Since our last publication, the Government has published a letter with recommendations for the FCA following the Spring Budget. In other news, from 7 March 2017, the FCA rules regarding regulatory references for Senior Managers and staff in the Senior Managers and Certification Regime will come into force.

UK

Regulatory references regime comes into force

From 7 March 2017, the FCA rules regarding regulatory references for Senior Managers and staff in the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR) will come into force, the FCA has announced. The rules have been introduced exactly one year after the SMCR came into force. The SMCR applies to staff in roles that can cause ‘significant harm’ to either the firm or its customers. This includes, for example, investment and mortgage advisers. The deadline for firms to have issued certificates for staff in the SMCR was also 7 March 2017. This was also the day on which the Conduct Rules, which have applied to Senior Managers and staff in the SMCR for a year, began to apply to all other staff, apart from those undertaking purely ancillary functions, such as security staff.

FCA, 7 March 2017

Spring Budget: Government publishes letter with recommendations for the FCA

Alongside the Spring Budget 2017, the government has published a letter from Philip Hammond to Andrew Bailey which provides recommendations for the FCA, including:

  • Competition: the government is keen to see more competition in all sectors, and particularly the retail banking sector.
  • Growth: the government wants to ensure financial services markets contributes to sustainable economic growth in the UK by facilitating finance for investment, and as a productive sector of the economy.
  • Competitiveness: the government wishes the UK to remain an attractive domicile for internationally-active financial institutions.
  • Innovation: the government would like to see innovation in the financial services sector that supports the wider economy.

HM Treasury, 8 March 2017

FCA Policy Update Page

FCA policy update page provides useful snapshot of recent FCA publications and upcoming publications. The FCA update this on the first Friday of each month.

FCA, 3 March 2017

PSR second annual report on access to payment systems and governance of payment system operators

The Payment Systems Regulator has published its second annual report on access to payment systems and the governance of payment system operators in the UK. A factsheet is also available, which summarises the PSR's key findings.

Payments Systems Regulator, 9 March 2017

FLA figures: January 2017

New figures released by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) show that asset finance new business (primarily leasing and hire purchase) grew by 16% in January, compared with the same month in 2016. New business in the plant and machinery finance and business equipment finance sectors was up by 35% and 21% respectively, while commercial vehicle finance new business increased by 3% over the same period. Figures also reveal that there was a 10% growth in consumer finance new business in January, compared with the same month in 2016. Credit card and personal loan new business together grew by 11% compared with January 2016, while retail store and online credit new business increased by 1%. Second charge mortgage new business fell 6% by value and 11% by volume over the same period. Finally the FLA announced that new business in the point of sale (POS) consumer new car finance market grew 9% by value and 3% by volume in January, compared with the same month in 2016. The percentage of private new car sales financed by FLA members through the POS was 86.5% in the twelve months to January, compared with 86.6% in the twelve months to December 2016. The POS consumer used car finance market also reported new business growth in January of 15% by value and 9% by volume.

FLA, 10 March 2017

FCA and PRA to hold seminar on setting up a UK bank

The FCA and PRA have announced a seminar to be hosted on 9 June 2017 on setting up a new bank in the UK. It is aimed at those working in or with organisations thinking about becoming a bank in the UK, firms currently going through the bank authorisation process, and recently authorised banks who are now navigating the regulatory requirements. The FCA and the PRA’s New Bank Start-up Unit (NBSU) will focus on how to become a bank in the UK and what happens after authorisation. It will draw on material used in previous seminars, so will be of most interest to those who have recently started to consider becoming a bank and/or who have not attended a PRA and FCA New banks seminar before. It is based on the current UK and EU regulatory framework

FCA & PRA, 10 March 2017

CMA proposes market investigation changes

The Competition and Markets Authority has published a document outlining its proposed changes which take into account experience since the Enterprise Act 2002, and in particular of the CMA’s major investigations into energy and banking. Interested parties are encouraged to respond to the consultation by the 2 May 2017.

CMA, 6 March 2017

EU

ECJ gives guidance on the Consumer Rights Directive

The ECJ has interpreted the meaning of "basic rate" for the purposes of the Consumer Rights Directive (2011/83/EU). Under the Directive, where a trader operates a consumer help-line for post-contract enquiries, the trader cannot charge the consumer more than the "basic rate" for calls to that number. The ECJ has held that "basic rate" means not more than the cost of a call to a standard geographic landline or mobile telephone line. This interpretation confirms the approach taken in guidance issued by the Commission and the UK government. In this case it would seem that a single line may have been provided for both post-purchase issues and support. Identifying the boundary between a technical support line, which is not caught by the cap, and one which is, remains a key issue for those dealing with consumers. (Zentrale zur Bekampfung unlauteren Wettbewerbs Frankfurt am Main e.V. v comtech GmbH, Case C-568/15)

ECJ, 2 March 2017

ECB vice-chair speaks on banking regulation

The European Central Bank has published a speech made by Sabine Lautenschläger, Member of the Executive Board and Vice-Chair of the Supervisory Board on challenges facing European and global financial regulators. In her address to the Institute, Sabine discussed banking regulation in Europe - she made the case for the reforms undertaken since the financial crisis and highlighted the need for a global approach to regulation. Ms Lautenschläger also discussed the ongoing review of the EU’s regulatory framework.

ECB, 13 March 2017

Cases

Ittihadieh v 5-11 Cheyne Gardens RTM Company Ltd and Others [2017] EWCA Civ 121, 3 March 2017

The Court of Appeal has dismissed two appeals and refused to exercise its discretion to order the data controllers to take further steps to comply with subject access requests. The court determined a number of issues which arose under the Data Protection Act 1998, including the meaning of "personal data", issues in relation to subject access requests, and the extent of the exemption from data protection duties for data processed only for the purposes of an individual's personal, family, or household affairs.

3 March 2017