FCA

FCA Makes Platform Switching Easier

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have today announced some measures to improve competition in the platforms market. Experienced investors who use electronic trading platforms will be well aware of the problems of switching to another provider if they are dissatisfied with the service, wish to move to a cheaper provider or for other reasons such as consolidating on one provider or spreading their risk over several. It simply takes too long to move “in-specie” holdings from one platform to another  ̶  ...

The Unstoppable Glacier of Government’s Concerted Actions?

By Cliff Weight, Director, ShareSoc We sometimes see things changing at a glacier-like pace. But once a glacier starts moving it has huge momentum and is unstoppable. My question is: is this metaphor applicable to the way Government is behaving with regard to business? The civil servants who drive Government policy transcend the short lives of Parliament. Taking this perspective what do we see? My take on this is as follows. The Financial Crisis terrified nearly everyone. We stared into the abyss. We were ...

FCA Sector Views- ShareSoc+UKSA response

The Financial Conduct Authority’s Sector Views publication provides its annual analysis of the changing financial landscape, the resulting impacts on consumers and market effectiveness. This analysis will feed into the FCA Business Plan 2019/20. Although the Sector Views are not a consultation, the FCA are interested in the views of stakeholders on its findings. ShareSoc & UKSA made a joint submission. The main points we made were: We are appalled that Sector Views fails to give sufficient weight to the damning criticisms of ...

FCA Views of the Financial Landscape

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have published a document entitled “Sector Views” giving their annual analysis of the UK financial landscape and how the financial system is working – see https://tinyurl.com/yc492lkt. For retail investors there is a chapter on “Retail Investments” which is particularly worth reading. But we also learn that the “FCA continues to plan for a range of scenarios regarding Brexit” which is good to hear. I somehow doubt it will be settled tomorrow (15th January) in Parliament – I ...

Response to Illiquid Assets Consultation cp18-27

Today, 17 December 2018, ShareSoc and  the UK Shareholders Association  submitted to the FCA a joint response on behalf of individual investors to this consultation. The key points we made were: UKSA and ShareSoc represent the 5 million people who own shares and have investment accounts with platforms in the UK. We represent the individual investors who own 12% of the UK stock market: they own 30%, if you include their investments via funds, pensions, etc. Our view is that better labelling of these ...

Blancco AGM and Regulatory Landscape

Today I attended the Annual General Meeting of Blancco Technology Group (BLTG). This technology company is now focused on the data erasure market which is surely a growing one. I have commented on this company before (see links below), particularly as the company, and its shareholders, seemed to be a victim of false accounting – an issue that is way too prevalent of late. The legal framework under which companies, their directors and the regulatory bodies operate just seems to be too ...

New FCA consultation on CFDs – Request for help

by Cliff Weight, Director, ShareSoc The FCA have launched a new consultation on CFDs and “retail derivatives”: https://www.fca.org.uk/publications/consultation-papers/cp18-38-restricting-contract-difference-products-sold-retail-clients-and-discussion-other-retail  We are circulating this to members to see if anyone has specific experience and competence to be able to respond – and is willing to help. The FCA have asked 17 specific questions. Our approach to consultations is to only answer those questions where we have particular knowledge.  We usually write a covering letter highlighting our views about the key issues and then give the answers ...

Banks Claims Group Limited, FCA and RBS

Neil Mitchell, who ran Torex Retail before he blew the whistle on an earlier fraud at the software company and RBS’s Global Restructuring Group took control of the business, has applied for a judicial review of a UK Financial Conduct Authority decision in July that its options for taking action were “limited”. Neil, who claims to represent 530 complainants affected by alleged wrongdoing at GRG, alleges in his judicial review application that the FCA has been “unlawfully refusing or failing” to ...

FRC and FCA Investigations: Managing expectations, and Blancco news

Peter Parry and I now have regular meetings with the FRC and FCA to discuss topics of interest. We met Jen Sisson of the FRC on 23 Sep and...

Too Much Cash, Wey Education and Patisserie Accounts

Are you stacked up with cash in your ISAs, SIPPs, and direct portfolios? As a dedicated follower of fashion (if the markets are falling as investors sell, then so do I) it is of some concern that the cash is not earning any interest. There was some relatively good news yesterday from soon to be listed A.J.Bell Youinvest. They are increasing the interest they pay on cash held in portfolios. Previously you got 0.05% on balances more than £50,000. It will ...