On January 16, the House of Lords European Union Committee published a letter from the Chair, Lord Kinnoull, to John Glen, Economic Secretary to Her Majesty’s Treasury (the Letter). The Letter concerns the recently published Taxonomy Regulation (for more information please see the January 10 edition of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest).
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On December 23, 2019, the European Commission’s (EC) Implementing Decision, which grants temporary equivalence to UK central counterparties (CCPs), was published in the Official Journal of the European Union (EU). This means that the Implementing Decision became law on December 24, 2019.


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On December 17, 2019, the European Commission published the text of the proposed “regulation on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment,” which is also known as the “Taxonomy Regulation.” This forms part of the EU’s sustainable finance reforms. More information is available in the May 10 edition of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest and December 13 edition of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest.

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On January 10, the changes introduced by the European Union’s fifth Money Laundering Directive (MLD5) became operational. MLD5 came into force on July 9, 2018, but member states had until January 10 to transpose these changes into national law. MLD5 amends and builds on the fourth Money Laundering Directive (MLD4).  More information is available in the February 12, 2016 edition of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest.

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On December 5, Valdis Dombrovskis made a speech at the conclusion of the first Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) meeting of the new European Commission (EC). Mr. Dombrovskis is the European Commissioner for “an Economy that Works for People”, and is one of the three newly-appointed Executive Vice Presidents of the EC.

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On October 18, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) published its updated list of jurisdictions that have strategic anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) deficiencies for which they have developed an action plan with the FATF. The FATF updates this list three times a year, the last update being in June 2019.
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On October 18, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a letter giving guidance on the distinction between suspicious activity reports (SARs) and suspicious transaction and order reports (STORs). The letter was sent in response to a request by UK Finance, a trade association, following a meeting of the ‘SARs Collaboration Working Group.’
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On September 13, the CFTC and European Commission issued a joint statement reaffirming their mutual commitment to transatlantic cooperation among regulators (Joint Statement). The Joint Statement was released following a September 5 meeting between CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert and John Berrigan, Deputy Director General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (DG FISMA), European Commission.
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On August 20, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a letter written jointly with the European Banking Authority (EBA) and addressed to the European Commission (EC) relating to cryptoassets. The letter responds to a letter from the Commission dated July 19.

The letter begins by welcoming the EC’s work responding to issues identified in the January 2019 reports by ESMA and the EBA on cryptoassets and initial coin offerings (for more information, see the January 11, 2019 edition of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest). ESMA and the EBA agree that it is vital that further work progresses urgently to inform any actions taken by the new EC.
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