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Capital Law
Financial Services Newsletter
January 2020

Industry insight

Cryptoasset supervision

The FCA will supervise UK cryptoasset firms in relation to anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing. Firms in the sector were not previously included in the money laundering regulatory regime, but this changed on 10 January 2020 when the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive started to apply in the UK. Any organisations that currently conducts cryptoasset business in the UK, or are planning to, must apply for registration via the FCA’s Connect Portal. Visit the FCA’s information page, click below to read more or get in touch if you need assistance with an application.


FCA guidance on approving financial promotions

The FCA updated its website guidance on approving financial promotions in Q4 2019. This is a helpful reminder of standards for financial promotions. The guidance explains practical implications of the existing regime. This follows the FCA’s concerns over promotion of unlisted debt securities and mini-bonds although applies to approving financial promotions in other sectors. You should consider how best to protect consumers, and ensure promotions are fair, clear and not misleading.


Open finance and the FCA


The FCA published a ‘Call for Input’ to consider opportunities and risks arising from Open Finance. The Open Finance initiative aims to increase innovation and competition in the financial services market, whilst providing consumers with more control over their data. Open Finance is broader than Open Banking, moving beyond current accounts and payment initiation, to cover insurance, pensions, wealth and other areas of the market. The FCA is seeking opinions on:

  • what the benefits of Open Finance are;
  • what the FCA’s operational objectives and overall role in Open Finance should be;
  • whether Open Finance could pose any risks to their operational objectives;
  • whether current rules are enough to mitigate these risks; and 
  • what conditions would allow open finance to thrive.

SMCR goes live!

The FCA’s Senior Managers & Certification Regime (SMCR) came into force on 9 December 2019 for FCA solo-regulated firms. It previously applied only to banks and insurers. A key focus of the SMCR is holding firms more accountable for the actions of senior management and internal decision makers. If you're an investment or asset management firm, insurance intermediary, claims management company, consumer credit business or you carry on other forms of regulated activitySMCR now impacts your compliance framework.

Check out this flyer for some useful information, or call us if you need help navigating the new regulatory changes.


Client celebrations


FinTech Global produced a list of 2019’s top InsurTech firms, covering the world’s most innovative InsurTech companies. It looked at industry significance, potential for growth, innovation, cost saving and efficiency improvements. Congratulations to our many clients and contacts listedno doubt it’ll be a positive 2020 for everyone included!

Collective secures a place on Facebook's Accelerator programme

We’d also like to congratulate to our client, Collective, who this month secured a place on the first ever EMEA-wide programme of Facebook Accelerator London, along with 12 other start-ups from across ten countries. Collective is building a freelance safety net, offering freelancers the benefits and security of big company employment. Collective provides access to a range of protections, benefits and perks that freelancers normally miss out on, all as part of an easy to manage monthly subscription service. 

For more information, please get in touch: 

Rachel Hillier