This week has seen the Bank of England and Financial Services Bill receive its second reading in the Commons.

REGULATORY

Extension to timetable for CMA retail banking market investigation

The Competition and Markets Authority has announced it expects to extend the timetable for the retail banking market investigation. Its provisional findings will not now be published in February 2016. The investigation is looking into personal current accounts and SME retail banking sectors and issues such as switching, limited transparency and the difficulties for customers in comparing banks. 

The Competition and Markets Authority, 29 January 2016

FCA Handbook Notice 29

The Financial Conduct Authority has published Handbook Notice 29, which includes recent changes made to the Handbook by the Board on 28 January 2016. These include the making of instruments introducing rules on whistleblowing and regulatory references that come into force in March and September this year.

FCA, 29 January 2016

PRA issues reminder to firms of deadline for SMR and SIMR grandfathering

The Prudential Regulatory Authority has updated its strengthening accountability webpage to remind firms that the deadline for grandfathering existing approved persons over to senior management functions expires on 8 February 2016. 

Bank of England, PRA, 28 January 2016

FCA seeks to clarify supervisory intentions

The Financial Conduct Authority has published a statement with plans to clarify its supervisory intentions on the status of individuals with overall responsibility for a firm's legal function under the Senior Managers Regime (SMR).  This concerns whether an individual in charge of a firm’s legal function (i.e. a General Counsel) requires FCA approval under the SMR. The FCA is to consult on the issue but says that any firm that has sought to make a decision in good faith on the basis of the published rules and other FCA communications does not need to change their approach in the meantime.

FCA, 27 January 2016

Andrew Bailey appointed FCA chief executive designate

HM Treasury has issued a press release announcing that Andrew Bailey has been appointed FCA chief executive for a five year term.

HM Treasury, 26 January 2016

UK 

Chancellor announces industry levy to fund loan shark policing

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that from April 2017 the work of the illegal money lending teams in England and Wales will be financed by a levy on companies offering consumers credit, to replace the funding investigators currently receive from the Government.

BBC, 2 February 2016

BoE Bankstats - December 2015

The Bank of England has published its monetary and financial statistics for December 2015, which finds an increase in mortgage and remortgaging approvals. Reuters reported that December saw UK mortgage approvals reach their highest level since August 2015 and consumer credit saw its best growth over the last decade.

BoE, 1 December 2016

Bank of England and Financial Services Bill: briefing paper on HoL proceedings

The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper which summarises the House of Lords stages of the Bank of England and Financial Services Bill 2015-16. As regards consumer credit, clause 26 of the Bill clarifies section 26A of FSMA, in respect of when agreements relating to credit are enforceable and clause 27 amends the circumstances governing when credit agreements made through unauthorised persons are unenforceable. The Bill received its second reading in the Commons on 1 February 2016 and has been referred to committee for further consideration.

The House of Commons Library, 26 January 2016