Treasury consults on ring-fenced banks and pensions: Treasury is consulting on secondary legislation to implement the recommendation of the Independent Commission on Banking that ring-fenced banks should not have liabilities to group-wide pension schemes. Treasury plans to make regulations under the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 (the Banking Reform Act) requiring that ring-fenced banks ensure that they cannot become liable for the pension schemes of the rest of the group, or anyone else. Treasury's approach is to prescribe the outcome, but not the manner of its achievement and so the Regulations aim to give scheme managers and trustees powers to achieve the necessary separations. Ring-fenced banks should have the required pensions arrangements in place either by 1 January 2026, or, if later, five years after the day on which the body becomes a ring-fenced bank, but the Regulations should take effect in 2015 to allow adequate planning time.  The consultation also covers non-statutory liability to pension schemes. The draft Regulations therefore provide that, from 2026, the ring-fenced bank may not be, or become, a party to any "shared liabilities arrangements", meaning guarantees, indemnities, bonds or other arrangements which would result in the ring-fenced bank becoming liable for the pensions liabilities of other companies. Treasury asks for comment by 15 October and is committed to introducing the Regulations into Parliament as soon as possible. (Source: Treasury Consults on Ring-Fenced Banks and Pensions)

Treasury updates sanctions: Treasury has updated the sanctions lists in respect of Syria, Libya, Iraq and the Ukraine. (Source: Treasury Updates Sanctions)