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FCA

Tracing its heritage to 1787 (that's a year, not a time), Raphaels Bank is one of the oldest independent banks in the UK. The bank says "today, we operate as a dynamic, niche savings and lending bank." It also operates "our own ATM Estate" and says it's a "well-established payment services provider." That, it is hard to escape concluding, is that this venerable institution is capitalising on its size and ability to operate in areas more usually associated with secondary institutiond and fintech companies. But for such a tiny business, it comes to the attention of regulators more than is healthy.

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Press release: 20 March 2019 (verbatim)

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and European Banking Authority (EBA) are announcing today that they have agreed a template Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The template sets out the expectations for supervisory cooperation and information-sharing arrangements between UK and EU/EEA national authorities.

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A temporary permissions regime was put in place in January after the House of Commons rejected the May/EU deal. Exit day may have been postponed for a short time but increasingly there is a possibility that contingency plans must be made. Time is running out to act under the regime, unless the FCA chooses to extend it. The deadline is, as of now, 28th March 2019.

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The advance fee, or 419, scam industry is always looking for new opportunities and the fraudsters like to use genuine background as the reason they make contact with potential victims. A case in the High Court of England and Wales has created the conditions that are ideal for fraudsters as a hook.

The UK's Financial Conduct Authority has, far too late, waded into the scandal over businesses that offer completely unnecessary, and very costly, services relating to the mis-selling of Personal Protection Insurance. The industry around selling what amounts to little more than form-filling assistance and which has collected in excess of GBP1,000 million, has force-fed advertising and is now ramping up the pressure on those who have not yet made a claim. The FCA has countered with its own advert. It's rubbish and in the wrong place.

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Sixty-four year old Dharam Prakash Gopee has been convicted of being an illegal money lender. At Southwark Crown Court in London last week he was sentenced to three and a half years in jail. But it's the Financial Conduct Authority's action that makes the case interesting.

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One has to ask what took so long.. after American regulators and prosecutors began attacking European banks for failures in the USA European regulators remained surprisingly reticent about taking action against foreign banks, especially American banks. While it may not be blowback (US banks have long gone their own way in London, as have German and Japanese banks but there have been occasional action against those) it is certainly time that US banks were not treated as a special case. In the latest example, Merrill Lynch has been ordered to pay a penalty that, relative to the scale of the failure and corresponding penalties in the USA, seems relatively small.

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The UK's Financial Conduct Authority has published a table setting out "the total amount of fines so far." It's a head-shaking moment.

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