Law and regulation

Insight / UK regulator hits Marriott with £99m data breach fine

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) plans to fine hotel chain Marriott International £99m for general data protection regulation (GDPR) infringements, just days after a record-breaking £183m fine for British Airways over a privacy breach

Insight / Regulator scrutinises charities in £10m money laundering scam

The Charity Commission has revealed it is undertaking a class statutory inquiry into London-based charities alleged to be involved in a scheme to launder £10m from the sale of counterfeit erectile dysfunction and slimming pills

Insight / FCA tightens controls on peer-to-peer lending rules

As the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) releases its latest rule book for loan-based, peer-to-peer platforms, Kam Dhillon, principal associate at Gowling WLG, explains the regulator’s latest attempts to improve investor protection

Insight / Data protection penalties hit £6.5m post GDPR

UK organisations were fined more than £6.5m for breaching data protection laws in 2018, over £2m more than the previous year, although tighter rules and controls under General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) have not yet resulted in major fines 

Insight / Payment scam victims protected under voluntary bank code

Victims of Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams are now more likely to get their money back following the launch of a new banking industry code, amid warnings that banks are being slow to use technology in the fight against financial crime

Insight / Implications of SFO reforms to privileged material

The Serious Fraud Office is working on clarifying the rules on reporting fraud and corruption in an effort to encourage more companies to come forward when they unearth wrongdoing. Alistair Graham, partner, and Paul Whitfield-Jones, senior associate, of Mayer Brown International LLP, consider the legal implications over privileged material

Tax / Employment law: 10 things you need to know

Patrick Day, associate director at Portfolio Payroll, explains the key legislative changes for employers and employees, highlighting compliance issues from the requirement for payslips for all workers to use of non-disclosure agreements and the increase in auto enrolment pension contributions

Insight / Treasury consults on £95,000 cap on public sector payouts

The Treasury is consulting on draft regulations to introduce a cap of £95,000 on exit payments in the public sector, which are being introduced in response to concerns about the number of such payments that exceed or come close to £100,000 and the need to ensure they represent value for money

Accounting / Law firms probed on anti money laundering compliance

Solicitors’ firms are to be inspected to ensure they are meeting anti-money laundering obligations, with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) revealing it will be carrying out checks on a sample of 400 law firms

Accounting / FCA fines UBS £27.6m for reporting failures

Swiss bank UBS has been fined £27.6m by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for failings relating to 135.8m transaction reports filed over a ten-year period, which breached the regulator’s rules regarding the information required to identify potential market abuse and financial crime

Insight / Engagement letters: what you need to know

Engagement letters are relevant to every accounting and professional services firm, irrespective of size or the services provided. It is crucial firms ensure their engagement letters are updated whenever a client relationship starts or terms change. Rachel Farris FCA CTA provides the top five tips for accountants

Audit / Section 2 notices raise risk level for accountants

Professional services firms, requests for documents and Section 2 notices under Criminal Justice Act 1987 could pose a risk for accountants and auditors as illustrated in the recent Omers case at the High Court, explains Andrew Wanambwa, partner at law firm Lewis Silkin

Insight / MPs call for better anti money laundering supervision

The Treasury select committee is calling for the government to do more to tackle economic crime, saying the anti money laundering (AML) regime should be strengthened, with proposals including introducing corporate liability legislation, reforms to Companies House, and removing HMRC’s responsibility for AML supervision

Insight / UK lags US in penalty enforcement for serious economic crime

The UK is lagging behind the US in holding large companies to account for serious economic crimes such as financial fraud or money laundering, according to research by Corruption Watch, which is calling for more effective legislation

Accounting / Extension of beneficial ownership register to overseas territories delayed

Plans to extend the public register of beneficial ownership of overseas entities to cover offshore Crown dependencies and overseas territories will not happen before 2023 at the earliest, the government has confirmed