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FCA consultation on new UK sustainability disclosure regime and investment labels

Having previously been expected earlier this year, the FCA has now published its consultation paper on the proposed new sustainability disclosure requirements (SDR) regime and a set of consumer-friendly sustainability labels. This is, in effect, the UK's answer to the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (EU SFDR), although the proposed UK regime goes further in terms of having formal product labels and is bolstered by rules already in force that require many firms to report climate-related risks and opportunities in accordance with the TCFD guidelines (covered in our 2022 New Year Briefing).

The new FCA Consumer Duty: a higher standard, better culture and good outcomes

The FCA has now published PS22/9, its policy statement on a new Consumer Duty. This sets out feedback to the December 2021 consultation paper (which we covered in our New Year Briefing), and the final rules. Alongside the new rules, the FCA has also published FG22/5, final non-Handbook Guidance for firms on the Consumer Duty (Finalised Guidance). Potentially, a great many firms will be in scope and this will include some firms which would not consider themselves "retail".

The Government's next steps in the reform of the private rental sector, and the end of the assured shorthold tenancy

The Government's 2017 white paper "Fixing our broken housing market" contained a number of proposals for improving the private rental sector ("PRS") for renters. In the 6 weeks since the Queen's Speech in May this year, there have been indications that some of these ideas will be taken forwards, including: changes in the way that "contractual controls" are registered at HM Land Registry, the introduction of minimum standards for housing in the PRS, and the abolition of both the section 21 method of obtaining vacant possession and the assured shorthold tenancy.

Qualifying asset holding company regime and infrastructure investors

In a bid to bolster its attractiveness to the asset management sector, the UK is introducing a new tax efficient vehicle: the qualifying asset holding company (“QAHC”, pronounced “quack”). The elective regime will be introduced in April 2022 and, by providing a simplified basis of taxation and a host of generous tax benefits, should allow the UK to compete with Luxembourg and other competitor jurisdictions.

Asset Management Tax Checklist - March 2022

There is a lot going on in the world of tax which will be of interest to those in the asset management sector. Relevant developments include international projects (such as the ongoing push to implement the OECD’s Pillar One and Pillar Two proposals and the publication of the EU’s shell entity proposals) but the domestic UK position should not be overlooked, with several exciting initiatives in train.

Government publishes next steps in review of UK funds regime

For nearly two years the government has been conducting a review of the UK funds regime (the Review) with the aim of making the UK a more attractive location to set up, manage and administer funds and to support a wider range of more efficient investments better suited to investor needs. This review had already yielded some tangible results, in particular the recent introduction of the Long-Term Asset Fund (LTAF) and the development of the new tax regime for qualifying asset holding companies (QAHCs) which is due to come into force in April.

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