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British regulators present 'the Grid' again

Chris Hamblin, Editor, London, 13 May 2021

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Last year the Bank of England, the Prudential Regulation Authority, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Payment Systems Regulator established the Financial Services Regulatory Initiatives Forum to help them spot problems. This forum introduced a publication by the name of the Regulatory Initiatives Grid and its third edition is now out.

The big news in the newsletter is that more editions are to come, the Government having decided that the one-year pilot exercise was a success. Conflating 'the Grid' with regulatory co-ordination, the regulators write that the Coronavirus pandemic has shown them all that they need to collaborate to the maximum extent. They look forward to 'stabilising' the publication, whatever that means.

The edition basically contains "an overview of the regulatory pipeline and developments since the last publication." The total number of initiatives that the publication mentions has increased for the second time in a row.

It describes the 'indicative impact' that every initiative is likely to have on firms – this is shown as ‘higher’ (H), ‘lower’ (L) or ‘unknown’ (U).

On the subject of conduct

The paper deals with upcoming developments in the field of 'conduct.' These are as follows.

  • Update to International Transfers Guidance. This is fresh guidance for controllers and processors regarding international transfer amendments after the end of the (Brexit) 'Implementation Period' and  'Adequacy Bridge' arrangements pursuant to the Trade and Co-operation Agreement. It has happened already. Lead regulator: Information Commissioner's Office. Impact: L.
  • Data-Sharing Code. This soon-to-be-official practical guide will tell organisations how to share personal data in compliance with the data protection laws. The code was submitted to the Secretary of State and was published as 'guidance' on the FCA's website in December but is expected to be laid before Parliament soon. Once approved, it will become statutory after a period of 21 days. Lead regulator: Information Commissioner's Office. Impact: L.
  • Fresh guidelines for Binding Corporate Rules. BCR application forms and referential tables have been updated for organisations that want UK BCRs now that the Implementation Period has ended. Lead regulator: Information Commissioner's Office. Impact: L.
  • Evaluation of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime. The lead regulator, the Prudential Regulation Authority, will publish the findings of its evaluation of the effectiveness of this initiative. This could lead to consequential policy proposals. It might publish feedback comments in this quarter. Impact: L.
  • Extension of the transitional period for non-EU-country benchmarks under the UK Benchmarks Regulation Financial Services Act 2021. This initiative, which extended the transitional period for the use of so-called "third country benchmarks" by entities supervised in the UK to 31 December 2025, was introduced in the Financial Services Act 2021. Lead regulator: Financial Conduct Authority. Impact: L.
  • Changes to the FCA’s cancellation-of-authorisation process. These policy proposals are intended to streamline the process for cancelling the authorisation of inactive firms. The FCA, the lead regulator for this, published a policy statement on the subject in July last year. Note 1.32-3 of the PS states: "The government intends to take forward this measure when Parliamentary time allows. Following Royal Assent, the FCA will set out its proposals for how it will implement these changes."
  • Forthcoming regulatory rules for the approval of financial promotions. These are policy proposals to establish a regulatory ‘gateway’ through which an authorised firm must pass through before it is able to approve the financial promotions of unauthorised firms. This initiative was introduced in the Financial Services Act 2021; the implementation date is to be announced. Lead regulator: Financial Conduct Authority. Impact: L.
  • Transposition of Fifth Anti Money Laundering Directive (5MLD) into British law. This is the expansion of the scope of HM Revenue & Customs’ Trust Registration Service (TRS) in accordance with the European directive. 10 March 2022 is the current statutory deadline before which trusts must register on TRS (as set out in the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017), as a result of the enshrinement of the TRS-related rules of 5MLD in British law in October last year. Lead regulator: HMRC. Impact: L.

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