The chair of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Charles Randall, has warned that the United Kingdom won’t be able to deal with the risks of crime in the finance industry should a no-deal Brexit occur. This is because data sharing agreements between Britain and the European Union (EU) play a critical role in fighting financial crime.
During the financial regulator’s annual general meeting, Randall said that the UK had routed around 3.1 billion transaction reports to other EU authorities by the start of Summer. These are sent through European transaction reporting mechanisms.
At the meeting, Randall said: “Whatever shape Brexit eventually takes, maintaining and deepening our partnerships with international regulators and law enforcement agencies will remain vital.
It is important to stress that we cannot manage the risks of financial crime successfully unless we can share data in this way. Data sharing provides both the UK and EU countries with a vital foundation to tackle cross-border market abuse, including insider dealing and cross-market manipulation.”
In Brussels, where the Brexit negotiations are taking place, UK negotiators are fighting for preferential treatment over other non-EU bodies once the UK leaves the economic region. In particular, they warn that a break in data sharing deals could pose a significant threat to both parties.
At present, negotiations are still in the air. Whilst a transition deal has been agreed upon, it is not yet legally binding. Because of this, the watchdog has set aside £30 million ($39 million) to its EU withdrawal budget.
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Randall added: “Our business plan for the next year explains that we will continue to devote a considerable part of our resources to Brexit. I think it is important to say that meeting this funding requirement has required us to take difficult decisions elsewhere.”
FCA continues to safeguard consumers
One of the FCA’s main roles is to protect consumers against scams, fraud and other types of financial crime. One of the ways the watchdog does this is by publishing warnings on its website against unauthorised and clone firms.
Only today, the regulator has added two firms to its warning list – InstaFX24 and clone firm SP Financial Management Limited. InstaFX claims to provide forex and contracts-for-difference (CFD) trading through its several platforms.
However, the watchdog has warned that this firm is not authorised to provide financial services or products in the United Kingdom and consumers should take extreme caution when dealing with this firm.
SP Financial Management Limited, trading as Ubanka, has also been blacklisted by the watchdog. This is because it is claiming to be the legitimate firm SP Financial Management Limited (Firm Reference Number: 171137), an authorised mortgage broker, to scam investors.
The fake firm claims to be registered at Vajnorska, 100/B Bratislava, 831 04, Slovakia and operates through https://ubanka.eu/. Consumers should remain alert and avoid contact with the fraud company.