On May 20, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a webpage with findings from its supervisory work on how principal firms in the investment management sector understand and comply with their regulatory responsibilities in respect of their appointed representatives (ARs).

The FCA conducted a survey of 338 principal firms, each with between one and 80 ARs. The FCA visited 15 of the principal firms for a more detailed review. The FCA was particularly interested in: business model risks; the oversight and ongoing monitoring of ARs; and financial resources.
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On March 29, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a press release announcing that it had published its final instruments and guidance that will apply if the United Kingdom withdraws from the European Union without a deal or an implementation period (No-Deal Brexit).
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On February 4, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a Policy Statement on further remedies to promote competition in the asset management sector, following its asset management market study (AMMS) (see the June 30, 2017 edition of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest for further details on the FCA’s Final Report on AMMS).
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On December 7, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a consultation paper on restricting contract for difference (CFD) and other derivative products sold to retail consumers.

In its consultation paper, the FCA is proposing to intervene in the CFD market to address allegedly poor conduct by firms offering CFD products to retail customers, and to limit the sale of CFDs and similar products with excessive risk features that could result in harm to such customers. The FCA has proposed rules that will require firms to:
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On October 22, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published an evaluation paper that considers the impact that bringing seven additional benchmarks into its regulatory and supervisory regime had on the market.

The paper evaluates the Benchmarks (Amendment) Instrument 2015 (Benchmarks Instrument), by which the FCA made amendments to the FCA Handbook to reflect the additional benchmarks.
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On October 12, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a consultation paper (October Consultation Paper) setting out its proposals to amend the Decision Procedure and Penalties (DEPP) manual and Enforcement Guide (EG) of the FCA Handbook. The FCA explains that the amendments are needed because of the changes introduced by the statutory instrument (SI), which will be given to the UK Parliament by HM Treasury, implementing the EU Securitization Regulation (SR) that goes into effect on January 1, 2019.

The October Consultation Paper should be read alongside the FCA’s consultation paper that it published on August 1 (August Consultation Paper), which sets out other changes that will be needed to the FCA Handbook to implement the SR.
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On June 26, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a statement updating stakeholders on its preparations for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union (Brexit). The FCA’s statement noted HM Treasury’s preparations for Brexit, which were then published in HM Treasury’s own press release, dated June 27.
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On February 8, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) published a joint statement on the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

GDPR will go into effect in the UK on May 25. The GDPR is designed to strengthen the rules governing data protection across the European Union and will be regulated and enforced in the UK by the ICO, as part of its continuing mandate for the responsibility of data protection regulation.
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On December 13, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a “Dear CEO” letter expressing its concerns over the practice of brokers demanding payments from counterparties in exchange for conducting client business with them, also known as payment for order flow (PFOF). The letter follows the FCA’s September 2016 update, published in their Market Watch newsletter, which reiterated the requirement of firms to continue to meet their obligation with regards to conflicts of interest management in the FCA’s Systems and Controls Handbook Rules (SYSC) (for further information, please see the Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest of September 30, 2016).
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