Scots are reputed to be an independent group, and recent gains by the Scottish National Party in Parliament support that claim. If Scotland separates from the UK, the ramifications for the banking sectors in both nations would be profound. What are the specific initiatives being recommended to ensure a stable Scottish banking industry?
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
The digital customer experience has become a key differentiator for banks, particularly for big players seeking to stay relevant against their nimbler counterparts. This has become even more important during COVID-19, when institutions have been expected to provide clear and transparent services to support and protect customers as they navigate the pandemic’s many challenges.
In March, the FCA launched its “In confidence, with confidence” campaign, aimed at encouraging employees and ex-employees of financial services firms to report potential wrongdoing directly to the FCA. Whilst the reporting of potential wrongdoing directly to the FCA is not a new concept, the launching of this campaign signals that the FCA continues to view whistleblowing as a key priority
The non-disclosure agreement can be an easy fix from an employer’s standpoint, but can it silence an employee who has signed one in any circumstance? Or do other legal provisions and obligations invalidate a signed NDA? One thing is definite. An employee should seek legal advice before signing an NDA as part of any employment agreement.
Today, cloud computing is not only critical to the future success of the European financial sector. It also sits at the heart of the continent’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan. However, due to concerns relating to regional independence and operational resilience, the European Commission (EC) is wary of financial institutions central to Europe’s success becoming too dependent on individual cloud providers.
Buy Now, Pay Later is regularly used to pay for big-ticket items in instalments, but thanks to digital technology, the method is becoming popular for numerous product and service transactions. BNPL digital providers help consumers, unable to pay the full price at point of sale, to stagger payments according to agreed-upon terms, often with no interest or fees. As with any payment method, there are pluses and minuses to consider.
Technology is bringing an assortment of benefits to consumers and their banks but also a slew of new or heightened risks. In the UK, regulatory authorities are addressing the looming threats by rolling out proposals related to Operational Resilience (OpRes). UK financial firms will be expected to adhere to new rules during the second half of 2021 and need to start preparing as the journey to compliance will be arduous.
As we approach International Women’s Day on Sunday, 8 March, I’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on just how far we’ve progressed since the first recognised National Women’s Day was observed in New York in 1909. We should be proud that the modern professional workplace is unrecognisable to the ones inhabited by the day’s first observants.
Taking on the mantle of governorship of a central bank is challenging, but for Andrew Bailey, the new governor of the Bank of England, the role couldn’t be more formidable. With the United Kingdom’s long-awaited divorce from the European Union around the corner, the country’s financial system will need all the help it can get to survive the inevitable turbulence. Bailey’s new job won’t be a walk in the park!
Transitioning from the London Interbank Offered Rate to the risk-free rate alternatives such as SONIA and SOFR was at one time a recommendation but is becoming a requirement, as the FCA’s LIBOR support will cease at the end of 2021. Transitions spell challenge, and this is true of the bond market as it faces LIBOR’s demise. What are some potential solutions that bond issuers should consider, especially for legacy bonds?