8 August 2017 Brexit Planning: hoping for the best, planning for the worst

In April 2017, the PRA issued a Dear CEO letter to all its regulated firms asking for information on their contingency planning for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

28 July 2017 FCA to extend SM&CR to all firms – a brave new era of individual accountability, or a damp squib?

So the moment the financial services industry has been waiting for with bated breath has arrived. The FCA has published its consultation paper setting out proposals to extend the Senior Managers & Certification Regime (aka the SM&CR) to the wider financial services industry.

14 July 2017 New EBA capital rules – how will they affect you?

The EBA is close to finalising its report into a new prudential regime for investment firms. This is in response to a call for advice from the European Commission (EC).

12 July 2017 Brexit hasn’t halted the GDPR train: Are your implementation plans on track?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the EU legal framework which is set to replace the Data Protection Directive 1995 which was transposed into the UK Data Protection Act 1998 (the DPA). The GDPR will apply in the UK from 25 May 2018 and the government has confirmed that the decision to leave the EU will not affect the GDPR implementation date. The key question is, do you know what changes are needed and do you have time to ensure your business complies with the new requirements with less than 12 months to implementation?

20 June 2017 Buyer’s remorse in financial services

All acquisitions involve risk. It’s the cost of doing business in the M&A world. However, regulatory risk brings an additional layer of uncertainty. Particularly in the lending and insurance sectors, and in retail and automotive (where firms may be undertaking regulated activity). Issues can arise, where potential mis-sales and poor customer outcomes lead to regulatory attention and the threat of fines and costly redress exercises. Risks range across Donald Rumsfeld’s whole spectrum from ‘known knowns’ to ‘unknown unknowns’.

19 June 2017 IDD impacts firms selling insurance alongside their products and services

In the first of two consultations scheduled for 2017, the FCA has outlined its proposals for implementing the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) (CP17/7). The IDD applies to any person or firm which distributes insurance and reinsurance products.

15 June 2017 The Fourth EU Money Laundering Directive – Are you prepared?

The Fourth EU Money Laundering Directive (4MLD) is designed to bring a more risk-based approach to the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing. The effect of 4MLD is that firms will need to reinforce their existing risk-based approaches across all aspects of their anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) compliance programmes. 4MLD implementation date is 26 June 2017.

15 June 2017 Sanctions update – June 2017

With the finalisation of OFSI’s guidance on monetary penalties for breaches of financial sanctions (‘Guidance’) and the UK emphasising the need to have its own independent framework for sanctions compliance post Brexit, now seems an opportune time to look into one of the more important aspects of the current guidance published by OFSI – voluntary disclosures.

15 June 2017 Intrepid explorers – Bovill’s Three Peaks Challenge

On the evening of 8th June, 11 intrepid explorers departed from Bovill headquarters to take on the Three Peaks Challenge – climbing the three highest peaks in Scotland (Ben Nevis 1,344m), England (Scafell Pike 978m) and Wales (Snowdon 1,085m) in just twenty-four hours – in order to raise money for a brilliant charity Young Futures.

14 June 2017 MiFID Buster: Third country firms

This month we are featuring the sixth in a series of MiFID Busters. Each edition will explore a MiFID II theme, setting out the key changes and practical implications for financial institutions. The June MiFID Buster focuses on third country firms.

clock 6 June 2017 Mind the IDD gap

In the first of two consultations scheduled for 2017, the FCA has outlined its proposals for implementing the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD). The most effective way for firms to assess the impact of the IDD on their business is to undertake a gap analysis. This will provide clarity on the requirements and enable the firm to plan for, and implement, the necessary changes in an efficient, focussed and effective way.

19 May 2017 Bovill in collaboration with the ICA’s Corruption Awareness Week

The future of ABC
‘To some degree it matters who’s in office, but it matters more how much pressure they’re under from the public’, Noam Chomsky. It could be argued that it is worldwide public outcry that has been the trigger for governments around the globe to sit up, take notice and commit to actions to tackle bribery and corruption.

17 May 2017 Regulatory focus shifting in the GI and Protection Sector

The 2017/18 business plan has made clear that the FCA intends to shift some of its focus from consumer issues to market structures, incentives and distribution in the GI and Protection sector. Whilst the regulator will continue to monitor and review the issues directly affecting individual and small and medium sized enterprise (SME) consumers, this is a sure sign that it intends to focus more directly on competition issues.

16 May 2017 In association with the ICA’s Corruption Awareness Week

What is the current landscape for corruption and bribery?
Historically, there hasn’t been a large number of high profile enforcement actions in relation to bribery. The low numbers could be taken as a sign that regulators are not focusing on this risk or conversely that firms have improved systems and controls so much that bribery is a thing of the past.

16 May 2017 Criminal Finances Act 2017 – Corporate Tax Evasion Offence

How taxing are the new requirements for firms?
The Criminal Finances Act 2017 has received Royal Assent and will come into force this Autumn. It enshrines into law the new criminal offence for corporations that fail to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion. This is modelled on the ‘failure to prevent bribery’ offence in the Bribery Act 2010.

15 May 2017 NHS cyber attack scare: being aware of ransomware

On Friday (12 May 2017) we saw what may very well be the highest profile “ransomware” attack to date. The impacts for many of the institutions involved will be costly. The impacts for their customers, or users, have ranged from inconvenience to ultimately being life threatening.

11 May 2017 MiFID Buster: Costs and Charges

This month we are featuring the fifth in a series of MiFID Busters. Each edition will explore a MiFID II theme, setting out the key changes and practical implications for financial institutions. The May MiFID Buster focuses on Costs and Charges.

11 May 2017 Benchmark regulations – are you affected?

The LIBOR and FX fixing scandals undermined the reputation of global financial markets. As a direct consequence, UK and European regulators have focused upon corporate governance and culture as a means of improving standards of conduct and restoring trust in financial markets. In addition, the administration of and submission to Benchmarks has become a regulated activity for the first time.

9 May 2017 Bovill takes on the 3 Peaks Challenge in support of Young Futures

Weʼre raising £4,500 to help Young Futures provide financial capability training to young people leaving care in our local community.

Two men looking at documents 9 May 2017 The important questions every wealth management firm needs to answer – Who are we and what do we do?

One of the common problems we see in our wealth manager clients are firms that do not have a settled view of why they exist and what they offer to clients. Often we see firms who do not have a forensic approach to their position in the value chain or do not have defined boundaries within their proposition. As a consequence, daily we see muddled thinking that leads not only to variable client experience and outcomes, but in many cases unnecessary regulatory and operational risks.

28 April 2017 FCA Consultation on its approach to implementing PSD2 (CP17/11)

The FCA published a consultation paper (CP 17/11) on 13 April 2017 explaining how it will implement the long awaited Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2). As this is a maximum harmonising Directive, there is limited opportunity to diverge from the prescribed provisions, and HM Treasury have taken the approach of implementing these requirements through the Payment Services Regulations 2017 (PSRs 2017). The FCA’s consultation therefore focuses on its approach to interpreting and applying the regulations.

27 April 2017 Whistleblowing: No-one is exempt

As events at Barclays have illustrated, where the CEO became entangled in a whistleblowing debacle, there’s no doubt that sound and effective whistleblowing procedures are a key tenet of good corporate governance and a reflection of a firm’s culture.

18 April 2017 MiFID Buster: Algorithmic Trading

This month we are featuring the fourth in a series of MiFID Busters. Each edition will explore a MiFID II theme, setting out the key changes and practical implications for financial institutions. The April MiFID Buster focuses on Algorithmic Trading.

12 April 2017 MCD – one year on

The Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD) came into force 21 March 2016. At Bovill we helped a number of firms update their mortgage sales process and develop their policies and procedures to comply with the new requirements.

7 April 2017 Publication of draft Money Laundering Regulations 2017 paves way for 4MLD implementation

HM Treasury (HMT) released its second consultation.

6 April 2017 Is motor finance running out of road?

Is the motor finance market in 2017 heading in the same direction as the US Sub-prime mortgage market in 2007? The size of the markets are very different, but there are certainly a number of similarities, which should prompt firms to review the adequacy of their risk controls, and assess their exposure.

House made of money 31 March 2017 Setting the scene for lower risk weights

In February 2017, the PRA took steps to dis-incentivise high-risk mortgage lending by consulting on refinements to the Pillar 2A capital framework for firms operating under the Standardised Approach for credit risk. After an interval of just a month, the PRA are further encouraging these firms to expand into lower risk mortgage lending by consulting on smoothing the route to obtaining approval to adopt the Internal Ratings Based Approach (IRB) for credit risk.

31 March 2017 How painful will your CASS audit be?

Many firms have now begun to experience CASS audits under the new FRC standards, with varying degrees of pain being felt. Others have their first audit under the new standards yet to come. If you’re in the latter camp, is there anything you can do to ease the pain when the time comes? There’s plenty you can do – preparation is the key to a smooth running CASS audit and a happy auditor and will also play a big part in how costly your CASS audit is.

24 March 2017 Best Execution Release – A Helpful Hint?

Many were surprised when they saw the FCA’s recent announcement that investment managers are still failing to meet their Best Execution obligations. That firms are failing to hit the required standard wasn’t the source of the surprise – it was the timing of the announcement. MiFID II already notes weaknesses in the current regime. So, why are the FCA causing a fuss about MiFID I now, with a life of only nine months left?

23 March 2017 Financial Crime – Foreign Banks Study on ‘Customer Risk’- Report Published

Bovill publishes its study into how foreign banks are assessing customer risk as part of their overall financial crime framework.