Financial Services UK

  • February 29, 2024

    HMRC Uncovers Complex Offshore Tax Avoidance Scheme

    The U.K. tax authority said Thursday that it had exposed a complex tax avoidance scheme operating through a Singapore-based company.

  • February 29, 2024

    Drax May Face Group Litigation Over Greenwashing Claims

    Drax Group PLC shareholders could launch a group legal action against the energy company over claims it faked its environmental credentials to secure £6.5 billion ($8.2 billion) in U.K. government subsidies, the law firm helming the action said.

  • February 29, 2024

    Mozambique President Beats 'Tuna Bonds' Immunity Appeal

    Mozambique's president cannot be sued in England by shipbuilder Privinvest in the country's wide-ranging litigation over the $2 billion "tuna bonds" corruption scandal as a London appellate court on Thursday upheld a ruling that he has immunity as a sitting head of state.

  • February 29, 2024

    FCA Says Market For Credit Ratings Data Must Improve

    The markets for credit ratings, benchmarks and data vendor services lack competition and this is driving up the price of information, according to a report published Thursday by the Financial Conduct Authority.

  • February 29, 2024

    Global Regulator Seeks Stronger Swiss Bank Safeguards

    A global standards setter recommended on Thursday that the Swiss authorities introduce tougher rules for the country's biggest banks as it learns from the crisis that led to the rushed UBS-Credit Suisse merger in 2023.

  • February 29, 2024

    FCA Plan To Name Suspect Firms Early Alarms Finance Sector

    Plans put forward by the Financial Conduct Authority to name companies under investigation early might unfairly cause "catastrophic" damage to reputations, even if the regulator later drops the case, according to lawyers.

  • February 29, 2024

    £1.84B Of Gov't-Backed COVID Loans Suspected Fraudulent

    Some £1.84 billion ($2.32 billion) of U.K. government-backed COVID-19 loans granted to help businesses through the pandemic are suspected to be fraudulent, the Department for Business and Trade said Thursday.

  • February 29, 2024

    Car Leasing Execs To Face 2026 Trial In £88M SFO Fraud Case

    Two directors of a failing car leasing company accused by the Serious Fraud Office of carrying out an £88 million ($111 million) investment fraud are set to face trial in September 2026, a judge confirmed on Thursday. 

  • February 28, 2024

    MPs Launch Inquiry Into Effectiveness Of Russia Sanctions

    Parliament's Treasury Select Committee on Thursday said it is launching a parliamentary inquiry into whether Britain's sanctions against Russia have been effective in hampering the Kremlin's ability to finance its war with Ukraine.

  • February 28, 2024

    Staveley 'Feared For Life' When Signing £36M Loan Demand

    Amanda Staveley "feared for her life" when she signed new repayment demands that allegedly make her personally liable for a £36 million ($45.5 million) demand from a Greek shipping magnate, her lawyers told a London court on Wednesday.

  • February 28, 2024

    DLA Piper Hires Trio Of Energy And Infrastructure Partners

    DLA Piper announced Wednesday that it has recruited the former head of energy, natural resources and infrastructure at Paul Hastings and two other partners to boost its corporate and finance offerings in London.

  • February 28, 2024

    Gov't Minister Sees Need For Simpler SME Access To Funding

    The economic secretary to HM Treasury, Bim Afolami, told members of Parliament on Wednesday that regulations need to be "simpler, easier and less onerous" to give small and midsize businesses better access to funding.

  • February 28, 2024

    Sanctions Ruling Affords Gov't Leeway In Foreign Affairs

    The failed attempt by two wealthy businessmen to overturn U.K. sanctions on appeal has underscored the court's limited role in questioning matters of foreign policy, even though the judiciary has carved out a larger role in weighing the proportionality of individual sanctions, lawyers say.

  • February 28, 2024

    Profit Warnings Rise For Pension Scheme Sponsors

    One in five U.K.-listed companies with a defined benefit pension scheme issued a profit warning in 2023, according to research published by EY-Parthenon, marking a year that "exceeded levels" seen at the peak of the financial crisis.

  • February 28, 2024

    Director Banned Over Unlawful £57M Investment Scheme

    The man behind an unlawful care home funding scheme that lost investors more than £57 million ($72 million) has been banned from being a company director for 14 years, according to the U.K.'s Insolvency Service.

  • February 28, 2024

    Draft EU Withholding Law Breezes Through EU Parliament

    The European Parliament gave a clear green light on Wednesday to a draft law intended to streamline refunds for withholding tax and prevent fraud in the European Union, completing a necessary procedural step in the legislative process.

  • February 28, 2024

    FRC Plans To Review Code For Asset Managers

    Britain's accounting watchdog announced it will carry out a fundamental review of the Stewardship Code and revise its rules for investors where necessary to help promote U.K. competitiveness.

  • February 28, 2024

    St James's Place Sets Aside £426M For Potential Client Refunds

    One of the U.K.'s largest wealth managers said Wednesday that it has set aside £426 million ($540 million) for potential refunds to clients that have complained they did not receive financial advice they paid for.

  • February 27, 2024

    HMRC Customer Service At All-Time Low, Report Finds

    The U.K. tax authority has reached an all-time low level of customer service due to the rising demands from taxpayers and the growing complexity of tax problems, according to a parliamentary report published Wednesday.

  • February 27, 2024

    EX-NMC Health Group CFO Denies Knowledge Of $4.7B Fraud

    The former chief financial officer of United Arab Emirates healthcare group NMC has denied he was involved in a $4.7 billion fraud that administrators allege saw cash siphoned off from the firm for himself and its founder, claiming it was concealed from him.

  • February 27, 2024

    Global Pension Assets Total $55T In 2023, Broker Says

    Global pension assets rose by 11% to reach $55.7 trillion in 2023, according to research published by broker WTW, showing a rebound from weaker economic performance across the previous year. 

  • February 27, 2024

    Ex-Linklaters Pro Penalized Over Conduct In Saudi Fund Trial

    A former Linklaters LLP partner was hit on Tuesday with an indemnity costs order by a judge who dismissed his bid to challenge a $25 million ruling against him for failing to return an investment fund to a Saudi princess.

  • February 27, 2024

    Grim UK Fiscal Outlook Precludes Tax Cuts, Think Tank Warns

    The U.K. government should focus on reducing the national debt rather than tax cuts in the March 6 Budget statement, according to research published Tuesday by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, an influential think tank.

  • February 27, 2024

    Financial Ombudsman Braced For APP Fraud Claims

    Britain's financial dispute-resolution body told a cross-party group of members of Parliament on Tuesday it is braced for an avalanche of extra claims later this year when banks must recompense victims duped into transferring money to fraudsters.

  • February 27, 2024

    Simpson Thacher-Led EQT Nets Record $24B For PE Fund

    Private equity giant EQT said Tuesday that it has raised €22 billion ($23.8 billion) for its latest flagship fund EQT X from global investors, exceeding a €20 billion target.

Expert Analysis

  • Recent Cases Mark Maturation Of CAT Class Cert. Approach

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    The Competition Appeal Tribunal's recent refusal to grant collective proceedings applications against Visa and MasterCard in the Commercial and Interregional Card Claims case shows that the tribunal takes its role as a gatekeeper seriously, and that it will likely continue to be difficult for defendants to defeat certification first time around, say lawyers at Linklaters.

  • Why The UK Needs Tougher Fraud Enforcement

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    The Crown Court's recent conviction of Anthony Constantinou for running a Ponzi scheme is a rare success for prosecutors, highlighting the legal system's painfully slow course when it comes to complex fraud, and the need for significant funds and resources in the fight against financial crime, says James Clark at Quillon Law.

  • What New FCA Management Will Mean For Enforcement

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    Therese Chambers’ first speech since becoming the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority’s joint executive director provided insightful observations about the expected behaviors of firms and their legal advisers during investigations, indicating the advent of a proactive, prosecution-minded enforcement agency trying to do the right thing, says Richard Burger at WilmerHale.

  • Global M&A Outlook: Slow But Moving Along

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    Global merger and acquisition markets had a tough start to the year, with inflation, rising interest rates and the Ukraine conflict knocking sentiment, but in the macroeconomic, deal makers have continued to unearth pockets of activity to keep deal volumes ticking over, say lawyers at White & Case.

  • Why Int'l Investors Should Keep An Eye On German M&A Regs

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    While German reform proposals will digitize corporate law formalities that have long been immune to change, international limitations remain, particularly for countries outside the European Union, as Germany moves to tighten regulatory hurdles to control inbound investment, say Marcus Geiss and Sonja Ruttmann at Gibson Dunn.

  • How B2B Data Sharing Could Unlock Untapped Value

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    B2B data sharing offers organizations an opportunity to extract greater value from an existing asset, and although it is essential to consider the legal and regulatory framework and maintain a sound governance structure, with strong support businesses that share data are likely to grow more than those that do not, say Jocelyn Paulley and Helen Davenport at Gowling WLG.

  • Why Coordinated UK Crypto Regulation Is Needed

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    The slew of recently published crypto-sector consultations and reports differ in their treatment of the currency, so the industry must coordinate to establish regulations that can weather the proliferation of fraud while supporting the U.K.'s race to become a world leader in digital assets, says Nicola McKinney at Quillon Law.

  • 5 Code Of Ethics Recommendations For FTSE 350 Companies

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    In light of the U.K. Institute of Business Ethics' recent report on the FTSE 350, companies should regularly update their code of ethics in order to emphasize to employees and business partners the importance they place on following good practice, say attorneys at Norton Rose.

  • Examining The Effects Of Increased Construction Insolvency

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    With a significant rise in construction firm insolvencies, proactive monitoring of key counterparties is paramount, and if early warning signs such as failure to pay suppliers or a turnover in key management are triggered, parties should take steps to minimize exposure and potential losses, say lawyers at Reynolds Porter.

  • What TPR's Guidance On DEI Means For Pensions Industry

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    The Pension Regulator is one of the first regulators to issue guidance on equality, diversity and inclusion, and employers and trustees should incorporate its advice by developing policies and monitoring progress to ensure that improvements are made regularly, say lawyers at Linklaters.

  • The Many Challenges Of Post-Brexit Regulatory Divergence

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    As the regulatory effects of the U.K.'s departure from the EU emerge and the geopolitical landscape continues to evolve, firms must monitor compliance with fast-changing trade sanctions and the foreign investment screening regime that continues to add cost and complexity to the cross-border acquisitions market, say lawyers at Shepherd & Wedderburn.

  • Economic Issues To Watch In The Libor Transition

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    With the London Interbank Offered Rate officially retiring June 30, market participants and their counsel should consider how the economic questions presented by outstanding contracts and the pros and cons of different alternative reference rates may lead to litigation around Libor cessation, say analysts at The Brattle Group.

  • Reserved Investor Fund Would Plug Gap In UK Finance Market

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    The reserved investor fund recently proposed by HM Treasury has the potential to be a welcome tax-efficient addition to the U.K.’s canon of products for real estate investments, with attractive features for companies and, in particular, large asset managers, say lawyers at Herbert Smith.

  • What Firms Need To Know About The FCA Consumer Duty

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    The Financial Conduct Authority's new consumer duty, in force from July 31, presents an opportunity for manufacturers and distributors of financial services to understand the importance of fair value for consumers, and the regulator will be taking a close interest in this, say Julie Patient, Mark Aengenheister and Virginia Montgomery at Hogan Lovells.

  • Examining The Growing Strength Of FRC Enforcement Actions

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    As the U.K. Financial Reporting Council prepares to broaden its powers and transition into the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority in 2024, it is already demonstrating an increased appetite for enforcement, with greater expectations placed on auditors, say Kathleen Harris, Sean Curran and Melissa Dames at Arnold & Porter.

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