The UK Financial Services Bill has officially become an Act in the first piece of financial services legislation published since the UK left the EU.
Changes brought about by the Act include increased sentences for insider trading and market manipulation, and increased powers for the FCA in overseeing the transition away from LIBOR.
Currently, under the Criminal Justice Act 1993, insider trading and market manipulation each carry a maximum prison sentence of seven years. The Act increases this to 10 years in both cases to bring it in line with the maximum sentence for fraud (also 10 years).
John Glen, the UK’s Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said: “For the first time in decades, the UK has full control of its own financial services regulation. This Act will protect people who rely on financial services day-to-day and boost the competitiveness of our dynamic global financial centre. It marks a major milestone in our plans to develop a regulatory regime that works for the UK and helps us seize new opportunities in the global economy.”
Firms should also be aware of changes made to responsibilities for maintaining insider lists. Under current legislation, it is unclear whether third parties who act on behalf of issuers must also issue a separate insider list of their own. The Act confirms that from 29th June 2021, listed issuers and anyone acting on their behalf must both maintain an insider list.
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