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FCA Publications – July to December 2013

Important: The following abbreviated summary of FCA publications and announcements has been compiled by IFA Magazine, based on information published on the FCA’s own website. It is not the FCA’s own listing, which can be found at www.fca.org.uk/news.


Mortgage Market Review

Policy Statement   Ref: PS 13/12

16th December 2013    97 pages

This Policy Statement, on data collection, is the third and final publication in a series of Mortgage Market Review (MMR) policy documents. The MMR introduces a package of reforms for the mortgage market, with a focus on responsible lending.

The statement follows on from Consultation Paper CP13/02 (Mortgage Market Review – Data Reporting) from May 2013, which set out proposals on collecting additional data about mortgages, enabling the FCA to monitor and supervise conduct in the mortgage market following MMR, and to monitor compliance with the new prudential requirements for non-deposit taking mortgage lenders (non-banks).

Most of the relevant reforms will take effect from 26th April 2014. The data collection rules will come into force on 1st January 2015.

Changes to the Listing Rules

Policy Statement   Ref: PS 13/11

13th December 2013    29 pages

This Policy statement, fully entitled ‘Consequential Changes to the Listing Rules resulting from the BIS Directors’ Remuneration Reporting Regulations and Narrative Reporting Regulations, reports on the main issues arising from Consultation Paper 13/7 of the same name, and publishes the final rules.

Apart from a minor amendment to the timetable for implementing the new rules, the document has not been amended since the consultation process.

The implementation date will be 13th December 2013 for listed companies with a financial year ending on or after 30 September 2013 that have not published their annual financial report on or before that date. Others which are already preparing their annual financial report in compliance with the existing rules may continue to publish after 13 December 2013.

Quarterly Consultation Paper No. 3 (CP13/18)

Consultation Paper  Ref: CP13/18 

20th December 2013    78 pages

The FCA proposes to:

  • Make minor amendments relating to the transfer of consumer credit regulation from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to the FCA
  • Introduce an administrative charge to recover costs of dealing with late publication of periodic financial reports under the disclosure and transparency rules
  • Improve authorised fund managers’s ability to communicate electronically with unitholders
  • Amend the procedures for processing a waiver application

Consultation period ends 17th January 2014 for Chapter 2, and 6th February for all other chapters

CP13/17 – Use of Dealing Commission

Consultation Paper  Ref: CP13/17 

25th November 2013    35 pages

The FCA wishes to clarify its rules allowing investment managers to use dealing commissions – paid from their customers’ funds – to acquire execution-related and research goods and services. The proposed changes will encourage  investment managers to control costs on behalf of their customers with the same rigour as they pursue investment returns.

This CP forms part of a broader discussion launched by Martin Wheatley at the FCA Asset Management Conference in October 2013, to consider whether wider reforms are needed in the longer-term to address shortcomings in the use of dealing commission regime.

Consultation period ends 25th February 2014

Price Comparison Websites

Thematic Review Ref: FCA/PN/104/2013

24th November 2013 

The FCA declares that it intends to investigate price comparison websites, and especially the role that they play in distributing motor, home and travel insurance products. Specific risks include:

·        Consumers who may be misled into purchasing insurance or add-on products that do not meet their needs

·        Consumers who may be treated unfairly if price comparison websites focus on generating profits, do not have enough oversight of the firms or products they display, are not aware of any possible conflicts of interest, or use consumers’ data inappropriately

·        Firms that may not comply with their regulatory responsibilities, such as clearly explaining their role and how to make complaints

Competition in the Market for Services Provided by a Recognised Investment Exchange: Proposed Amendments to REC

Consultation Paper Ref: CP13/16

18th November 2013  29 pages

The FCA is consulting on changes to its Recognised Investment Exchanges sourcebook (REC) to make it clear how the regulator will take competition considerations into account when performing its functions as the supervisor of Recognised Investment Exchanges (RIEs) and Recognised Overseas Investment Exchanges (ROIEs).

Consultation period ends 31st January 2014

Enhancing the Effectiveness of the Listing Regime: Feedback to CP12/25 and Further Consultation

Consultation Paper Ref: CP13/15

5th November 2013  124 pages

This paper sets out a package of measures designed to protect minority shareholders by giving them additional voting rights and greater influence over key decisions.

Of interest to:

•                    UK and overseas issuers with UK-listed securities;

•                    Firms advising on the issuance of UK-listed securities;

•                    Firms or persons investing in or dealing in UK-listed securities;

•                    Consumers

Consultation period ends 5th February 2014

Outsourcing in the Asset Management Industry

Thematic Review Ref: TR13/10

4th November 2013  23 pages

The FCA has published the findings from its review that assessed whether asset managers are effectively mitigating the risks relating to outsourcing. Primary findings are:

•                    That resilience is generally improving;

•                    That oversight arrangements still vary in effectiveness;

•                    But that all asset managers who were part of the review had oversight arrangements in place to oversee their service providers,

Regulatory Fees and Levies: Policy Proposals for 2014/15

Consultation Paper Ref: CP13/14

31st October 2013  104 pages

This CP sets out the FCA’s proposed policy changes to its fee and levy regimes.

Consultation period ended 6th January 2014, except for Question 1 ‘Do you agree with our proposals for consumer credit application fees?’ where the deadline has been extended until 16 January 2014.

The FCA’s Regulatory Approach to Crowdfunding  And Similar Activities

Consultation Paper Ref: CP13/13

24th October 2013  106 pages

This CP is one of a series of consultation papers that will determine the regulator’s approach to the regulation of consumer credit activities – which will include responsibility for regulating ‘loan-based crowdfunding’, also known as peer-to-peer lending platforms.

At present, the FCA says that it considers that investment via loan-based crowdfunding platforms is generally of lower risk than that made via investment-based platforms. It recognises, however, that the market has the potential to develop new and innovative models in the future, where the risks, and possibly the rewards, may be higher.

The regime proposed for 2014 is primarily, a disclosure-based regime and will require firms to ensure that investors have the information they need to be able to make informed investment decisions, and that communications are fair, clear and not misleading.

The regulator also wants a set of core requirements for firms, including minimum prudential requirements, dispute resolution procedures, fraud prevention procedures and reasonable steps to ensure that existing loans continue to be managed in the event of platform failure.

Consultation period ended 19th December 2013

GC13/7 Changing customers to post-RDR unit classes (GC13/7)

Published: 23/10/2013   Last Modified : 23/10/2013

This guidance sets out the FCA’s expectations of firms which are involved in the transfer of investors from pre-RDR unit classes to post-RDR unit classes.

Data on Complaints and Redress for the First Half of 2013

Press statement  FCA/PN/097/2013

16th October 2013

The FCA reports that consumer complaints reported by financial services firms fell by 500,000 between the second half of 2012 and the first half of 2013. 2.9 million complaints were made in the first half of 2013, compared to 3.4 million consumer complaints in the previous six months.

51% of the complaints reported in the first half of 2013 were upheld, with £2.55 billion of redress paid to consumers. 92% of the complaints reported in the first half of 2013 were closed in eight weeks, the highest percentage since this data was first published in 2006.

Of the £2.55 billion of compensation awards, £2.4 billion were for general insurance and pure protection products (which includes PPI compensation. £54 million of redress was awarded for investment products and £52 million for banking products, including current accounts, credit cards and savings products

 

Publishing Information About Enforcement Warning Noticess

Policy Statement   Ref: PS 13/9

16th October 2013    31 pages

This policy statement sets out the FCA’s clarification of its powers and intentions with regard to publishing details of persons and firms which are subject to warning notices for disciplinary offences.

The powers were originally awarded by the Financial Services Act 2012, and the former FSA conferred with firms on the subject in Consultation Paper 13/8: Publishing Iinformation about Enforcement Warning Notices. The document sets out the key findings and gives final details of how the FCA intends to proceed in disciplinary cases.

A guide for Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPP) operators

Finalised Guidance  Ref: FG 13/8

10th  October 2013  14 pages

When the 2012 SIPP operator thematic report was published, 23 October 2012, the FSA proposed updated guidance relating to the following FCA Handbook rule(s):

  • Conduct of Business sourcebook (COBS) 3.2.3R (2);
  • Supervision manual (SUP) chapter 3.10; and
  • Client Assets sourcebook (CASS) 6 (where relevant) and CASS 7.

The guidance was placed out for discussion, but was eventually returned with no significant changes to the original text. Topics covered included:

•     Systems and controls

•     Client money

•     Management information

•     Conflicts of interest

•     Relationship with firms that advise and introduce prospective members

•     Due diligence, and

•     Financial crime

The document includes a summary of comments received.

 

Primary Market Bulletin No. 7, and Proposed Updates to the Knowledge Base

Guidance Consultation  Ref: GC 13/6

8th  October 2013  2 pages

The Knowledge Base is the UKLA’s repository of non-handbook technical commentary that has the status of formal FCA guidance.  It consists of a series of short technical and procedural notes (Notes) published in PDF form and arranged by topic.

The amendments to FSMA which came into effect on 1 April 2013 significantly altered the statutory framework within which the UKLA carries out its functions.  This Guidance Consultation  explains how the statutory changes impact the UKLA.

The consultation provides guidance on how the regulator intends to advance its operational objectives, and it also gives information on new statutory powers under Part VI of FSMA.

Consultation closes on 19th November 2013

 

FCA Statement on CRD IV

Press statement regarding Consultation

20th September

The FCA confirms that it intends to collect COREP and FINREP reports  as part of its contribution to the European Banking Authority’s public consultation on XBRL Taxonomy – which, it says, “marks another milestone towards CRD IV implementation”. In addition, the FCA will be collecting data on behalf of the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).

This consultation covers the data items, business concepts, relations and validation rules described by the EBA Data Point Model(s) (DPM) on supervisory reporting in the technical format of an XBRL taxonomy.

Most of the prudential rules contained in the CRD IV legislation for banks, building societies and investment firms in the EU will apply from 1 January 2014.

Consultation period ended on 9th October 2013.

 

Supervising Retail Investment Advice: Inducements and Conflicts of Interest

Guidance Consultation  Ref: GC 13/5

18th  September 2013  19 pages

Of interest to both providers of retail investment products and advisers in general.

Following on from the RDR changes to advisers’ remuneration arrangements, the FSA had been seeking evidence on whether:

  • Advisory firms are still soliciting payments for entering into service or distribution agreements that could cause them to channel business to particular providers and affect the advice given to customers, and
  • Providers are making these payments to secure distribution of their products.

This report sets out the findings of the FCA’s thematic supervision work on the subject, and it also sets out guidance for consultation on how such agreements can breach Principle 8 and the inducements rules and so undermine the objectives of the RDR.

Consultation closes on 18th October 2013

 

Handbook Release 141

11th September 2013

38 pages

Incorporating changes to the Prudential Sourcebook for Insurers (INSPRU), the Interim Prudential Sourcebook for Investment Businesses (IPRU-INV) and the Conduct of Business Sourcebook (COBS).

FCA to Carry Out Market Study Into Cash Savings

Press Release

9th September

The FCA announces plans to carry out a market study into the £1 trillion UK cash savings market. The study will be looking at a range of issues including the effects of ‘teaser rates’ (the introductory interest rates offered to new customers) and how often consumers switch their savings accounts.

Quarterly Consultation Paper No. 2

Consultation Paper Ref: CP13/9

An extensive list of proposals, including:

·        Additions and amendments to the appropriate qualifications list in the Training and Competence sourcebook (TC);

·        Minor amendments to the rules on platform charges and guidance clarifying the treatment of legacy business in relation to cash rebates from providers to consumers;

·        Amending the Prospectus Rules (PR) to clarify timing and method of filing a prospectus with FCA;

·        Setting out the FCA’s approach to using its enforcement powers under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012;

·        Various minor amendments to reporting mechanisms;

·        Clarifying the application of inflation-adjusted projections to in-force pensions business;

·        Incorporating the ESMA Guidelines on exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and other Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) issues into COLL;

·        Making firms aware of the FCA’s powers regarding the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR);

·        Deferring the dates for providing  fund information to investors through nominees;

·        Providing guidance on the AIFM Remuneration Code (SYSC 19B) arising from the issuance of the ESMA guidelines on sound remuneration policies under the AIFMD;

·        Implementing CRD IV for investment firms, and amending the Handbook accordingly.

Consultation period ends 6th November 2013.

 

FCA Regime for Consumer Credit: Carrying Across Some Consumer Credit Act Secondary Legislation into FCA rules

Policy Statement   Ref: PS 13/8

30th August 2013    70 pages

This statement concerns the transfer of powers relating to consumer credit from the Office of Fair Trading to the FCA, with effect from 1st April 2014.

It sets out the FCA’s decision in relation to carrying across some Consumer Credit Act (CCA) secondary legislation into FCA rules, by means of a designation instrument.

The FCA says that it will consult on the detail of its consumer credit regime later this year.

 

FCA Regime for Consumer Credit: Interim Permission Fees

Policy Statement   Ref: PS 13/7

30th August 2013    19 pages

This statement also concerns the transfer of powers relating to consumer credit from the Office of Fair Trading to the FCA, with effect from 1st April 2014.

The statement sets out the fees to be charged for ‘interim permission’ and information on any exemptions.

 

Dealing Fairly with Interest-Only Mortgage Customers Who Risk Being Unable to Repay Their Loan

Finalised Guidance Ref: FG 13/7

29th August 2013    21 pages

The report sets out the FCA’s expectations from firms when dealing with customers who are unable to repay the capital sums at the end of their terms, and advises on minimising the risk of non-repayment through early and effective consumer engagement over the mortgage term.

 

Arrangements for the Disclosure of Regulated Information

Consultation Paper Ref: CP 13/8

28th August 2013    33 pages

The report combines responses to three earlier consultations:

·        Chapter 4 of FSA CP12/37, which outlined the proposed new regulatory regime for Primary Information Providers (PIPs)

·        Chapter 3 of FSA CP13/5, which outlined proposed fees for PIPs, and

·        Chapter 2 of FSA CP13/6, which proposed changes to the Enforcement Guide (EG) regarding PIPs.

It also consults on the definition of a Regulatory Information Service (RIS) contained in Appendix 3 of CP 12/37.

Consultation period ends 27th October 2013

 

The Use of the Group Exclusion and the CREST Regulated Activity 

Finalised Guidance Ref: FG 13/5

20th August 2013 2 pages

This guidance provides clarification on the use of the Group exclusion when sending dematerialised instructions into CREST under the regulated activity in article 45 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order 2001/544 (RAO).

Pension Release Schemes

Press Release

20th August 2013

A warning to consumers to beware of unauthorised operators who offer to unlock pension schemes. The warning follows on from a more general warning issued in June 2013.

 

Adviser Numbers in Line With Expectations

Press Release   Ref: FCA/PN/79/2013

15th August 2013

New figures from the FCA reveal that in July 2013 there were 32,690 retail investment advisers working in the UK. This was within the range predicted by the independent researchers commissioned by the FCA’s predecessor, the Financial Services Authority, in 2012.

The number of advisers had risen from 31,132 since December 2012, the last time the numbers were officially counted. The FCA says it believes that the increase is attributable to advisers re-entering the market.

The report includes a statistical breakdown of the findings.

Handbook Release 140

13th August 2013 18 pages (summary)

This Release contains pages to be inserted into the paper version of the Handbook in order to bring it up to date.

The Referral Fee Ban: a Coordinated Approach to Regulation

Statement

1st August 2013

The FCA declares that, as part of our approach to coordinating the provisions of the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act 2012, it has established a robust working relationship with its regulatory counterparts, the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Claims Management Regulator. And that these relationships are formally underpinned by memoranda of understanding (MoUs) as well as working documents that facilitate information sharing, evidence gathering and enforcement action.

 

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