Key Regulatory Topics: Weekly Update 28 July – 3 August 2023
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This week saw a number of updates relevant to UK consumer financial services markets, including a consultation and call for evidence launched by HMT on proposals to ban cold calling. More broadly, the FSB published reflections on the transition from LIBOR, as markets enter the post-transition phase and the PRA updated its banking supervision approach document to reflect recent developments in policies and approach. In Europe, ESMA published the official translations of the MiFID II guidelines on product governance requirements, triggering the application deadline and the EBA published a number of consultations relating to prudential regulation as well as the results of the 2023 EU wide stress tests.
FCA update on advice guidance boundary review and proposed core investment advice regime
On 3 August, the FCA set out the basis for its joint review of the advice guidance boundary with HMT, announced as part of the Edinburgh reforms. The following key themes and insights have emerged from the early phase of this work: (i) the solution to this challenge will not be met by changes to regulated advice alone. Firms need to actively engage and provide flexible forms of support that can adapt to different types of financial decisions; (ii) to provide more support to more people it will be necessary for firms and consumers to manage risk, rather than eliminate it; (iii) any solution will rely on support being provided on a commercial basis; and (iv) this review should leverage the Consumer Duty, to set clear expectations for the support that firms provide their customers and ensure that consumer protection remains at the core of any future regime. While the review is ongoing the FCA has published clarificatory guidance for firms who want to support consumers more, particularly during the increased cost of living, without providing a personal recommendation. This includes: (a) clear examples of where a conversation with a consumer would not be classed as a personal recommendation; and (b) examples of good practice where the FCA would expect firms to help consumers and comply with the Consumer Duty. The FCA also provides an update to its November 2022 consultation on proposals for a new core investment advice regime aimed at broadening access to financial advice for mainstream investments. Given the potential for more significant change that is now possible through the Advice Guidance Boundary review, and given the limited support from industry for the initial set of proposals consulted on, the FCA has decided to roll the development of these proposals, taking on-board the feedback received, into the broader review. The FCA aims to provide a further update in a policy paper to be published in autumn 2023.
FOS guidance on how to help consumers if they have problems with goods and services
On 2 August, the FOS published a blog post outlining how firms can help consumers if they have problems with goods and services bought using a debit card or a credit card. The FOS is concerned that consumers aren’t aware of the rights and protections available when using plastic cards and credit, including chargeback and Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. Uphold rates suggest an inconsistent approach among firms, with some not always explaining these processes clearly. The FOS has therefore updated its related guidance to explain more about: (i) the types of goods and services and issues in the complaints referred to the FOS; (ii) when chargeback and Section 75 might apply and how they differ; (iii) the FOS’s expectations of firms when handling a chargeback or Section 75 claim; (iv) the information the FOS will request when it gets a complaint; and (v) the factors the FOS will consider when deciding whether a firm acted fairly, including the relevant law.
HMT consultation and call for evidence on cold calling ban for consumer financial services and products
On 2 August, HMT launched a consultation and call for evidence on banning cold calling for consumer financial services and products. The government invites responses on the scope of the activities, persons and products captured in a ban on cold calling for financial services and products, as well as a proposed method for how the government will enact this ban. The consultation covers: (i) the current restrictions in place on cold calling for different financial services and products; (ii) what the proposed overall ban on financial services cold calling could look like, including the scope of the ban and how it could be enforced; (iii) how the government can publicise this ban; and (iv) potential impacts of this ban, particularly noting impacts to businesses and to persons with protected characteristics. The call for evidence is in relation to the draft impact assessment and aims to collect information and data that will allow a more rigorous assessment of the impacts on businesses. The deadline for comments is 27 September.
FCA cash savings market review 2023
On 31 July, the FCA published its report following a review of the cash savings market. The report analyses the current state of competition in the cash savings market, sets out the consumer outcomes the FCA expects, and the actions needed to achieve them. As part of an action plan set out by the FCA, it will: (i) require firms offering the lowest rates to provide their fair value assessments under the Consumer Duty by 31 August and take robust action by the end of 2023 against those who cannot demonstrate fair value; (ii) review the timing of firms’ savings rate changes each time there is a base rate change; (iii) publish an analysis every 6 months of firms’ easy access savings rates, listing distribution from best to worst; (iv) analyse the difference between on-sale and off-sale products, challenging firms to explain how large differences offer fair value and considering further action if this gap does not continue to close; (v) review firms’ performance on cash ISA to cash ISA switching; (vi) conduct further analysis into the contribution of cash savings to firms’ profitability; (vii) review the effectiveness of firms’ engagement with customers by the end of March 2024 and take action if firms have not effectively delivered the outcomes the FCA has set out; and (viii) work with others, including the Money and Pensions Service, to identify what more can be done to support consumers to save regularly, strengthening their financial resilience. The FCA expects firms to: (a) from today, use their fair value assessments of on-sale savings products to assure themselves and the FCA, where needed, that these represent fair value for customers; (b) accelerate their fair value assessments for off-sale accounts ahead of the July 2024 Consumer Duty deadline for off-sale accounts; (c) take action to prompt their customers in lower paying savings accounts or non-interest bearing accounts to consider alternatives; (d) closely monitor the effectiveness of customer communications, with larger firms providing the FCA with an evaluation by end 2023 and any follow up action they are taking; (e) support consumer financial resilience by encouraging customers to start saving and/or search for higher rates, with the largest firms committing to support a targeted firm-by-firm communications campaign; and (f) consider how they can support their customers to access the free advice available from MoneyHelper. The largest savings providers have also voluntarily committed to increase the efficiency of cash ISA to cash ISA switching, explore the potential for Open Banking to make savings work harder for consumers and work with the FCA to develop a savings dashboard which gauges consumer activity in the savings market. The FCA is continuing to monitor the market and will take further action if it doesn’t see significant progress by the end of 2023.
FOS on dealing with complaints about car finance commission
On 31 July, the FOS set out its approach to dealing with complaints about car finance commission in a blog post. The FOS notes that they are increasingly seeing complaints about car finance related commission, fees and charges. Customers have shared concerns that they were not aware of a commission or that the advice given was not impartial. The FOS highlights that it is important that: (i) customers (both consumers bringing a complaint and financial businesses responding) provide it with information as soon as possible when it asks for it and certainly within the agreed timescales; and (ii) businesses are providing meaningful and informative responses to consumers when they first bring their complaints to them, for example, being clear about the type of commission arrangement and any commission payment that was made. The FOS is beginning to see some commonalities in groups of cases that will help it to further establish its approach to investigating these complaints. The FOS will publish more guidance and examples to help businesses handle complaints and to help prevent complaints coming to the FOS.
Please see the Other Developments section for the FCA’s final revisions to its Disclosure Guidance and Transparency rules to streamline current provisions that set out how issuers with securities admitted to UK regulated markets must electronically structure annual financial reports. The FCA set out its policy in Handbook Notice issue 111.
Financial Crime and Sanctions
Please see the Consumer/Retail section for HMT’s consultation and call for evidence on banning cold calling for consumer financial services and products.
JMLSG revises guidance on the mitigation of impersonation risk in CDD
On 1 August, the JMLSG announced a revision to chapter 5 (customer due diligence (CDD)) of Part I of its AML/CTF guidance for the financial services sector. The JMLSG has revised paragraph 5.3.89 on additional verification checks that firms should apply to not physically present customers to manage the risk of impersonation fraud when their identity is verified electronically. The revisions have been submitted to HMT for ministerial approval.
JMLSG consults on guidance on cryptoasset transfers
On 28 July, the JMLSG began consulting on new guidance in relation to cryptoasset transfers in its AML/CTF guidance for the financial services sector. The new guidance relates to the amendments to the MLRs that implemented the FATF’s travel rule for cryptoasset transfers in the UK. The travel rule requires transfers of cryptoassets to be accompanied by certain identifiable information on the originator and the beneficiary of the transfer. The JMLSG intends to add a new Annex to its sectoral guidance for cryptoasset exchange providers and custodian wallet providers. The deadline for comments is 25 August.
Please see the Financial Crime and Sanctions section for the JMLSG’s consultation on new guidance in relation to in relation to cryptoasset transfers in its AML/CTF guidance for the financial services sector.
Please see the Sustainable Finance section for ESMA’s updated implementation timeline for the SFDR, TR, CSRD, MiFID, IDD, UCITS and AIFMD.
Markets and Markets Infrastructure
Please see the Recovery and Resolution section for a post implementation review on the Financial Market Infrastructure Administration (England and Wales) Rules 2018.
Official translations of ESMA guidelines on product governance under MiFID II
On 3 August, ESMA published the official translations of the MiFID II guidelines on product governance requirements. The aim of the guidelines is to strengthen investor protection and ensure that firms act in their clients' best interests during all stages of a product's life cycle. The guidelines shall apply from 3 October, two months from the date of the publication of the official translations.
ESMA updates Q&As on Crowdfunding Regulation
On 3 August, ESMA updated its Q&As relating to the EU Crowdfunding Regulation, adding new Q&As on: (i) the starting date of the 12 month period referred to in Article 1(2); (ii) applicability of the threshold in Article 1(2) (c); (iii) the activities that a crowdfunding service provider can engage in; (iv) what changes to the information supplied in an authorisation application warrant notification to the relevant competent authority; and (v) whether a legal person can be appointed to be responsible for the management of a crowdfunding service provider within the meaning of Article 12(2).
BoE consults on approach to discretionary payments by CCPs
On 2 August, the BoE began consulting on its proposed approach to its new FSMA 2023 power to temporarily restrict or prohibit discretionary payments to shareholders or employees of recognised UK CCPs in severe circumstances. The proposed Statement of Policy (SoP) seeks to clarify the types of factors the BoE may consider in assessing the statutory conditions for the use of the power, the types of circumstances that could lead to the statutory conditions being deemed to be met, and the BoE’s approach to the use of the power to support its objective to protect and enhance UK financial stability through ensuring the continuity of critical clearing services. The draft SoP is included in the Appendix to the consultation. The deadline for comments is 17 November. The BoE intends to finalise the SoP in Q1 2024.
FSB final reflections on the LIBOR transition
On 28 July, the FSB set out some reflections on the transition from LIBOR as markets enter the post-transition phase: (i) the FSB continues to encourage firms to consider their choice of reference rates and use benchmarks that are robust, suitable, sustainable and compatible with relevant guidance and regulation. The FSB recognises that, in some cases, there may be a role for risk-free rate (RFR) derived term rates and has previously set out the circumstances where the limited use of RFR-based term rates would be compatible with financial stability. Using the more recently created ‘credit sensitive rates’ (CSRs) risks undermining the progress made through the decade-long LIBOR transition; and (ii) market participants should continue to incorporate robust contractual fallbacks. The FSB will continue to monitor the reference rate environment, including the ongoing use of Term RFRs and CSRs with the benefit of ongoing insights from IOSCO.
Payment Services and Payment Systems
FCA response to government on freedom of expression and provision of banking services
On 3 August, the FCA responded to the government’s letter regarding freedom of expression and the provision of banking services. The FCA supports the government’s plan to further increase the required notice period for closure of accounts from 60 days to 90 days and will work with the banks and building societies to ensure effective implementation and, once the amended legislation comes into force, take action where this is not happening. In the coming month, the FCA will conduct a data exercise asking the largest banks and building societies to provide it with: (i) the number of account terminations and the reasons for these; (ii) number of complaints about terminations and their outcomes; (iii) the number of accounts opened; (iv) the volume of new applications refused; and (v) any relevant complaints data and information about policies and procedures. The FCA will provide an initial assessment by mid-September. The FCA notes that it will separately be publishing the terms of reference for its review into the treatment of politically exposed persons in September.
EBA consults on RTS on extraordinary circumstances for continuing use of an internal model
On 3 August, the EBA began consulting on draft RTS, supplementing the CRR, to identify extraordinary circumstances of market disruption, permitting competent authorities to waive certain requirements for the calculation of own funds requirements for market risk on the basis of internal models. The draft RTS establish a high-level framework for identifying a situation of extraordinary circumstances, setting out conditions that need to be met, and defining indicators that could support the identification of extraordinary circumstances. The RTS set out that only a situation of cross-border financial market stress, or a regime shift, can qualify as a situation of extraordinary circumstances, and only subject to the additional condition that this stress or regime shift impacts the validity of the results of the backtesting or the profit and loss attribution test (PLAT). Under these extraordinary circumstances, institutions may continue using their internal models for a trading desk, even if that trading desk does not meet the back-testing requirements or fails the PLAT, or they may disregard certain overshootings observed during the back-testing. The deadline for comments is 3 November.
EBA consults on amendments to guidelines on specification and disclosure of systemic importance indicators
On 1 August, the EBA began consulting on amendments to its guidelines on the specification and disclosure of systemic importance indicators. The EBA methodology for identifying global systemically important institutions (G‐SIIs) closely follows the approach of the BCBS for the identification of global systemically important banks (G‐SIBs), as they are referred to in BCBS terminology. To ensure consistency between the internationally agreed standards and the EU regulatory framework, the annex of the EBA Guidelines has been amended to replicate the yearly updated Basel reporting template. In addition, the guidelines introduce further clarifications on which relevant cross-jurisdictional indicators concerning SRM jurisdictions should be used for identification and, hence, reported and disclosed, without being considered “memorandum” nor “ancillary” items or indicators for the EU. The deadline for comments is 1 September.
Delegated Regulation on estimating default probabilities and losses given default under internal default risk model
On 1 August, Delegated Regulation (EU) 2023/1578 supplementing the CRR, with regard to RTS specifying the requirements for the internal methodology or external sources used under the internal default risk model for estimating default probabilities and losses given default was published in the OJ. The Delegated Regulation will enter into force on 21 August.
Delegated Regulation on treatment of non-trading book positions subject to FX risk or commodity risk
On 1 August, Delegated Regulation (EU) 2023/1577 supplementing the CRR with regard to RTS on the calculation of the own funds requirements for market risk for non-trading book positions subject to FX risk or commodity risk and the treatment of those positions for the purposes of the regulatory back-testing requirements and the profit and loss attribution requirement under the alternative internal model approach, was published in the OJ. The Delegated Regulation will enter into force on 21 August.
EBA new reporting requirements on interest rate risk in banking book
On 31 July, the EBA published its final report setting our draft amending ITS proposing new harmonised reporting requirements for the assessment and monitoring of institutions’ Interest Rate Risk in the Banking Book (IRRBB). The ITS include simplified templates for small and noncomplex institutions (SNCIs) and institutions other than large institutions and SNCIs (‘other institutions’) to bring the data quality required for assessing IRRBB risks on a scale proportionate to institutions’ size. The content of the ITS has been streamlined and simplified to fit the purpose of the underlying regulation as a result of the feedback received during the public consultation. The draft ITS will be submitted to the EC for endorsement before being published in the OJ. The first reference date for the application of these technical standards is envisaged to be in September 2024. The expected implementation period for the proposed changes is approximately 1 year.
EBA and ECB 2023 EU-wide stress tests
On 28 July, the EBA published the results of its 2023 EU-wide stress test of 70 EU banks. This stress test allows supervisors to assess the resilience of EU banks over a three-year horizon under both a baseline and an adverse scenario. The adverse scenario is characterised by severe negative shocks to economic growth, higher unemployment combined with higher interest rates and credit spreads. In terms of GDP decline, the 2023 adverse scenario is the most severe used in the EU wide stress up to now. The results of the stress test show that European banks remain resilient under the adverse scenario, when they absorb more than 496bn EUR of losses. On average, banks finish the exercise in the adverse scenario with a Common Equity Tier 1 ratio above 10%, which shows that banks can continue to support the economy also in times of severe stress. This year’s stress test includes some important enhancements including an increased sample with 20 more banks, the introduction of top-down elements for net fees and commission income and a detailed analysis on banks’ sectoral exposures. The ECB has also published the results of its 2023 stress test of the 98 banks under its direct supervisions. The stress test results show that the euro area banking sector is overall resilient to a severe economic downturn, as represented in the adverse scenario. The ECB has also identified several qualitative findings concerning banks’ stress test capabilities. Risk data aggregation issues still prevail across the full sample of participating euro area banks. In addition, some institutions showed deficiencies in some of the new elements of this year’s stress test concerning credit risk modelling at the level of economic sectors and leveraged finance exposures. The ECB and EBA tests are an important input for supervisors' Pillar 2 assessment of banks. In particular, the results will help supervisors when assessing banks' ability to meet applicable prudential requirements under the stress scenario, and form a solid ground for discussion between supervisors and banks on their capital and distribution plans, in the context of the normal supervisory cycle.
EBA and ECB findings of ad-hoc analysis on banks bonds’ holdings
On 28 July, the EBA published findings of an ad-hoc analysis of unrealised losses on debt securities held at amortised cost in EU banks. The size of these portfolios, their recent evolution, and the related unrealised losses have been an area of interest in recent months. The analysis considers the downside risk to banks should they, against expectation, be forced to liquidate, at a given point in time, all their bond holdings held at amortise cost and thus realise the unrealised losses. This assessment is part of the ongoing efforts to evaluate the downside risks faced by EU banks. It is performed on the same sample of banks included in the 2023 EU-wide stress test. The EBA finds that unrealised losses on bond holdings in the EU banking sector are currently limited in size compared to the overall solvency and liquidity profile of the banks. In addition, unrealised losses calculated for this exercise under the 2023 adverse EU-wide stress test scenario overall appear manageable. The ECB has also published an analysis relating to the significant institutions under its direct supervision. The ECB notes that the quantification of unrealised losses should be considered in the broader context of banks' business models and funding strategies. In particular, banks should pay due attention to interest rate risk strategies.
Recovery and Resolution
Post Implementation Review: FMI Administration (England and Wales) Rules 2018
On 3 August, a post implementation review was published on the Financial Market Infrastructure Administration (England and Wales) Rules 2018. The legislation sets out the detailed procedures that the BoE and the FMI administrator must follow for an FMI administration under the FMI Special Administration Regime for operators of recognised payment systems, recognised central securities depositories, and key service providers to these
operators as designated by HM Treasury. As the regime has not been utilised since its implementation and does not impose any requirements on firms who have not entered into administration, there has been no impact on firms to date. HMT continues to judge that the regime will enable the continued functioning of such FMIs in the event of failure and therefore considers that the rules remain fit for purpose.
EBA report on implementation of European resolution examination programme
On 3 August, the EBA published a report monitoring the progress made by resolution authorities in embedding the key topics identified in the EBA’s 2022 European Resolution Examination Programme (EREP) into their respective priorities and resolution colleges in 2022. The EBA’s findings include that overall, resolution authorities incorporated the work priorities set by the EBA, with MREL monitoring being a key focus. As of December 2022, resolution authorities were, overall, confident that most banks would reach their final requirements within the required deadline. 2022 was generally the first year when the management information system for valuation was considered a high priority area, with most activities focused on initial preparatory tasks. While resolution authorities expect that most banks will have adequate capabilities in place by 2024, this may require specific IT system improvements and identification and/or recruitment of staff with appropriate experience. The EREP priorities set for 2024 mainly confirmed the areas of focus set for 2023 although with updated specific elements and extension of the operationalisation of the bail-in tool to cover the operationalisation of the resolution strategy more generally.
ESMA sustainable finance implementation timeline
On 3 August, ESMA updated its sustainable finance implementation timeline for the SFDR, TR, CSRD, MiFID, IDD, UCITS and AIFMD. The timeline covers a number of implementation dates for measures under this legislation from 2021 until 2028.
UK sustainability disclosure standards guidance
On 2 August, the Department for Business and Trade published guidance on the UK government’s framework to create UK Sustainability Disclosure Standards (UK SDS) by assessing and endorsing the global corporate reporting baseline of IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards. To assist with the assessment and endorsement of IFRS S1 and IFRS S2, and any implementation of resulting UK SDS, the UK government has established two committees: (i) the UK Sustainability Disclosure Technical Advisory Committee (TAC); and (ii) the UK Sustainability Disclosure Policy and Implementation Committee (PIC). Members of PIC consist of UK government departments and regulators, including the BoE, FCA, FRC and HMT. Following endorsement, UK SDS may be referenced in any legal or regulatory requirements for UK entities. Decisions to require disclosure will be taken independently by the UK government, for UK registered companies and limited liability partnerships, and by the FCA for UK listed companies. The Secretary of State for Business and Trade will consider the endorsement of the IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards, to create UK SDS by July 2024.
EC adopts European sustainability reporting standards
On 31 July, the EC adopted a Delegated Regulation supplementing the Accounting Directive as regards European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS). The ESRS in this first set apply to all undertakings under the scope of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) regardless of which sector or sectors the undertaking operates in. The EC will monitor the implementation of the standards contained in this delegated act to ensure that they lead to the disclosure of relevant, reliable and comparable sustainability information. In future years, the EC is expected to adopt additional delegated acts for additional sets of standards. The CSRD requires the EC to adopt by June 2024: sector-specific standards, proportionate standards for listed SMEs, and standards for non-EU companies. The EP and Council will now formally scrutinise the Delegated Regulation. Should they not reject it, the Delegated Regulation shall enter into force 3 days after it is published in the OJ. It shall apply from 1 January 2024 to the undertakings that were already subject to the non-financial reporting requirements introduced by the Non-Financial Reporting Directive. It will be phased-in for other categories of undertakings.
BoE and FCA response to data standards recommendations from joint transformation programme
On 1 August, the BoE and the FCA responded to the Data Standards Committee’s recommendations to advance the use of common data standards for the purposes of regulatory reporting. The BoE and FCA broadly welcome the recommendations. The authorities, among other things: (i) agree that there is a need to create a taxonomy of financial data standards to classify and describe the standards currently used in regulatory and other data collection by the BoE, PRA and FCA; (ii) will work with the Industry Data Standard Commission to advise on the development of a framework to measure the costs and benefits arising from developing and adopting data standards, as well as the extent of adoption; and (iii) will publish a roadmap for simplifying and standardising regulatory and other data collection by the BoE, PRA and FCA. An update will be provided on the scope and timelines in the next phase of the joint transformation programme in Q1 2024.
PRA updates banking supervision approach document
On 31 July, the PRA updated its banking supervision approach document to reflect recent developments in policies and approach. The changes are set out in the Annex to the document and include a new foreword by the PRA CEO. In it, he explains that most of the changes from the original version of the document are evolutionary in nature, and aim to capture the ways in which the PRA’s approach has developed over the last ten years in light of experience. For example, it has aimed to make its approach more risk-based and flexible, updated its potential impact and risk assessment frameworks so that they can better accommodate the risks faced, made greater use of horizontal supervisory work to assess the risks posed across sectors, and continued to embed the use of horizon-scanning to identify areas of potential vulnerability. He flags in particular the significant change brought about by the expansion of the PRA’s rulemaking role under FSMA 2023. While the focus of this document is on supervision rather than policymaking, this will happen against a backdrop of changes to the PRA’s approach to policymaking in response to this reform.
HoL Economic Affairs Committee questions BoE on implementation of new FSMA 2023 responsibilities
On 28 July, the HoL Economic Affairs Committee published a letter sent to Andrew Bailey, Governor of the BoE in relation to the extension of the BoE’s remit under FSMA 2023. FSMA 2023, among other things: (i) places certain critical financial entities (once designated by HMT) under the oversight of the BoE; (ii) gives the BoE power to set regulatory requirements for systemically important CCPs and CSDs; (iii) creates a new Statutory Committee – the FMI Committee; (iv) introduces a new secondary objective for the BoE to facilitate the innovation in the provision of FMI services; and (v) extends the principles to which the BoE must ‘have regards’ to. To assist its ongoing inquiry into the operational independence of the BoE and assess whether it is being tasked with too much, the Committee asks how the BoE is planning to: (a) implement its new responsibilities; (b) manage the balance of these additional responsibilities provided by the FSMA 2023 with its other secondary and primary objectives; and (c) develop a transparent and efficient decision-making structure to reflect the addition of the new FMI Committee. Mr Bailey is asked to reply to the letter by 25 August.
FCA Handbook Notice No. 111
On 28 July, the FCA published Handbook Notice 111, which sets out changes to the FCA Handbook made by the following instruments: (i) Insurance: Conduct of Business Sourcebook (Customers in Financial Difficulty) Instrument 2023 – changes effective 31 July; (ii) Perimeter Guidance (Trading Venues) Instrument 2023 – changes effective 9 October; (iii) Periodic Fees (2023/24) and Other Fees Instrument 2023 – changes effective 4 July; (iv) Financial Resilience Reporting (No 2) Instrument 2023 – changes effective 1 January 2024; (v) Technical Standards (Electronic Reporting Format) Instrument 2023 – changes effective 28 July 2023; (vi) Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules Sourcebook (Electronic Reporting Format) Instrument 2023 – changes effective 28 July; and (vii) Handbook Administration (No 66) Instrument 2023 – changes effective 28 July. The FCA also provides feedback to its consultation on revisions to Disclosure Guidance and Transparency rules to streamline current provisions that set out how issuers with securities admitted to UK regulated markets must electronically structure annual financial reports. Amendments to the proposals in response to feedback to the consultation include: (a) minor changes to clarify that where an issuer digitally tags its own IFRS annual financial statements in the annual financial report using a generally accepted taxonomy, it may tag other parts of the annual financial report using any taxonomy specific to those parts; (b) minor changes to clarify that an issuer must resubmit a report that has been rejected within the required timeline; and (c) reinstatement of the original drafting of DTR 4.4.8R(1) on “Third countries – equivalence” to reflect feedback that the proposed changes were unnecessary and could be misinterpreted as extending the FCA's digital reporting obligations to certain overseas issuers who are currently exempted from DTR 4.1. The FCA has published a new Primary Market Technical Note containing guidance and deleted the related RTS.