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In Business or In Employment? Freelancers and IR35

This blog goes slightly off the beaten track compared to my other finance-related blogs. But IR35, the so-called ‘intermediaries legislation’, is an important topic for freelancers. It doesn’t seem to go away, and influences the way we do business.

The idea is to present this freelancer’s understanding of the contentious HMRC rule.

To illustrate it in practice, I reveal the defences I would put up if, hypothetically, the HMRC were to argue that Prism-Clarity should be within the IR35 net.

Not much of this is original. It borrows heavily from other sources including a helpful account at freelancesupermarket.com. The only truly original material in this blog is the illustrative defence relating to Prism-Clarity.

Please note: this blog does not represent advice. This is a contentious topic. If in any doubt, consult your accountant or a professional Human Resources adviser.

BOEPrism

Risk & Regulation Round-up: September to November 2016

A quarterly round-up of key announcements and developments in UK financial risk and regulation: covering 1st September to 30th November 2016.

Links to underlying source stories or documents are contained in individual articles in this blog.

After covering Brexit in some depth in the last round-up, this time we include only a short section on Brexit, simply noting a few key publications and developments relevant to financial services.

Instead in this edition we focus more on routine technical and policy announcements from the EU/EBA, Basel/FSB and UK national regulators; including an important set of banking reform proposals from the European Commission issued on 23rd November.

The articles in this blog do not constitute advice, but please contact Prism-Clarity for further information, including where to get the best advice.

FRTB Programme: Focus On Documentation

Most firms with a Trading Book are now pressing ahead with implementing the new Basel Market Risk Rules – still widely known as the Fundamental Review of the Trading Book (FRTB) – and the documentation that goes with it.

But some smaller or medium-sized firms might not have really started yet. Nor might overseas subsidiaries. Or other firms who’ve been outside the scope of Basel’s intensive – and challenging – Quantitative Impact Studies (QIS) in the last three years.

Such firms will soon be planning their implementation. Or need to be. This blog looks to help, by focusing on the references to documentation in the new rules.

At Prism-Clarity we believe in the power of good documentation to highlight wider issues. We don’t believe in doing the documentation piece of a programme as an afterthought, a side-project or an inconvenience. It is and should be central.

By focusing early on the documentary outputs needed under the new rules, you can identify issues, ask good questions about your business, risk, other controls and technology, avoid false paths and potentially save costs.

Work backwards from the documentation to help shape your wider FRTB programme, or verify that your programme is on the right track.

Passporting: What It Is And Why It Matters

Passporting is top of the list of many UK financial firms’ concerns post-Brexit.

“Will we keep our passporting rights as part of any negotiated deal relating to single market access when the UK leaves the EU?”

What does this mean? Why is it such a problem if UK firms lose their rights to “passport” into Europe? What are the alternatives and why are they so unpalatable?

And what is a realistic scenario given the different “trade models” that are possible examples for the UK post-Brexit (Norway, Switzerland and others)?

This blog tries to shed some light on passporting and why these questions matter.

We also look briefly at different trade models and apply a new metric – the Prism-Clarity “Single Market Access Compatibility” (SMAC) score. This is a judgment-based measure of the extent to which passporting – or something like it – might be possible under different trade models.