Treasury publishes productivity plan: Treasury has published a productivity plan for the UK. Among many other initiatives, the plan features a section on financial services. Treasury says the UK will:

  • support actively the Capital Markets Union;
  • promote the development of simple, transparent and comparable securitisation;
  • continue to work to remove barriers to the development of a private placements market;
  • support efforts to improve the Initial Public Offering market;
  • catalyse a market-wide discussion of the costs and benefits of greater standardisation in corporate bond markets;
  • commit to PRA and FCA creating a joint New Bank Unit to help new entrants to the banking markets and promote competition;
  • launch a FinTech benchmarking exercise in the autumn; and
  • encourage PRA and FCA to be transparent on their use of competition powers.

(Source: Treasury Publishes Productivity Plan)

Treasury updates sanctions: Treasury has updated the sanctions lists in respect of Belarus, South Sudan and Iran. In relation to Iran, the effect of the recent agreement and change to the Joint Plan of Action is that the situation remains unchanged with the suspension of the restrictive measures further extended to 14 January 2016. (Source: Treasury Updates Sanctions)

Treasury publishes draft overseas firms scope SI: Treasury has published a draft statutory instrument (SI) setting out which foreign credit institutions and investment firms that have a branch in the UK will be "relevant authorised persons" for the purposes of certain parts of the Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA) and Banking Reform Act. (Source: Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Relevant Authorised Persons) Order 2015)

Treasury updates AML guidance: Treasury has updated its guidance to firms on anti-money laundering (AML) and terrorist finance risks, following FATF's June meeting. It says firms must:

  • consider Algeria, North Korea, Iran and Myanmar as high-risk jurisdictions and must apply enhanced due diligence (EDD) in any dealing with them; and
  • take appropriate action, which may include EDD, to minimise risks in respect of Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ecuador, Guyana, Iraq, Lao PDR, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Sudan, Syria, Uganda and Yemen.

It notes sanctions regimes also apply in relation to many of these jurisdictions. (Source: Treasury Updates AML Guidance)

Treasury consults on BoE reforms: Treasury has published a consultation paper in advance of putting forward legislation on reforms that would improve the governance and accountability of the Bank of England (BoE). The key reform will be to bring PRA fully within the BoE structure, so it will no longer be a subsidiary of BoE, and call it the Prudential Regulation Committee. Another change will see the Financial Policy Committee elevated to being a committee of the bank, rather than of the court – the same status as the reconstituted PRA will have. It asks for comments by 11 September. (Source:Treasury to Consult on BoE Reforms)