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Key regulatory changes in 2021 follow up

September 23, 2021

What is happening?

In this blog, we have provided our follow up, where available, to the key regulatory changes identified in our blog post issued in March 2021 and published here.

What do you need to do?

Asset management and funds firms

  • The delayed FCA policy statement and final rules on operational resilience requirements were published in April 2021. See our blog post on this topic here.
  • There is no indication yet of the implementation of regulatory change to outsourcing and third-party risk management rules originally expected in Q2 of 2021. Some FCA guidance is available here.
  • There has been no indication of when HM Treasury will publish its second consultation paper on the post-EU regulatory framework.
  • On 26 June 2021, the Investment Firms Directive (“IFD”) took effect. 1 January 2022 is now the target implementation date for the UK Investment Firms Prudential Regime (the IFPR). See our post on this subject, relevant to exempt CAD firms, here. On 2 August 2021, the EU Directive 2019/1160 and EU Regulation 2019/1156 on the cross-border distribution of collective investment undertakings took effect; these include the following:
    • A harmonised “pre-marketing” regime under AIFMD, which will be welcomed by many fund managers as an improvement on the current patchwork approach across Member States,
    • Placement agents and distributors carrying out pre-marketing must be EU regulated firms or tied agents and will be directly subject to the new AIFMD rules on pre-marketing,
    • A procedure for de-notification of marketing under both the UCITS Directive and AIFMD, including restrictions on pre-marketing successor funds,
    • Similar standards of marketing communications for AIFs and UCITS to ensure they are consistent, and fair, clear and not misleading,
    • Changes to information filed for AIF/UCITS marketing passports,
    • Greater transparency and high-level principles for calculating regulatory fees, and
    • Delay to PRIIPs KID application to UCITS.

     

    • There has been no indication of the European Commission’s plans to adopt in late 2021 a proposal for a Directive amending the AIFMD.

     

    • 31 December 2021 will mark the end of the KID PRIIPS exemption transition period for UCITS funds.

     

    • There is no indication yet of the publication of the FCA’s finalised measures to combat potential ‘greenwashing’ in the funds space, expected to include a set of principles to help firms interpret existing rules requiring that disclosures are ‘fair, clear and not misleading’, which would also apply when firms submit new products to the FCA for authorisation.

Crypto and fintech firms

  • The ban on retail sales of crypto derivatives took effect in January 2021, and policy work remains due on an expansion of the financial promotions regime to cryptoassets as well as a much broader framework for the regulation of cryptoassets themselves. A much more extensive UK regulatory package is expected to be consulted on later in 2021 or early in 2022, when HM Treasury announces its consultation on the broader regulatory framework for cryptoassets, including stablecoins.
  • December 2021 is the deadline for national authorities to establish or, as necessary, adjust co-operation arrangements consistent with international principles and the FSB recommendations on global stablecoins.
  • The BoE and the FCA are working with firms to explore the viability of testing machine readable and executable regulatory reporting.

Financial advice firms

  • Q2 2021 had been the tentative target for the FCA’s delayed Assessing Suitability Review 2, which will focus on the market for pensions and investment advice. The FCA’s report on its findings is awaited.

Payments firms

  • 14 September 2021 was the original UK implementation date of the Payment Service Directive (PSD2) Strong Customer Authentication requirements, and this has now been postponed to 14 March 2022.
  • As part of its Retail Payments Strategy, the European Commission is aiming for the full uptake of instant payments in the EU by the end of 2021, across both online and physical purchases in addition to credit transfers.

Financial crime

  • The FCA published in April 2021 its policy statement and final rules on extending its annual financial crime reporting obligation (REP-CRIM) to more firms. See our blog post on this topic here.

How can we help you?

If you’d like to know more about how we can help you with any aspect of the regulatory changes outlined above, our expert team can help. We can assist firms that operate in Investments, Payment Services, Credit and Financial Crime.  Contact us today on 0207 436 0630 – or email info@thistleinitiatives.co.uk.