• ESMA speaks on MiFID 2
  • BoE publishes annual report
  • PRA publishes annual report
  • CFTC speaks on regulatory equivalence


Financial Stability Board (FSB)

FSB and IOSCO publish assessment methodology responses: FSB and IOSCO have published the responses to their second consultative document on Assessment Methodologies for Identifying Non-Bank Non-Insurer Global Systemically Important Financial Institutions. (Source: Public Responses to the March 2015 Consultative Document Assessment Methodologies for Identifying NBNI G-SIFIs)

Contact: Rosali Pretorius or Tom Harkus

European Commission (Commission)

Commission publishes equity exposures regulation: The Commission has published a delegated regulation on regulatory technical standards (RTS) for the transitional treatment of equity exposures under the Internal Ratings Based (IRB) approach. It sets out one condition for granting an exemption. (Source: Regulation on RTS for the Transitional Treatment of Equity Exposures under the IRB Approach)

Contact: Rosali Pretorius or Michael Wainwright

Commission amends prospectus and accounting standards regulations: The Commission has finalised amendments to regulations:

  • establishing a mechanism for the determination of equivalence of accounting standards applied by third country issuers of securities; and
  • regarding elements related to prospectuses and advertisements.

(Source: Regulation Establishing a Mechanism for the Determination of Equivalence of Accounting Standards Applied by Third Country Issuers of Securities and Regulation Regarding Elements Related to Prospectuses and Advertisements)

Contact: Rosali Pretorius or Michael Wainwright

Commission welcomes SFTR agreement: The Commission has welcomed the agreement between the European Parliament and Council on the proposal for a regulation on reporting and transparency of securities financing transactions (known as SFTR). The proposed regulation aims to increase the transparency of certain transactions in the shadow banking sector to stop banks circumventing other rules by moving those activities to the shadow banking sector. The formal adoption of the proposal is expected later this year. (Source: Commission Welcomes Agreement on Improving Transparency of Certain Financial Transactions in the Shadow Banking Sector)

Contact: Rosali Pretorius or Michael Wainwright

European Banking Authority (EBA)

EBA updates on constrained currencies: EBA has issued an opinion in support of the Commission's amendments to EBA's final draft Implementing Technical Standards (ITS) on currencies featuring constraints on the availability of liquid assets. The amendments support the removal of Danish Krone as a currency for which there are insufficient liquid assets and the recitals justifying why the Norwegian Krone still qualifies as a currency with such constraints. (Source: EBA Updates on Constrained Currencies)

Contact: Rosali Pretorius or Michael Wainwright

EBA updates single rulebook Q&As: EBA has added four new items to its single rulebook Q&As. (Source: Single Rulebook Q&As)

Contact: Rosali Pretorius or Michael Wainwright

EBA publishes annual report: EBA has published its 2014 annual report. The report outlines its main achievements in 2014 including:

  • completing the Single Rulebook in banking;
  • restoring confidence and transparency;
  • focus on the recovery and resolution regulation;
  • providing technical advice to the Commission;
  • contributing to a sounder remuneration framework;
  • promoting supervisory convergence;
  • playing a part in the EU-wide stress test;
  • investigating the work of shadow banks; and
  • protecting consumers and monitoring financial innovation.

The report also contains a detailed list of all the products delivered by EBA in 2014. (Source: EBA Annual Report 2014)

Contact: Rosali Pretorius or Michael Wainwright

EBA issues leverage ratio ITS: EBA has published updated ITS on disclosure and supervisory reporting of leverage ratio for EU institutions. The ITS set out a disclosure framework consisting of four templates:

  • a table reconciling the figures of the leverage ratio denominator with those reported under the relevant accounting standards;
  • a table providing a breakdown of the leverage ratio denominator by exposure category;
  • a table providing a further breakdown of the leverage ratio denominator by group of counterparty; and
  • a table with qualitative information on leverage risk.

The update has been prompted by the Commission's adoption of the Delegated Act on the Leverage Ratio on 10 October 2014. It includes minor changes to the templates and instructions. The draft ITS will become applicable the day after publication in the OJEU. (Source: Updated ITS on Disclosure and Supervisory Reporting of Leverage Ratio for EU Institutions)

Contact: Rosali Pretorius or Michael Wainwright

EBA revises validation rules: EBA issued a revised list of validation rules for its ITS on supervisory reporting, highlighting those which have been deactivated either for incorrectness or for triggering IT problems. (Source: EBA Issues Revised List of ITS Validation Rules)

Contact: Rosali Pretorius or Michael Wainwright

European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA)

EIOPA speaks on insurance intermediation: Gabriel Bernardino, Chairman of EIOPA, spoke on:

  • progress on the insurance distribution directive (IDD) and EIOPA's strategic views on it: specifically, he emphasised that it is important that the IDD addresses conflicts of interest that arise when distributors sell insurance products; he indicated EIOPA's support for the current provision in the IDD stating the need for a standardised Product Information Document for non-investment-based insurance products; and he also indicated that EIOPA is in favour of the provision in the IDD setting a specific number of hours of continuous professional development for distributors;
  • the work on the market monitoring and product intervention powers in the PRIIPs Regulation: specifically, regarding product intervention powers, EIOPA is finalising its technical advice to the Commission on the criteria to be taken into account in determining when there is a significant investor protection concern or a threat to the orderly functioning and integrity of financial markets; and EIOPA is further strengthening its market monitoring; and
  • EIOPA's vision on conduct of business supervision: specifically with regards to strengthening corporate governance; reinforcing the regulation of product oversight and governance and sales incentives; enhancing conduct of risk supervision by putting in place systematic monitoring to identify conduct risks; and putting in place credible and dissuasive enforcement.

He concluded his speech with a brief discussion of the ways in which the digital revolution has affected business. He stressed that it will have an impact at every level of the insurance distribution chain, posing challenges for existing market participants and offering opportunities both for them, and new insurgents. (Source: Gabriel Bernardino, EIOPA, on Insurance Distribution in a Challenging Environment)

Contact: Michael Wainwright or Juan Jose Manchado

European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)

ESMA publishes 2014 annual report: ESMA published its 2014 annual report and announced its new strategy for 2016-20. The annual report outlines ESMA's achievements for the past year in relation to the following objectives:

  • financial stability;
  • financial consumer protection;
  • supervision;
  • single rulebook; and
  • supervisory convergence.

Under its new strategy ESMA will shift from rulemaking towards the implementation of rules and ensuring the convergence of supervisory practices. The new strategy focuses on three main objectives: investor protection, orderly markets and financial stability. In order to achieve these objectives ESMA will focus on the following activities:

  • assessing risks to investors and financial stability: by increasing its resources to strengthen its capabilities to identify and assess risks to investors, and financial stability in the EU;
  • promoting supervisory convergence: by committing more resources to promote supervisory convergence and targeting a number of specific areas where convergence is to be promoted;
  • direct supervision of specific financial entities: by strengthening its role as a direct supervisor, whilst intensifying its risk-based approach in order to achieve lasting impact; and
  • completing a single rulebook for EU financial markets.

The new ESMA strategy will be accompanied by some organisational changes such as merging of all supervisory activities in one department and bringing together most of ESMA's data and risk analysis capacity, as well as streamlining its cooperation and stakeholder functions. (Source: ESMA Publishes 2014 Annual Report and New 2016-20 Strategy)

Contact: Emma Radmore or Josie Day

ESMA speaks on MiFID 2: Steven Majoor, Chair of ESMA, has spoken briefly on ESMA's work on implementing measures under the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID 2) and Regulation (MiFIR). He addressed:

  • non-equity transparency: he reassured his audience that, while a perfect solution which will satisfy all market participants is not possible, ESMA is trying to find reasonable and workable compromises having taken responses to its consultation on board;
  • position limits: he urged his audience to bear in mind that the scope of the Level 1 requirements for position limits is extremely wide, capturing a range of contracts from highly liquid to completely illiquid. As such, a one-size-fits-all approach cannot be the solution; and
  • ancillary activity: he asked his audience to make allowances for the lack of high-quality data which has restricted ESMA's efforts. He reiterated that ESMA is working towards a pragmatic solution.

(Source: ESMA Speaks on Scrutiny of Delegated Acts and Implementing Measures)

Contact: Rosali Pretorius or Luca Salerno

Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU)

Own funds RTS published in OJEU: A regulation based on RTS for own funds requirements for institutions has been published in the OJEU. (Source: Regulation with Regard to RTS for own Funds Requirements for Institutions)

Contact: Rosali Pretorius or Michael Wainwright


Bank of England (BoE)

BoE announces markets Open Forum: BoE has issued a paper announcing its intent to hold an Open Forum in the autumn on the topic of "Building Real Markets for the Good of the People". The paper, and Open Forum will explore questions on why markets matter to both the UK and the wider global economy, the resilience, fairness and effectiveness of markets and how to strengthen accountability. The paper lists a selection of specific questions that potential participants might consider. BoE seeks to bring together all stakeholders in Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities (FICC) markets. BoE will make further announcement on the Open Forum – including venue, date and agenda – at a later date. (Source: Building Real Markets for the Good of the People)

Contact: Rosali Pretorius or Nicholas Ralph

BoE publishes annual report: BoE has published its 2015 annual report. The report provides an introduction to key BoE personnel and its operational structure. The review of 2014/15 includes:

  • regulatory policy, including BoE's "One Bank" supervisory approach ensuring improved collaboration between PRA and other areas of BoE, supervision of Financial Market Infrastructure and resolution;
  • international matters, including the volume and destination of UK exports and developments across the EU;
  • banking and markets, including monetary policy, liquidity insurance, the Sterling Monetary Framework, funding for lending, banking, the real-time gross settlement system, BoE's commitment to transparency, FX investigations, and market intelligence; and
  • BoE's contribution to cyber security and resilience.

It also contains reports by the audit and risk committee, the remuneration committee and the oversight committee. (Source: BoE's 2015 Annual Report)

Contact: Emma Radmore or Josie Day

HM Treasury

Treasury to consult on pensions freedoms: George Osborne announced that Treasury will consult to ensure that people are not charged excessive early exit penalties and are treated fairly when moving their pension to a company that offers them flexible options to access their savings. In particular, the consultation, due to launch next month, will look at:

  • options to address any excessive early exit penalties. These include, if there is evidence of such penalties, the option of imposing a legislative cap on them for those aged 55 or over; and
  • making the process for transferring pensions from one scheme to another quicker and smoother, to help people make use of the new freedoms.

The Association of British Insurers welcomed the consultation, but denied that the industry was responsible for erecting barriers to early exits. (Source: Treasury to Consult on Pensions Freedoms)

Contact: Michael Wainwright or Josie Day


Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

Up next from FCA: FCA's latest policy development update promises, by the end of the summer:

  • a policy statement on fees;
  • a consultation paper on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory access to benchmarks;
  • a policy statement on the client money rules for insurance intermediaries;
  • consultation with PRA on the reform of the legacy credit unions sourcebook; and
  • policy statements on improving complaints handling and changes to consumer credit rules.

It has not specified a date for publishing policy statements on individual accountability and approved persons. (Source: Policy Development Update 23)

Contact: Emma Radmore or Juan Jose Manchado

FCA feeds back on retail distribution of CoCos: FCA has published its final rules on retail distribution of regulatory capital instruments – or contingent convertible securities (CoCos). FCA regards CoCos and common equity tier 1 share instruments issued by mutual societies as particularly susceptible to inappropriate distribution to retail investors. Its temporary product intervention rules restricting retail distribution of these instruments came into force on 1 October 2014 for a year. FCA has consulted on making the restrictions permanent and on new requirements when some regulatory share capital instruments issued by mutual societies are distributed to the retail markets. FCA has now made permanent rules that:

  • apply when firms sell, promote or approve promotions relating to CoCos to retail clients (but do not apply to other intermediation activities); and
  • limit exposure of any retail investor in mutual society shares to 10% of their net assets.

The new rules come into force:

  • on 1 July in respect of firms that deal or arrange deals in mutual society shares for retail clients who are not high net worth or sophisticated investors, and require the firm to give the client a prescribed risk warning, and obtain a prescribed statement from clients to whom they provide non-advised, non-MiFID sales. The statement includes restrictions on investing more than 10% of a client's available assets; and
  • on 1 October to amend the rules on non-mainstream pooled investments to ban the sale or promotion of CoCos to retail clients who are not high net worth or sophisticated investors or in certain other limited circumstances.

(Source: FCA Makes CoCo and Mutual Instrument Rules)

Contact: Michael Wainwright or Nicholas Ralph

FCA to appeal on Macris: FCA is to appeal the Court of Appeal's ruling that FCA should have given Achilles Macris the right to make representations on certain matters set out in FCA's final notice to JP Morgan relating to the "London Whale" trades. FCA did not give Mr Macris third party rights because it did not consider that he was identified in the notice. The Court of Appeal decided that Mr Macris was identified. (Source: FCA to Appeal on Macris)

Contact: Felicity Ewing or Nicholas Ralph

FCA seeks views on payment account terms: FCA has issued a call for input on the services that it proposes to include on the list of key services linked to payment accounts that are subject to a fee in the UK. It is required to compile such a list under the Payment Accounts Directive (PAD). FCA is also consulting on its suggested terms and definitions to describe these services. The consultation closes on 17 July. FCA will publish a feedback statement in September. (Source: FCA Call for Input: Terms and Definitions for Services Which are Linked to Payment Accounts and Subject to Fees)

Contact: Michael Wainwright or Nicholas Ralph

FCA consults on barriers to innovation: FCA has issued a call for input on regulatory barriers to innovation in digital and mobile solutions. Following this, it will make a statement in the autumn outlining the action it will take to encourage greater innovation. The consultation closes on 7 September. (Source: FCA Call for Input: Regulatory Barriers to Innovation in Digital and Mobile Solutions)

Contact: Emma Radmore or Josie Day

Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA)

PRA publishes annual report: PRA has published its 2015 annual report and accounts. The report's review of 2014/15 contains:

  • details of PRA and the Financial Policy Committee's (FPC) stress test framework;
  • PRA's work in providing firms with appropriate authorisations;
  • PRA's role in addressing the issue of bank capital;
  • details of PRA's supervision of international bank branches;
  • information on the year's enforcement actions;
  • contingency planning and event risk; and
  • developing a strategy to use data more effectively.

The report also outlines how PRA is preparing for the implementation of Solvency 2 and the recast depositor guarantee scheme directive, changes to liquidity coverage requirements and the finalising of the fourth Capital Requirements Directive (CRD4) framework. The report also contains a detailed business plan for 2015/16 and financial review of 2014/15. (Source: PRA Annual Report 2015)

Contact: Michael Wainwright or Tom Harkus

PRA issues Solvency 2 internal model statements: PRA has issued supervisory statements setting out:

  • its expectations of UK insurance firms within the scope of Solvency 2 and the Society of Lloyd's in respect of each syndicate, and providing further clarity on the information to be reported by firms using an internal model to calculate the solvency capital requirement (SCR). Where a firm uses an internal model, PRA must evaluate ongoing compliance with the Solvency 2 internal model requirements. To monitor the performance of the approved internal models over time, PRA expects firms to report the outputs of their approved internal model on an ongoing basis; and
  • its expectations of how non-life firms should identify and manage all risks to which their business could be exposed over the long and short term, to capture all known risks in their own risk and solvency assessment (ORSA). This enables firms to assess their ability to meet obligations to policyholders in the event that the firm decides to cease writing business beyond that which it plans to write over the next 12 months, and to meet those obligations in stressed conditions. PRA also wrote to firms giving feedback on its ORSA expectations.

(Source: Solvency 2: ORSA and the Ultimate Time Horizon - Non-life Firms — SS26/15 and Solvency 2: Regulatory Reporting, Internal Model Outputs — SS25/15)

Contact: Michael Wainwright or Juan Jose Manchado

PRA publishes Solvency 2 balance sheet feedback: PRA published feedback on step 1 of its review of Solvency 2 balance sheets. The PRA feedback addresses:

  • PRA's expectation that firms participating in the review will be able to demonstrate how their basis of preparation for step 2 has been assessed in step 1;
  • materiality: the need for clearly defined and documented materiality assessments which are a key element of the validation processes;
  • control framework: the need for well documented processes and controls, including defined responsibilities and approvals, for the preparation of a Solvency 2 balance sheet and supporting regulatory financial information;
  • documentation and validation: firms are focusing significant effort on the system of governance around technical provisions but they also need to focus attention on achieving reliable valuations under the Solvency 2 valuation rules of other balance sheet items, such as amounts owed to and by related undertakings;
  • deferred taxation: some of the differences between International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and Solvency 2 balance sheets in the valuation and recognition of assets, liabilities and contingent liabilities require firms to adjust deferred tax balances from the IFRS balance sheet. The adjustments to deferred tax balances for inclusion in the Solvency 2 balance sheet must take into account the different tax jurisdictions in which a firm and group operates, and the way in which its activities are assessed to tax;
  • own funds: the way in which group undertakings are consolidated to prepare a group Solvency 2 balance sheet differs from conventional accounting consolidation. Firms cannot rely upon processes for conventional financial reporting as sufficient for Solvency 2 purposes and may need to develop additional consolidation processes by 2016; and
  • technical provisions and amounts recoverable from reinsurance: firms should have specific documentation in place which shows how they meet the different Solvency 2 requirements for technical provisions.

(Source: Solvency 2 Balance Sheet Feedback)

Contact: Michael Wainwright or Juan Jose Manchado

PRA urges firms to request LEI codes: PRA has updated its Solvency 2 webpage to request that firms within the scope of Solvency 2 request a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) code by 30 June at the latest. Other insurers should request a code by 30 June 2016. For firms that are part of a group, PRA requests that all entities within the group obtain an LEI code, including holding and dormant companies. (Source: Detailed Technical Information: LEIs)

Contact: Michael Wainwright or Juan Jose Manchado


Bank for International Settlements/Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BIS/Basel Committee)

BIS reports on IOSCO PFMI update: The Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) and IOSCO published a second update to the Level 1 assessments of the implementation monitoring of the "Principles for financial market infrastructures (PFMIs)". This update shows the 28 participating jurisdictions have made good progress since the previous update in May 2014. The gap in the progress on implementation measures applicable to central securities depositories and securities settlement systems compared to other types of FMI has now closed. The various authorities will conduct the next update of the Level 1 assessments in 2016. A second round of Level 2 assessments for the PFMIs is now beginning, along with a first round of Level 3 assessments for the PFMIs. IOSCO and CPMI should publish the results from these assessments in 2015/2016. CPMI and IOSCO also recently undertook an assessment of the completeness and consistency of frameworks and outcomes (combined Level 2 and Level 3) arising from jurisdictions' implementation of the Responsibilities for authorities included in the PFMIs. This exercise is well under way and they should publish a report presenting the results later this year. (Source: Second Update to PFMI Level 1 Assessment Report)

Contact: Rosali Pretorius or Tom Harkus

British Banking Association (BBA)

BBA promotes World Bank survey: BBA has urged banks to respond to a survey launched by World Bank Group on the key drivers and consequences of de-risking. The results of the survey will have extremely high visibility, and will feed into the production of a report for the G20 which will include the perspectives of money transfer operators, banks and national governments worldwide. Each participant answers a set of common questions and also completes a secondary section geared to their particular sector. The World Bank will then collate the findings into a summary report and disaggregate for the different G20 countries and groups of stakeholders interviewed. The findings will also shape wider discussions taking place between other organisations, including the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and FSB. The deadline for participation is the end of June. (Source: BBA Promotes WBG De-risking Survey)

Contact: Rosali Pretorius or Michael Wainwright

International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS)

Slovakia joins insurance agreement: The insurance supervisor of Slovakia has joined an international supervisory cooperation and information exchange agreement. (Source: Slovakia Joins International Information Exchange Agreement)

Contact: Michael Wainwright or Juan Jose Manchado

IAIS consults on core principles: IAIS has published a consultation paper on the proposed revision of its insurance core principles (ICPs). IAIS is revising the following ICPs:

  • ICP 4 Licensing;
  • ICP 5 Suitability of Persons;
  • ICP 7 Corporate Governance;
  • ICP 8 Risk Management and Internal Controls;
  • ICP 23 Group-wide Supervision; and
  • ICP 25 Supervisory Cooperation and Coordination.

The consultation closes on 17 August. (Source: IAIS Consultation on Revision of Insurance Core Principles)

Contact: Michael Wainwright or Juan Jose Manchado

City of London Law Society (CLLS)

CLLS publishes EBA consultation responses: CLLS has published its responses to EBA's consultation on draft Guidelines on sound remuneration policies under CRD4. The bulk of the response deals with CLLS' disagreement with EBA's stance on proportionality. (Source: Response to EBA Consultation on Remuneration Guidelines under CRD4)

Contact: Rosali Pretorius or Michael Wainwright

US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)

CFTC speaks on regulatory equivalence: Timothy Massad, Chairman of CFTC, spoke at the Futures Industry Association (FIA) International Derivatives Conference, focusing on the importance of regulatory equivalence for clearing houses, especially between the US and the EU. In his speech he covered:

  • the ongoing negotiation between US and EU regulators to draw up an equivalence agreement for US and EU clearing houses;
  • the steps CFTC has already taken in implementing swaps trading rules and reaching agreements with regulators in other jurisdictions to allow US regulated parties to trade abroad under US rules;
  • the work that CFTC and other international bodies, such as ECB and FSB, have done in the areas of data and reporting to ensure greater transparency in the swaps market; and
  • the ongoing work of CFTC in seeking internationally consistent margin requirements for uncleared swaps.

He discussed the approach he would wish to take to requiring non-US entities to comply with US standards, but stressed the US and EU are still working towards a solution.

(Source: CFTC Speech on International Regulatory Equivalence in the Swaps Market)

Contact: Rosali Pretorius or Tom Harkus

Lloyd's Market Association (LMA)

LMA and IUA issue Insurance Act guidance: LMA and the International Underwriting Association (IUA) published a detailed guide to the Insurance Act 2015. (Source: LMA and IUA Publish Insurance Act 2015 Guide)

Contact: Michael Wainwright or Marian Boyle

International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO)

IOSCO issues "credible deterrence" report: IOSCO has published a report titled "Credible Deterrence", which identifies key enforcement factors that may deter misconduct in international securities and investment markets. The report cautions that credible deterrence cannot be one size fits all and regulators must decide what it means for them in the context of their strategic objectives, powers and responsibilities. They also need to take into account their own market, economic and financial situation. The report sets out seven important elements for effective deterrence:

  • legal certainty;
  • detecting misconduct;
  • cooperation and collaboration;
  • investigation and prosecution of misconduct;
  • sanctions;
  • public messaging; and
  • regulatory governance.

Speaking at the launch of the paper, Georgina Philippou, acting director of enforcement at FCA, dismissed criticisms that recent penalties amounting to billions of pounds were damaging the stability of the banking industry. She also signalled there could be some changes in the way FCA handles final notices or details of a misconduct case such as LIBOR or FX rigging. (Source: IOSCO Publishes Report on Credible Deterrence Approaches in Securities Market Regulation)

Contact: Emma Radmore or Tom Harkus

Payments Council

Payments Council announces real-time payments progress: The Payments Council has issued a statement on progress towards harmonisation of ISO 20022 for real-time payments. (Source: Progress Made Towards Harmonisation of ISO 20022 for Real-time Payments)

Contact: Michael Wainwright or Josie Day

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