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Legal Update

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In its first enforcement action for a breach of the Short Selling Regulation (SSR), the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has imposed a fine of £873,118 on Asia Research and Capital Management Ltd (ARCM). The fine relates to ARCM’s failure to notify the FCA and to disclose to the public its net short position in Premier Oil plc, as required under the SSR. In our latest briefing, we explore the nature of ARCM’s breaches leading to the enforcement action, and discuss key learning points for firms going forward.

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced a ban on the sale of crypto-derivatives and exchange traded notes (ETNs) that reference certain types of crypto-assets (crypto-ETNs) to retail consumers. Firms who carry out marketing, distribution or selling activities in or from the UK of the relevant products to retail clients, will need to comply with these rules by 6 January 2021.

In a letter dated 18 August 2020 to the European Commission, ESMA sets out its recommendations for changes that could be made to the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) framework as part of the Commission’s review of the AIFMD. ESMA recommends changes in 19 areas including harmonising the AIFMD and UCITS regimes; delegation and substance; liquidity management tools; leverage; the AIFMD reporting regime and data use; and the harmonisation of supervision of cross-border entities. Many of ESMA’s recommendations would also require consideration of changes to the UCITS regulatory framework.

On 3 September 2020, Andrew Bailey, the Governor of the Bank of England, delivered a speech to the Brookings Institution regarding innovation in payments, setting out his view that innovations need to be underpinned by an appropriate regulatory framework to be suitable for use on a wider scale. In his view, stablecoins have the potential to be suitable for widespread use, but must meet the standards of other regulated payments to maintain consumer protection and promote consumer confidence.