The UK government is considering bringing the pre-pay funeral sector under Financial Conduct Authority regulation. Currently, providers of pre-pay plans are not regulated if they undertake to apply the customer's payments to a whole life insurance policy, and to hold the proceeds on trust for the funeral expenses.
The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 creates a new sanctions regime for the UK after Brexit, needed to keep UK Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (“CTF”) measures up to date.
In its Business Plan for 2018/19, the FCA shows mitigating the effect of Brexit is its key priority for the coming year, supplemented by seven priorities across the financial sectors it regulates and other priorities within each of those seven sectors.
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.
The FCA and PRA have been reviewing firms’ algorithmic trading activity and have issued supervisory publications. For firms solo-regulated by the FCA, please refer to the FCA publication. Firms regulated by the PRA and FCA should refer to both publications. Firms operating in wholesale markets increasingly use algorithms for a number of purposes across their trading activity. In particular, driven by the rise in electronic trading platforms and the increased availability of data, algorithms are now often used for making both execution and investment decisions. It is essential that key oversight functions, including compliance and risk management, keep pace with technological advancements.