Since our last publication, the FCA has withdrawn its updated consumer credit information sheets. In other news, the Government has published a consultation paper seeking views on its plans to create a single public financial guidance body.
FCA announces withdrawal of updated consumer credit information sheets
The FCA has announced on its webpage that it has withdrawn the updated versions of the consumer credit information sheets in relation to arrears and default notices that were due to be used by firms from 18 January 2017. This is because of an error in the production of the new information sheets. New corrected versions are expected to be published shortly, with a new effective date. Firms who have already started to re-print their information sheets (required by s86A of the CCA) to meet the January 18 deadline will now need to suspend this activity until the new versions are published. They must continue to use the current versions and not those which would have become effective from January 18 2017.
CMA finds competition concerns with cashpoint merger
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has provisionally found that Diebold’s acquisition of Wincor may reduce competition in the supply of customer-operated cashpoints in the UK. The CMA has also issued a notice of possible remedies which outlines measures the CMA could take if it still believes the merger would lead to a substantial lessening of competition when it makes its final decision.
CMA, 20 December 2016
Government consults on single public financial guidance body
The government has published a consultation paper seeking views on its plans to create a single public financial guidance body. The paper summaries responses to the government's March 2016 consultation on the public financial guidance review and sets out a model for a new single financial guidance body (SFGB) that will commission advice for those in problem debt, co-ordinate efforts to improve financial capability and provide information and guidance on matters relating to pensions, financial scams, and wider money matters.
Bank of England Act 1998 (Macro-prudential Measures) Order 2016 published
The Bank of England Act 1998 (Macro-prudential Measures) Order 2016 has been published on legislation.gov.uk, together with an explanatory memorandum. The order came into force on the 16 December 2016, and sets out the powers of direction that the Bank of England's Financial Policy committee has in the buy-to-let-market.
BoE, 16 December 2016
EBA report recommends harmonised EU framework for covered bonds
The European Banking Authority (EBA) has published a report with recommendations on how to harmonise covered bond frameworks in the EU. The recommendations seek to ensure that only those financial instruments that comply with harmonised structural, credit risk and prudential standards can be branded as "covered bonds" and have access to special regulatory and capital treatment, as provided in the current EU financial regulation.
Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities' final report and revised joint guidelines on prudential assessment of acquisitions and increases of qualifying holdings in financial sector
The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) has published a final report containing revised joint guidelines on the prudential assessment of acquisitions and increases of qualifying holdings in the financial sector. The guidelines will now be translated into all the official languages of the EU and will apply from 1 October 2017. They replace the previous version of the guidelines, which was adopted in 2008.
ESAs' final report on good supervisory practices for reducing mechanistic reliance on credit ratings
The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) has published a report on good supervisory practices for reducing sole and mechanistic reliance on credit ratings. The report is aimed at national sectoral competent authorities (SCAs) responsible for supervising credit institutions, investment firms, insurance and reinsurance undertakings, institutions for occupational retirement provision, management companies, investment companies, alternative investment fund managers (AIFMs) and central counterparties (CCPs). The purpose of the report is to provide for a level of cross-sectoral consistency in the implementation of elements of the Credit Rating Agencies Regulation (CRA Regulation) concerning over-reliance on credit ratings.
ESMA proposes new digital format for issuers' financial reporting
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a feedback statement setting out the digital format which issuers in the European Union (EU) must use to report their company information from 1 January 2020. It concludes that Inline XBRL is the most suitable technology to meet the EU requirement for issuers to report their annual financial reports in a single electronic format, primarily because it enables both machine and human readability in one document. ESMA will focus on developing the detailed technical rules, field test its proposed solution and afterwards submit the technical standard to the European Commission for endorsement towards the end of 2017.
EBA consults on supervision of significant branches guidelines
The European Banking Authority (EBA) has published a consultation paper seeking comments on its draft guidelines on the supervision of significant branches. These guidelines are designed to facilitate co-operation and co-ordination between the competent authorities by assisting them in supervising the largest, systematically important branches, which require intensified supervision.
Joint Committee of ESAs discussion paper on use of big data by financial institutions
The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) has published a discussion paper on the use of big data by financial institutions. In the discussion paper, the ESAs consider the regulatory framework applicable to big data, including data protection requirements, consumer protection requirements, and sectoral financial requirements contained in EU financial legislation.
IOSCO final report on retail OTC leveraged products
The International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has published a final report on retail over-the-counter (OTC) leveraged products, which analyses offers of rolling-spot forex contracts, contracts for differences and binary options to retail investors. The report identifies various risks related to the marketing and sale of complex OTC leveraged products to retail investors, and describes how some regulators are responding to the challenges these products present.