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Sven Bates

Sven Bates is Of Counsel for International Trade at Baker McKenzie. He has spent the majority of his career at the Firm's London office, focusing on international trade compliance, trade remedies and anti-bribery. He has also practiced in Amsterdam and has previously worked for the European Commission and the Shadow Attorney General. Sven has extensive experience in particular in the financial services sector, and has undertaken secondments at a Tier 1 UK bank and the Lloyd's insurance market.

For the second week of our Annual Compliance Conference, we discussed key trade compliance issues impacting our clients globally. Specifically, we discussed the trade policy response of the US, EU and U.K. to ever increasing geopolitical disruption, global strategies for handling sanctions regulators and enforcement, and key global sanctions and export controls developments.

In brief The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) plays a key role in monitoring how UK-regulated financial institutions guard against financial crime risks, and how effectively they implement financial crime policies and procedures. In recent months, as the UK and other governments have placed increasing focus on preventing the circumvention…

There are already big reforms planned for the UK Trade Remedies Authority – less than two years after its establishment – and for the overall operation of the UK trade remedies regime. On 9 March 2023, the UK Government announced changes to its trade remedies regime to transition to a more complex investigatory regime.

The UK’s trade remedies body, the Trade Remedies Authority announced on 22 February that it has begun a reconsideration of its recommendation in Case AD0012, concerning imports of certain aluminium extrusions originating in China. Notably, this was the TRA’s first anti-dumping investigation in response to an application from UK industry. A reconsideration application is a request for the TRA to review its findings in a concluded investigation.

On 21 February, the UK Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (“OFSI“), announced that it had issued a monetary penalty totaling GBP 36,393.45 to Clear Junction Limited, a provider of payment services. This penalty follows (and is associated with) OFSI’s earlier GBP 50,000 penalty against TransferGo, announced in August 2021.

The ECB has warned European lenders of the potential risks they will face, should further sanctions be imposed against Russia in the event of an invasion of Ukraine. The impact of any sanctions would not be limited to Russian financial institutions/businesses but is likely to be felt across the world, especially by financial institutions who have significant Russian exposure.

On 9 September the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA“) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (“PRA“) published a letter to bank CEOs with the purpose of reiterating expectations of firms when undertaking trade finance activities. The Dear CEO letter addressed both conduct and prudential issues where the regulators consider that improvements are required in firms’ controls. The regulators stressed that “firms need to demonstrate that they have taken a risk sensitive approach to their control environment that ensures the relevant risks are effectively mitigated”, noting that the last 18 months have seen several “high-profile failures of commodity and trade finance firms with significant financial loss”.