LATEST NEWS

This following lists some of the latest announcements and articles relating to compliance within the financial services sector. It is built from many RSS feeds and is updated daily. The page can get quite large so if you are looking for a particular topic we suggest you use your browser's find bar.

Financial Conduct Authority

National Debt Helpline (clone of FCA authorised firm)
Fraudsters are using the details of firms we authorise to try to convince people that they work for a genuine, authorised firm. Find out more about this ‘clone firm’. 
19 August 2019, 5:04pm

Assicuro Asset Management (clone of FCA authorised firm)
Fraudsters are using the details of firms we authorise to try to convince people that they work for a genuine, authorised firm. Find out more about this ‘clone firm’. 
19 August 2019, 2:32pm

Rosewell Consulting Group
We believe this firm has been providing financial services or products in the UK without our authorisation. Find out why to be especially wary of dealing with this unauthorised firm and how to protect yourself from scammers.
19 August 2019, 1:49pm

Rothschild Financial (clone of authorised firm)
Fraudsters are using the details of firms we authorise to try to convince people that they work for a genuine, authorised firm. Find out more about this ‘clone firm’. 
19 August 2019, 1:07pm

Gerhard Moser Investment Capital Holdings (clone of EEA authorised firm)
Fraudsters are using the details of firms we authorise to try to convince people that they work for a genuine, authorised firm. Find out more about this ‘clone firm’. 
19 August 2019, 9:58am

Asset Recovery Group
We believe this firm has been providing financial services or products in the UK without our authorisation. Find out why to be especially wary of dealing with this unauthorised firm and how to protect yourself from scammers.
16 August 2019, 3:57pm

Upper Tribunal publishes decision on Andrew Tinney, the former COO of Barclays Wealth
Following contested proceedings, the Upper Tribunal has found that Andrew Tinney, the former Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Barclays Wealth and Investment Management (Barclays Wealth), breached his obligation as an approved person to act with integrity.
16 August 2019, 10:31am

Retirement Planning / Retirement Planning (UK) Limited (clone of FCA authorised firm)
Fraudsters are using the details of firms we authorise to try to convince people that they work for a genuine, authorised firm. Find out more about this ‘clone firm’. 
16 August 2019, 9:07am

Global Reclaim (clone of FCA authorised firm)
Fraudsters are using the details of firms we authorise to try to convince people that they work for a genuine, authorised firm. Find out more about this ‘clone firm’. 
15 August 2019, 2:44pm

London Capital and Finance plc
On 30 January 2019, London Capital and Finance plc (LCF) appointed Finbarr O’Connell, Adam Stephens, Henry Shinners and Colin Hardman of Smith and Williamson LLP as joint administrators. These appointments have been made by order of the court. The administrators’ function is generally to act in the interest of the company’s creditors as a whole, and this must be done as quickly and efficiently as is reasonably practicable. The joint administrators will contact all affected parties in due course, including those borrowers which LCF loaned money to and bond holders. For more information about the administration please: Visit: www.londoncapitalandfinance.co.uk Call UK: 0800 046 7006 or International: +44 (0)20 3281 1808 Email: LondonCapital@smithandwilliamson.com Write:  FAO: The Administrators London Capital & Finance plc (in administration)                    c/o Smith & Williamson LLP                    25 Moorgate                    London                    EC2R 6AY Who appointed the joint administrators? The directors of the company received independent advice and determined that the company was insolvent. They then appointed the joint administrators. The FCA consented to the appointment of the joint administrators.  I am a bond holder, will I get my money back? The company’s estate will be dealt with by the administrators, who will assess the company’s assets and put forward proposals as to how they will proceed with the administration. The joint administrators will write to you with their proposals for the administration within eight weeks of appointment, this will include the process of how you make a claim. Do I need to use a third party to get my money back? If you are approached by a company offering to help you recover your money, you should proceed with caution. For the vast majority of LCF’s bond holders, there will be no benefit in involving a third party in making a claim. If you have any questions about the administration process, please contact the joint administrators using the contact details above. Being Alert to Scams  All customers should remain alert to the possibility of fraud. If you are cold called by someone claiming to be from LCF or Smith & Williamson, please end the call and call them back using the number above.  What is a mini-bond? There is no legal definition of a ‘mini-bond’, but the term usually refers to illiquid debt securities marketed to retail investors. A mini-bond is essentially an IOU issued by a company (the issuer) to an investor, in exchange for a fixed rate of interest over a set investment term. At the end of the term the investors’ capital is due to be repaid. The return on investors’ money entirely depends on the success and proper running of the issuer’s business. If the business fails, investors may get nothing back. What concerns led to the FCA to take action against LCF? London Capital & Finance PLC (LCF) was the issuer of mini-bonds which it stated it used to make loans to corporate borrowers to provide capital for further investment. The FCA believes there are approximately 14,000 customers invested in its bonds. Issuing mini-bonds is not normally a regulated activity so firms issuing mini-bonds do not usually need to be authorised by the FCA. However, when an authorised firm approves a promotion for mini-bonds, they must ensure that it is in line with FCA rules that the financial promotion is fair, clear and not misleading. This means, for example, that risks are appropriately communicated. On 10 December 2018 the FCA directed LCF to immediately withdraw its promotional material on the basis that the way in which it was marketing it bonds was misleading, not fair and unclear. The FCA’s concerns included the fact that LCF bonds were being marketed as ISA eligible when they were not – for further details see the FCA’s Second Supervisory Notice dated 17 January 2019. The FCA immediately commenced an investigation into the firm’s promotions. In order to further protect investors, and because the FCA had serious concerns about the way the firm was conducting its business, on 13 December 2018 the FCA imposed certain requirements on LCF including (a) not to dispose of or deal with its assets, save in limited circumstances (b) to cease conducting all regulated activity and (c) not to communicate any financial promotions. These requirements were imposed pursuant to a voluntary application by LCF. Did LCF need to be authorised? Firms are required to be authorised by the FCA if they undertake any of the regulated activities listed in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order 2001 (the Order). Authorised firms are subject to a set of overarching principles and rules issued by the FCA. These principles and rules have to be followed when an authorised firm is carrying on regulated activities in the UK. The Order excludes certain activities from its scope. Issuing mini-bonds does not normally involve the carrying on of a regulated activity. Therefore, LCF did not need to be authorised to issue the mini bonds but did need to be authorised to issue the promotion of the mini bonds. Will investors be able to get compensation from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme? For the latest position for LCF investors, please go to the FSCS website. Will investors have a tax liability as the products are not ISA eligible? On the 19 March 2019 HMRC contacted bondholders to inform them that they had decided that the Innovative Finance ISAs offered to investors by LCF did not comply with the requirements of the ISA regulations. The mini-bonds offered by LCF were not qualifying ISA investments because they were not a transferable security. ISA account holders can contact HMRC by email at savings.audit@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk with any questions relating to their LCF ISAs. Independent Investigation On 1 April 2019 the FCA announced that the Board had taken a decision that there should be an investigation by an independent person into the issues raised by the failure of London Capital & Finance (LC&F). The investigation should cover questions in two areas: whether the existing regulatory system adequately protects retail purchasers of mini-bonds from unacceptable levels of harm the FCA’s supervision of LC&F On 2 April 2019 Charles Randell, FCA Chair wrote to the Rt Hon. Nicky Morgan MP, Chair of the Treasury Committee to provide further details on the Board’s decision. Serious Fraud Office On 18 March 2019, the Serious Fraud Office announced that they had commenced an investigation in to various individuals associated with LCF. The investigation was opened as a result of the FCA referring the matter to the National Economic Crime Centre (NECC) which is based at the National Crime Agency’s London HQ and includes officers from the Financial Conduct Authority, the NCA, HM Revenue and Customs, the City of London Police, the Serious Fraud Office, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Home Office. The FCA’s investigation into these matters will proceed jointly with the SFO’s. We need your help with our investigation. We ask you: To keep safe any paperwork, including letters, emails and any financial records you have relating to your investment with LCF. Not to share this information with other investors or publish it on online platforms. To complete these online questionnaires if you have not done so already: The SFO online questionnaire. Smith and Williamson LLP, LCF’s administrators website and questionnaire. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme questionnaire. Your responses will help the Financial Services Compensation Scheme understand what information or advice LCF may have provided to customers. What we will do As part of our investigation, we will assess the information that you and other investors send us. This will help us build a more detailed and comprehensive picture of what happened. We may contact you directly if we need to clarify the information you have given or ask further questions. Further information Investigations of this size and complexity can take a long time. We aim to post an update on our website every few months and encourage you to check the website regularly. You can also check the SFO website for updates. Please note that we are unable to provide any further comment while our investigation continues. Support We are investigating to determine whether any persons may have broken the law and whether any money can be returned to investors.    We are conscious of the position investors in LCF find themselves in. Here is an Information Sheet listing organisations offering support to victims of crime and advice on financial matters. Thank you for your assistance with our investigation.
15 August 2019, 11:06am

Smart Loans
We believe this firm has been providing financial services or products in the UK without our authorisation. Find out why to be especially wary of dealing with this unauthorised firm and how to protect yourself from scammers.
15 August 2019, 10:03am

Mango Capital
We believe this firm has been providing financial services or products in the UK without our authorisation. Find out why to be especially wary of dealing with this unauthorised firm and how to protect yourself from scammers.
14 August 2019, 1:23pm

FCA agrees plan for a phased implementation of Strong Customer Authentication
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today agreed a plan that gives the payments and e-commerce industry extra time to implement Strong Customer Authentication (SCA).
13 August 2019, 1:35pm

Diamond Capital Funds (clone of FCA authorised firm)
Fraudsters are using the details of firms we authorise to try to convince people that they work for a genuine, authorised firm. Find out more about this ‘clone firm’. 
12 August 2019, 4:37pm

Citi Finances
We believe this firm has been providing financial services or products in the UK without our authorisation. Find out why to be especially wary of dealing with this unauthorised firm and how to protect yourself from scammers.
12 August 2019, 11:56am

Calibre Cars trading name of Autotech Kent Car Sales (Cranbrook) Ltd
We believe this firm has been providing financial services or products in the UK without our authorisation. Find out why to be especially wary of dealing with this unauthorised firm and how to protect yourself from scammers.
8 August 2019, 2:21pm

5 million pension savers could put their retirement savings at risk to scammers
New figures show cold calls, exotic investments and early access to cash among most persuasive tactics used by fraudsters Those who consider themselves financially savvy are just as likely to be persuaded FCA and TPR join forces to warn pension savers as part of latest ScamSmart campaign
7 August 2019, 9:01am

Profit Trading Ltd (clone of UK registered company)
Fraudsters are using the details of firms we authorise to try to convince people that they work for a genuine, authorised firm. Find out more about this ‘clone firm’. 
6 August 2019, 12:52pm

Thomas and Ward Advisors LLC
We believe this firm has been providing financial services or products in the UK without our authorisation. Find out why to be especially wary of dealing with this unauthorised firm and how to protect yourself from scammers.
6 August 2019, 10:42am

Smith & Williams PLC trading as Smith and Williams Online (clone of authorised firm)
Fraudsters are using the details of firms we authorise to try to convince people that they work for a genuine, authorised firm. Find out more about this ‘clone firm’. 
6 August 2019, 10:39am

Norton Rose Fulbright

Financial services: Regulation tomorrow

AFM consults investment funds on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing
On 16 August 2019, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (Autoriteit Financiële Markten, the AFM) published a news item indicating that in the last week of August, alternative investment funds and their managers will be receiving a questionnaire in relation to anti-money laundering and sanctions risks. This questionnaire is circulated annually and the AFM...… Continue Reading
19 August 2019, 4:05pm

Brexit Secretary signs order to scrap 1972 Brussels Act
On 18 August 2019, the UK Government issued a press release stating that the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, Steve Barclay MP, had “signed the legislation setting in stone the repeal” of the European Communities Act 1972 (ECA 1972). The press release goes on to say that the repeal of the ECA 1972...… Continue Reading
19 August 2019, 10:48am

ECB decision on oversight of systemically important payment systems
On 16 August 2019, there was published in the Official Journal of the EU (OJ), the European Central Bank (ECB) decision of 26 July 2019 on the procedure and conditions for exercise by a Member State competent authority of certain powers in relation to the oversight of systemically important payment systems (SIPs). In April 2012,...… Continue Reading
19 August 2019, 10:43am

United States imposes additional sanctions involving Russia and Venezuela
The US Government recently imposed additional economic sanctions with respect to Russia and Venezuela. Norton Rose Fulbright has prepared legal updates discussing these developments: US imposes second round of CBW Act sanctions on Russia, authored by Partners Stefan Reisinger and Steven McNabb, Senior Counsel Kimberly Caine, and Associate Wenda Tang in our Washington DC Office....… Continue Reading
16 August 2019, 10:54pm

Cyber resilience: Addressing the threats
The recording from our Regulatory Compliance Consulting webinar on cyber resilience is now available here. In an increasingly complex landscape of cyber risks and issues, this webinar considers key areas of importance including: The evolving threat landscape – changes we are seeing in terms of cyber-attacks and hot topics, including sectors and firms currently in...… Continue Reading
16 August 2019, 2:18pm

Seminar: Retiring LIBOR – Fact or fiction?
On 27 September 2019 we will be holding a breakfast briefing that will provide insight to the progression of benchmark rate reform, and provide attendees with the opportunity to ask questions and engage in discussion regarding the key issues facing anyone involved in the financial markets. Further information can be found here.… Continue Reading
16 August 2019, 11:10am

FCA protocols for independent reviews of regulatory action concerning IRHP and Connaught
On 14 August 2019, the FCA published two protocols in relation to lessons learned reviews commissioned by the non-executive directors of the FCA following the appointments of John Swift QC and Raj Parker as independent reviewers for the Interest Rate Hedging Products (IRHPs) review and the Connaught Income Fund Series 1 review respectively in June...… Continue Reading
15 August 2019, 3:54pm

ECB advises banks to ramp up no-deal preparations
On 14 August 2019, the European Central Bank (ECB) published an article on its website calling on banks to step up their preparations for a no-deal Brexit at the end of October 2019. The ECB asserts that banks have transferred significantly fewer activities, critical functions and staff to euro area entities than originally foreseen as...… Continue Reading
15 August 2019, 3:53pm

London 40 minute briefing series – new dates for September to November
The Norton Rose Fulbright LLP financial services team invite you to their latest breakfast briefings. Our latest series of briefings cover some of the key regulatory developments facing financial services firms: 4 September 2019: The clock is ticking on SMCR compliance. In this practical workshop conducted under Chatham House rules the Norton Rose Fulbright SMCR...… Continue Reading
15 August 2019, 3:50pm

FCA agrees 18-month period for phased implementation of Strong Customer Authentication
On 13 August 2019, the FCA announced an 18 month plan to implement the Single Customer Authentication (SCA) rules under the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) for the e-commerce industry of card issuers, payments firms and online retailers. The announcement reflects the recent opinion of the European Banking Authority (our blog is here) which acknowledged...… Continue Reading
14 August 2019, 3:42pm