FCA updates further on AIFMD reporting: FCA has updated firms again on reporting under the AIFMD. It has confirmed it has resolved its issues with the GABRIEL system and has now asked firms to report as soon as possible - but to log out of GABRIEL as soon as they have finished to avoid further capacity issues. It has reported separately on common AIFMD validation errors. (Source: FCA Updates Further on AIFMD Reporting)

FCA publishes market abuse thematic review: FCA has published the results of its thematic review into the risk of market abuse at asset management firms. FCA found that:

  • firms generally had effective policies to identify and control inside information in clear situations. On the other hand, practices to avoid inside information or identify its receipt when it is not expected were often informal and inconsistently applied;
  • all firms had a policy to limit the sharing of inside information to those who need to know it, but only a minority of firms monitored its effectiveness;
  • firms generally had good pre‑trade controls to reduce the risk of market abuse. In most firms a segregated dealing function conducted a review to flag potentially manipulative transactions prior to execution;
  • only two firms demonstrated post‑trade surveillance that effectively highlighted and properly investigated potentially suspicious trades. In a number of firms effective investigation of potentially suspicious transactions was difficult due to a lack of documentation and poor awareness of front office research activity;
  • all firms had a personal account dealing policy with procedures to reduce the risk of market abuse; and
  • all except one firm conducted training to ensure employees’ understanding of market abuse rules was up to date and to discuss recent market abuse cases.

The thematic review also contains detailed examples of good and bad practice in a range of situations. FCA will now be writing to each of the 19 asset management firms in the thematic sample to provide individual feedback. Senior management at other firms are expected to take the findings of the thematic review into account in satisfying themselves that their firms' practices to manage the risk of market abuse are appropriate. (Source: Asset Management Firms and the Risk of Market Abuse)

FCA publishes supervisory page on attestations: FCA has published information on their approach to using attestations as a supervisory tool. The most common situations in which FCA would request an attestation includes where firms have to make notifications, give undertakings and carry out self-certification and verification. FCA's purpose is to put senior management (and other approved persons) under a personal commitment to take action and to have clear accountability. (Source: FCA Attestations Webpage)

FCA writes to pensions operators on governance: FCA has written to CEOs of firms that operate group personal and group stakeholder pension schemes. The letter reminds them of the requirement, applicable from 6 April, that they set up an Independent Governance Committee or, for less complex schemes, a Governance Advisory Arrangement operated by a third party. (Source: The Establishment of Independent Governance Committees for Workplace Pension Schemes)