Essential Corporate News – Week ending April 21, 2017

Publication | April 21, 2017

Introduction

Welcome to Essential Corporate News, our weekly news service covering the latest developments in the UK corporate world.

Companies House: Business Plan 2017 to 2018 – Changes to PSC regime

On April 19, 2017 Companies House published its Business Plan 2017-2018 and announced changes to the UK’s anti-money laundering measures, including changes to the current ‘persons with significant control’ or PSC regime.

Points relevant to the PSC regime include the following:

  • Companies House will implement the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AML) at the end of June 2017. This will build on the PSC register introduced in June 2016, extending the amount of information available about people controlling companies.
  • The PSC requirements will cover a wider range of corporate entities, including some which have previously not had any dealings with Companies House. Companies House will be communicating with these different types of business to ensure that they are aware of their new obligations, and can comply easily when the rules change. 
  • The introduction of the AML will also mean a change in frequency of reporting PSC information, with a move to reporting changes to PSCs as they happen rather than in a single annual filing. Companies and other entities will have 14 days to update their PSC register and another 14 days to send the information to Companies House.
  • As with existing PSC information, the information relating to those entities that were not previously included will be made publicly available on the register. However, PSCs that would be at risk due to their information being publicly available will be able to apply for that information to be protected, mirroring the provisions for those already on the register.
  • Companies House will work with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to prepare for forthcoming legislative changes that are likely to be implemented beyond this financial year, including creating a new register showing the beneficial owners of overseas entities that own or want to buy property in the UK, and of overseas entities involved in central government contracts.
  • Currently DTR5 companies are exempt from requirements to hold information about their PSCs. From June 26, 2017 these exemptions will change, and such companies may need to provide PSC information unless they are traded on an EEA market or market specified in Schedule 1 to the Register of People with Significant Control Regulations 2016.
  • From July 24, 2017 active Scottish Limited Partnerships (SLPs) must register PSC information with Companies House and report changes within 14 days. Every year, SLPs must confirm the details are correct and July 24, SLPs will need to give PSC information when registering a new SLP.
  • From July 24, 2017 any general Scottish Partnerships (SPs) where all the partners are corporate bodies, need to register PSC information with Companies House, report changes within 14 days and confirm this information every year in a confirmation statement.

(Companies House, Business Plan 2017 to 2018, 19.04.2017)

(Companies House, Changes to UK anti-money laundering measures, 19.04.17)

FCA: Mission Document, Business Plan and Sector Views published

On April 18, 2017 the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced it had published a series of documents outlining its prospective plans. The FCA has published its Mission Document, its Business Plan and its Sector Views. The FCA aims to be more open and transparent in decision-making and these documents set out how it intends to achieve these goals.

Mission Document

The FCA Mission Document builds on the analysis set out the FCA’s October 2016 consultation “Our Future Mission”. The FCA will follow the Mission Document with more detailed explanations of how it delivers specific regulatory functions – Authorisations, Supervision, and Enforcement – as well as how it interprets its competition duties and considers the needs of consumers. The FCA Mission Document is accompanied by a feedback statement, which gives more detail on the responses to the 2016 consultation.

Business Plan

The Business Plan sets out the FCA’s priorities for the coming year which include supporting the UK Government during Brexit, supporting consumers in Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) claims, examining vulnerable consumers, continuing work on high-cost credit and evaluating the issue of long term savings and retirement funds.

Sector Views

This document provides the FCA’s view of how the financial markets are working as a whole and within component sectors and markets. In relation to equity and debt markets, the FCA notes again that improvements need to be made in certain areas, including the IPO share allocation process and availability of information during the IPO process.

(FCA, Our Mission 2017: How we regulate financial services, 18.04.17)

(FCA, Business Plan, 18.04.17)

(FCA, Sector Views, 18.04.17)


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Jo Chattle

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