All news by: Andrew Jacobs

MiFID II creates opportunities for savings for firms through R&D Tax Credits

MiFID II is nearly here and technological enhancements, as a result of MiFID II, have been a critical part of the change process and are expected to continue well into the future. Many companies have been forced into further developing and extending their software solutions and this is where there may be scope to claim back a portion of the development costs related to R&D activity.

MiFID II - the final furlong

With just 36 working days remaining of 2017 and until the implementation of MiFID II, we are seeing mixed progress towards compliance, with some firms just completing the first hurdle as they progress through the gap analysis stage. While others have demonstrated strong progress towards implementing solutions and now have the finish line in sight, as we enter the final furlong.

The future of regulation in the shadow of Brexit

With the Prime Minister Theresa May indicating that there is insufficient time to replace European bodies with a new British regulatory regime, the implications of Brexit look to have limited short term impact on Financial Services regulation. However, beyond March 2019, what would a hard or soft Brexit look like in terms of future regulation?

MiFID II: common misconceptions

With only seven months to go until its implementation date, MiFID II is one of the most talked-about topics in the financial industry. However, we are still finding that a number of firms fall victim to some misinterpretations and common misconceptions about the changes brought about by MiFID II.

Time to tighten your anti-money laundering defences

By 26 June 2017, all European Union member states are required to have enacted the Fourth Money Laundering Directive (4MLD) into national law. 4MLD aims to give effect to the updated Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”) standards. With this in mind Firms need to make sure their policies, procedures, systems and controls are up to scratch.

How ready are you for MiFID II?

With an implementation date of 3 January 2018, the deadline for readying your firm for the required changes is rapidly approaching. However, in a recent Moore Stephens survey, it was found that only 7% of firms had started their implementation plans and more than half did not even have a plan in place yet to achieve timely compliance.
To aid firms in scope of MiFID II, this article highlights the key milestones you need to work towards over the coming nine months.

MiFID II countdown: transaction reporting

MiFID II expands the current objective of transaction reporting from “the detection and investigation of potential market abuse” to “supporting ‘market integrity”.

An important component of achieving that objective is the ability to obtain sufficient and relevant information on market activity. This requirement is at the heart of the transaction reporting requirements expressed in MiFID II. 

MiFID II authorisations gateway

The FCA announced the opening of the MIFID II authorisations gateway on 30 January. It is thought that around 600 applications will be submitted over the coming months including new applications for authorisation of organised trading facilities, commodities dealers and data reporting service providers. Similarly, variations of permissions and notifications from existing firms that require a change of permission or passporting rights are expected.

FCA increases focus on the FX and CFD market

With a rapidly increasing level of enforcement action and a concentration of thematic activity on Brokers in the FX and CFD arena, there is a clear statement of intent from the regulator: the sector is not meeting regulatory expectations and firms offering such products are now firmly under the FCA's microscope.

FCA Business Plan: key plans and priorities for the regulator in 2016/17

The FCA Business Plan and Risk Outlook form the cornerstone documents for regulated firms to remain ahead of the curve for regulatory change. These documents effectively signpost the major regulatory focuses for the coming year and outline the FCA’s view on key risks, its priorities, and planned activities. We have drawn out, and summarised, the key points firms should make sure they are aware of.

Senior Managers and Certification Regime: Deadline Monday 7 March

The rule changes that introduce the Senior Managers Regime (SMR) and increase individual accountability of senior managers in the financial sector take effect on 7 March. The new regime is designed to improve professional standards and culture within the financial services sector and will make it easier for firms and regulators to be clear about who is responsible for which aspects of an organisations core business areas and critical functions. The senior managers regime will also require allow senior managers to be held to account for any misconduct that falls within their area of responsibility

Regulator hones in on CFD providers: what to do next

The FCA formed the view there is a high risk that CFD  providers industry-wide are not meeting the requirements of the rules when taking on new clients or are failing to do enough to prevent financial crime. The FCA’s concern was such that they said “firms should examine their own processes”. Here is what we suggest you should review first.

FCA announces findings from review into the CFD market

In a ‘Dear CEO’ letter issued this week, the FCA expressed concerns following a review of ten firms offering Contracts for Difference (CFDs).
The key focus of the review was to assess client take-on procedures against the requirements of the COBS and SYSC, rules with particular reference to the following areas:
  • the firms’ approach to assessing the appropriateness of CFD trading for prospective clients;
  • initial disclosures to clients;
  • anti-money laundering (AML) controls;
  • client categorisation.

Issues to consider if you are providing CFDs

In a ‘Dear CEO’ letter issued this month, the FCA has expressed concerns following a review of 10 firms offering contracts for difference (CFD) products. The review identified several areas of concern that the FCA wished to highlight to firms across the industry offering CFDs and warned them to do more to ensure that customers know the risks they are taking with these products. With the ensuing regulatory focus we detail what firms should be doing over the coming weeks to ensure they address the FCA’s concerns.