Banking in Financial Services UK
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In recent years we have seen a seismic shift in the tax transparency landscape. The US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (US FATCA) has proved to be a watershed moment and we are rapidly moving towards a global network of automatic information exchange spearheaded by the OECD’s Common Reporting Standard (CRS).
Automation will change the character of London businesses | How will Financial Services adapt to the new environment?
Since the Industrial Revolution, technological advances have transformed business and commerce, and changed the character of jobs that people do. With the rapid progress of digitisation, a further period of major transformation is under way. London, its Financial Services industry included, will inevitably feel the change and will need to respond.
The Bank of England has published details of its 2015 stress testing exercise for the largest UK banks and building societies, its second concurrent exercise (the first was in 2014).
The Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD), a core piece of post-crisis regulation aimed at ending ‘too big to fail’, is being implemented across the EU. As part of the journey towards full and consistent implementation, the European Banking Authority (EBA) recently published a comparative analysis of the recovery plans of 27 (unnamed) European cross-border banking groups which collectively account for around half of the banking assets in the EU.
On 19th March the European Banking Authority (EBA) issued a consultation paper which sets out its approach to limiting exposures from banks to the shadow banking sector, proposing that the large exposures regime be used to restrict exposures, in addition to existing Pillar II requirements.
Her Majesty’s Treasury announced on 3 March 2015 that the commencement date for the Senior Managers Regime (“SMR”) will be 7 March 2016, and the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) published its feedback statement on accountability on 16 March 2016. The timeline for commencement of the new regime is set; banks will have until 8 February 2016 to notify the Prudential Regulation Authority (“PRA”) and FCA of the names of all those, including people currently approved, who will be senior managers under SMR.
The PRA and FCA have published a joint consultation paper (CP) on a series of measures to formalise whistleblowing procedures in firms. The aim is to encourage employees to raise concerns and protect whistleblowers from victimisation. This initiative responds to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards’ recommendation to put in place effective mechanisms to allow employees to raise concerns internally.
UK regulators refine the scope of the Senior Managers Regime and clarify how the ‘Presumption of Responsibility’ will be applied
The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have confirmed how the new Senior Managers Regime (SMR) and Senior Insurance Managers Regime (SIMR) will apply to Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) in banks and insurers respectively. This follows the responses received to the Consultation on Strengthening accountability in banking: a new regulatory framework for individuals –CP14/14 published in July 2014, which expressed concern about the proposed approach to NEDs under the SMR.
FCA competition study may come to have far-reaching implications for investment and corporate banking
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced that it will kick-off a market study looking at competition in investment and corporate banking services in spring 2015. This comes as part of its review into competition in the wholesale sector, published yesterday, and follows its call for inputs last July. The FCA has found that limited transparency over both price and quality may make it difficult for clients to assess the value for money of investment banking and corporate banking services, and that bundling and cross-selling of services may make it difficult for new or smaller firms to compete against the established investment banks and universal banks.