Financial Services UK

  • April 11, 2024

    Autonomy Became Less Transparent Before Sale, Jury Told

    An ex-market analyst testifying Thursday in a California criminal trial over claims that former Autonomy CEO Michael Lynch duped HP into buying the British company for $11.7 billion told jurors that the company became less forthcoming about some of its accounting a couple of years before the sale.

  • April 11, 2024

    BlackRock Can't Deduct Interest On $4B, London Court Finds

    Financial services firm BlackRock cannot deduct interest on $4 billion in loans it used for the 2009 purchase of Barclays Global Investors because avoiding taxes was the main reason for the way it structured the transaction, a London appeals court ruled Thursday.

  • April 11, 2024

    Ex-Sidley Partner Says CPS Did Not Disclose Prosecution Info

    A former Sidley Austin LLP partner, a former senior KPMG LLP official and a banking adviser have hit back at the Crown Prosecution Service in the men's £66 million ($82.8 million) claim over a failed tax fraud prosecution, arguing that their prosecutor hid important information from them.

  • April 11, 2024

    Squire Patton Advises Broadstone Buy Of Credit Risk Co.

    Broadstone said on Thursday it had acquired credit risk company Vestigo Partners Ltd., in a deal steered by Squire Patton Boggs and Harrison Clark Rickerbys.

  • April 11, 2024

    Sanctions Targets Eye EU-UK Split As Appeals Stack Up

    A court ruling on Wednesday, which upended the first round of European Union sanctions imposed on two Russian tycoons, contrasts with the approach taken by the English courts, where legal challenges to the restrictive measures have been repeatedly rebuffed.

  • April 11, 2024

    Pension Schemes Moving Toward Net Zero, Watchdog Says

    Britain's pensions watchdog said in a review published Thursday that retirement savings schemes have moved closer to achieving net-zero emissions standards in their portfolios by updating investment strategies and boosting allocations to low-carbon funds.

  • April 11, 2024

    SocGen To Sell Equipment Finance Unit To Rival For €1.1B

    French banking giant Societe Generale SA said Thursday that it has agreed to sell its professional equipment financing business to rival BPCE for €1.1 billion ($1.2 billion) to streamline the business and bolster its equity capital.

  • April 11, 2024

    Squire Patton Steers £130M Mitsubishi Pension Deal

    Insurer Just Group said Thursday it has signed off on a £130 million ($163 million) buy-in transaction for a scheme sponsored by Mitsubishi Chemical UK Ltd. in a deal guided by Squire Patton Boggs LLP.

  • April 11, 2024

    FCA Finds Failings By Administrator Of Woodford Funds

    The Financial Conduct Authority said Thursday it has found that Link Fund Solutions failed to act with "due skill, care and diligence" when it was the authorized manager of the failed £3.7 billion ($4.6 billion) flagship fund managed by Neil Woodford.

  • April 10, 2024

    No Merit To Autonomy Whistleblower Claims, Auditor Says

    A Deloitte partner testifying in a California criminal trial over claims that former Autonomy CEO Michael Lynch and finance director Stephen Chamberlain duped HP into buying the British tech company for $11.7 billion said Wednesday that auditors concluded that whistleblower allegations by a finance department executive were meritless.

  • April 10, 2024

    Italian Airline Chairman Sued For €50M Over Joint Venture

    The chairman of Aeroitalia SRL has allegedly blocked aviation magnate German Efromovich from controlling the startup Italian airline by refusing to hand over his majority stake in the project, according to a new London claim seeking €50 million ($54 million).

  • April 10, 2024

    Ex-BigLaw Atty In OneCoin Scam A Flight Risk, Feds Say

    A former Locke Lord LLP partner who was convicted of laundering proceeds from the OneCoin cryptocurrency scam has "every incentive" to flee the country, prosecutors told a New York federal judge, arguing he shouldn't be allowed to stay out on bail while his appeal is pending.

  • April 10, 2024

    Ex-Footballer Sues HSBC For £2M Loan Negligence

    Former professional soccer player Matthew Jansen has claimed HSBC lost him almost £2 million ($2.5 million) during the 2008 financial crisis by allegedly failing to monitor the risk of loans secured against properties.

  • April 10, 2024

    Insurer Aviva Expands Bulk Purchase Pilot For Small Pensions

    Insurance giant Aviva said Wednesday it has launched a streamlined bulk purchase annuity service to support smaller pension schemes with assets of less than £100 million ($126 million) to de-risk their plans.

  • April 10, 2024

    PCAOB Fines KPMG, Deloitte Units $27M For Cheating Claims

    KPMG Netherlands and two Deloitte units will pay a combined $27 million to settle allegations from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board of widespread answer sharing in their internal training programs, with KPMG's $25 million penalty marking the largest fine PCAOB has ever imposed.

  • April 10, 2024

    UK Reports £612M Lost To Investment Fraud Last Year

    Cryptocurrency scams accounted for the bulk of investment fraud cases that cost U.K. investors more than £612 million ($771 million) in 2023, according to crime data service Action Fraud.

  • April 10, 2024

    Swiss To Beef Up Banking Rules After Credit Suisse Rescue

    The Swiss government said Wednesday that it plans to beef up rules for its largest domestic lenders, including giving its financial watchdog an expanded toolkit after the near-collapse of Credit Suisse revealed holes in the current regime.

  • April 10, 2024

    Compensation For Poor Pensions Advice At Record Low

    Compensation for retirement savers who were wrongly advised to transfer out of their defined benefit pension has hit a record low, a consultancy said on Wednesday.

  • April 10, 2024

    EU Bank Rescue Agency Overcharged Institutions By €3.7B

    A European Union court ruled Wednesday that the eurozone's rescue agency for financial institutions overcharged for contributions to its safety net fund by almost €3.7 billion ($4 billion) but has given the authority at least six months until it has to repay.

  • April 10, 2024

    FCA Eyes Revisions To Payments For Investment Research

    The Financial Conduct Authority on Wednesday said it plans to revise how asset managers pay for investment research, seeking to simplify and expand access across the sector.

  • April 10, 2024

    Fraudsters Behind £50M Benefits Scam Get Sentencing Date

    Five Bulgarians who pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering have been convicted at a London criminal court, the European Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation said Wednesday, a crime the agency described as the largest benefits fraud to have hit the U.K.

  • April 10, 2024

    Lifeboat Fund Opens Probe Into British Steel Pension Adviser

    The compensation program for financial services said it has opened an investigation into an advice firm in connection with the British Steel Pension Scheme scandal.

  • April 10, 2024

    EY Law Helps Alisa Bank Merge With Fintech In €10.4M Deal

    Finnish digital lender Alisa Bank PLC said it plans to merge with PURO Finance Ltd. in a deal that values the invoice financing company at €10.4 million ($11.3 million).

  • April 10, 2024

    FCA Records Decline In Households In Financial Difficulty

    The number of households in financial difficulty tumbled by 38% in the 12 months to January, the finance watchdog said Wednesday, adding that more than seven million people were struggling to pay bills and credit repayments compared with almost 11 million a year earlier.

  • April 10, 2024

    Russian Tycoons Win Initial Fight Over EU Sanctions

    Russian businessmen Mikhail Fridman and Petr Aven have beaten the initial European sanctions imposed against them as a European Union court ruled Wednesday that they were unjustifiable, although their assets will continue to be restrained under newer measures.

Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    FCA Greenwashing Rules Need To Be Stronger To Be Effective

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    The Financial Conduct Authority's forthcoming anti-greenwashing measures, aimed at ensuring the veracity of regulated entities’ statements about sustainability credentials, need external scrutiny and an effective definition of "corporate social responsibility" to give them bite, says Jingchen Zhao at Nottingham Trent University.

  • EU Ruling Exposes Sovereignty Fissures In Int'l Arbitration

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    The European Court of Justice's recent ruling that the U.K. had breached EU law by allowing an arbitral award to proceed underscores the diminished influence of EU jurisprudence in the U.K., hinting at the EU courts' increasingly nominal sway in international arbitration within jurisdictions that prize legal autonomy, says Josep Galvez at 4-5 Gray’s Inn.

  • Companies House False Filings Raise Issues Of Integrity

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    A recent spate of unauthorized company filings with Companies House raises specific concerns for secured lenders, but also highlights the potential for false filings to be used to facilitate fraudulent schemes, says Daniel Sullivan at Charles Russell.

  • UK Courts Continue To Struggle With Crypto-Asset Cases

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    Although the common law has proved capable of applying established principles to crypto-assets, recent cases highlight persistent challenges in identifying defendants, locating assets and determining jurisdiction, suggesting that any meaningful development will likely come from legislative or regulatory change, say Emily Saunderson and Sam Mitchell at Quadrant Chambers.

  • Comparing The UK And EU Approaches To AI Regulation

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    While there are significant points of convergence between the recently published U.K. approach to artificial intelligence regulation and the EU AI Act, there is also notable divergence between them, and it appears that the U.K. will remain a less regulatory environment for AI in the foreseeable future, say lawyers at Steptoe.

  • Lessons On Using 3rd-Party Disclosure Orders In Fraud Cases

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    The expansion of the gateway for service out of jurisdiction regarding third-party information orders has proven to be an effective tool against fraud since it was introduced in 2022, and recent case law offers practical tips on what applicants should be aware of when submitting such orders, says Rosie Wild at Cooke Young.

  • A Look At The Latest EU Alternative Investment Regulation

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    Recent amendments to the EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive governing a range of alternative investment funds reflect a growing regulatory focus on nonbanking financial institutions, which expand credit to support economic growth but carry a commensurate risk, say Juliette Mills and Alix Prentice at Cadwalader.

  • Unpacking The Law Commission's Digital Assets Consultation

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    The Law Commission recently published a consultation on recognizing a third personal property category to accommodate the development of digital assets, highlighting difficulties with current models of property rights and the potential consequences of considering digital assets as personal property, say Andrew Tsang and Tom Bacon at BCLP.

  • Unpacking The FCA's Approach To AML Compliance Failures

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    In light of the upward trend of skilled-person reviews by the Financial Conduct Authority, including the latest investigation into Lloyds' anti-money laundering controls, financial firms should familiarize themselves with the mechanisms of FCA supervision and enforcement investigations, says Kathryn Westmore at RUSI.

  • New Russia Sanctions Reveal Int'l Enforcement Capabilities

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    Significant new U.K., U.S. and EU sanctions imposed on Russia notably target Europe-based individuals and entities accused of sanctions evasion, and with an apparent political will to enhance capabilities, the rhetoric is translating into international enforcement activity, say lawyers at Cadwalader.

  • What COVID Payout Ruling Means For Lockdown Loss Claims

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    While the High Court's recent COVID-19 payout decision in Gatwick v. Liberty Mutual, holding that pandemic-related regulations trigger prevention of access clauses, will likely lead to insurers accepting more business interruption claims, there are still evidentiary challenges and issues regarding policy limits and furlough, say Josianne El Antoury and Greg Lascelles at Covington.

  • Spartan Arbitration Tactics Against Well-Funded Opponents

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    Like the ancient Spartans who held off a numerically superior Persian army at the Battle of Thermopylae, trial attorneys and clients faced with arbitration against an opponent with a bigger war chest can take a strategic approach to create a pass to victory, say Kostas Katsiris and Benjamin Argyle at Venable.

  • EEA Equivalence Statement Is Welcomed By Fund Managers

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    The recent statement confirming European Economic Area equivalence to undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities for U.K. overseas funds regime purposes removes many managers’ concerns in the wake of Brexit, giving a clear pathway out of temporary marketing permissions and easing the transition from one regime to another, says Catherine Weeks at Simmons & Simmons.

  • In Int'l Arbitration Agreements, Be Clear About Governing Law

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    A trilogy of recent cases in the English High Court and Court of Appeal highlight the importance of parties agreeing to explicit choice of law language at the outset of an arbitration agreement in order to avoid costly legal skirmishes down the road, say lawyers at Faegre Drinker.

  • Crypto As A Coin Of The Corporate Realm: The Pros And Cons

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    The broadened range of crypto-assets opens up new possibilities for employers looking to recruit, incentivize and retain employees through the use of crypto, but certain risks must be addressed, say Dan Sharman and Sunny Mangatt at Shoosmiths.

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