Included in this weeks edition of InCredit: CMA responds to Citizen Advice's Super-Complaint; FCA speech on diversity and inclusion in financial services firms; AFME calls for creation of clear and responsive classification framework for sustainable finance; and more.


UK

FCA publishes final guidance on variation terms in consumer contracts

The FCA has published FG18/7: Fairness of variation terms in financial services consumer contracts under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. This final guidance outlines factors financial services firms should consider under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 when drafting and reviewing variation terms in their consumer contracts. This guidance outlines a number of non-exhaustive areas the FCA believes firms should have regard to when drafting and reviewing variation terms.

FCA, 19 December 2018

CMA responds to Citizen Advice's Super-Complaint

The CMA has responded to a super-complaint by Citizens Advice, which raised concerns that not enough has been done to tackle the loyalty penalty being paid by longstanding customers in five markets: mobile; broadband; cash savings; home insurance and mortgages. It has set out a package of reforms, both across markets and specifically in relation to the five markets identified by Citizens Advice. The CMA will provide an update in six months.

CMA 19 December 2018

PSR responds to the interim Access to Cash Review

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has issued a press release in response to interim report from the Access to Cash Review, 'Is Britain ready to go cashless?'. The independent Access to Cash Review (the Review), chaired by Natalie Ceeney CBE, has been established to consider consumer requirements for cash over the next five to fifteen years. The PSR notes that it's clear that cash is being used by fewer people and for fewer transactions. But the Report also highlights the importance of cash to consumers generally and that it remains a necessity for many. This reinforces the PSR's view that cash will continue to be important for years to come.

PSR, 19 December 2018

FCA speech on diversity and inclusion in financial services firms

Christopher Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA gave a speech which set out that while financial services firms are moving in the right direction with regards to diversity and inclusion, progress has been slow with the percentage of women at senior management level below the Board having only increased by 1.5% over the last ten years. Mr Woolard said that how firms approach diversity and inclusion provides an indication of their culture.

FCA, 19 December 2018

HM Treasury provides a progress report on EU crowdfunding service providers' proposals

The UK Government has published a letter from John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, to Lord Boswell of Aynho, Chair of the House of Lords European Union Committee, providing an update on the progress of the European Commission's legislative proposals regarding European crowdfunding service providers (ECSPs). According to Mr Glen, most Member States now support changing the proposed ECSP regulation into a directive.

HM Treasury, 20 December 2018

FCA evaluates impact of 2013 review of requirements for entrant banks

The FCA has published an evaluation paper (EP18/3), which evaluates the impact of the review carried out in 2013 by the Bank of England (BoE) and the Financial Services Authority (FSA) of the requirements for firms entering into or expanding in the banking sector. The FCA finds that the authorisations process has become more efficient since the review, which has encouraged some new entrants into the banking sector, but this has not had a significant impact on competition.

FCA, 20 December 2018

Suspicious financial activity reports hit record high

Britain's crime-fighting authorities received more reports of suspicious financial activity than ever before in 2018, which has led to nearly £52m ($65.7m) of dubious cash being denied to criminals, figures published on Thursday, 20 December 2018, reveal.  The government’s independent legal advisers, the Law Commission, have called for reforms to the suspicious activity reporting regime.

Compliance officers, lawyers and senior figures in finance have complained that the procedure for submitting reports is too complex and results in more submissions than is necessary because of the risk-averse nature of the financial sector.

NCA, 21 December 2018

Worldwide

AFME calls for creation of clear and responsive classification framework for sustainable finance

Simon Lewis OBE, Chief Executive of the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME), has called for the creation of a clear and responsive classification framework for sustainable finance. AFME considers this to be a vital first step in the development of an overall greener and more transparent financial system. AFME welcomes the European Commission's proposals to create a harmonised EU-wide 'taxonomy' for classifying whether an economic activity is environmentally sustainable, as part of its Sustainable Finance Action Plan, but for it to have its full intended impact, AFME believes it must be sufficiently flexible.

AFME, 20 December 2018

Key contacts

Amanda Hulme

Amanda Hulme

Partner, Head of Financial Regulation
London

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Lorna Finlayson

Lorna Finlayson

Partner, Financial Regulation
Edinburgh

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Rosanna Bryant

Rosanna Bryant

Partner, Financial Regulation
Leeds, UK

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