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    UK Regulators Announce Measures to Address Impact of COVID-19

    March 26, 2020

    UK Regulatory Authorities published statements and guidance addressed to financial entities on dealing with the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. FCA announced extending the closing date for responses to its open consultation papers and calls for input until October 01, 2020 and rescheduling most other planned work. The delayed consultation papers include consultation (CP19/32) on new requirements to strengthen operational resilience in the financial services sector and consultation (CP20/3) on proposals to improve listed issuers' financial disclosures related to climate change. FCA also decided to delay certain publications that are due before the end of June, including joint the PRA-FCA work with the Climate Financial Risk Forum (CFRF) to develop industry led guidance on how to integrate climate-related risks into business decision-making across the financial services sector.

    Additionally, FCA has set out expectations for general insurance firms and provided information for consumers about what they should see from their insurance provider during the COVID-19 pandemic. FCA also provided clarifications in relation to suspension of products and policy renewals. The regulator emphasized the need for all general insurance firms to have plans in place to manage and mitigate the operational impact of COVID-19. FCA strongly requests all listed companies to observe a moratorium on the publication of preliminary financial statements for at least two weeks. FCA confirms it in talks with Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and PRA about a package of measures aimed to ensure that companies take the necessary time in these uncertain times to prepare appropriate disclosures and address current practical challenges; the three bodies (FCA, FRC, and PRA) intend to announce additional details shortly.

    HM Treasury and BoE announced a COVID Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) to provide additional help to firms to bridge through COVID-19 related disruption to their cash flows. The CCFF will provide funding to businesses by purchasing commercial paper of up to one-year maturity, issued by firms. By providing an alternative source of finance for a wide range of companies, the scheme will help to preserve the capacity of the banking system to lend to other companies, including small and medium-size enterprises, which rely on banks. FCA also published new guidance for mortgage lenders and administrators and small business lenders.

     

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    Keywords: Europe, UK, Banking, Insurance, Securities, COVID 19, CCFF, Climate Change Risk, ESG, FCA Handbook, Disclosures, General Insurance, PRA, BoE, FCA, HM Treasury

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