It’s like a surfer’s paradise.  Where are the Beach Boys?

Survey sensation

You should have received an email from FCA yesterday announcing it is to carry out a survey of firms on the question of financial resilience during the Covid-19 crisis.  Key features as follows.

  1. 10 questions on liquidity; availability of cash; financial performance; commercial activity; and whether you have accessed any of the government schemes.
  2. It is carried out under FCA’s powers granted by Section 165 of FSMA – which means you have to fill it in or else.
  3. It should take about an hour to complete but will be mobile friendly (although how anyone would want to spend an hour filling something in on their mobile is beyond me – a rapid short cut to headache central).
  4. It is being sent out in 4 batches on 5th, 6th, 7th & 10th August and you will have 15 working days to complete.  What FCA is up to on 8th & 9th August remains a mystery.
  5. If it is not clear to you which regulated entity you are being asked to respond on behalf of, there is an email address to seek clarity.
  6. There maybe follow up activity – either at a market level or with individual firms if their response gives cause for concern.
  7. The survey is being sent to all solo regulated firms.


Stone love

For some time now it has been known that for reasons that one daren’t even contemplate, Neolithic man dragged the little stones at Stonehenge all the way from somewhere in Wales.  I mean I understand people bringing the odd stone from the beach back from holiday, but this is different league.  Anyway it has only now come to light as to the origin of the big Sarsen (such a disappointment, I thought they had been named after the vinegar) stones.  This discovery has been possible because a worker who nicked a bit of the stones when he was part of a restoration crew in 1960s had a guilt trip before he died and sent them back.  And it couldn’t have been more exciting as chemical tests prove that the stones come from…just down the road.  Essentially our ancestors nipped over to the local Ikea to pick up the ultimate accessories to their Welsh souvenirs.  Which explains a lot.  Ever wondered why they just smacked that rather ill fitting slab across the top between two Sarsens?  Obvious.  Like all of us, they got to the end of the baffling cartoon instructions and discovered they still had a bit left so just put it anywhere it would go.  And the whole thing would be standing to this day if they had had the right sized allen key.  Still, at least they will have enjoyed meatballs for lunch.

Still not a patch on Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska – as the attached will demonstrate.

Time Passes Rapidly

FCA lays claim to having updated its Brexit web pages – although from a cursory glance I could not tell you how.  Save for the confirmation that FCA will mark the 65th anniversary of the death of James Dean by reopening registration for its Temporary Permissions Regime on 30th September.  So those of you who have only established UK branches of your EU subsidiaries since January can now apply to be part of the scheme from 1st January 2021.

Little more than 150 days to go now until the end of the transition period so the need to ensure you are Brexit ready is pressing.  We are here to help if you need any guidance or support.

Making it Kant

More glory from the greatest bid for President ever.  Kanye West is now on the ballot in New Jersey.

You need 800 signatures to achieve this and Kanye aced it by getting 1,372.  Except that, on closer inspection, 600 of the signatures are in the name “K West” with identical handwriting.  And this on the day President Trump is being derided for suggesting delaying the election because of the dangers of election fraud.  What can he mean?


Today sees the opening of registration for this year’s DiveIn festival (password divein #whybother?).  The biggest yet and with more global reach than ever before.  I think we have all come to recognise DiveIn as one of the highlights of the year in our market.  And it is all the more poignant this year in the wake of the protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.  So please do support it as much as you can.  Together we really can make a difference.

Test tube maybes

Today is the last day of the court hearings in FCA BI test cases.  So we now sit and wait for the judgements which may come next month or may not be with us until September.  In the meantime, the Australian regulators have launched a copy cat set of cases.  Which if nothing else serves to demonstrate that FCA has not yet lost its ability to set the global regulatory agenda even in a post Brexit world.

Tunnel trouble

Extreme grief for all concerned over which body might have ultimate say over the running of the channel tunnel.  Without a single body in charge you could get a divergence in standards and it will be the France/Spain border all over again for our plucky train operators.  Somewhere in this report, someone is quoted as saying “there can be no halfway house here”.  But surely that is absolutely the answer?  Train trundles in from UK end, gets halfway, stops, everybody gets off, wanders over the other side of the platform and gets on a French train.  And vice versa from the other end.  With the opportunity to purchase snacks and beverages at said hallway house.  Either that or we will just have to concrete it up.

Chook before eating

This column has long ago appointed itself the guardian of your fast food consumption.  So we have a word of advice on KFC.  Don’t.  No amount of herbs and spices – and certainly not a mere 11 – can drown out the taste of hock burn caused by ammonia from the waste of other birds. Just consign it to the Cor-bin*


Have lovely weekends.  I am off to post my 57 million votes for Kanye West.

*a treat for my burgeoning US audience, this only really works if you understand that Colonel Sanders opened his first shop in Corbin, Kentucky.  A place I have twice nearly been to but have had to miss out for lack of time.  Selecting instead trips to Loretta Lynn’s house in Butcher Holler, Kentucky (“I was born a coal miner’s daughter, in a cabin on a hill in Butcher Holler”) and the second time a visit to the Jefferson Davis State Monument in Fairview, Kentucky – which I imagine is no longer there.