Since our last publication, the FCA has published its final rules on persistent credit card debt, and has published a call for input on how technology can be used to achieve smarter regulatory reporting


New credit card rules introduced by the FCA

The FCA has published its final policy statement (PS 18/4) on new rules for the credit card market, setting out its final rules and guidance to help customers in persistent credit card debt and to require firms to intervene earlier to identify customers at risk of financial difficulties. In its policy statement the FCA confirms it has amended its proposals to carve out business credit card products from the scope of its rules, clarifying that the rules do not apply to credit card products promoted solely for the purposes of a customer's business; but the rules will apply to personal credit cards being used for business purposes. The FCA have not made any other changes to its proposals. The new rules come into force on 1 March 2018, however firms have until 1 September 2018 to comply.

FCA, 27 February 2018

FCA statement on introduction of public register of certification employees and others at authorised firms 

The FCA has published a statement announcing that it will consult on proposals to make information publicly available on wider range of individuals and authorised firms. Under the FCA's proposals to extend the senior managers and certification regime (SM&CR) to almost all regulated firms, the FCA will only approve the most senior individuals within firms and therefore only senior managers will appear on the Financial Services register and not those employees who firms certify as fit and proper under the certification regime. The FCA has received feedback on the public value of maintaining a central public records if certification employees and other important individuals within firms and will consult by summer 2018 on policy proposals.

FCA call for input on using technology to achieve smarter regulatory reporting

The FCA has published a call for input on how technology can be used to make it easier for firms to meet their regulatory reporting requirements and improve the quality of the information they provide. The call for input outlines how a proof of concept was developed in November 2017 and asks for views on how the FCA can improve the process. The proof of concept could make regulatory reporting requirements machine-readable and executable The call for input also seeks feedback on broader issues surrounding the role technology in regulatory reporting. The call for input is open to comments until 20 June 2018. The FCA will publish a feedback statement in summer 2018, bringing together the results of roundtable and further industry discussions, as well as feedback from the call for input.

FCA, 20 February 2018

PRA publishes near-final rule changes to reflect IDD delay

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) has updated Policy Statement (PS 31/17), 'Responses to CP18/17 Occasional Consultation Paper—Chapters 7 and 8', to reflect the proposed delay of the commencement date of the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) from 23 February 2018 to 1 October 2018. The changes were consulted on in the PRA's Consultation Paper (CP 4/18), which was published on 5 February 2018.

PRA, 23 February 2018

Treasury Select Committee SME finance inquiry 

The House of Commons Select Committee has published terms of reference for its inquiry which was launched on 1 February 2018, into the state of the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) finance market. The inquiry will consider the following themes:

  • Funding options available to SMEs – this includes considering the level of competition in the SME lending market and impact of recent regulatory initiatives and how potential changes to regulation and redress may affect the market;
  • The ability of SMEs to resolve disputes and access fair and reasonable compensation when they borrow money – this includes considering the merits if the FCA's proposals for expanding SME access to the Financial Ombudsman Service; and
  • The regulation of SME lending – this includes considering the case for brining lending to SMEs within the regulatory perimeter. 

House of Commons Select Committee, 20 February 2018

BSB guidance to help firms assess fitness and propriety of staff under certification regime 

The Banking Standards Board (BSB) has published supporting guidance to help firms identify and deal with risks and issues that may arise when they are assessing the fitness and propriety of their certified staff under the certification regime. The guidance includes illustrative examples of the challenges of the challenges that firms may encounter when assessing fitness and propriety, and how these could be addressed. 

BSB, 22 February 2018

Response to FCA consultation on industry codes of conduct relating to unregulated activities 

The City of London Law Society (CLLS) has published the response of its regulatory law committee to the FCA's consultation on industry codes of conduct relating to unregulated markets and activities (CP17/37). The CLLS is concerned that the FCA's proposals would present various risks to firms and does not agree that Principle 5 of the FCA's Principles for Business (which requires firms to observe proper standards of market conduct) should be extended to all unregulated activities. 

CLLS, 21 February 2018

Inquiry launched into digital currencies

The House of Commons Treasury Committee has published details of an inquiry into digital currencies which will examine the use of digital currencies and distributed ledger technology in the UK.

The House of Commons Treasury Committee, 22 February 2018