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B2C marketing: CMA calls for businesses to disclose how "green" their products really are

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has recommended legislating to impose a positive obligation on consumer-facing businesses to disclose information about the environmental impact of their products. It has also recommended changes designed to make it easier to enforce consumer law against companies making misleading environmental claims, to allow orders to be made requiring businesses to make redress payments for environmental harm and to increase supply chain transparency.

New ESMA supervisory briefing and ESA clarifications on the ever-changing SFDR regime

On 31 May 2022, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a supervisory briefing (the Supervisory Briefing) addressed to EU national competent authorities (regulators) to promote "common supervisory practices" on the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) and other pieces of EU legislation concerning financial sustainability. This was closely followed on 2 June 2022 by a publication of the European Supervisory Authorities – one of which is ESMA - (ESAs) which sets out clarifications (the ESA Clarifications) on the draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) under SFDR.

Sanctions Update: UK's Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation sets out new enforcement guidance in advance of enhanced powers coming into force

On 15 March 2022, the UK's new Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act (the "ECA") received Royal Assent. The legislation contained a number of important provisions, including the introduction of a new 'Register of Overseas Entities' and reforms to unexplained wealth orders.

ICO fines facial recognition database company Clearview over £7.5m

The ICO's recent fine of over £7.5m issued against Clearview AI Inc (Clearview) for using images of UK citizens scraped from the internet as part of Clearview's global online database is one of the largest that the ICO has issued to date. But it is considerably less than the £17m fine announced by the ICO in its provisional decision in November 2021.

Glencore guilty pleas to offer welcome relief for SFO

Glencore has indicated that it will plead guilty to seven counts of bribery in connection with its oil operations in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and South Sudan. The Serious Fraud Office opened its investigation into Glencore's activities in 2019 and alleges that the commodities giant approved the payment of over $25m in bribes for preferential access to oil.

AIFMD II: Proposals from the European Parliament

The European Parliament has issued its draft report (Report) on the European Commission's proposals to amend the existing Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD II). The Report forms part of the legislative process and includes the European Parliament's suggested amendments to the draft directive issued by the European Commission in November 2021. The draft directive proposed a number of changes to the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive, largely in respect of delegation, loan origination, liquidity risk management, data reporting and depositaries and it is those areas which are the main focus of the Report. 

Questions on the interpretation of SFDR and the Taxonomy Regulation

On 13 May 2022, the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) submitted a number of questions to the European Commission relating to the interpretation of the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) and the Taxonomy Regulation (Taxonomy Regulation). Separately, the ESAs have also been asked by the European Commission for their input on possible amendments to the SFDR Delegated Regulation.

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