ICO: Data Protection registration and fees

GDPR removes the requirement for data controllers to register with the ICO; however, new regulations require all data controllers to continue paying the ICO an annual fee.

FCA publishes its Business Plan for 2018/19

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 Technical Advice simplifying prospectuses format and content

ESMA has published the first part of its Technical Advice under the new Prospectus Regulation, covering the areas of format and content of a prospectus (including the Universal Registration Document), the EU Growth prospectus and the scrutiny and approval of a prospectus.

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.

FCA change of main consumer telephone number

The Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) has changed its main telephone number for consumers from 0845 606 1234 to 0800 111 6768. The number is for Consumers (and people representing consumers) to call the FCA on 0800 111 6768 (freephone) or 0300 500 8082 from the UK, or +44 207 066 1000 from abroad. This number is answered Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, and Saturday from 9am to 1pm.

FCA and PRA multi-firm review on Algorithmic Trading Compliance in Wholesale Markets

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.

GDPR Compliance is now a board level responsibility

The Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) have stated that compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) is now a board level responsibility, and that firms must be able to produce evidence to demonstrate the steps that they have taken to comply.

FCA CP18/4 The European Money Market Funds Regulation

The FCA is consulting in CP18/4 on the EU Money Market Funds (“MMF”) Regulation, which came into force on 21 July 2017 and applies to new MMFs from 21 July 2018 and to existing MMFs from 21 January 2019. The FCA and the Treasury have identified areas of the UK regulatory framework that require changes.