Financial Services UK

  • February 23, 2024

    FCA Fires Warning Shot Over City's Consumer Duty Failings

    The Financial Conduct Authority has sent out a fresh warning to financial services companies highlighting how some of them are failing to comply with its Consumer Duty regime. But experts have told Law360 that the expectations are unclear.

  • February 23, 2024

    Standard Chartered To Return $1B To Shareholders

    Standard Chartered PLC said on Friday it will return up to $1 billion to its shareholders with a new share repurchase plan after the multinational lender announced a rise in profits for the 2023 calendar year.

  • February 22, 2024

    Spain Allowed To Reclaim Illegal Aid Given To Ship Buyers

    Spain can reclaim the financial benefits given to beneficiaries of a tax scheme that gave illegal state aid to purchasers of ships built in Spanish shipyards, the European Union's General Court has ruled.

  • February 22, 2024

    Upcoming Election Hampering Net-Zero Progress, MPs say

    A looming general election is hindering attempts by policymakers to introduce or consult on green policies, while risking Britain's broader transition to an environment-friendly economy, a cross-party group of MPs said Friday.

  • February 22, 2024

    NatWest Settles £60M VAT Fraud Case Ahead Of Retrial

    NatWest Markets PLC and liquidators for several defunct trading companies have settled a £60 million ($75.9 million) dispute over whether the bank is liable for a huge value-added tax fraud scheme ahead of a retrial.

  • February 22, 2024

    Transneft Ordered To Halt Bid To Block $14B Conspiracy Claim

    The world's largest oil pipeline company has been ordered by a London court to pause its legal action trying to force an imprisoned Russian oligarch to drop his $13.8 billion claim alleging his business empire was unlawfully seized in a sprawling Russian state conspiracy.

  • February 22, 2024

    Fired Fund Exec Gets Deposit Order Axed In Harassment Feud

    A tribunal was too quick to impose a deposit order and decide that a compliance chief is unlikely to succeed in his £2 million ($2.53 million) claim that an investment fund unfairly axed him after a member of its legal and compliance departments accused him of sexual harassment, an appeals judge has ruled.

  • February 22, 2024

    UK Audit Sector's Stewardship Code Gains Support

    Britain's audit regulator said there are now 273 companies signed up to the Stewardship Code, ahead of its review this year following corporate governance rule changes.

  • February 22, 2024

    Gang Jailed For 'Industrial Scale' Money Laundering Operation

    Four members of a gang that sent £26 million ($33 million) in dirty money to Dubai by depositing illegal cash at banks have been jailed for a combined 22 years, the U.K.'s tax authority said Thursday.

  • February 22, 2024

    A&O Hires 5-Person Structured Finance Team From Milbank

    Allen & Overy LLP has recruited a team of five structured finance specialists from Milbank LLP in London as the clock ticks down to its imminent merger with Shearman & Sterling LLP.

  • February 22, 2024

    Going Broke Is Top Concern For Retirement Clients

    More than 70% of financial advisers report their retirement clients fear they will outlast their money, according to research published Thursday by insurer Aegon UK.

  • February 22, 2024

    I'm Victim Of Morgan Stanley's Abuse, Ex-Frasers CEO Says

    Former Frasers chief executive Mike Ashley told a London court on Thursday that he was "a victim of Morgan Stanley's abuse" as he claims that the bank was motivated by "snobbery" when it hit the retail group with a margin call of almost $1 billion.

  • February 22, 2024

    Lloyds Bank To Return £2B To Investors As Profit Soars

    British lender Lloyds Banking Group PLC said on Thursday that it will reward shareholders with a £2 billion ($2.5 billion) buyback program, following a growth in profits of 57%.

  • February 22, 2024

    Lloyds Sets Aside £450M For FCA Car Finance Probe

    Lloyds Banking Group said Thursday that it has set aside £450 million ($570 million) for potential legal expenses and compensation costs from a Financial Conduct Authority investigation into its past car-financing practices.

  • February 22, 2024

    Argentina Must Pay Upfront In €1.3B Payment Challenge

    Argentina must make an upfront payment if it wants to challenge a ruling forcing it to pay out €1.3 billion ($1.4 billion) to bondholders for wrongly adjusting the way it calculates yields for government securities, an appeals court ruled Thursday.

  • February 22, 2024

    Zurich To Reward Shareholders With $5B After Record Profit

    Swiss insurance heavyweight Zurich said on Thursday that it will return a total of $5 billion to shareholders after recording a record $7.4 billion operating profit for 2023.

  • February 21, 2024

    NY Judges Question Lehman's Bid To Undo CDS Trial Loss

    A panel of New York appeals court judges on Wednesday appeared reluctant to undo a bench trial loss Lehman Bros.' bankrupt European unit suffered last year in a suit attempting to clawback nearly half a billion dollars from Assured Guaranty over alleged losses on credit default swaps tied to the 2008 financial crisis.

  • February 21, 2024

    Morgan Stanley Accused Of 'Snobbery' Over $1B Margin Call

    Frasers Group told a London court Wednesday that Morgan Stanley hit it with an almost $1 billion margin call to force the British retailer off its books out of "snobbery" because it viewed Frasers' CEO as "an upstart."

  • February 21, 2024

    Money Laundering Checks No Evidence Of Crime, Court Hears

    A British-Chinese woman accused of laundering bitcoin converted from a £5 billion ($6.32 billion) investment fraud made several online searches about money laundering after being stopped by customs officials, a London jury heard on Wednesday.

  • February 21, 2024

    Ex-Linklaters Atty Owes Saudi Royal $25M Over Missing Fund

    A former Linklaters LLP partner must pay at least $25 million after failing to return an investment fund to a Saudi princess, a London judge ruled Wednesday — but the final bill could reach nearly $40 million.

  • February 21, 2024

    Pitmans Can't Strike Out Negligent Pension Advice Claim

    Pitmans Solicitors, BDB Pitmans' predecessor, has failed to strike out allegations that it gave former clients negligent advice on a pension scheme, after a London court found Wednesday that it is "clearly in the interests of justice" that the case proceed against it.

  • February 21, 2024

    Insurer QBE Narrows Gender Pay Gap, But Bonuses An Issue

    QBE UK has said the gender pay gap has fallen across its organization and is below the wider gap seen in the insurance industry, despite the gender bonus divide remaining "an issue" at the insurer.

  • February 21, 2024

    EU Enforcers Detain 4 In €4.5M Money Laundering Swoop

    European law enforcement agencies said on Wednesday that they have arrested four suspects in Latvia as part of a multinational operation against a Russian-Eurasian criminal network and a finance company based in Malta that allegedly laundered €4.5 million ($4.9 million).

  • February 21, 2024

    Pension Climate Reporting Has 'Failed To Shift UK Investment'

    The government's climate reporting regime for pensions providers has failed to produce a meaningful shift in investment behavior away from fossil fuels, experts warned lawmakers on Wednesday.

  • February 21, 2024

    FCA Targeting Failings In Consumer Duty Compliance

    Some financial companies are lagging in their compliance with the Consumer Duty rules that came into effect in 2023, Britain's City watchdog said in a paper outlining areas requiring improvement.

Expert Analysis

  • Breaking Down The New UK Pension Funding Regs

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    Recently published U.K. pension regulations, proposing major changes to funding and investing in defined benefit pension schemes, raise implementation considerations for trustees, including the importance of the employer covenant, say Charles Magoffin and Elizabeth Bullock at Freshfields.

  • Predicting DeFi Regulations At Home And Abroad In 2024

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    Though decentralized finance has advocates on both sides of the Atlantic in figures like U.S. SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce and U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, DeFi in 2024 seems likely to be folded into existing regulatory frameworks in the U.K. and EU, while anti-crypto scrutiny may discourage DeFi’s growth in the U.S., say Daniel Csefalvay and Eric Martin at BCLP.

  • Consultation Docs Can Help EU Firms Prep For Crypto Regs

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    Firms providing crypto services should note two recent papers from the European Securities and Markets Authority defining proposals on reverse solicitation and financial instrument classification that will be critical to clarifying the scope of the regulatory framework under the impending Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation, say lawyers at Hogan Lovells.

  • A Closer Look At Novel Jury Instruction In Forex Rigging Case

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    After the recent commodities fraud conviction of a U.K.-based hedge fund executive in U.S. v. Phillips, post-trial briefing has focused on whether the New York federal court’s jury instruction incorrectly defined the requisite level of intent, which should inform defense counsel in future open market manipulation cases, say attorneys at Lankler Siffert.

  • Investors' Call For Voting Changes Faces Practical Challenges

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    A recent investor coalition call on fund managers to offer pass-through voting on pooled funds highlights a renewed concern for clients’ interests, but legal, regulatory and technological issues need to be overcome to ensure that risks related to the product are effectively mitigated, says Angeli Arora at Allectus.

  • Litigation Funding Implications Amid Post-PACCAR Disputes

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    An English tribunal's recent decision in Neill v. Sony, allowing an appeal on the enforceability of a litigation funding agreement, highlights how the legislative developments on funding limits following the U.K. Supreme Court's 2023 decision in Paccar v. Competition Appeal Tribunal may affect practitioners, say Andrew Leitch and Anoma Rekhi at BCLP.

  • What Extension Of French FDI Control Means For Investors

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    The recently published French order on foreign investment control expands the regime's application to more sectors and at a lower threshold of share ownership, illustrating France's determination to maintain sovereignty over its supply chains in sensitive sectors, and adding new considerations for potential investors in these areas, say lawyers at Linklaters.

  • What To Expect For Private Capital Investment Funds In 2024

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    As 2024 gets underway, market sentiment in the private fundraising sphere seems more optimistic, with a greater focus on deal sourcing and operational optimizations, and an increased emphasis on impact and sustainability strategies, say lawyers at Ropes & Gray.

  • Cayman Islands Off AML Risk Lists, Signaling Robust Controls

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    As a world-leading jurisdiction for securitization special purpose entities, the removal of the Cayman Islands from increased anti-money laundering monitoring lists is a significant milestone that will benefit new and existing financial services customers conducting business in the territory, say lawyers at Walkers Global.

  • Cos. Should Plan Now For Extensive EU Data Act Obligations

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    The recently enacted EU Data Act imposes wide-ranging requirements across industries and enterprises of all sizes, and with less than 20 months until the provisions begin to apply, businesses planning compliance will need to incorporate significant product changes and revision of contract terms, say Nick Banasevic, Robert Spano and Ciara O'Gara at Gibson Dunn. 

  • How Decision On A Key Definition Affects SMEs

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    The Financial Conduct Authority's decision not to extend the definition of small and midsized enterprises may benefit banks and finance providers in the current high interest rate environment and where SMEs in certain sectors may be under financial pressure in light of the cost-of-living crisis in order to streamline it, says Rachael Healey at RPC.

  • What New Digital Sandbox Regs Hold In Store For UK Markets

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    The recently enacted Digital Sandbox Regulations will be key to incorporating distributed ledger technology into the activities of a central securities depository, but despite being a potentially transformative innovation, a number of considerations may need to be addressed to accommodate the trading, settlement and maintenance of shares, say Tom Bacon and Andrew Tsang at BCLP.

  • Why Investment In Battery Supply Chain Is Important For UK

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    The recently published U.K. battery strategy sets out the government’s vision for a globally competitive battery supply chain, and it is critical that the U.K. secures investment to maximize opportunities for economic prosperity and net-zero transition, say lawyers at Watson Farley & Williams.

  • What Extending Corporate Liability Will Mean For Foreign Cos.

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    Certain sections of the Economic Crime Act enacted in December 2023 make it easier to prosecute companies for economic crimes committed abroad, and organizations need to consider their exposure and the new ways they can be held liable for the actions of their personnel, say Dan Hudson at Seladore Legal and Christopher Coltart at 2 Hare Court.

  • A Consequential Moment For Sanctions Activity

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    It is clear from the U.K. Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation's review of the 2022-2023 financial year that the unprecedented scale of designated persons and the value of assets frozen as a result has placed enormous pressure on OFSI and its partners, say lawyers at Greenberg Traurig.

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