ESMA prohibits binary options and restricts CFDs to protect retail investors

ESMA has announced a ban on the provision of binary options to retail investors in the EU and placed restrictions on the provision of contracts for differences, including rolling spot forex and financial spread bets, to retail investors in the EU. The FCA supports ESMA’s application of EU-wide temporary product intervention measures and expects to consult on whether to apply these measures on a permanent basis.

GDPR – Are you ready?

Are you ready? On 25 May 2018, the GDPR will come into effect for all firms operating within Europe as well as firms outside of Europe which have data come in from, go through, or end up in, the European Union. As part of this regulation, individuals will be afforded enhanced rights regarding their data.

Brexit: Draft UK EU Withdrawal Agreement

The Draft UK EU Withdrawal Agreement published on 19 March 2018 contains no mention of the financial services industry whilst confirming that the transitional period will last from Brexit day on 29 March 2019 until 31 December 2020.

Proposed changes to the AIFM and UCITS Directives

The European Commission (“EC”) have published a proposed directive and a proposed regulation amending Directive 2011/61/EU on Alternative Investment Fund Managers (“AIFMs”) and Directive 2009/65/EC on undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (“UCITS”) to facilitate cross-border marketing of funds, including pre-marketing under the AIFM Directive.

SONIA benchmark reform

The date and time of the publication of the SONIA benchmark is changing on Monday 23 April 2018. Friday 20 April 2018 will be the final day for which SONIA will be calculated and published by the Wholesale Market Brokers’ Association (“WMBA”) using the current methodology.

FCA change of London address

Over the summer of 2018, the London offices of the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) are relocating from 25 The North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London E14 5HS and 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14, to a new location in The International Quarter of Stratford: 12 Endeavour Square, London E20 1JN.

Brexit: FCA Survey for EEA inbound passported firms

The Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”), via a specific webpage entitled ‘Survey for EEA inbound passported firms’, are asking all firms they solely regulate that passport into the UK (either via a branch or on a cross-border services basis) or market funds in the UK to complete a short online survey.