Shayne Halfpenny-Ray examines the latest regulatory updates
Despite it still being relatively early in the year, it feels like a whirlwind of activity has taken place, with more yet to come. On the regulatory horizon, I have charted a development for you to keep a close eye on.
The Future Regulatory Framework for Financial Services and the Solvency II reviews closed their calls for evidence on 19 February. These set out the first chance the UK has had to reform its regulatory systems since leaving the European Union (EU). Expect a government response to this second wave of consultation in the coming months, perhaps with a blueprint for future regulation.
Alongside this, our continued discussions with the EU on a financial services-specific deal continue to play out. Many across the market hope this includes provisions for the key word ‘equivalence’, although there
is no guarantee on this and as pointed out in the past, this would not cover broker services.
The big milestone for this will be the awaited memorandum of understanding with the EU, which at the very least should set the terms for discussion and open forums for negotiation. This has long been planned for March, so as I write this, I am on the edge of my seat in anticipation of what this will spell out for financial services.
The Financial Conduct Authority is consulting on rules to secure an appropriate degree of protection against excessive charges by claims management companies (CMCs). A summary of the proposals includes:
- To address consumer harm by restricting the fees that can be charged to a consumer for claims management activity for a claim about a non-PPI financial product or service.
- Enhance requirements for all CMCs to disclose information to help consumers make an informed choice about using claims management services in cases where there is an option to claim under a statutory scheme.
- Make minor changes to clarify and improve aspects of the existing rules for CMCs.
The consultation will run until 21 April 2021.
The Pension Schemes Bill has now passed all stages in the Houses of Parliament and has been added to the statute book. For those who are unfamiliar with the bill, it focuses on setting the framework for pensions dashboards with enhanced powers for The Pensions Regulator, reuniting savers with their lost pension pots,
clamping down on pension scams, and mandating climate-related disclosures.
Looking ahead to the summer, an event we have all awaited with bated breath is the implementation of whiplash reforms and the creation of a portal, built by the Motor Insurers Bureau. After several delays, the expectation is that this new system – part one of the Civil Liability Act 2018 – will go live in May, with the hope for new rules and procedures to be published ahead of their full implementation.
As always, the CII will continue to monitor and update members on these events, as well as many others across the regulatory and policy space. Do get in touch if there is anything you want to hear more about.
Shayne Halfpenny-Ray is policy and public affairs adviser of the CII