FCA announces Practitioner Panels Chairs: FCA has announced three new Chairs for its independent Practitioner Panels. The appointments come into effect from 1 April. The new Chairs are:

  • FCA Practitioner Panel – Alison Brittain, Group Director of Retail, Lloyds Banking Group;
  • FCA Markets Practitioner Panel – Robert Mass, Head of International Compliance and Global Head of Securities Division Compliance, Goldman Sachs; and
  • FCA Smaller Business Practitioner Panel – Clinton Askew, Director, Citywide Financial Partners.

Each appointment is for a two-year term. Alison Brittain, Robert Mass and Clinton Askew will succeed Graham Beale, Paul Swann and Andrew Turberville Smith respectively. (Source: New Chairs of the Financial Conduct Authority’s Practitioner Panels Announced)

FCA issues finalised TRUP guidance: FCA has published finalised guidance on its Transaction Reporting User Pack (TRUP) following its consultation in May 2014. The consultation sought to clarify:

  • that the transaction reports a firm sends for its transactions must accurately reflect the change in position for the firm and its client(s) resulting from the transactions;
  • that a firm hitting its own order on a trading venue should transaction report the resultant transaction;
  • how the unit price should be reported for different instruments;
  • how to report the venue for a transaction; and
  • what FCA expected on transaction reporting arrangements within firms.

FCA has now considered the responses to the consultation (which it has published alongside the finalised guidance) and made minor changes. Version 3.1 of the TRUP will be effective immediately, with the exception of the guidance on trading capacity, use of "INTERNAL" and internal transactions, which will be effective from 6 August. (Source: FCA Publishes TRUP Finalised Guidance)

FCA consults on CBTL mortgages: FCA is consulting on how to implement into its rules those parts of the Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD) that apply to buy-to-let mortgages. Treasury decided to take advantage of an exemption in the MCD that allows Member States to choose not to apply the MCD's provisions on these mortgages, but they must have an appropriate framework in place for regulating relevant activities. As a result, FCA needs to implement Treasury's legislative proposals for consumer buy-to-let (CBTL) mortgages by 21 March 2016. The consultation covers:

  • registration of CBTL firms with FCA: there will be a streamlined registration process for firms that are already FCA-authorised. But there will be a few firms that are not, and FCA will ask more searching questions of these firms. FCA plans to tell firms how to register, and have forms available in around September;
  • aggregated data reporting requirements to cover lending, performance and complaints;
  • complaints handling rules (CBTL firms will be part of the Financial Ombudsman Service compulsory jurisdiction); and
  • changes to relevant handbook modules: FCA's proposed changes include a CBTL appointed representatives regime for CBTL arrangers and advisers, changes to the enforcement module and clarification in the Perimeter Guidance on whether CBTL firms need to register.

FCA will consult separately about fees but expects them to be low. FCA needs comments by 19 March and will publish its rules in June. (Source: FCA Consults on CBTL Mortgages)

FCA publishes pensions waiver by consent: FCA has published a waiver by consent available to firms affected by the changes to pensions laws. The modification covers rules in chapters 13 and 14 of the Conduct of Business Sourcebook (COBS) and will allow firms to prepare for compliance with the new requirements on uncrystallised funds pension lump sum (UFPLS). Firms must tell FCA if they wish to take advantage of the modification. (Source: FCA Publishes Pensions Waiver by Consent)

Up next from FCA: FCA plans a number of feedback statements on outstanding consultations before the end of March. Key feedback includes:

  • management expenses levy for the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and policy on regulatory fees and levies for 2015/16 together with a consultation on rates for 2015/16;
  • implementing the MCD;
  • Solvency 2 changes and simplification of the Prudential Sourcebook for Mortgage and Home Finance and Insurance Intermediaries;
  • benchmarks; and
  • dealing commission.

FCA also plans a discussion paper on MiFID 2 in March. (Source: Policy Development Update No. 19)