Financial Services UK

  • February 21, 2024

    Morgan Stanley Accused Of 'Snobbery' Over $1B Margin Call

    Frasers Group told a London court Wednesday that Morgan Stanley hit it with an almost $1 billion margin call to force the British retailer off its books out of "snobbery" because it viewed Frasers' CEO as "an upstart."

  • February 21, 2024

    Money Laundering Checks No Evidence Of Crime, Court Hears

    A British-Chinese woman accused of laundering bitcoin converted from a £5 billion ($6.32 billion) investment fraud made several online searches about money laundering after being stopped by customs officials, a London jury heard on Wednesday.

  • February 21, 2024

    Ex-Linklaters Atty Owes Saudi Royal $25M Over Missing Fund

    A former Linklaters LLP partner must pay at least $25 million after failing to return an investment fund to a Saudi princess, a London judge ruled Wednesday — but the final bill could reach nearly $40 million.

  • February 21, 2024

    Pitmans Can't Strike Out Negligent Pension Advice Claim

    Pitmans Solicitors, BDB Pitmans' predecessor, has failed to strike out allegations that it gave former clients negligent advice on a pension scheme, after a London court found Wednesday that it is "clearly in the interests of justice" that the case proceed against it.

  • February 21, 2024

    Insurer QBE Narrows Gender Pay Gap, But Bonuses An Issue

    QBE UK has said the gender pay gap has fallen across its organization and is below the wider gap seen in the insurance industry, despite the gender bonus divide remaining "an issue" at the insurer.

  • February 21, 2024

    EU Enforcers Detain 4 In €4.5M Money Laundering Swoop

    European law enforcement agencies said on Wednesday that they have arrested four suspects in Latvia as part of a multinational operation against a Russian-Eurasian criminal network and a finance company based in Malta that allegedly laundered €4.5 million ($4.9 million).

  • February 21, 2024

    Pension Climate Reporting Has 'Failed To Shift UK Investment'

    The government's climate reporting regime for pensions providers has failed to produce a meaningful shift in investment behavior away from fossil fuels, experts warned lawmakers on Wednesday.

  • February 21, 2024

    FCA Targeting Failings In Consumer Duty Compliance

    Some financial companies are lagging in their compliance with the Consumer Duty rules that came into effect in 2023, Britain's City watchdog said in a paper outlining areas requiring improvement.

  • February 21, 2024

    Finance Firms Shuttered For £3M Loan Notes Fraud

    Two financial firms have been wound up after misleading investors into putting at least £3 million ($3.8 million) into an unprotected bond scheme, according to the Insolvency Service.

  • February 21, 2024

    Satoshi Associates Deny Wright's Claim To Be Bitcoin Creator

    Two cryptocurrency specialists who had interactions with the pseudonymous inventor of bitcoin in the 2000s told a London court on Wednesday that they do not believe Craig Wright's claims to be the elusive Satoshi Nakamoto.

  • February 21, 2024

    Financial Adviser Sues Law Firm For Ex-Director's Legal Fees

    Financial services business Gallium has claimed a law firm failed to question why it paid £673,000 ($850,000) in legal fees for its ex-director "in his personal capacity" during a dispute with another shareholder.

  • February 21, 2024

    Burges Salmon Leads Insurer's £11M Spar Pension Deal

    Insurer Just Group said on Wednesday that it has completed an £11 million ($13.8 million) pension buy-in transaction with Spar (UK) Ltd., in a deal guided by Burges Salmon LLP.

  • February 21, 2024

    SFO Launches £140M Property Fraud Probe With Raids

    The Serious Fraud Office raided three homes and made four arrests on Wednesday in a criminal investigation into property manager Signature Group over a suspected £140 million ($177 million) investment fraud.

  • February 21, 2024

    HSBC Sets Out $2B Share Buyback After 2023 Profit Gain

    HSBC said on Wednesday that it will "shortly commence" a share buyback worth up to $2 billion as the British banking group looks to reward shareholders after posting record profits for the previous calendar year.

  • February 20, 2024

    Banking Oligarch's Wife Loses Russian Sanctions Challenge

    A Ukrainian-Russian tycoon's wife lost a bid on Tuesday to lift sanctions imposed on her after Russia invaded Ukraine, with a London court finding they strike a fair balance between the U.K.'s foreign policy objectives and her individual rights.

  • February 20, 2024

    Ransomware Group LockBit Hit By Coordinated Crackdown

    Two suspects linked to LockBit have been arrested and dozens of servers taken down as part of a global operation to disrupt the Russia-based ransomware group's activities, law enforcement agencies said Tuesday.

  • February 20, 2024

    EU Drops 4 Jurisdictions From Tax Haven Blacklist

    The European Union removed four jurisdictions Tuesday from its list of noncooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes, the Council of the EU announced, saying the jurisdictions had either resolved their deficiencies or were waiting for a review of improvements made.

  • February 20, 2024

    Addleshaw Goddard Hires ESG Expert From Clifford Chance

    Addleshaw Goddard LLP has recruited an environmental, social and governance specialist from Clifford Chance LLP as a partner in its London office, bolstering the law firm's ability to advise on sustainability issues.

  • February 20, 2024

    EU Negotiators Adopt Rules To Widen Market Data Access

    The European Union adopted rules on Tuesday that give investors across the bloc equal access to updated share and bond prices, as well as trading data, in the final step before these changes enter legislation.

  • February 20, 2024

    Liquidators, Claiming Fraud, Blast Tycoon's Bid To Keep $1B

    Liquidators of U.K. companies that allege a diamond and jewelry tycoon swindled over $1 billion from banks have denied forming trumped-up fraud accusations to destroy his business, telling a London court the businessman has suffered as a "consequence of his own orchestration."

  • February 20, 2024

    Pension Transfers Could Cost Savers £70K In Retirement

    Pensioners-to-be in the U.K. could lose about £70,000 ($88,500) in retirement when transferring their pension pot due to a lack of understanding of key information such as financial charges, according to recent research.

  • February 20, 2024

    Pension Numbers Shrink As Funding Grows, Watchdog Says

    The number of defined benefit pension schemes in the U.K. has decreased by 2% since 2022, according to a report published Tuesday by The Pensions Regulator that shows that funding levels for retirement savings plans are continuing to improve.

  • February 20, 2024

    Barclays Plans £1B Share Buyback In Boost For Shareholders

    Barclays PLC said on Tuesday it will launch a new share buyback program worth up to £1 billion ($1.26 billion) in the first quarter of 2024 as the lender looks to return excess cash to shareholders.

  • February 20, 2024

    Israeli Fintech Plans $175M Share Buyback, Dividend Payout

    Plus500 said on Tuesday that it will roll out a new share buyback program worth up to $100 million, as it looks to reward investors despite a sharp drop in revenue.

  • February 20, 2024

    Alleged Putin Ally To Face UK Sanctions Breach Trial In 2025

    A former Russian politician and alleged ally of Vladimir Putin will face a criminal trial in London in 2025 over allegations he breached the U.K.'s Russian sanctions regime, a judge said Tuesday.

Expert Analysis

  • Predicting DeFi Regulations At Home And Abroad In 2024

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    Though decentralized finance has advocates on both sides of the Atlantic in figures like U.S. SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce and U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, DeFi in 2024 seems likely to be folded into existing regulatory frameworks in the U.K. and EU, while anti-crypto scrutiny may discourage DeFi’s growth in the U.S., say Daniel Csefalvay and Eric Martin at BCLP.

  • Consultation Docs Can Help EU Firms Prep For Crypto Regs

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    Firms providing crypto services should note two recent papers from the European Securities and Markets Authority defining proposals on reverse solicitation and financial instrument classification that will be critical to clarifying the scope of the regulatory framework under the impending Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation, say lawyers at Hogan Lovells.

  • A Closer Look At Novel Jury Instruction In Forex Rigging Case

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    After the recent commodities fraud conviction of a U.K.-based hedge fund executive in U.S. v. Phillips, post-trial briefing has focused on whether the New York federal court’s jury instruction incorrectly defined the requisite level of intent, which should inform defense counsel in future open market manipulation cases, say attorneys at Lankler Siffert.

  • Investors' Call For Voting Changes Faces Practical Challenges

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    A recent investor coalition call on fund managers to offer pass-through voting on pooled funds highlights a renewed concern for clients’ interests, but legal, regulatory and technological issues need to be overcome to ensure that risks related to the product are effectively mitigated, says Angeli Arora at Allectus.

  • Litigation Funding Implications Amid Post-PACCAR Disputes

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    An English tribunal's recent decision in Neill v. Sony, allowing an appeal on the enforceability of a litigation funding agreement, highlights how the legislative developments on funding limits following the U.K. Supreme Court's 2023 decision in Paccar v. Competition Appeal Tribunal may affect practitioners, say Andrew Leitch and Anoma Rekhi at BCLP.

  • What Extension Of French FDI Control Means For Investors

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    The recently published French order on foreign investment control expands the regime's application to more sectors and at a lower threshold of share ownership, illustrating France's determination to maintain sovereignty over its supply chains in sensitive sectors, and adding new considerations for potential investors in these areas, say lawyers at Linklaters.

  • What To Expect For Private Capital Investment Funds In 2024

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    As 2024 gets underway, market sentiment in the private fundraising sphere seems more optimistic, with a greater focus on deal sourcing and operational optimizations, and an increased emphasis on impact and sustainability strategies, say lawyers at Ropes & Gray.

  • Cayman Islands Off AML Risk Lists, Signaling Robust Controls

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    As a world-leading jurisdiction for securitization special purpose entities, the removal of the Cayman Islands from increased anti-money laundering monitoring lists is a significant milestone that will benefit new and existing financial services customers conducting business in the territory, say lawyers at Walkers Global.

  • Cos. Should Plan Now For Extensive EU Data Act Obligations

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    The recently enacted EU Data Act imposes wide-ranging requirements across industries and enterprises of all sizes, and with less than 20 months until the provisions begin to apply, businesses planning compliance will need to incorporate significant product changes and revision of contract terms, say Nick Banasevic, Robert Spano and Ciara O'Gara at Gibson Dunn. 

  • How Decision On A Key Definition Affects SMEs

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    The Financial Conduct Authority's decision not to extend the definition of small and midsized enterprises may benefit banks and finance providers in the current high interest rate environment and where SMEs in certain sectors may be under financial pressure in light of the cost-of-living crisis in order to streamline it, says Rachael Healey at RPC.

  • What New Digital Sandbox Regs Hold In Store For UK Markets

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    The recently enacted Digital Sandbox Regulations will be key to incorporating distributed ledger technology into the activities of a central securities depository, but despite being a potentially transformative innovation, a number of considerations may need to be addressed to accommodate the trading, settlement and maintenance of shares, say Tom Bacon and Andrew Tsang at BCLP.

  • Why Investment In Battery Supply Chain Is Important For UK

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    The recently published U.K. battery strategy sets out the government’s vision for a globally competitive battery supply chain, and it is critical that the U.K. secures investment to maximize opportunities for economic prosperity and net-zero transition, say lawyers at Watson Farley & Williams.

  • What Extending Corporate Liability Will Mean For Foreign Cos.

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    Certain sections of the Economic Crime Act enacted in December 2023 make it easier to prosecute companies for economic crimes committed abroad, and organizations need to consider their exposure and the new ways they can be held liable for the actions of their personnel, say Dan Hudson at Seladore Legal and Christopher Coltart at 2 Hare Court.

  • A Consequential Moment For Sanctions Activity

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    It is clear from the U.K. Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation's review of the 2022-2023 financial year that the unprecedented scale of designated persons and the value of assets frozen as a result has placed enormous pressure on OFSI and its partners, say lawyers at Greenberg Traurig.

  • ECJ Ruling Triggers Reconsiderations Of Using AI In Hiring

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    A recent European Court of Justice ruling, clarifying that the General Data Protection Regulation could apply to decisions made by artificial intelligence, serves as a warning to employers, as the use of AI in recruitment may lead to more discrimination claims, say Dino Wilkinson and James Major at Clyde & Co.

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