Financial Services Regulatory
Our financial services regulatory practice is wide-ranging and covers both contentious and advisory matters.
Investigations and Enforcement
We advise on a wide range of financial services regulatory contentious matters, including:
- Information requests
- Internal investigations
- Announced and unannounced visits (“dawn raids”)
- Settlement negotiations
- Regulatory Decisions Committee meetings
- Upper Tribunal hearings
Recent matters include:
- Internal investigations
- Advising on an internal investigation for a bank involving SMF misconduct
- Advising a director of a listed company on their disclosure obligations
- Acting for a firm seeking FCA registration as a cryptoasset exchange provider
Transaction regulatory support
We work with our corporate team acting for buyers and sellers on mergers, acquisitions and corporate restructuring to advise on regulatory notifications sand approval processes and compliance risk allocation in transaction documentation.
- Change in control
- SPA clauses
- Legal due diligence review
Perimeter advice and getting authorised
Does your business or commercial activity require PRA and/or FCA authorisation or registration? We can advise on whether or not you fall within the scope of regulation, and assist with any necessary applications.
- Regulated activities
- Registration under the MLRs (crypto)
- E-money and payment services
- Appointed representative arrangements
- Advising on interactions with regulators, including FCA and PRA
- Failure to meet the required standards for FCA authorisation
- Appointed Representatives: The enhanced regime following lessons from Greensill Capital
- Treading the payment tightrope: can you still rely on the ‘limited network exclusion’ or might you now need a licence to carry out regulated payment services?
- Act now or pay later? FCA publishes important guidance on ensuring fair terms in unregulated Buy Now Pay Later credit agreements
- Buy Now Pay Later: FCA regulation appears to be looming. What might this mean for those offering this form of payment option?
- The meaning of “knowingly concerned” for breaches of financial promotion restrictions – welcome clarification for directors
- Clarifying the boundary of regulated activities: Financial Conduct Authority v 24Hr Trading Academy Ltd
- The FCA New Consumer Duty: Principle 12 is here
Advertising and financial promotions
We advise both financial services firms and unregulated firms such as marketing platforms and advertising agencies with financial services clients, on how to comply with regulatory requirements applicable to financial promotions. This complex area of regulation is evolving rapidly in the UK and a series of fundamental changes are coming into force in 2023 and 2024.
- Advertising policies
- Rules applicable to specific types of financial promotion
- Financial promotions requiring approval, and availability of relevant exemptions
Employment and other BAU matters
We advise on regulatory matters arising in the course of your day to day business. Queries we commonly cover concern:
- Corporate governance
- Employment contract terms
- Fitness and propriety
- Regulatory references
- Outsourcing contracts and oversight arrangements
- Regulatory disclosures
- New Remuneration Code - For investment firms regulated under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive
Cryptoassets, AI and fintech
We have a specialist focus on cryptoassets, including NFTs, and advise a wide range of firms son all aspects of legal and regulatory compliance.
- Financial promotions: draft legislation updating the perimeter for qualifying cryptoassets now published
- “New technology does not change old risks” – why the crypto industry needs a regulatory framework to realise its full potential
- Latest proposals from the FSB on regulating cryptoasset activities and stablecoins
- From crypto winter to crypto trading platform collapse – paving the path to greater regulation of crypto
We act for a broad range of financial services firms as well as individuals, including:
- Investment firms and funds (including hedge funds)
- Payment services and e-money firms
- Appointed representatives
- Cryptoasset firms
- Social media platforms
The National Security and Investment Act 2021: will it lead to greater certainty and lower burdens for businesses?07 December 2023
Since the National Security and Investment Act (the NSI Act) came into force on 4 January 2022, one of the criticisms levelled at the legislation has been its broad scope and ambiguity over whether a transaction might be captured by the mandatory notification regime or voluntary notification regime.
FCA publishes long-awaited rules and guidance on anti-greenwashing and sustainability01 December 2023
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published long-awaited guidance on anti-greenwashing and sustainability due to come into effect in 2024.
Financial promotions regulatory horizon scanner24 November 2023
Our financial promotions horizon scanner (below) identifies regulatory changes and updates that are likely to impact firms who offer financial services and products in the UK. The tracker identifies key current and future developments across numerous areas including, anti-greenwashing, social media, high risk investments and cryptoassets.
Financial promotion exemptions for high net worth individuals and sophisticated investors: HM Treasury publishes its response15 November 2023
HM Treasury has published its Response to the Consultation: Financial promotion exemptions for high net worth individuals and sophisticated investors (Consultation) which set out proposals to reform exemptions in the Financial Promotion Order 2005 (FPO) relating to high net worth individuals and sophisticated investors.
Is there a future for crypto marketing in the UK?03 November 2023
Following the coming into force of the Financial Conduct Authority’s new crypto marketing regime, Wendy Saunders provides a breakdown of what it all means in practice.
National Security And Investment Act 202101 September 2023
The National Security and Investment Act 2021 (“NSI Act”) provides the UK government with new powers to scrutinise investments on national security grounds. The regime set out in the NSI Act came into force on 4 January 2022.
Promoting cryptoassets: what you need to know and next steps23 June 2023
New legislation, the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) (Amendment) Order 2023 (FPO Amendment Order) has been made which brings certain cryptoassets within the UK’s framework for regulating financial promotions.