Financial Services UK

  • 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.

  • February 21, 2024

    Finance Firms Shuttered For £3M Loan Notes Fraud

    Two financial firms have been wound up after misleading investors into putting at least £3 million ($3.8 million) into an unprotected bond scheme, according to the Insolvency Service.

  • February 21, 2024

    Satoshi Associates Deny Wright's Claim To Be Bitcoin Creator

    Two cryptocurrency specialists who had interactions with the pseudonymous inventor of bitcoin in the 2000s told a London court on Wednesday that they do not believe Craig Wright's claims to be the elusive Satoshi Nakamoto.

  • February 21, 2024

    Financial Adviser Sues Law Firm For Ex-Director's Legal Fees

    Financial services business Gallium has claimed a law firm failed to question why it paid £673,000 ($850,000) in legal fees for its ex-director "in his personal capacity" during a dispute with another shareholder.

  • February 21, 2024

    Burges Salmon Leads Insurer's £11M Spar Pension Deal

    Insurer Just Group said on Wednesday that it has completed an £11 million ($13.8 million) pension buy-in transaction with Spar (UK) Ltd., in a deal guided by Burges Salmon LLP.

  • February 21, 2024

    SFO Launches £140M Property Fraud Probe With Raids

    The Serious Fraud Office raided three homes and made four arrests on Wednesday in a criminal investigation into property manager Signature Group over a suspected £140 million ($177 million) investment fraud.

  • February 21, 2024

    HSBC Sets Out $2B Share Buyback After 2023 Profit Gain

    HSBC said on Wednesday that it will "shortly commence" a share buyback worth up to $2 billion as the British banking group looks to reward shareholders after posting record profits for the previous calendar year.

  • February 20, 2024

    Banking Oligarch's Wife Loses Russian Sanctions Challenge

    A Ukrainian-Russian tycoon's wife lost a bid on Tuesday to lift sanctions imposed on her after Russia invaded Ukraine, with a London court finding they strike a fair balance between the U.K.'s foreign policy objectives and her individual rights.

  • February 20, 2024

    Ransomware Group LockBit Hit By Coordinated Crackdown

    Two suspects linked to LockBit have been arrested and dozens of servers taken down as part of a global operation to disrupt the Russia-based ransomware group's activities, law enforcement agencies said Tuesday.

  • February 20, 2024

    EU Drops 4 Jurisdictions From Tax Haven Blacklist

    The European Union removed four jurisdictions Tuesday from its list of noncooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes, the Council of the EU announced, saying the jurisdictions had either resolved their deficiencies or were waiting for a review of improvements made.

  • February 20, 2024

    Addleshaw Goddard Hires ESG Expert From Clifford Chance

    Addleshaw Goddard LLP has recruited an environmental, social and governance specialist from Clifford Chance LLP as a partner in its London office, bolstering the law firm's ability to advise on sustainability issues.

  • February 20, 2024

    EU Negotiators Adopt Rules To Widen Market Data Access

    The European Union adopted rules on Tuesday that give investors across the bloc equal access to updated share and bond prices, as well as trading data, in the final step before these changes enter legislation.

  • February 20, 2024

    Liquidators, Claiming Fraud, Blast Tycoon's Bid To Keep $1B

    Liquidators of U.K. companies that allege a diamond and jewelry tycoon swindled over $1 billion from banks have denied forming trumped-up fraud accusations to destroy his business, telling a London court the businessman has suffered as a "consequence of his own orchestration."

  • February 20, 2024

    Pension Transfers Could Cost Savers £70K In Retirement

    Pensioners-to-be in the U.K. could lose about £70,000 ($88,500) in retirement when transferring their pension pot due to a lack of understanding of key information such as financial charges, according to recent research.

  • February 20, 2024

    Pension Numbers Shrink As Funding Grows, Watchdog Says

    The number of defined benefit pension schemes in the U.K. has decreased by 2% since 2022, according to a report published Tuesday by The Pensions Regulator that shows that funding levels for retirement savings plans are continuing to improve.

  • February 20, 2024

    Barclays Plans £1B Share Buyback In Boost For Shareholders

    Barclays PLC said on Tuesday it will launch a new share buyback program worth up to £1 billion ($1.26 billion) in the first quarter of 2024 as the lender looks to return excess cash to shareholders.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • ECJ Ruling Triggers Reconsiderations Of Using AI In Hiring

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    A recent European Court of Justice ruling, clarifying that the General Data Protection Regulation could apply to decisions made by artificial intelligence, serves as a warning to employers, as the use of AI in recruitment may lead to more discrimination claims, say Dino Wilkinson and James Major at Clyde & Co.

  • Economic Crime Act Offers Welcome Reform To AML Regime

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    The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act exemption for mixed-property transactions that came into force on Jan. 15 as part of the U.K.'s anti-money laundering regime is long overdue, and should end economic harm to businesses, giving banks confidence to adopt a more pragmatic approach, say Matthew Getz and Joseph Fox-Davies at Pallas Partners.

  • 3 Financial Services Hot Topics To Watch In 2024

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    Technology, ESG and private markets are set to have the greatest impact on financial markets in 2024, as firms grapple with increasing regulatory change and a shifting political backdrop on both sides of the Atlantic, says Matthew Allen at Eversheds Sutherland.

  • What Venice Swaps Ruling Says About Foreign Law Disputes

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    The English appeals court's decision in Banca Intesa v. Venice that the English law swaps are valid and enforceable will be welcomed by banks, and it provides valuable commentary on the English courts' approach toward the interpretation of foreign law, say Harriet Campbell and Richard Marshall at Penningtons Manches.

  • Key Litigation Funding Rulings Will Drive Reform In 2024

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    Ground-breaking judgments on disputes funding and fee arrangements from 2023 — including that litigation funding agreements could be damages-based agreements, rendering them unenforceable — will bring legislative changes in 2024, which could have a substantial impact on litigation risk for several sectors, say Verity Jackson-Grant and David Bridge at Simmons & Simmons.

  • How Draft Trading Regs Provide Framework For UK Regime

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    Representing an important part of the U.K. government's post-Brexit regulatory reform agenda, the most recent draft of the proposed Trading Regulations seeks to provide a framework for a new rules-based regime for regulating public offers of securities and admissions to trading on a U.K.-regulated market, say lawyers at Davis Polk.

  • Breaking Down The New Rules For High Net Worth Individuals

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    Andrew Northage at Walker Morris outlines what businesses need to be aware of to ensure ongoing compliance with revised conditions in the U.K. government's updated financial promotion exemptions for high net worth individuals and sophisticated investors, and suggests a few practical tips for businesses to follow.

  • How Data Privacy Law Cases Are Evolving In UK, EU And US

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    To see where the law is heading in 2024, it is worth looking at privacy litigation and enforcement trends from last year, where we saw a focus on General Data Protection Regulation regulatory enforcement actions in the U.K. and EU, and class actions brought by private plaintiffs in the U.S., say lawyers at Morgan Lewis.

  • Misleading Airline Ads Offer Lessons To Avoid Greenwashing

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    Following the Advertising Standards Authority's recent decision that three airlines' adverts misled customers about their environmental impact, companies should ensure that their green claims comply with legal standards to avoid risking reputational damage, which could have financial repercussions, say Elaina Bailes and Olivia Shaw at Stewarts.

  • An Overview Of UK Short Selling Regulation Reforms

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    The steps taken by the U.K. government to reform the short selling regime show a thoughtful and considered approach and a willingness to listen to industry feedback in adapting the legacy EU regime to the realities of the U.K. markets, say Anna Maleva-Otto and Matthew Dow at Schulte Roth.

  • Supreme Court Ruling Is A Gift To Insolvency Practitioners

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    As corporate criminal liability is in sharp focus, the Supreme Court's recent decision in Palmer v. Northern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court that administrators are not company officers and should not be held liable under U.K. labor law is instructive in focusing on the substance and not merely the title of a person's role within a company, say lawyers at Greenberg Traurig.

  • What Can Be Learned From Adobe-Figma Merger Termination

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    The Competition and Markets Authority’s role in the recent termination of the proposed Adobe-Figma merger deal indicates the regulator's intention to be seen as a strong enforcer in the technology sphere, and serves as a warning for companies to address antitrust risks early on in the merger process, say Deirdre Taylor and Molly Heslop at Gibson Dunn.

  • How FCA Listing Regime Reform Proposals Are Developing

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    The Financial Conduct Authority’s recently proposed U.K. equity listings reforms maintain increased flexibility with a disclosure-based approach, but much of the new regime’s success will depend on the eligibility criteria used and whether additional governance will be required for inclusion, say lawyers at Debevoise.

  • Major EU AI Banking Ruling Will Reverberate Across Sectors

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    Following the European Court of Justice's recent OQ v. Land Hessen decision that banks' use of AI-driven credit scores to make consumer decisions did not comply with the General Data Protection Regulation, regulators indicated that the ruling would apply broadly, leaving numerous industries that employ AI-powered decisions open to scrutiny, say lawyers at Alston & Bird.

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