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Risk & Regulation Round-up: June to August 2016

A quarterly round-up of key announcements and developments in UK financial risk and regulation: covering 1st June to 26th August 2016.

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

The British EU referendum (‘Brexit’) vote on 23rd June 2016 was the most significant political and economic event in the UK and Europe for many years. So inevitably this bulletin contains some Brexit coverage. We try to avoid speculative treatment and broader political comment, and instead just summarise key announcements and developments relating to risk and regulatory aspects of Brexit.

Against the background of Brexit, the regulators pushed on with their technical agenda in a number of areas during the period. This included MiFID, structural reform (ring-fencing) and various aspects of capital regulation. The new Head of the Financial Conduct Authority warned that Brexit would not give rise to a “bonfire” of existing regulations. In other words regulated firms should expect – at least in the short term – a continuation of existing and proposed supervisory practice irrespective of Brexit.

Still, three themes seem to predominate in the post-Brexit environment for financial services firms:
(1) There will be ongoing uncertainty over both timing and substance.
(2) It is likely there will be some impact on passporting rights, into and out of the remaining EU. This will be covered in a future Prism-Clarity blog.
(3) Firms now have to plan and prepare intensively for a range of uncertain scenarios, while continuing to maintain both BAU and already-known implementations.

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

Stepped Wall Cloud Sky

Content Strategy: Do I Need Social Media Marketing?

The first blog in this series shared some of our early experiences in the new world of content strategy. Five months after our launch, it’s time to re-assess how content and social media marketing fit into our new company’s marketing strategy.

As a one-man team with little marketing experience, limited social media expertise and no budget, marketing strategy is a challenge.

Especially as we learn, over time, that content strategy isn’t sufficient on its own. Content is not the whole marketing strategy, only part of it. Good content on its own will not do the job. We need to deploy it, smartly, to support other networking and promotional activities.

The big question for my company is still how to convert leads to clients? Difficult for any start-up and this one is no exception.

In this blog we explore this question further and ask whether investing in a professional social media marketing platform is part of the answer for our particular business.

CC Roof Lines Sky

Punte e Virgola: The Magic of the Semicolon

This blog tries to reclaim the lost magic and tarnished reputation of the semicolon; our most valuable and flexible punctuational friend, and one this writer has kept in close touch with over the years; even at times when it has been blackballed from polite literary society or – at best – tolerated with hardly concealed suspicion.

Lionel Shriver a few years ago described the semicolon as “beleaguered” and “being eaten alive by the rapacious em-dash”. Why should this be? For my part I can’t understand why the semicolon is not the most popular member of the punctuation fraternity.

Quite literally the semicolon “makes sense”. It brings sense to any sentence where it is used; a subtle half-break to highlight the natural breath-point of the sentence and restore natural rhythm and cadence.

We acknowledge in this blog that the semicolon can be overused, almost a fetish for some writers. That word fetish is a bit theatrical, but I see the point. Here we argue that maybe the pendulum has swung too far the other way and – while avoiding compulsive overuse and sordid linguistic gratification – let’s leave some space in our hearts and minds for this special instrument.

What Makes A Good Policy: Five Watchwords

This blog is about policy.

Now you might wonder why anyone in their right mind would write about policy. What makes a good policy? Nothing, you might say. Policy is boring, it is irrelevant, it is meaningless, it is dry and it is old-fashioned.

To a point I agree. In the digital age what really is the point of writing out a few tired phrases purporting to be “the way things should be done” to sit in a forgotten corner of the web taking up space and interesting no-one.

Nobody reads it, nobody owns it, nobody updates it, nobody tests compliance against it. It is a hostage to fortune at best, a ticking time bomb at worst. It adds no value, it gives no insight, it does not help. Why bother?

The answer to these valid challenges is: this is the way our policy often is – but not the way it needs to be.