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Welcome to Essential Corporate News, our weekly news service covering the latest developments in the UK corporate world.
On March 31, 2016 the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) published Policy Statement PS13/16 setting out responses to feedback on its May 2015 consultation on corporate governance and board responsibilities, CP18/15, together with a final Supervisory Statement on board responsibilities, SS5/16.The Supervisory Statement identifies, for PRA-regulated firms, those aspects of governance to which the PRA attaches particular importance and to which it will pay particular attention in its supervisory role. The PRA notes that an effective board is one which establishes a sustainable business model and a clear strategy consistent with that model, articulates and oversees a clear and measurable statement of risk appetite against which major business options are actively assessed, meets its regulatory obligations, is open with the regulators and sets a culture that supports prudent management.
The Supervisory Statement covers the following areas:
In PS13/16 the PRA notes that responses were generally supportive of the approach taken in CP18/15 though there were requests for additional clarity on certain points that the PRA has taken account of in the Supervisory Statement. While the Supervisory Statement underscores the collective responsibilities of board members, it complements the individual accountabilities introduced through the Senior Managers and Senior Insurance Managers Regimes.
On March 29, 2016 the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published the thirteenth edition of its Primary Market Bulletin, which consults on a large number of changes to the UKLA Knowledge Base.
The proposals include the following changes:
The FCA also proposes the addition of several new Technical Notes as follows:
The FCA is also re-consulting on the addition of new Technical Note, UKLA/TN/713.1 (Sponsors: Application of principle to deal with the FCA in an open and co-operative manner), which was initially proposed in Primary Market Bulletin No. 7 and has been amended, following feedback received and the FCA's resulting update of the guidance.
Additionally, the FCA confirms that it has made changes to the Knowledge Base as proposed in Primary Market Bulletin No.12, including the amendment of one existing Procedural Note, the re-consultation on one new Technical Note, initially proposed in Primary Market Bulletin No. 11, and the amendment of thirteen existing Technical Notes.
The FCA also notes that it is giving further consideration to the feedback received on Technical Note UKLA/ TN/541.2 (Scope and application of vote holder and issuer notification rules) in Primary Market Bulletin No.12 and intends to respond to it in the next Primary Market Bulletin.
The FCA has requested comments on these proposals by May 10, 2016.
On March 24, 2016 HM Treasury published a summary of responses to its July 2015 consultation on using a Legislative Reform Order (LRO) to amend the Limited Partnerships Act 1907 for private equity investments so as to ensure that limited partnerships remain the market standard for European private equity and venture capital funds, together with the Government's responses to the comments received.
The Government intends to put forward draft legislative amendments in an LRO to be laid before Parliament in due course, with the intention being that the changes should be fully operational within a year.
Having listened to respondents’ concerns about some of the proposed changes, the Government has made changes to the details of some of the proposals, including the following:
IMO 2020 is almost upon us. Readers are well aware of the impending switch to 0.5 percent fuel mandated by Annex VI of MARPOL which will cause an anticipated drop in HSFO demand, the potential hazards of new untested LSFO blends, the concerns around scrubber operations, the debate over open loop versus closed loop, and the myriad of other risks associated with the impending regulatory change.