On November 29, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a consultation paper on applying the Senior Managers Regime (SMR) to benchmark administrators. (For more information on the Senior Managers and Certification Regime, or SM&CR, please see the July 28, 2017 edition of the Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest.)

SM&CR already applies to banks and insurers, and will apply to most other UK financial services firms as of December 9. Because benchmark administrators only began to be supervised by the FCA in January 2018, the SMR will apply to them starting December 7, 2020. This gives these firms one extra year to prepare for the regime.
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On October 31, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published five revised directions, extending the Temporary Permissions Regime (TPR) to January 20, 2020. This coincides with the most recent extension of the Brexit deadline from October 31 to January 31, 2020 and is the fourth time that the TPR has been extended.
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On October 25, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a new webpage setting out important information for UK cryptoasset businesses in the context of anti-money laundering (AML) and counter terrorist financing (CFT).

As announced in July 2019, the FCA will be the AML/CFT regulator for certain cryptoasset activities starting January 10, 2020. However, the scope of ‘cryptoasset activities’ is still to be determined by Her Majesty’s Treasury (HMT), whose consultation on the matter closed on June 10.
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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 October 14, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published new and updated change of control webpages, including a new page on preparing change of control notifications, and a new page with links to the forms required to submit a notification for a change of control.

The FCA noted that firms sometimes submit a business plan along with their change of control notification, and the new webpages also include a business plan template with the FCA’s guidance on areas where it believes such business plans should be more detailed.
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On October 7, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a “Brexit Special” of its monthly Market Watch newsletter, in which it summarized some recent developments and publications in connection with the regulated sector’s preparedness for the forthcoming departure of the UK from the EU on November 1.

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On September 26, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published updated draft directions under its Temporary Transitional Power (TTP). The TTP is designed to give the FCA flexibility in applying post-Brexit requirements to firms that are transitioning to the new UK regulatory framework following the UK’s departure from the EU. The draft directions would only come into effect on exit day if the UK leaves the EU without an implementation period.
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