and demystified some of the key elements. She also discussed how this is likely to change moving forward.

Credit unions

Regulating consumer credit for credit unions

We have produced a factsheet that outlines the implications for when we take over the regulation of consumer credit from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in April 2014. We also explain how credit unions can find further information on our detailed proposals for our consumer credit regime.

Insurers/Insurance intermediaries

Clive Adamson speech: Trust and confidence – ensuring firms’ ethics are built around their customers

At the Insurance Institute of London (IIL) Clive outlined how the FCA aims to be more judgement-based, forward-looking, and outcome-focused. In the context of the London market we will be looking at four areas - how firms are 1) delegating authorities, 2) considering their financial crime risks, 3) handling claims, and 4) managing conflicts of interest.

Launch of price comparisons website thematic review

The growth of price comparison websites has led to important changes in the way that retail insurance products are manufactured and sold, especially for motor and home insurance. These websites provide increased choice to consumers seeking to purchase general insurance products. We believe there is a risk that price comparison websites encourage consumers to focus on headline prices rather than product features. There is also a risk that consumers may buy unsuitable products if the websites don’t show information transparently. We will review the risks that price comparison websites present to consumers. Our review will cover 90% of the market and we expect to report back our findings in Q1 next year.

Investment Managers and Stockbrokers (Retail and Wholesale)

Capital Requirements Directive (CRD IV)

CRD IV comes into force in just over one month.  We will publish our final rules in December.  In the meantime, we encourage firms to visit our webpage for the latest reporting and FAQ updates.  Due to demand we are also running another briefing for firms in London on the 2cd of December.  You can book via this link.

Markets conference

At our Markets conference, we covered a number of different areas, both domestic and international, that may affect market participants in the UK. This short video highlights the key points from the conference. 

Martin Wheatley’s keynote speech: Markets regulation in a global environment

David Lawton’s speech: Evolving the FCA’s approach to markets regulation

Asset Management Conference

At our Asset Management Conference we outlined our short and long-term asset management reform strategies that will aim to ensure that the UK remains one of the main centres for investment decision making. We believe the best way to accomplish this is to have an industry that is fair, transparent and competes effectively.

Martin Wheatley’s keynote speech: Shaping the future in asset management

Clive Adamson speech: The FCA’s vision for asset management

Consultation paper: the use of dealing commission rules

At our recent Asset Management Conference, Martin Wheatley, Chief Executive, announced the launch of an open discussion on the potential need for wider, more forward-looking reforms to improve the current dealing commission regime.   We have published our Consultation Paper (CP), which aims to clarify our rules under the existing regime ahead of possible longer-term reforms.

Outsourcing thematic review

We have published the findings from our review. It assessed whether asset managers are effectively mitigating the risks relating to outsourcing. Our review focused on two risks, resilience and oversight.

Anti-money laundering (AML) and anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) systems and controls thematic review

Our recent thematic review found examples of good and poor practice for both AML and ABC systems and controls. All firms must maintain robust defences and risk management frameworks, which identify and mitigate the risks of money laundering, bribery and corruption.  Our financial crime guide for firms may be useful when reviewing your systems and controls.

Martin Wheatley speech: Competing on integrity

At the CFA European Investment Conference, Martin outlined the importance of conduct and ethics for investment managers.