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

Key developments in May 2024:

31 May

ESG: The Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) updated its webpage on the sustainability disclosure requirements (“SDR”) and investments labelling regime. Among other things, the webpage has been updated to reflect that the anti-greenwashing rule and guidance has now come into force. Please refer to our dedicated article on this topic here.

30 May

Artificial Intelligence: The European Securities and Markets Authority (“ESMA”) published a public statement (ESMA35-335435667-5924) on the use of artificial intelligence in the provision of retail investment services.

AML: The Council of the EU published a press release announcing that it has adopted the Regulation on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing (“AML Regulation”), the Regulation establishing the Anti-Money Laundering Authority (“AMLA Regulation”) and the Sixth Money Laundering Directive (“MLD6”).

29 May

Market Abuse: ESMA has published a statement on good practices in relation to pre-close calls (that is, communication sessions between an issuer and analysts usually taking place immediately before the periods preceding an interim or a year-end financial report during which issuers refrain from providing any additional information or updates).

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

ESMA Priorities: ESMA published a letter from Verena Ross, ESMA Chair, to John Berrigan, Director General of the European Commission’s Directorate Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union setting out a set of deliverables that could be de-prioritised or postponed.

24 May

Securitisation: The Securitisation Amendment Regulations 2024 (SI 2024/705) (Amendment Regulations) were published on legislation.gov.uk.ESG: The Council of the EU formally adopted the final text of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive.

Public Enforcement Investigations: The House of Lords Financial Services Regulation Committee published a letter summarising its concerns about the FCA’s consultation proposals to publicise enforcement investigations (CP24/2).

23 May

FCA Handbook: The FCA published Handbook Notice 119, which sets out changes to the FCA Handbook made by the FCA board on 25 April 2024 and 23 May 2024.

MiFID II: ESMA published a consultation paper on proposed amendments to certain technical standards for commodity derivatives under Directive (EU) 2024/790 amending the MiFID II Directive (2014/65/EU).

MiFIR: ESMA published a consultation paper (ESMA74-2134169708-7225) on draft technical standards relating to consolidated tape providers and data reporting service providers under Regulation (EU) 2024/791 amending the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (600/2014) (“MiFIR”) as regards enhancing data transparency, removing obstacles to the emergence of consolidated tapes, optimising the trading obligations and prohibiting receiving payment for order flow.

Asset Management Supervision: Ashley Alder, the Chair of the FCA, delivered a speech which outlined the regulator’s agenda for the asset management sector. Please refer to our dedicated article on this topic here.

22 May

Primary Markets: The FCA published Primary Market Bulletin 49.

CRD VI / CRR III: The Council of the EU published a press release announcing that it has adopted the proposed Directive amending the CRD IV Directive (2013/36/EU) as regards supervisory powers, sanctions, third-country branches and ESG risks (“CRD VI”) and the proposed Regulation amending the Capital Requirements Regulation (575/2013) as regards requirements for credit risk, credit valuation adjustment risk, operational risk, market risk and the output floor (“CRR III”).

Capital Markets: ESMA published a position paper on building more effective and attractive capital markets in the EU that contains recommendations for legislative and regulatory reforms intended to strengthen EU capital markets and address the needs of European citizens and businesses.

Non-Bank Financial Intermediaries: The European Commission launched a targeted consultation on macro-prudential policies for non-bank financial intermediaries.

21 May

FinTech / Artificial Intelligence: The Bank of England published a speech by Randall Kroszner, an external member of the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee, on balancing the productivity opportunities of FinTech and AI against the potential risks.

17 May

ESG: HM Treasury, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, the Department for Business and Trade and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have published an implementation update relating to economy-wide sustainability disclosure requirements.

16 May

ESG: The Department for Business and Trade published a framework and terms of reference for the development of UK Sustainability Reporting Standards.

Financial Promotions: The FCA issued a press release announcing it has brought charges against nine individuals in relation to the alleged promotion on social media of an unauthorised foreign exchange trading scheme.

Digitalisation: The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision published a report (BCBS575) on the digitalisation of finance.

Consumer Duty: The FCA published Dear CEO letters on implementing the Consumer Duty for closed products and services, which it sent to firms in a number of sectors.

15 May

Capital Markets: The Eurogroup published a press release announcing that, at a meeting on 13 March 2024, it agreed to a high-level roadmap for follow-up to its March 2024 statement on the future of the capital markets union.

14 May

ESG: ESMA published a final report (ESMA34-472-440) on guidelines on funds’ names using ESG or sustainability-related terms. Please refer to our dedicated to our dedicated article on this topic here.

ESG: The House of Commons Treasury Committee published a report containing responses from HM Treasury, the PRA and the FCA to the recommendations set out in its report following its “Sexism in the City” inquiry.

10 May

Digitalisation: The European Commission published a letter sent by Mairead McGuinness, European Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union, to Verena Ross, ESMA Chair, on implementation of the Regulation on a pilot regime for market infrastructures based on distributed ledger technology ((EU) 2022/858).

9 May

Market Abuse: The FCA published issue 79 of Market Watch, in which it considers market abuse surveillance failures.

8 May

International Competitiveness: The House of Lords Financial Services Regulation Committee published a press release announcing the launch of an inquiry into the FCA’s and PRA’s secondary objective of facilitating the UK economy’s growth and international competitiveness.

Public Enforcement Investigations: The House of Commons Treasury Committee published a letter (dated 1 May) it has sent to the FCA raising questions in relation to the FCA’s consultation proposals to publicise enforcement investigations (CP24/2).

7 May

Cryptoassets: The EBA published final reports containing three sets of final draft RTS and one set of final draft implementing technical standards (“ITS”) under the Regulation on markets in cryptoassets ((EU) 2023/1114) (“MiCA”).

Artificial Intelligence: The Bank of England published a speech given by Jonathan Hall, Financial Policy Committee External Member, on how developments in AI could affect financial stability.

3 May

ESG: The European Commission published a summary of the 2023 consultation on the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation ((EU) 2019/2088). Please refer to our dedicated article on this topic here.

2 May

UK EMIR: The Bank of England published a document on Q&As on the revised reporting requirements under Article 9 of UK EMIR (648/2012) that it has developed jointly with the FCA.

Cryptoassets: A corrigendum amending MiCA has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

1 May

Overseas Funds Regime: HM Treasury and the FCA have jointly issued a roadmap for implementing the overseas funds regime (“OFR”) for certain EEA funds.

Sanctions: The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (“OFSI”) published FAQs on UK financial sanctions.

Securitisation: The FCA published a policy statement and final new securitisation rules (PS24/4) to replace the firm-facing provisions of the UK Securitisation Regulation. PS24/4 includes a legal instrument entitled the Securitisation (Smarter Regulatory Framework and Consequential Amendments) Instrument 2024.Securitisation: The PRA published a policy statement (PS7/24) and its final new securitisation rules to replace retained EU law requirements in the UK Securitisation Regulation, for which it has supervisory responsibility.

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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.