The Financial Conduct Authority has formally announced the dates for the cessation of all London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) benchmark settings currently published by the Intercontinental Exchange Benchmark Administration. This is an important step towards the end of LIBOR, providing market participants with a fixed timeline for its cessation. The announcement also adds pressure on market participants to complete their transition plans by the end of 2021.
The government has announced that interest-free buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) credit agreements will be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. At present, the BNPL market operates under an exemption from regulations for consumer credit lending. The announcement comes as a review of the unsecured credit market unexpectedly urgently recommends regulating all BNPL products.
Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey recently delivered a speech entitled "Reinventing the Wheel (with more automation)", in which he outlined regulatory changes that payments market participants can expect, including as part of the global regulatory response to stablecoins. Bailey emphasised the importance of not stifling innovation and highlighted the benefits that stablecoins, in particular, could offer.
In 2019 the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) hosted conduct roundtables with 18 wholesale banks termed the 'engine room'. The roundtables culminated in the FCA's latest report on the 5 Conduct Questions Programme, 'Messages From the Engine Room', which reflects the FCA's findings and perspectives. This article summarises the key takeaways from the report and provides commentary and questions that firms might usefully address.