On August 16, 2016, the SEC announced that Health Net, a California-based health insurance provider, will pay $340,000 to settle charges that it illegally used severance agreements requiring outgoing employees to waive their ability to obtain monetary awards from the SEC’s whistleblower program. This is the third enforcement action the SEC has brought for violations of Rule 21F-17 of the Exchange Act, which promotes whistleblowing to the SEC by providing in relevant part, “No person may take any action to impede an individual from communicating directly with the Commission staff about a possible securities law violation including enforcing, or threatening to enforce, a confidentiality agreement . . . with respect to such communications.”

Continue Reading SEC Brings Enforcement Action for Violating Whistleblower Protection Rule

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) has announced a new senior managers and certification regime, which will apply to senior managers of U.K. banks and buildings societies from March 2016. The changes to the FCA’s approved persons regime implement the recommendations of the U.K. Parliament’s Banking Standards Commission, which was set up to find ways to improve the culture and the conduct of individuals within the financial services industry, following the financial crisis and a number of high profile cases, including Payment Protection Insurance misselling and the alleged manipulation of LIBOR and foreign exchange rates.
Continue Reading Continuing Regulatory Focus on Bankers’ Conduct: FCA Announces Stricter Approach to the Regulation of Senior Managers of U.K. Banks

The Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) confirmed that, in December 2014, it began an investigation into Bank of England liquidity auctions. This comes as a result of a Bank of England commissioned independent inquiry which reported on possible manipulations of auctions held by the Bank in 2007 and 2008.

Continue Reading Serious Fraud Office Confirms Investigation into Bank of England Liquidity Auctions

On 17 February, the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee published its report on the architecture of policing in the United Kingdom (Home Affairs Committee – Evaluating the new architecture of policing: the College of Policing and the National Crime Agency, HC800, 17 February 2015. This report follows a period of five years of restructuring and reshaping policing at the national level in the United Kingdom, all of which was done to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

Continue Reading U.K. Home Affairs Committee – Evaluating the National Crime Agency