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Current controls climate in the UK
Financial controls are increasingly in the spotlight. Regulator and investor interest is shifting from historic financial metrics to looking for the signs of a well-run business, a strong management team and a positive future outlook. This is becoming more evident with the Government consulting on a strengthened framework around internal controls, on a similar basis to Sarbanes-Oxley in the US, in light of recent audit failures and auditors contemplating publicaly calling out control failures.
‘A transition to a green and low-carbon economy is not a niche nor is it a “nice to have” for the happy few. It is crucial for our own survival.’ These are not the words of an NGO – they come from a report issued by a group of over 30 central banks, including the Bank of England. The report says that climate-related risks fall ‘squarely within the mandates of central banks and supervisors’.1
The finance industry is becoming increasingly automated with many banks and financial institutions using or interacting with algorithms. The amount of trading algorithms has significantly increased in recent years. This trend is driving efficiencies, lowering costs and enabling firms to gain a competitive advantage. However, there is now a heightened regulatory focus with specific requirements over algorithms to ensure accountability and fairness in their use.
EU Benchmark Regulation (“EU BMR”): Kicking the can down the road? The implications of the extension of the regulation
The EU Benchmark Regulation (“EU BMR”) became effective on 1 January 2018 and seeks to increase the robustness and reliability of financial benchmarks and protect them from the type of manipulation that occurred during the financial crisis. Whilst the regulation was effective from 1 January 2018, the text includes transitional arrangements for existing EU and third country benchmark administrators, allowing these administrators to apply for authorisation any time before 1 January 2020.
The outlook for our planet is concerning. In October, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a report showing that many ecosystems have already changed due to global warming. Climate change will have a marked impact on human health, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth. The scientific consensus is that time is running out.