Financial Regulation - Year in Review and Year to come

Whilst 2016 was punctuated with the unexpected outcome of the referendum on whether the UK should remain in the European Union, developments in financial regulation have nonetheless continued apace.

In the UK, the first half of the year was dominated by the entry into force of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime, which applied from March. As the months passed, that focus continued as the FCA fed back on the way SMCR had been implemented and publicised further proposals and measures on related themes such as whistleblowing, the requirement for regulatory references, Statements of Responsibilities and responsibilities maps.

At a European level, the decision to delay by a year MiFID II implementation allowed additional time for technical developments to the forthcoming framework. The European Commission adopted delegated acts and technical standards, ESMA began publishing level 3 guidelines and the UK regulators consulted on transposing MiFID II into UK law. Additionally, July saw the entry into force of the new Market Abuse Regulation, with new rules on market abuse, market soundings, investment recommendations, and many other requirements.

Unsurprisingly, Brexit disturbed - but at the insistence of the UK regulators did not derail – the progress of these initiatives and has raised many difficult legal and regulatory questions about the future status of EU legislation for the UK, about passporting and third country equivalence.

However, the UK regulators have made clear that EU law continues to apply until the withdrawal happens, and up to that point firms need to continue to comply with existing, and prepare for forthcoming, regulatory requirements.

With that in mind, 2017 will continue to be a busy year for firms preparing for MiFID II. It will also be an important year for developments in relation to anti-money laundering, with the implementation of the Fourth Money Laundering Directive, which must be transposed into national law by June this year, and amendments to that directive currently under consideration by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. And in the UK, the Senior Managers and Certification Regime will continue to have a high profile, with further measures coming into force in March, as well as FCA consultations on the extension of the regime to all FSMA regulated firms expected in the first quarter of the year.

Again, a busy year ahead.

To help you keep a track of all key legal developments on the regulatory horizon we have prepared a year in review and year to come guide.

The guide is available on our Knowledge Portal - please click here to access it.

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