UK Financial Insights from Katten is a monthly newsletter highlighting key noteworthy developments potentially affecting financial markets and funds in the UK and Europe.

To read more issues of UK Financial Insights from Katten, please click here.

Companies House Reforms Begin to Bite on 4 March 2024

By Oliver Williams, Chris Harrison, Edward Tran, David Wood, Omar Malek, Alex Potten, Alex Taylor, George Warren

Further to the publication of the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (the Act) (see our previous advisory), we are now beginning to see many of the measures that relate to Companies House beginning to bite. We have summarised below various changes to communication, lawful purpose, and increased power and fees, that came into force on 4 March 2024, as they affect UK companies. Read Katten's advisory.

Sarah Bates: From Manchester's Oxford Road to UK's Pension Powerhouse - A Journey of Success and Diversity

Hosted by Neil Robson

From her humble beginnings in Manchester's Oxford Road, Sarah Bates has carved out an impressive career in the UK's financial sector. In the latest episode of (mis)Conduct, Money & Reputation, we take a closer look at her journey, her contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and her perspective on the current state of asset management. Sarah co-founded The Diversity Project, an initiative to improve DEI in the UK's savings and investment sector. Katten Financial Markets and Funds Partner Neil Robson and David Masters of reputation specialists Lansons/Team Farner spoke with Sarah about those challenges, the state of current regulation and how asset managers can improve their reputation with clients. Read about this (mis)Conduct, Money & Reputation podcast episode.

UK Law Commission Publishes Draft Digital Assets Bill and Call for Evidence on Digital Assets in Private International Law

By Neil Robson, Carolyn Jackson, Nathaniel Lalone, Christopher Collins, Ciara McBrien, Sara Portillo

On 22 February, the UK's Law Commission (Commission) published a consultation (Consultation) in relation to its draft Digital Assets Bill (Draft Bill), including two key clauses confirming that digital assets are capable of being recognised as personal property under English law. Separately, the Commission also issued a call for evidence (Call for Evidence) to examine the appropriate courts and law under which parties should litigate when dealing with international digital assets disputes. Following its June 2023 final report (Final Report) on its recommendations for digital assets reform, the Commission has published the Consultation in relation to its Draft Bill to confirm that digital assets (such as crypto-tokens) can be recognised under English law as property. For more information on the Final Report, please see our article available here. Read about the Digital Assets Bill.

Nathaniel Lalone Discusses Potential FCA Public Disclosure of Investigations

Financial Markets and Funds Partner Nathaniel Lalone spoke with Law360 regarding the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) proposal to publicly identify firms it investigates when doing so is "in the public interest." The move is supposed to assure the public that it is "on the case" while deterring bad actors. Nate noted that the move would be out of step with the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Wells process that maintains confidentiality until late in the process to encourage the exchange of information during an investigation. Read about Nate's comments.