Financial Services UK

  • January 30, 2024

    Banking Giant BBVA To Launch €781M Shares Buyback

    Leading Spanish financial services firm BBVA revealed plans on Tuesday to return up to €781 million ($847 million) to investors through a share buyback program as it reported bumper earnings for 2023.

  • January 30, 2024

    Gov't Targets 'Reckless Prudence' In Pension Funding Regs

    The government has set out new regulations for the funding of pension plans, offering new flexibility on investments in riskier assets in an attempt to fuel economic growth in Britain.

  • January 30, 2024

    WilmerHale Adds Int'l Financial Investigations Pro From DWF

    WilmerHale has hired an investigations expert as counsel to the firm's London office, where she will advise both domestic and international clients on complex and cross-border investigations and compliance issues.

  • January 30, 2024

    Regulator Takes Aim At Banks Delaying Fraud Repayment

    The U.K.'s payments watchdog told members of Parliament on Tuesday that some banks are far from ready for compulsory reimbursement for authorized push payment fraud from Oct. 7 and that it is ready to take enforcement action against laggards.

  • January 30, 2024

    Watchdog Moves To Boost Solicitors' Sanctions Compliance

    The Solicitors Regulation Authority has written to more than 1,000 law firms in a move to improve compliance with the U.K. financial sanctions regime after its research found insufficient protection in place at many of the companies it regulates.

  • January 30, 2024

    HSBC Fined £57.4M For Breaching Depositor Protection Rules

    Two subsidiaries of HSBC Holdings PLC UK have been fined a total of £57.4 million ($72.8 million) after failing to properly comply with a requirement to guarantee customers' bank deposits in the event of insolvency, the Prudential Regulation Authority said Tuesday.

  • January 29, 2024

    HMRC Started Over 1,000 Serious Tax Probes In 2022-23

    The U.K. tax authority launched more than 1,000 serious tax investigations in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2023, following a yearly increase in tax evasion and avoidance, Pinsent Masons LLP said on Monday.

  • January 29, 2024

    McKinsey & Co. Beats Candidate's Discrimination Claims

    A failed McKinsey & Co. Inc. job candidate has lost his disability and race discrimination case, with a tribunal ruling on Monday that the company could not have accommodated his PTSD because he didn't explain his condition or how it affected him.

  • January 29, 2024

    EU Member States Extend Sanctions Against Russia

    The European Union decided to roll over existing economic sanctions against Russia because of its war against Ukraine for another six months until July 31, the council of member countries said Monday. 

  • January 29, 2024

    EU Watchdog To Limit Foreign Crypto Selling Into Bloc

    Europe's regulator of financial markets proposed on Monday that firms outside the European Union be able to sell crypto-assets to clients in the bloc only when the clients initiate the service, under a narrow exemption to rules in force from December.

  • January 29, 2024

    Pinsent Masons Hires Insurance M&A Pro From Royal London

    Pinsent Masons LLP has hired an insurance deal-maker expert as a partner in its corporate office in London, as the multinational law firm looks to strengthen its financial services team.

  • January 29, 2024

    Business Insolvencies Rose 22% In 2023, Law Firm Says

    The number of U.K. businesses that went into administration rose to 1,641 in 2023 amid financial pressures, geopolitical tensions and changing consumer habits, Shakespeare Martineau LLP said in a report published Monday.

  • January 29, 2024

    Brown Rudnick Hires Ex-SFO Prosecutor To Head Corp. Crime

    Brown Rudnick LLP has hired a former Serious Fraud Office prosecutor from Jenner & Block LLP to head the international law firm's white-collar crime practice.

  • January 26, 2024

    Moroccan Grain Tycoon Sees Jail Term For Hiding Assets Cut

    An English appeals court on Thursday overturned a contempt of court conviction of a grains importer executive, who was accused of failing to comply with an asset disclosure order over a $3.5 million arbitral award issued to a subsidiary of food specialist Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., or ADM, in Switzerland.

  • January 26, 2024

    Pensions Watchdog's Head Of Frontline Regulation To Leave

    The Pensions Regulator has announced that Nicola Parish, its executive director of frontline regulation, will leave the organization in February, ending a 16-year stint at the retirement savings watchdog.

  • January 26, 2024

    FCA Asks For Halt In WealthTek Case To Mull Fraud Charges

    The Financial Conduct Authority asked a London judge on Friday to pause its enforcement case against a wealth manager as it considers whether to charge its founder with fraud over an £80 million ($103 million) black hole.

  • January 26, 2024

    Hospitality Businesses Get Mixed Result For COVID Payouts

    Businesses including hoteliers and the upmarket Liberty department store partly won a battle at a London court Friday over issues in their claims against insurers to pay out for COVID-19 lockdowns after a judge ruled the closures did trigger business interruption policies.

  • January 26, 2024

    Crypto Cos. Say Experts Show Bitcoin 'Inventor' Forged Docs

    The expert witness appointed by self-proclaimed bitcoin inventor Craig Wright has said that his documents intended to prove that his role in the creation of the cryptocurrency are forged, an organization representing crypto companies suing him has told a London court.

  • January 26, 2024

    UK Litigation Roundup: Here's What You Missed In London

    The past week in London has seen Sainsbury’s Supermarkets face patent proceedings over a specific type of mandarin, Alexander Nix, the former chief of Cambridge Analytica, embroiled in further proceedings with Dynamo Recoveries, the sports management arm of Warner Bros raise a red card against crypto exchange Next Hash, and EY targeted in a libel claim by a consultancy firm. Here, Law360 looks at these and other new claims in the U.K.

  • January 26, 2024

    FCA Updates On New Short-Selling Rules Coming Feb. 5

    The Financial Conduct Authority said Friday that firms must stand ready for its higher threshold for reporting short selling of shares from next month, in a post-Brexit reduction of burdensome unnecessary reports.

  • January 26, 2024

    UK To Sell Gold Bars To Repay Money From £17M Tax Fraud

    An auction of gold bars, rare coins and other valuables will be held to repay money stolen in a £17.5 million ($22.3 million) value-added tax fraud, Britain's tax authority said on Friday.

  • January 26, 2024

    Insurers Voice More Criticism Over Gov't Pension Pot Plan

    Government proposals for a lifetime pension provider must not take precedence over existing reforms, an insurance sector trade body has said, as it said the proposed changes were attractive but not the main priority.

  • January 26, 2024

    Hogan Lovells Adds White & Case Dispute Duo To Paris Office

    Hogan Lovells has hired two French disputes experts for its Paris office, where the firm expects the team to lend their criminal investigations and compliance expertise to its litigation practice.

  • January 26, 2024

    Tory Peer 'Consents' To £75M Asset Freeze Amid NCA Probe

    Under-fire Conservative peer Michelle Mone and her husband have had restrictions placed on approximately £75 million ($95 million) of their assets amid an investigation over their supply of medical equipment to the government during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  • January 25, 2024

    Ex-BigLaw Atty Gets 10 Years For Laundering OneCoin Cash

    A former Locke Lord LLP partner convicted at trial in 2019 of laundering around $400 million in proceeds from the global OneCoin cryptocurrency scam was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison as a New York federal judge found he was well aware that the funds came from a "massive crime."

Expert Analysis

  • German Competition Law May Herald New Enforcement Trend

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    The recent amendment to the German Act against Restraints of Competition is expected to significantly expand the powers of the German Federal Cartel Office, and could signal a global trend toward greater direct intervention by national competition authorities and political interference in competition law, say lawyers at Simmons & Simmons.

  • New Financial Services Act Leaves Few Firms Untouched

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    The recently published Financial Services and Markets Act 2023, which replaces retained EU law with U.K. legislation, is one of the most significant pieces of post-Brexit regulation, with key practical implications for actors such as investment firms and crypto-asset and payment service providers, say Tim Cant, Emma Tran and Bisola Williams at Ashurst.

  • FCA 'De-Banking' Clampdown May Need Gov't Backing

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    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority’s recent clampdown on unfair bank account closures will give customers greater transparency, but with terms usually skewed in the bank’s favor, it is a policy matter for the government to enact further protections for businesses and consumers, say Stephen Rosen and Jean-Martin Louw at Collyer Bristow.

  • UK Securitization Reform Opts For Modest Approach, For Now

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    Recently published consultation papers from the U.K. Prudential Regulation and Financial Conduct Authorities on new securitization rules mainly restate retained EU law, but there are some targeted adjustments being proposed and further divergence is to be expected, say Alix Prentice and Assia Damianova at Cadwalader.

  • Examining PayPal's Venture Into The Stablecoin Market

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    PayPal’s recent release of a stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar may represent a groundbreaking innovation or could fail as others have before it, and policymakers in the U.K. and the EU will be watching the impact of this new crypto token with a keen eye, say Ben Lee and Dion Seymour at Andersen.

  • High Court Dechert Ruling Offers Litigation Privilege Lessons

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    While the recent High Court ruling in Al Sadeq v. Dechert LLP, which concerned torture conspiracy allegations against the firm, held that litigation privilege can be claimed by a nonparty to proceedings, the exact boundaries of privilege aren't always clear-cut and may necessitate analyzing the underlying principles, says Scott Speirs at Norton Rose.

  • FCA Consumer Duty May Pose Enforcement Challenges

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    The new U.K. Financial Conduct Authority consumer duty sets higher standards of customer protection and transparency for financial services firms, but given the myriad products available across the sector, policing the regulations is going to be a challenging task, says Alessio Ianiello at Keller Postman.

  • UK Insolvency Reform Review Shows Measures Are Working

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    The U.K. Insolvency Service's recently published review of legislative reforms to the corporate insolvency regime demonstrates that despite being underutilized, the measures have been shown to help viable companies survive, and with the current difficult economic environment, will likely be an important aspect of organizational restructuring going forward, says Kirsten Fulton-Fleming at Taylor Wessing.

  • More UK Collective Actions On The Horizon After Forex Ruling

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    A U.K. appeals court's recent decision in Forex case Evans v. Barclays is likely to significantly widen the scope of opt-out collective proceedings that can be brought, paving the way for more class actions by prospective claimants who have previously been unable to bring individual claims, say Robin Henry and Tamara Davis at Collyer Bristow.

  • FCA Listing Reform Proposals Aim To Modernize UK Markets

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    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority's recent proposals to reform listing rules will enhance equities while retaining protections and high governance standards, and will also make the capital markets work more efficiently and competitively with other global markets, say lawyers at Greenberg Traurig.

  • Takeaways From ICO's Action In NatWest Privacy Dispute

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    The U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office's latest intervention in the Nigel Farage NatWest Bank dispute highlights the importance of the legal responsibilities of all data processors in possession of sensitive information, and is a reminder that upholding bank customers' privacy rights is paramount, says James Kelliher at Keller Postman.

  • How The OECD Global Tax Proposal Could Affect M&A

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    Following agreement on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Pillar Two proposal to introduce a global minimum tax, domestic implementation is expected to have a significant impact on international M&A transactions, with financial modeling, deal structuring, risk allocation and joint venture arrangements likely to be affected, say lawyers at Freshfields.

  • How Russia Sanctions May Complicate Contract Obligations

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    Against the backdrop of recent comprehensive sanctions against Russia and Belarus, a review of recent U.K. case law clarifies that certain force majeure clauses likely cover trade sanctions, and that future litigation will further develop the scope of force majeure and frustration in the context of sanctions, says Frances Jenkins at Quillon Law.

  • New Guidance Offers Clarity For Charities On ESG Investing

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    The need for charities to understand investing in line with environmental, social and governance aspirations has never been more pressing, and recently updated U.K. Charity Commission guidance should give trustees confidence to make decisions that are right for their organization, says Robert Nieri at Shoosmiths.

  • US And EU Poised For Closer Ties In Tech Financial Market

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    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the European Commission are both concerned about the challenges posed by the increasing digitalization of financial products, such as the use of AI and new forms of credit, and by working together, the two regulators can share information and best practices, says Yulia Makarova at Cooley.

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