Law and regulation

Insight / FCA urged to act on pensions mis-selling

MPs are warning of a potential major pensions mis-selling scandal, after the work and pensions committee’s report on British Steel Pension Schemes (BSPS) found members have been ‘shamelessly bamboozled' into ongoing adviser fees and unsuitable funds, and called for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to take urgent action on defined benefit (DB) pension transfers

Insight / Barclays Bank faces SFO charge over $3bn Qatari loan

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has announced a new charge against Barclays Bank in relation to loans made to Qatari investors during the bank’s fundraising in the aftermath of the financial crisis, following on from earlier charges brought against the holding company, Barclays plc, and four individuals in June 2017

Insight / GDPR versus current data protection laws: what you need to know

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is due to replace existing data protection laws across the EU in May 2018, changing the way data storage and usage is governed and introducing harsh penalties for non compliance. Martin Hodgson of Croner-i Business Essentials looks at the differences between GDPR and current data protection law

Insight / Misconduct rules for insurers introduced

Senior executives in insurance are to be held personally responsible for misconduct, as part of plans to extend the senior managers and certification regime (SMCR) later this year, the Treasury has confirmed

Insight / Half of businesses unaware of incoming data laws

The government is urging companies to check they meet the requirements of the new data protection laws which come into effect in May, after research found that fewer than half of all businesses and charities are aware of the new regulations, with just four months to go

Insight / Anti-money laundering watchdog officially launched

A new watchdog, the Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS), which has oversight of the 22 anti-money laundering (AML) supervisors in accountancy and law, officially begins work this month as part of the government’s commitment to reforming the AML supervisory regime

Accounting / What accountants must do to avoid money laundering risks

With the Treasury warning about accountants’ vulnerability to money laundering, Aziz Rahman, senior partner at serious fraud specialists Rahman Ravelli examines what accountants can do to protect themselves

Insight / Charity Commission's funding under discussion

The Charity Commission has been awarded £5m from government per year to help it respond to significant increases in demand on its core regulatory functions, but is to consider asking larger charities to make a financial contribution to its work

Insight / Government to get tough on company pension failures

Prime Minister Theresa May has indicated the government plans to introduce sanctions for top executives who fail to protect employee pension schemes, as part of her renewed commitment to creating fairer pay practices

Insight / Guidance on disqualification rules for charity execs

The Charity Commission has published guidance on changes to the automatic disqualification rules which mean there are tougher restrictions on who can run a charity or hold senior management roles, plus details of how individuals can apply for a waiver from the new regulations, which come into effect from 1 August

Insight / Ex-BHS owner in court for failing to provide pension information

The former boss of BHS, Dominic Chappell, failed to hand over information on the retail businesses’ pension scheme to investigators despite being asked numerous times, a court heard

Insight / Oulton: privilege under scrutiny

The scope and circumstances in which legal privilege applies to advice is becoming increasingly narrowly defined and accountants need to be aware of potential risks, warn Mayer Brown partner Jim Oulton and solicitor Zahra-Rose Khawaja

Tax / Universal high speed broadband to be legal right

The government is to legislate to make high speed broadband a legal right, introducing a regulatory universal service obligation (USO), giving everyone in the UK access to speeds of at least 10 Mbps by 2020, in a move which will ease the introduction of HMRC’s Making Tax Digital online updating initiative

Insight / Plans for national economic crime centre to tackle fraud

There is to be a new national economic crime centre to tackle high level fraud and money laundering as part of a package of government measures to ramp up its approach to tackling fraud, bribery, corruption and money laundering

Insight / MPs call for pension scheme cold calls ban and better guidance

The work and pensions committee is calling for government action to ban pension cold calls and make people either take or expressly opt out of guidance before they can access their pension pot, saying pension freedoms have increased the risk of scams because savers are not taking advise from professional advisers