On 25 November 2021, the European Commission published its long-awaited proposals to amend the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD), along with changes proposed to the UCITS Directive and ELTIF Regulation (AIFMD II). The Commission’s proposals follow ESMA’s August 2020 letter of recommendations for changes that could be made to the AIFMD framework. Tripartite negotiations on AIFMD II are ongoing, following agreement by the Council of the EU on its general approach in June 2022, and adoption by the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of its negotiating position in January 2023.
The Financial Conduct Authority has recently reiterated that its new Consumer Duty represents a significant shift in its expectations of affected firms. Good customer outcomes must be at the heart of firms’ business strategy and objectives. In an article for Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence, Annabel Mackay and Kimberly Everitt provide an overview of the employment law implications of the Consumer Duty and lists next steps firms should take to ensure compliance.
A series of briefings that take a bite-size look at international trends in different jurisdictions, drawing on Baker McKenzie’s expert financial services practitioners with local market knowledge. This edition takes a bite-size look at the latest environment, social and governance developments in Brazil, the European Union, Belgium, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.
On 14 February 2023, the Treasury finally published its delayed consultation on draft legislation to bring BNPL within the regulatory perimeter. The legislation follows the general approach set out by the Treasury last summer to bringing BNPL within the regulatory perimeter. There are, however, some key updates in the Treasury’s final policy position from its thinking from last summer on the scope of regulation.
Baker McKenzie are pleased to share with you their annual briefing looking at financial services regulation and enforcement in 2023, “What does 2023 hold? Key upcoming developments and enforcement trends”. The London Financial Institutions Regulatory and Enforcement experts explore the key developments and trends expected to dominate the regulatory landscape this year.
HM Treasury has finally published its much anticipated consultation and call for evidence on a future financial services regulatory regime for cryptoassets. Building on the forthcoming stablecoin regulatory regime, the Treasury’s consultation sets out proposals to bring a broad set of cryptoassets within the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 regulatory perimeter. This will result in a fundamental change in the way that cryptoasset businesses operate in the UK: the key outcomes of the consultation are that (a) cryptoasset service providers will require full FCA authorization to operate where they do so in the UK (or have customers in the UK), and (b) a new bespoke regime will be brought in governing public offers of cryptoassets and admission to trading of those assets on platforms.
Following the Treasury’s confirmation that it intends to introduce a new “regulatory gateway” for authorized firms approving financial promotions, the FCA has launched a consultation on proposals to operationalize this new gateway. Complementing a wider program of reform to the financial promotions regime, the proposals will affect both authorized firms approving financial promotions as well as unauthorized firms communicating approved financial promotions.
In October 2022, the Council of the EU published the long-awaited compromise text of the proposed Regulation on Markets in Cryptoassets (MiCA), a “landmark regulation” that, according to the Council, will “put an end to the crypto wild west”. Once in force, MiCA will establish the first comprehensive, pan-EU regulatory regime for the regulation of cryptoassets, including the regulation of (i) cryptoassets issuance activities and (ii) cryptoasset service providers (who will be held to similar regulatory standards to those imposed on investment firms).
On 27 July 2022, the FCA published its highly anticipated final rules and guidance on the new Consumer Duty, ushering in a fundamental cultural shift in the way that regulated firms will approach and serve customers, and starting the countdown clock for implementation plans across the industry.
On 20 June 2022, HM Treasury issued much-anticipated details on the forthcoming UK buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) regulatory regime. The Treasury’s approach to regulatory controls for agreements is essentially the same position that it took in its October 2021 consultation – a proportionate approach applying some but not all of the consumer credit regulatory principles, with regulations tailored to apply to BNPL as a bespoke product.