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Category Archives: Finance and Capital Markets

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European Banking Authority’s Draft Guidelines on Outsourcing: Discussion of Key Themes

The EBA’s draft guidelines on outsourcing will impact cloud outsourcing and institutions’ deployment of FinTech. By Fiona Maclean, Charlotte Collins, and Terese Saplys On 4 September 2018, a wide audience of interested individuals gathered at Canary Wharf for a public hearing (Public Consultation) to listen to what the European Banking Authority (EBA) had to say in relation … Continue Reading

Proposed Market Framework for Financing Small Nuclear Projects in the UK

By Beatrice Lo and Heeran Caselton The Expert Finance Working Group on Small Nuclear Reactors (EFWG), an independent group convened in January 2018 by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, recently published its report with recommendations for a market framework to enable the development of small nuclear projects in the UK with private … Continue Reading

Private Equity and Blockchain: New Infrastructure or New Asset Class?

By Andrew Moyle and Stuart Davis Growth in applications for blockchain and tokenisation, combined with an increasing number of initial coin offerings (ICOs), mean that buyout firms should note developments in this sector. Why Should PE Be Interested in Blockchain? A shared blockchain ledger could drive a single interface between a PE fund and its investors, … Continue Reading

Potential Additional German Capital Gains Tax for Real Estate Investors

Real estate investors with their corporate seat and management outside of Germany may be subject to German taxation on capital gains from share deals. Non-resident individuals (investing directly or through partnerships or funds) will primarily be affected. By Tobias Klass and Verena Seevers According to a German draft tax bill, the sale of shares by … Continue Reading

FCA to Create Global Financial Innovation Network

FCA teams up with other regulators to advance its idea of creating a global regulatory sandbox. By Stuart Davis, Gabriel Lakeman, Sam Maxson, Brett Carr and Charlotte Collins The FCA, along with several other financial services regulators, has launched a consultation on the operating framework for a Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN). This is an evolution … Continue Reading

Payment Systems Regulator to Review Card Acquiring Market on Competition Concerns

The PSR is to consider whether there is effective competition in the market and makes clear that further reviews of the payments ecosystem could be triggered by its findings By Brett Carr, Stuart Davis and Christian McDermott The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has issued Draft Terms of Reference for a market review into the supply … Continue Reading

FRC Releases Revised UK Corporate Governance Code… in 30 Seconds

The FRC has published a shorter and sharper Code which clarifies requirements for accountability, workforce engagement, and board diversity. By Claire Keast-Butler, James Inness, Richard Butterwick, and Anna Ngo The revised Code will apply to all companies with a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January … Continue Reading

FCA Speaks Out on the Ethics of Big Data

FCA Chair hints that new regulation addressing data ethics in the FinTech space may be on the horizon. By Nicola Higgs, Fiona Maclean and Terese Saplys Will societies of the future be ruled by algocracy, in which algorithms decide how humans are governed? Charles Randell, Chair of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Payment Systems … Continue Reading

German Federal Court: Property Sellers Who Withhold Usage History Risk Liability

FCJ decision finds that mere suspicion of contamination resulting from a sold property’s past use constitutes a defect. By Patrick Braasch and Christian Thiele The German Federal Court of Justice (FCJ) has ruled that an abstract suspicion of contamination resulting from a sold property’s past use already constitutes a material defect — irrespective of the … Continue Reading

Nuclear Sector Deal — Financing New UK Nuclear Power Projects

By Beatrice Lo and Heeran Caselton The UK government recently published its Nuclear Sector Deal (Sector Deal) as part of the UK’s modern industrial strategy. Recognising the sector’s strategic importance in delivering future energy security, the Sector Deal reconfirmed the government’s commitment to upgrading the UK’s nuclear infrastructure and support for new build nuclear projects. … Continue Reading

FCA Supports Guidelines on the Open Banking Fall-Back Provisions Exemption

The FCA has outlined its approach to implementing key standards under the revised Payment Services Directive. By Christian McDermott, Stuart Davis, Brett Carr, and Charlotte Collins The FCA has published a statement on its website relating to the European Banking Authority’s (EBA’s) Opinion and draft Guidelines of 13 June 2018 on the Regulatory Technical Standards … Continue Reading

UK Financial Services Regulators Warn Firms About Risks of Exposure to Crypto-assets

Both the FCA and the PRA have written to firms to warn about certain risks associated with exposures to crypto-assets, and to advise firms of the measures they should consider implementing to mitigate such risks. By Stuart Davis and Charlotte Collins The FCA and the PRA have each written a “Dear CEO” letter to firms, … Continue Reading

MiFID II Research Unbundling 6 Months on – what are we seeing in the market?

The FCA has recently announced that it will begin a review of how firms have implemented the unbundling rules “within weeks”. By Beatrice Lo and Jonathan Ritson-Candler At its recent asset management conference, the FCA announced that it will imminently launch a review of how asset managers have implemented the new MiFID II obligation to … Continue Reading

Real Estate Transfer Tax: Putting an End to Share Deals?

The Conference of the German Ministers of Finance has announced measures against so-called share deal structures following the conclusion of the respective technical federal-state working group. By Tobias Klass Background So-called share deal structures have been the focus of German political debate about real estate transfer tax (RETT) for some time. The coalition agreement already … Continue Reading

New Listing Rules for Sovereign Controlled Companies … In 30 Seconds

The Financial Conduct Authority has published final rules creating a new category within its premium listing regime for companies controlled by a shareholder that is a sovereign country. By James Inness, Claire A. Keast-Butler, and Koushik K. Prasad From 1 July, 2018, an issuer with a sovereign state as its controlling shareholder will be eligible … Continue Reading

UK Fair and Effective Markets Review Progress Report — A One-Stop Shop

FEMR progress report commends the efforts of firms to drive higher market standards By Rob Moulton and Katy Sanders HM Treasury (HMT), Bank of England (BoE), and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have issued a progress report in relation to the Fair and Effective Markets Review (FEMR). The progress report follows almost three years after … Continue Reading

Recent Developments in the German W&I Insurance Market

Increased competition among insurers and improved policy terms suggest the German W&I insurance market is becoming more favourable to investors. By Christian Thiele In real estate transactions, buyers and sellers naturally pursue conflicting interests when negotiating a sale and purchase agreement. On the one hand, sellers will strive to achieve the highest possible purchase price, … Continue Reading

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
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