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Category Archives: Finance and Capital Markets

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FCA Sets Expectations for Robo-Advisers

Many auto advisers and automated discretionary investment managers risk poor outcomes for customers by falling short of FCA expectations. By Nicola Higgs and Brett Carr The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued a statement outlining its expectations of firms providing automated online discretionary investment management (ODIM) services and retail investment auto advisers (auto advisors). The … Continue Reading

Could Spotify’s Direct Listing Process Be Used In Europe?

By James Inness and Sean Meehan Latham & Watkins recently advised the largest global music streaming subscription service in the world, Spotify, on its successful New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) listing using a novel direct listing process. Spotify’s direct listing did not involve a primary or secondary offer. In addition, no underwriters were appointed, no … Continue Reading

Scheme of Arrangement: Lessons From Bibby Offshore to DTEK

By John Houghton and Marc Hecht Latham lawyers, John Houghton and Marc Hecht, discuss insights gained from Latham’s work on major schemes of arrangement over the past few years, including Bibby Offshore, PrivatBank, DTEK, and Avangardco. The Debtwire podcast covers many of the scheme considerations stakeholders face, with particular reference to DTEK’s hat-trick of schemes … Continue Reading

New Kid on the Block – New UK Payment System Operator Takes Over

The consolidation of UK payment system operators marks another big step in delivering on the New Payments Architecture. By Stuart Davis and Brett Carr What happened? Operational responsibility for the Bacs and Faster Payments systems, which process a combined £6.3 trillion worth of payments annually, has transferred to the New Payment System Operator (NPSO). The … Continue Reading

Cryptocurrencies and Prepaid Cards Face Closer AML Regulation in the EU

New EU anti-money laundering measures have been approved by European legislators. By Stuart Davis and Charlotte Collins The European Parliament and Council have finally signed off on the text of the fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (known as MLD5). Overview The new directive is of particular interest to the FinTech sector as, amongst other things, MLD5 … Continue Reading

Poised for Next Payments Boom

By Christian McDermott In recent years, PE firms have been paying to play in the payment processing sector. From Worldpay and Nets, to Bambora and Paysafe, payment processing companies have proven to be attractive investments for European PE. In our view, a wave of regulation in the FinTech sector will unleash further growth potential, and … Continue Reading

Leaving Germany? Cross-Border Migration of German Real Estate Companies

Cross-border migration of German real estate companies is generally possible, however its admissibility must be determined on a case-by-case basis. By Christian Thiele International real estate investors continue to favour German real estate, however, the same does not always apply to German real estate companies. International real estate investors, for instance, often find German capital … Continue Reading

Opening Up Access to UK Payment Schemes

Bank of England announces that, for the first time, a non-bank payment services provider has accessed the UK payments system directly. By Andrew Moyle, Stuart Davis, Charlotte Collins, and Brett Carr The Bank of England has announced that a regulated payment services provider (PSP) has become the first non-bank direct participant in the UK’s Faster … Continue Reading

High Court Decision in Norske Skog: Puh! (Norwegian for Phew!)

Ruling confirms majority noteholder should not be disenfranchised from voting By Simon J. Baskerville, Sophie J. Lamb QC, Bradley J. Weyland, and Eleanor M. Scogings The English High Court held that it had jurisdiction in a cross-border dispute involving the Norske Skog group (Norske Skog), and confirmed that a majority noteholder did not “control” the … Continue Reading

FCA Statement on Cryptocurrency Derivatives

FCA warns providers of cryptocurrency derivatives of their regulatory obligations. By Andrew Moyle, Stuart Davis and Charlotte Collins The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued a statement reminding businesses offering cryptocurrency derivatives of the requirement to be authorised. The FCA explains that, although cryptocurrencies are not themselves regulated in the UK, derivatives that reference … Continue Reading

First Use of ESMA Temporary Product Intervention Measures

ESMA to introduce measures to restrict the provision of CFDs, and prohibit the provision of binary options, to retail investors in the EU. By Nicola Higgs and Charlotte Collins The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has announced the first use of its new product intervention powers under MiFID II. ESMA had announced before MiFID … Continue Reading

UK Government’s First FinTech Sector Strategy Launched at the International Fintech Conference

The Strategy emphasises the UK government’s continued push to create a world-leading FinTech sector. By Stuart Davis, Charlotte Collins and Sam Wong At the second International Fintech Conference held on 22 March 2018, Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced the launch of the UK’s first Fintech Sector Strategy. The Strategy includes the following key … Continue Reading

Why Green Bond Issuers and Underwriters Should Not be Deterred by US Securities Law

By Aaron Franklin The United States has the deepest, most liquid capital markets in the world, attracting issuers from across the globe. To sell to US investors, these issuers must comply with US securities laws, entailing a more rigorous diligence and disclosure process. Issuers must weigh the benefits of increased demand against the additional costs, … Continue Reading

Swiss Regulator Publishes ICO Guidelines

Swiss regulator offers assistance in navigating the regulatory framework. By Andrew Moyle, Stuart Davis and Charlotte Collins The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has published a set of guidelines, setting out how it intends to apply its financial markets legislation in the context of initial coin offerings (ICOs). Despite the growing trend for ICOs … Continue Reading

Global Ambitions for the FCA’s Sandbox

The FCA seeks industry feedback to capitalise on global regulatory sandbox trend. By Stuart Davis and Charlotte Collins The regulatory sandbox was pioneered by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) back in November 2015 — a “safe space” in which businesses can test innovative products, services, business models, and delivery mechanisms without immediately incurring all the … Continue Reading

UK Restructuring Scheme Case Study: Guiding Bibby Offshore Into Safe Waters

UK-based offshore and subsea oil & gas services company solidifies its position and completes ownership transfer to noteholders in major company milestone. By John Houghton and Marc Hecht The recent Bibby Offshore recapitalisation[1] is as fair and equitable a restructuring as the media has seen, offering creditors an example of what an effective restructuring requires. This … Continue Reading

Gas to Power Innovation Drives Global Opportunities

By John Balsdon and Matthew Brown By Way of Background Gas to power (G2P) projects provide an effective solution to power shortages around the globe. As the global demand for power continues to rise, outstripping supply in many nations across the world, existing power generation facilities cannot meet the needs of fast-growing economies and available … Continue Reading

FCA to Take a Closer Look at ICOs

By Stuart Davis and Charlotte Collins Following on from the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA’s) consumer warning on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in September, the FCA has announced a deeper examination of this area in its Feedback Statement on Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and related press release. The FCA stated that it will consider whether regulatory … Continue Reading

Increased Flex Amid Record Liquidity in European Leveraged Loans Requires Careful Navigation by PE Firms

By Chris Kandel The European leveraged loan market is going from strength to strength, with a continuing surplus of available credit compared to deal requirements, resulting in very borrower-favourable terms. However, we are seeing signs of a two-tier market emerging, with strong demand and pricing reductions for deals perceived as stronger credits, alongside an increase … Continue Reading

Payments Innovation and Competition in Retail Banking Services Stay High on FCA Agenda for 2018

By Stuart Davis and Brett Carr Driven by payments innovation and new regulation, 2018 is cited as the year for some of the most significant changes retail banking has seen. At the Westminster Business Forum for Digital Payments, Adoption, Innovation and Policy Priorities, Graeme McLean (Head of Banking, Lending & Distribution at the FCA) appraised … Continue Reading

UK Budgets for Fintech Growth

By Andrew Moyle and Stuart Davis The UK government’s 2017 Autumn Budget included some measures of particular interest for fintech firms, demonstrating the government’s continued commitment to making the UK a world-leading fintech hub. The government has provided only scant detail on these measures at present, but no doubt firms will be watching closely to … Continue Reading

ESMA Provides Further Clarity on Initial Coin Offerings in Europe

By James Inness and Stuart Davis Following our 7 November 2017 blog “Europe as a Hub for Initial Coin Offerings”, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published two statements on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). The statements underline ESMA’s interest in ICOs as a means to raise capital for enterprises, particularly given their rapid … Continue Reading

ECB Announces Support for Fintech Bank Applicants

By Andrew Moyle, Stuart Davis, and Charlotte Collins On 15 November 2017, the European Central Bank (ECB) published a newsletter containing an article on how the ECB is dealing with the increasing number of fintech bank applications. The ECB is the banking supervisor, alongside national regulators, for all “significant” banks authorised in Eurozone countries. As … Continue Reading

Europe as a Hub for Initial Coin Offerings?

By James Inness and Stuart Davis Initial coin offerings (ICOs) involve issuers offering virtual coins or tokens that are created and disseminated using blockchain or distributed ledger technology. Virtual coins resemble cash in a number of ways but may also afford holders additional rights, such as the ability to access the platform or software, or participate … Continue Reading
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