A number of factors are driving up the incidence of climate related litigation and enforcement which has been most marked in North America but other regions are now catching up. Financial institutions given their critical place in financing economic activity are increasingly the focus of action. Financial institutions are well advised to prepare for and mitigate the risk, for example, from reviewing their corporate strategies around climate change and carbon reduction to taking note of regulators’ expectations.
Our series, Finding Balance, maps the environment financial institutions must navigate to thrive in the post-pandemic global market. Starting in 2020 and finishing this year, we looked across our subsectors — at banking and insurance, financial sponsors, as well as financial infrastructure and payment providers — and re-evaluated the potential impact of the major global drivers of change in financial services such as ESG and digital transformation. The series also considers the risks to and pressures on financial institutions presented by increasing corporate indebtedness, the rise of alternative finance, and increasing regulatory scrutiny originating from the 2008 financial crisis.
Questions continue to arise over the interplay of the second Payment Services Directive with the General Data Protection Regulation. The European Data Protection Board has published draft guidelines.
The UK’s JMLSG has published new sectoral guidance on how cryptoasset businesses should manage money laundering risk.
Financial institutions face two categories of emergencies arising out of the coronavirus disease that could impair their functioning. The first is directly financial: a sudden drop in the value of financial assets, or loss of liquidity, whether domestically or elsewhere in the world that could lead to a national or even global financial crisis. The second is operational: the failure of the support structures that underpin the financial system.
The UK’s financial regulators have imposed a ban and fine of over £150,000 on the former CEO of Scottish mutual insurer, SBMIA, for misconduct involving his liability to tax.