Regulation round-up January 2018

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financial conduct authority

Regulation round-up

January 2018 Quick Links

January 2018 intro

2018 joint FCA and Practitioner Panel survey 

Welcome to the January edition of Regulation round-up. 

A random sample of 12,000 firms are being invited to take part in the 2018 joint FCA and Practitioner Panel survey. Look out for an email from Kantar Public inviting you to take part. 

Kantar Public is an independent social research organisation, carrying out the survey on our behalf. If you’re invited to complete the survey, please take the time to fill it in. Your views will be valuable in helping to shape the FCA’s approach. The results are presented to the Practitioner Panel and the FCA Board and will be published in the third quarter of 2018. 

We carry out the survey among businesses across the sectors of the financial services industry. The results give the FCA Board and Executive valuable feedback on how the organisation is performing and how it can improve. 

Last year’s survey highlighted several key areas for improvement. These included:

·         more transparency and predictability of regulation

·         better communications on EU withdrawal

·         improving the perception of the quality of policy and technical staff 

As a result of last year’s survey, we have committed to addressing all these areas. Further details can be found in the Mission and Business Plan. The findings of this year’s survey will be an important input to future work. 

You can find out more about the survey and last year’s results on the FCA website and more about the Practitioner Panel on the Panel website.

Hot Topics

Revised Payments Services Directive - PSD2 Goes Live!

The Revised Payments Services Directive (PSD2) came into effect in the UK this Saturday, 13 January. 

PSD2 is an EU Directive which aims to increase competition, bring into scope new types of payment services and enhance customer protection. 

There will be wide-reaching implications for a range of firms including banks, other Payment Service Providers, Financial Technology companies and customers. 

For more information about PSD2 and how your firm may be affected see the FCA website.

Consumer Mis-direction

We need your help, to reduce a high number of calls from consumers responding to letters, emails or sales literature they have received from regulated firms.

Consumers call us believing we are the firm, as our number is on the firm’s website and marketing materials. This causes a poor consumer experience, as they have to re-dial to speak to the firm.

Answering these calls delays us in helping other consumers, some of whom are vulnerable. We have spoken to the firms who were generating the most calls to us and found that removing our phone number dramatically reduces the calls.

Please review your use of the FCA’s details on your website, emails and sales literature and remove our phone number. There is no regulatory requirement for you to give the FCA’s phone number. Removing it may improve your customers’ experience. For full details of what your status disclosure should be, please refer to Chapter 4 of our General Provisions Sourcebook. 

The Contact Centre operates as the FCA’s public face, providing information and guidance to regulated firms, to people setting up businesses and to consumers, through a variety of communication channels. 

Operating as part of the Contact Centre, the Consumer Helpline offers guidance to consumers on a broad range of queries about financial services and products, from register checks to complex investment cases.

Banks and Building Societies

FCA publishes information relevant to customers using Account Information Services (AIS) and Payment Information Services (PIS)   

Following the introduction of the EU Payment Services Directive (PSD2) on 13 January 2018, online services that customers allow to access their account data or make payments on their behalf will be regulated by the FCA. 

PSD2 will bring about a number of important changes for your members and the customers that use their services. To support these changes we have produced a web page setting out information we think customers should be aware of when using newly regulated services. 

This information will be helpful to promote consistency of messaging to consumers across different parts of the industry.

Financial Advisers

MiFID II now live: impact for retail advisers

The requirements under MiFID II came into force on 3 January 2018. The key impact areas for retail advisory firms (including those exempt under Article 3 of MiFID) are costs disclosure and product governance. There are several other areas where MiFID II has brought changes. These include advising, suitability, taping and inducements. Advisers should be aware of the impacts of these changes. 

Please see our summary of some of the key changes that impact retail investment advice firms and our MiFID II webpages for further information on a range of topics. Note that the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) also provide Q&A on various MiFID II investor protection topics.

General Insurance Intermediaries and Insurers

FCA Live & Local regional programme events in 2018

We are continuing our well-received series of interactive workshops on how firms can identify and prevent harm, and bi-monthly interactive Q&A roundtables with an FCA and industry panel. Dates, locations, and registration details for the first set of 2018 events from January to May are on the Live & Local webpage. 

More events will be added in the coming months. To be notified of future Live & Local regional events, sign up to email alerts using our Live & Local updates web form.

Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD)

Policy statements

Last month we published our second Policy Statement on the implementation of the IDD which sets out our near final rules based on the feedback we received to CP17/23. We will publish our third and final policy statement soon. 

Proposed delay to application date

We issued a statement after The European Commission announced a proposal to push back the application date of the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) to 1 October 2018. 

Wealth Managers and Private Banks

EBA recommends new prudential regime for MiFID investment firms

At the end of September 2017, the European Banking Authority (EBA) published their final report and recommendations for an appropriate prudential regime for all MiFID investment firms. This is in response to a call for advice from the Commission who will now consider the recommendations and are expected to publish a legislative proposal before the end of 2017.

Investment Managers & Stockbrokers

EBA recommends new prudential regime for MiFID investment firms

At the end of September 2017, the European Banking Authority (EBA) published their final report and recommendations for an appropriate prudential regime for all MiFID investment firms. This is in response to a call for advice from the Commission who will now consider the recommendations and are expected to publish a legislative proposal before the end of 2017.

Fintech and Innovative Businesses

Feedback statement on distributed ledger technology 

We have published a feedback statement on distributed ledger technology (DLT) summarising the responses received to our April 2017 discussion paper. 

We will continue to monitor DLT-related market developments and keep our rules and guidance under review in light of those developments. Following our consumer warning on initial coin offerings, we will conduct a deeper examination of the market to determine whether there is a need for further regulatory action.

Sandbox application window

The regulatory sandbox allows businesses to test innovative products, services, business models and delivery mechanisms in the real market, with real consumers. 

To be part of cohort 4, apply by 31 January 2018. More information on how to apply is available on our website.

News and Publications

Dear CEO: Contracts for Difference

We have sent a Dear CEO letter to firms that provide or distribute contracts for difference (CFD) products to retail customers on an advisory or discretionary basis to ensure they understand their obligations. This letter follows the conclusion of a project that assessed whether CFD providers and distributors deliver the CFD product to the intended target market, pay due regard to the interests of customers and treat them fairly. 

We expect CFD firms to consider the issues raised and take action to ensure compliance if any areas of concern are identified.


We are running a new ScamSmart advertising campaign from the end of January. The advertising will include radio, online video and banners, and will be supported with PR, social media and partner activity.

The ScamSmart campaign aims to help protect consumers from investment fraud. Find out more about ScamSmart from our website and support the campaign by visiting our resources page.

Are your contact details up to date?

Under the FCA handbook Core Sup 15.5 all firms have a regulatory requirement to keep their contact information up to date.

To avoid missing important information that could affect your firm make sure your email address, phone number and address are all correct and up to date on the FCA system. 

You can change or update your contact information by using our online system for notifications and applications, Connect.