Welcome to the UK Regulation Round Up, a regular bulletin highlighting the latest developments in UK and EU financial services regulation.

Key developments in March 2024:

28 March

FCA Regulation Round-up: The FCA published its regulation round-up for March 2024.

26 March  

AIFMD II: Directive (EU) 2024/927 amending the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (2011/61/EU) (“AIFMD”) and the UCITS Directive (2009/65/EC) (“UCITS Directive”) relating to delegation arrangements, liquidity risk management, supervisory reporting, provision of depositary and custody services, and loan origination by alternative investment funds has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union (“EU”). Please refer to our dedicated article on this topic here.

ELTIFs: The European Commission published a Communication to the Commission explaining that it intends to adopt, with amendments, ESMA’s proposed regulatory technical standards (“RTS”) under Regulations 9(3), 18(6), 19(5), 21(3) and 25(3) of the Regulation on European Long-Term Investment Funds ((EU) 2015/760) as amended by Regulation (EU) 2023/606.

Financial Promotions: The FCA published finalised guidance (FG24/1) on financial promotions on social media.

Cryptoassets: The Investment Association (“IA”) published its second report on UK fund tokenisation written by the technology working group to HM Treasury’s asset management taskforce.

25 March  

Cryptoassets: ESMA published a final report (ESMA75-453128700-949) on draft technical standards specifying requirements for co-operation, exchange of information and notification between competent authorities, European Supervisory Authorities and third countries under the Regulation on markets in cryptoassets ((EU) 2023/1114) (“MiCA”).PRIIPS Regulation: the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (“ECON”) published the report (PE753.665v02-00) it has adopted on the European Commission’s legislative proposal for a Regulation making amendments to the Regulation on key information documents (“KIDs”) for packaged retail and insurance-based investment products (1286/2014) (“PRIIPs Regulation”) (2023/0166(COD)).

Alternative Investment Funds: The FCA published the findings from a review it carried out in 2023 of alternative investment fund managers that use the host model to manage alternative investment funds.

AIFMD: Four Delegated and Implementing Regulations concerning cross-border marketing and management notifications relating to the UCITS Directive and the AIFMD have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union (here, here, here, and here).

22 March 

Smarter Regulatory Framework: HM Treasury published a document on the next phase of the Smarter Regulatory Framework, its project to replace assimilated law relating to financial services.

21 March 

Market Transparency: ESMA published a communication on the transition to the new rules under the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (600/2014) (“MiFIR”) to improve market access and transparency.

Retail Investment Package: ECON published a press release announcing it had adopted its draft report on the proposed Directive on retail investment protection (2023/0167(COD)). The proposed Directive will amend the MiFID II Directive (2014/65/EU) (“MiFID II”), the Insurance Distribution Directive ((EU) 2016/97), the Solvency II Directive (2009/138/EC), the UCITS Directive and the AIFMD.

19 March 

ESG: The Council of the EU proposed a new compromise text for the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, on which political agreement had previously been reached in December 2023.

FCA Business Plan: The FCA published its 2024/25 Business Plan, which sets out its business priorities for the year ahead.

15 March

Customer Duty: The FCA announced that it is to conduct a review into firms’ treatment of customers in vulnerable circumstances.

PRIIPS Regulation: The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities published an updated version of its Q&As (JC 2023 22) on the key information document requirements for packaged retail and insurance-based investment products (“PRIIPs”), as laid down in Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/653.

14 March 

FCA Regulatory Approach: The FCA published a speech given by Nikhil Rathi, FCA Chief Executive, on its regulatory approach to deliver for consumers, markets and competitiveness and its shift to outcomes-focused regulation.

11 March 

AML: HM Treasury launched a consultation on improving the effectiveness of the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (SI 2017/692). The consultation runs until 9 June 2024 and covers four distinct areas.

08 March 

ESG: The IA published a report on insights and suggested actions for asset managers following the commencement of reporting obligations of climate-related disclosures under the ESG sourcebook.

ESG: The House of Commons Treasury Committee published a report on the findings from its “Sexism in the City” inquiry.

Cryptoassets: The EBA published a consultation paper (EBA/CP/2024/09) on draft guidelines on redemption plans under Articles 47 and 55 of the MiCA.

05 March 

Financial Sanctions: The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office published Post-Legislative Scrutiny Memorandum: Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018.

AML: The FCA published a Dear CEO letter sent to Annex I financial institutions concerning common control failings identified in anti-money laundering (AML) frameworks.

ESG: The European Commission adopted a delegated regulation supplementing the Securitisation Regulation ((EU) 2017/2402) with regard to regulatory technical standards specifying, for simple, transparent and standardised non-ABCP traditional securitisation, and for simple, transparent and standardised on-balance-sheet securitisation, the content, methodologies and presentation of information related to the principal adverse impacts of the assets financed by the underlying exposures on sustainability factors.

CRD IV: The European Commission adopted a Commission Implementing Regulation that amends Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 650/2014 containing ITS on supervisory disclosure under the CRD IV Directive (2013/36/EU) (“CRD IV”).

01 March 

Alternative Investment Funds: The FCA published a portfolio letter providing an interim update on its supervisory strategy for the asset management and alternatives portfolios.

Corporate Transparency: The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (Commencement No. 2 and Transitional Provision) Regulations 2024 (SI 2024/269) have been made and published.

Financial Sanctions: The Treasury Committee launched an inquiry into the effectiveness of financial sanctions on Russia.

EMIR: The FCA published a consultation paper in which it, together with the Bank of England, seeks feedback on draft guidance in the form of Q&As on the revised reporting requirements under Article 9 of UK EMIR (648/2012).

FCA Handbook: The FCA published Handbook Notice 116 (dated February 2024), which sets out changes to the FCA Handbook made by the FCA board on 29 February 2024.

FCA Handbook: the FCA published its 43rd quarterly consultation paper (CP24/3), inviting comments on proposed changes to a number of FCA Handbook provisions.

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Photo of John Verwey John Verwey

John Verwey is a partner in the Private Funds Group. John advises on a wide number of regulatory issues at a national UK and European level, including firm authorisations, appointed representative arrangements, change in control, market abuse. He represents a variety of clients…

John Verwey is a partner in the Private Funds Group. John advises on a wide number of regulatory issues at a national UK and European level, including firm authorisations, appointed representative arrangements, change in control, market abuse. He represents a variety of clients that range from small start-up fund managers to established global fund advisers and managers.

A particular area of focus for John is Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) and Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II).  This includes advising on pre-marketing and marketing strategies for fund managers, advising on the Level One and Lever Two requirements under AIFMD and implementing UK rules and legislation, and advising on the organizational and conduct of business requirements under MiFID II.

Photo of Andrew Wingfield Andrew Wingfield

Andrew Wingfield is an M&A partner and member of the Private Capital Team.

Andrew undertakes a broad range of domestic and cross-border corporate and commercial work for both corporate and private equity clients, advising on acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures, mergers and public…

Andrew Wingfield is an M&A partner and member of the Private Capital Team.

Andrew undertakes a broad range of domestic and cross-border corporate and commercial work for both corporate and private equity clients, advising on acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures, mergers and public takeovers, flotations and equity capital markets and private equity investment.

Andrew is called upon by financial institutions, private equity houses, management and corporates to lead on complex and high-value transactions. Andrew has a very strong financial institutions practice and has been recognized by Chambers UK and Legal 500 in recent years as the “go-to regulatory M&A lawyer” for regulated institutions such as banks, lenders, payment providers, insurance companies, wealth managers or other financial institutions transactions.

In addition, Andrew is widely recognized as a leading M&A and private equity lawyer. In Chambers UK, Andrew has been noted as “dynamic and commercial” and for providing “tailored, practical advice.” A client told Legal 500, “Andrew Wingfield – best lawyer I ever worked with. Super helpful, goes extra mile where needed.”

Photo of Richard Bull Richard Bull

Richard Bull is a partner in the Corporate Department and a member of our Private Equity and Mergers & Acquisitions Groups.

Richard advises on a wide range of corporate work, including M&A, private investments, corporate venturing, joint ventures and corporate restructurings. Richard has…

Richard Bull is a partner in the Corporate Department and a member of our Private Equity and Mergers & Acquisitions Groups.

Richard advises on a wide range of corporate work, including M&A, private investments, corporate venturing, joint ventures and corporate restructurings. Richard has extensive experience of acting on private equity, growth and expansion capital transactions of all types and sizes for sponsors and management teams, both of a domestic and international nature, with a particular focus in the financial services and technology industries.

Richard is described by Legal 500 “as one of the most capable PE lawyers in the market” and “truly excellent.” Richard was also identified by a survey of private equity sponsors undertaken by The Lawyer as one of the top private equity lawyers based in London, and as a highly regarded private equity and M&A lawyer by IFLR 1000.

Photo of Oliver R. Howley Oliver R. Howley

Oliver Howley is a partner in Proskauer’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications Group. He is a trusted advisor to businesses in the technology, manufacturing, sports and financial services sectors, providing valued input on IP, technology and data-related strategies and transactions.

Oliver is a multi-specialist…

Oliver Howley is a partner in Proskauer’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications Group. He is a trusted advisor to businesses in the technology, manufacturing, sports and financial services sectors, providing valued input on IP, technology and data-related strategies and transactions.

Oliver is a multi-specialist, with a day-to-day practice covering commercial contracts, IP, technology and data protection work. He regularly advises on the structuring and terms of contracts relating to the creation, licensing and monetisation of technology and data products, with a particular focus on machine learning and artificial intelligence systems. He also has extensive experience in advising on the IP, technology, data and carve-out aspects of corporate transactions (including joint ventures, acquisitions, disposals and investments) and on sponsorship, image rights and endorsement deals in the sports sector.

Oliver has been recognized as a “Rising Star” in The Legal 500 for consecutive years. Recent professional directories note that “no matter how complex the landscape, no detail escapes [Oliver’s] attention” and that his “logical… and forensic analytical approach make him a force to be reckoned with”. He also receives praise for his commercial contracts work and “niche in robotics and artificial intelligence”.

Photo of Mary Wilks Mary Wilks

Mary Wilks is an antitrust partner in the Corporate Department and a member of our Private Equity Transactions and Mergers & Acquisitions Groups.

Mary advises on a broad range of EU and UK competition law issues, including multijurisdictional mergers, behavioral investigations, complex supply…

Mary Wilks is an antitrust partner in the Corporate Department and a member of our Private Equity Transactions and Mergers & Acquisitions Groups.

Mary advises on a broad range of EU and UK competition law issues, including multijurisdictional mergers, behavioral investigations, complex supply and distribution arrangements, and foreign investment controls including, notably, the UK’s newly adopted National Security and Investment Act. She advises clients on the competition aspects of transactions including M&A, equity investments, consortium transactions and secondaries.

Mary works across all sectors, with particular experience in consumer products, healthcare, TMT and financial services.

Mary regularly counsels clients on their engagement with the Competition and Markets Authority, the European Commission, and other prominent international enforcement agencies and regulatory authorities.

Mary Wilks has a reputation as an “excellent lawyer” who “plays a leading role on a range of high-profile cases.” According to sources, “She is always fully on top of the detail but also able to pull out the most important points for the case.

Prior to joining Proskauer, Mary was a counsel in the antitrust, competition and trade department at another leading law firm in London.

Photo of Rachel Lowe Rachel Lowe

Rachel E. Lowe is a special regulatory counsel in the Corporate Department and a member of the Private Investment Funds Group.

Rachel advises on financial services regulation specializing in sustainable finance and ESG regulation. She has particular expertise in drafting and advising on…

Rachel E. Lowe is a special regulatory counsel in the Corporate Department and a member of the Private Investment Funds Group.

Rachel advises on financial services regulation specializing in sustainable finance and ESG regulation. She has particular expertise in drafting and advising on the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) and the Taxonomy Regulation. Rachel has also supported with EU MiFID and AIFMD sustainability updates for clients, including from a governance and organizational perspective, as well as providing drafting and training support. She also advises on the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), including analysis of its applicability for large international group structures.

From a UK perspective, Rachel supports clients with the TCFD-related requirements in the Financial Conduct Authority’s ESG Sourcebook and is increasingly engaged on the UK’s Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (SDR).

More broadly, Rachel has worked with litigation colleagues to assist clients with understanding and mitigating greenwashing-related legal and regulatory risk.

Photo of Amar Unadkat Amar Unadkat

Amar Unadkat is a special regulatory counsel in the Corporate Department and a member of the Private Funds Group.

Amar advises on a variety of financial services regulatory and compliance matters both from a UK and European perspective. Amar regularly advises his clients…

Amar Unadkat is a special regulatory counsel in the Corporate Department and a member of the Private Funds Group.

Amar advises on a variety of financial services regulatory and compliance matters both from a UK and European perspective. Amar regularly advises his clients on issues relating to the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (“AIFMD”), the second Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (“MiFID II”), as well as the latest ESG developments. Amar also focusses on UK regulatory compliance matters, including the FCA’s change of control regime, the appointed representative regime and the Senior Managers & Certification Regime.

Amar’s clients include private equity firms, investment managers and advisers, firms in the FinTech space, wealth management businesses, banks and sovereign wealth funds.

Photo of Sulaiman Malik Sulaiman Malik

Sulaiman Malik is an associate in the Corporate Department and a member of the Private Funds Group.

Sulaiman advises clients on a range of UK and international financial regulation. He advises private equity funds, hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds and other asset managers…

Sulaiman Malik is an associate in the Corporate Department and a member of the Private Funds Group.

Sulaiman advises clients on a range of UK and international financial regulation. He advises private equity funds, hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds and other asset managers, as well as banks, FinTechs, broker-dealers and governments.

Prior to joining Proskauer, Sulaiman trained at Simmons & Simmons in London, where he was seconded to Brevan Howard. He has also spent time at the UK’s Ministry of Justice and as an adviser to the Mayor of Brisbane, in Australia.

Sulaiman is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion. He previously worked at Rare, a market-leading diversity consultancy, and provides pro bono legal advice to a range of community and civil rights organizations.

Photo of Michael Singh Michael Singh

Michael is an associate in the Private Funds Group in the Corporate Department.

Michael advises clients on a variety of regulatory issues both from a UK and European perspective. He also helps clients on fund related transactions. His clients include private equity firms…

Michael is an associate in the Private Funds Group in the Corporate Department.

Michael advises clients on a variety of regulatory issues both from a UK and European perspective. He also helps clients on fund related transactions. His clients include private equity firms, investment managers, FinTech companies and wealth management businesses.

He is dual-qualified as a German lawyer (“Rechtsanwalt”) and Solicitor of England and Wales and previously was in-house counsel at Deutsche Bank.