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The UK’s new prime minister, Boris Johnson, has vowed that the UK will leave the EU on October 31, 2019. A unilateral (or “hard”) Brexit poses many privacy and data protection challenges for companies that operate in the UK.  Post-Brexit privacy and data protection issues that you need to consider include:

  • how to maintain uninterrupted

On 7 June 2019, Regulation (EU) 2019/881 on ENISA (the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) and on information and communications technology cybersecurity certification, also known as the Cybersecurity Act, was given the final go-ahead and published in the Official Journal of the European Union.  The Cybersecurity Act will come into force

The UK Jurisdiction Taskforce (UKJT) recently published a consultation paper requesting submissions from stakeholders working with, or interested in, cryptoassets, distributed ledger technology (DLT) and smart contracts. Submissions will inform a legal statement by UKJT which will aim to settle questions on the legal status of cryptoassets and smart contracts. UKJT is drawn from industry,

R. Raphael & Sons plc (Raphaels) has received fines totalling £1,887,252 from the FCA and PRA for repeated failings in relation to inadequate systems and controls supporting the oversight and governance of its outsourcing arrangements.

Raphaels outsourced certain functions that supported payment services for its prepaid and charge card programmes in the UK

On 18 February 2019, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) updated their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with an aim to reinforce and develop their cooperation, collaboration, and information and intelligence sharing.

Cooperation and information sharing

The ICO and FCA have set out what matters they will communicate with each other and the exchange of information between them. Subject to legal restrictions on the disclosure of information, the ICO and FCA have agreed to:
Continue Reading FCA and ICO strengthen cooperation in renewed memorandum of understanding

At the end of 2018 the UK Treasury Committee announced that it would launch an inquiry into information technology (IT) failures in the financial services sector. The Treasury Committee has stated that it will appoint a specialist advisor to help provide analysis and aid the inquiry.

The past 18 months have seen numerous IT failures in the financial services sector. Equifax, Barclays and TSB have all suffered incidents, to name a few. TSB is arguably the highest profile case, when 1.9 million customers were logged out of their online banking accounts for up to a month and with some customers also claiming to have been able to view other customers’ bank details. This occurred after the bank attempted to migrate customer information from its former owner to current owner Banco Sabadell.

The inquiry by the Treasury Committee is set to explore the common causes of such operational incidents, to better understand what consumers have lost as a result of the failures, and also to determine whether regulators such as the Bank of England Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority have the necessary ability and power to hold firms involved to account.
Continue Reading HM Treasury inquiry into IT failures in the financial services sector

On 18 December 2018, the European Commission published draft ethics guidelines for trustworthy AI. The guidelines are voluntary and constitute a working document to be updated over time. The guidelines have been opened up to a stakeholder consultation process.

The guidelines recognise that there are benefits to be gained from AI, but that humankind can only reap the benefits if we can trust the technology (in other words, that the technology contains trustworthy AI). An overarching principle in the guidelines is that AI should be human-centric, with the aim of increasing human well-being.

Trustworthy AI is defined as having two components:

  1. respect for fundamental rights, ethical principles and societal values – an “ethical purpose”, and
  2. be technically robust and reliable.

The guidelines set out a framework for implementing and operating trustworthy AI, aimed at stakeholders who develop, deploy or use AI.Continue Reading Draft ethics guidelines for trustworthy artificial intelligence published by the European Commission

Mark Carney’s extension as the governor of the Bank of England to January 2020 was put in place to ensure a smooth Brexit.

Mr Carney has become increasingly vocal in his attempts to maintain financial stability during that period. This has resulted in ‘Brexiteers’ hurling accusations of fuelling “Project Hysteria” after the bank published its economic analysis of Brexit at the end of November. To help mitigate such gloomy predictions, what else could Mr Carney do to support an orderly exit (and possibly create a lasting legacy for himself)?

Back in June, Mr Carney spoke about modernising the UK bank payment system by rebuilding the Bank of England’s real time gross settlement (RTGS) service “so that new private payment systems, including those using distributed ledgers, can simply plug into our system”, which includes those running off blockchain technology.[1]Continue Reading The fintech Carney-val

London has historically been considered the centre of European financial services. Now it is also viewed as the capital of financial technology (FinTech). However, with the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit becoming ever more real, and increasing attempts to lure FinTech firms to the continent, London’s title is under threat.

London provides a haven where