Treasury announces SMR commencement: Treasury announced that the new Senior Managers Regime (SMR) and Certification Regime will come into force on 7 March 2016. Firms will have until 8 February 2016 to notify regulators of the names of senior staff who will be senior managers under the new regime. FCA plans to publish a roadmap to commencement later this month which will include a timetable for publishing its final rules. (Source: Bankers in Britain Will be Held to Tougher Standards from March 2016)

Treasury publishes UK branch supervision responses: Treasury has published the responses it received to its consultation on regulating individual conduct in banking in respect of UK branches of foreign banks. It received four responses, including two public responses from industry associations. Respondents accepted the senior manager and certification regime should apply to these branches but raised several specific issues. These included how the regime might apply to individuals outside the UK, and its effect on branches that have a deposit-taking permission which they do not use. Treasury appreciates the concerns, and thinks PRA and FCA can deal with them when implementing the regime. It says the regime should take effect for all firms at the same time (see previous item). (Source: Treasury Publishes UK Branch Supervision Responses)

Treasury responds to PCBS on implementation proposals: Economic Secretary, Andrea Leadsom, has written to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards (PCBS) in response to recommendations made by PCBS on the regulators' implementation policy proposals. The letter outlines that:

  • the Government welcomes the views in the statement on ring-fencing, resolution and proprietary trading and supports the ongoing work taking place in relation to them;
  • the Government broadly accepted the conclusions of the final PCBS report on the new regulatory regimes for individuals and, as a result, made changes to the legal framework;
  • with regards to remuneration, the government will keep the regulators' powers under review to ensure that there are no rewards for failure in the banking sector;
  • the Government agrees it is essential that the financial regulators treat competition in banking markets as a priority. The letter refers to matters including the investigation by the CMA in relation to the supply of retail banking services to personal current account customers and to small and medium-sized enterprises; and
  • the Government is aware of the need for better regulation and therefore Treasury is due to conduct a review of regulatory enforcement decision-making.

(Source: Letter From Treasury Responding to PCBS Recommendations on Implementation Policy Proposals)

Treasury updates sanctions: Treasury has updated the sanctions list in respect of Somalia, Belarus and the Central African Republic. (Source: Treasury Updates Sanctions)