Top five blog posts from 2021
11 January 2022
Our top five most read UK blog posts from 2021 hint at what readers were most concerned about, namely financial crime, corporate liability and emerging crypto-asset risks. We expect these to be hot topics for 2022 too given law reforms in these areas in many jurisdictions, and evolving regulatory expectations.
- Crypto-crime - Topping our chart is The FCA bares its teeth in fight against crypto-crime which highlighted FCA action in the crypto-asset space so far. We can expect to see lots more of that this year, and not just in the UK. The U.S. authorities have also been actively focussing on this area, as have many other regulators across the globe.
- Bribery and corruption - Closely following behind is A decade of the Bribery Act - lessons for companies from enforcement actions so far which focussed on seven key lessons for companies drawn from our analysis of SFO enforcement against companies under the Bribery Act 2010. Companies should make sure their ABAC compliance policies and practices are up to date, and working as intended. The U.S. Biden administration has said very recently that bribery and corruption enforcement is a U.S. national security priority, so we expect to see increased FCPA enforcement. These cases tend to spread across the Atlantic to impact non-U.S. companies too.
- Corporate criminal liability - Calls to reform corporate criminal liability continue unabated. Our post on UK corporate criminal liability reform looked at what the future may hold if English law is amended to make it easier to attach criminal liability to a company. One of the options being considered is extending the 'failure to prevent' model (used already in relation to the facilitation of tax evasion and bribery) to more types of crime. The Law Commission consulted on corporate criminal liability in 2021, and the report is currently due.
- Financial crime reporting obligations - 4500 more firms are due to come into scope of rules on annual financial crime reporting from 1 March which is likely why our post on UK FCA extends annual financial crime reporting obligations to more firms was popular. We explained what this means for the firms coming into scope of the rules, and how they can take some benefit from the new obligation.
- More powers to fight economic crime: Last on our Top Five list is Economic crime UK legislative reforms impacting businesses, which considered potential UK law reforms on information sharing in the private sector to fight financial crime, the suspicious activity reporting regime, the anti-money laundering regime and a proposed power to block new listings on national security grounds. The outcome of the various consultations is still awaited.
We will continue to monitor developments in 2022, which, judging from the amount of unfinished business (see above) could be a busy year for this blog.