Really don’t like him. It’s the chuntering when people are trying to speak. On a separate note, I thought we had gone off Aung San Suu Kyi because she cosied up to her military over the Rohingya genocide thing. So why the outrage now?
Not the greatest week in the life of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen as she tried to style out her incompetent handling of the EU vaccine roll out by saying it was planned all along; blamed the mess on her deputy Valdis Dombrovkis (I am not really one for the pursuit of “leadership” as an academic subject but I am pretty sure that throwing your team under the bus to try and protect your own position isn’t it); insisted that Astra Zeneca meet contractual obligations almost every lawyer accepted it didn’t have; claimed “other countries” had pursued a dangerous approach to vaccine approval and then claimed she wasn’t talking about UK (Ursula von der Lying); and tried to break the UK/EU exit agreement, but only in a very specific and limited way. It is almost as if a supra national organisation run by people who never quite cut it in their domestic political arena is always likely to come up with suboptimal outcomes. Like the United Kingdom being run by Jeremy Corbyn or Nick Clegg – or, indeed, by most of the current government.
Elsewhere, leading scientific expert Manny Macron did some Ursula von der Lying of his own by claiming that the Astra Zeneca vaccine doesn’t work. Mildly irresponsible Manu and possibly the reason why so many of your citizens are anti-vaxers – almost as many as now say they will vote for Marine Le Penn next year. If this column did betting tips, we might suggest a small wager on #Frexit.
Meanwhile those intrepid boffins at Oxford are starting to experiment with a mix and match approach to vaccination where you get a Pfizer starter and an Astra Zeneca entrée three months later. Apparently this might make you even more immune to the rona than having the same one. And, once they have established that, they will move on to examine whether taking both together with a pinch of Angostura bitters and a splash of lime might not be yet better.
As foretold last week, there was another meeting of European Services Forum this week to further examine the EU/UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement. This time we welcomed the UK Mission’s Andrew Wood.
Highlight of another sparkling couple of hours was the Woodster proclaiming: “we all know how difficult it is to understand exactly what the provisions in TCA mean in practice”. Crumbs. And he had a hand in actually writing it.
He confirmed that the ability to travel to EU for 90 days in any 180 day period covered both business and leisure. So too much Monte could ruin your holidays. Although each member state may have more flexible provisions.
There are ways, other than appeal to the Partnership Council, for professional qualifications to be mutually recognised – such as regulator to regulator informal agreements. So my long shot approach to the Belgian Embassy has had new life breathed into it.
He mused that the lack of any serious cliff edge financial stability issues around the end of the year would probably mean the Commission won’t grant many equivalence determinations – although he did expect MIFID/MIFIR equivalence would come in the summer. This is of little interest to you I accept.
We are currently looking at setting up a webinar on the provisions of TCA. More details to come.
That is going to smart
As if the world was not dystopian and down right creepy enough already, I bring you the news that your electricity meter could be about to grass you up to the Fuzz. Based on analysis on people’s electricity consumption, some geek from a company called Bulb has decided that people are lying in later but going to work more than Lockdown I. Totally disregarding those of us who are up at dawn for a 15 mile jog whilst dialling in to meetings and only having their first cup of tea when they get back home and then like to respect the climate by keeping the heating off and donning a Client Eastwood style poncho. Didn’t think of that did you, Mr Bulb?
However, there is one, clear lesson from this. On your way out to that illegal rave this weekend, make sure you turn the radiator up.
FCA published its policy on the authorisation and supervision of international firms this week. It rightly focussed on the risk to harm for UK “retail” consumers. So those of you with new EU entities providing services exclusively to EU corporate clients should be able to look forward to a light touch approach. Believe it when you see it obvs with our beloved regulator. But it is a point we will make to them. Constantly.
Those in peril on the sea
We sent out under separate cover today details of a Opinion delivered by an Advocate General of the EU courts on premium tax in the maritime context. This arose from a referral from the courts in Cologne, Germany on whether a risk should be regarded as being situated in the Member State in whose territory the vessel is entered in an official register for the purposes of proof of ownership, or in the State whose flag is flown by the vessel. The judgment holds that EU law ‘must be interpreted as meaning that, in the context of the insurance of ships, the ‘Member State of registration’ is the Member State in whose territory the ship is entered in an official register for the purposes of proof of ownership.
This has implications for where IPT should be paid. But, and possibly more pertinently, it could have implications from a Brexit perspective. I know some of you have been interpreting the location of a marine risk to be where the ship is registered. As this tends to be outside of EU then the logic would be that marine business falls outside the scope of IDD. This opinion may change that logic. I will see if I can get a more educated opinion on the opinion = it is a preliminary opinion as far as I can see – and we will circulate that as soon as we can.
You can read the full judgment here
Hobbs kip and a jump
After last week’s Livettation she’s back. And with a vengeance.
- LIIBA is holding its second claims webinar for brokers on Friday morning. This details the work of our claims operations and delegated authority claims committees. A short (optimistic if they are doing it) update will also be provided on the Future at Lloyd’s claims workstreams and there is the opportunity for attendees to pose questions during the webinar. For those unable to attend, a recording of the sessions will be available on our website next week.
- SCAP refresher training. A session hosted by the LMA for this is planned for 17th February with details being released by the LMG this week. The session is open to all LIIBA members but there has been an unprecedented response from the market, which means it is already over subscribed with 400 attendees registering already (are we sure they have read the invite?). The LMA are looking to increase capacity and if able to do so, we will forward the details out for brokers to sign up. If not, a second event will be held and advertised.
- The closing date for HMRC’s consultation on IPT, administration and unfair outcomes is this week. LIIBA’s Tax Working Party met with HMRC last month and provided input in to our formal response, which is attached.
- We continue to liaise on the review of VAT rules for financial and insurance services and will update members on developments.
- Too exciting already, I can’t add
- DCOM: We continue to liaise with Lloyd’s regarding the upcoming switch from BARS and ATLAS to DCOM. Market acceptance testing is due to commence in May, with the first phase of DCOM expected to go live in June (a DCOMmunist revolution if you will).
There are a number of key activities brokers need to undertake to prepare for the implementation from ensuring BARS is fully updated prior to the migration to signing the new licence agreement due out soon. Brokers may need to alter starter / leaver processes along with other internal procedures in readiness for the change.
We are working with Lloyd’s to ensure the onboarding process, training and support is provided and can be tailored to suit the various operating models in place throughout the broker community.
If broking firms already have a change lead in place for the programme, we would recommend additional support is provided to them from this point, to ensure they are ready. If your firm does not have a change lead, please get in touch or make contact with the DA programme team.
Details for change leads (stop saying the word “lead”, the dogs are going nuts) with regards to getting ready for the implementation can be accessed here: https://www.lloyds.com/conducting-business/delegated-authorities/the-delegated-authority-programme/business-readiness-toolkit
- DDM: We are continuing in our efforts to discuss the broking pre-requisites around the implementation of changes to the conditions of trade regarding use of DDM and hope to be able to provide an update to members on this soon.
- Project DARE: LIIBA is liaising with the consultants dealing with the LMA’s Project DARE programme, which is now moving to the second stage. For anyone interested in viewing the latest information, here https://www.lmadare.com/ (did I go for the Human League angle on this before?)
Tay Tay king the p**s
Evermore Park theme attraction in Pleasant Grove (not Pleasant Gove – that would be ridiculous), Utah is suing Taylor Swift for copyright infringement over her latest long player “Evermore”. This is a case with wide ranging implications. Firstly, give it six months and we can look forward to a bitchy little ditty heading towards the top of the hit parade ( “u-tahlked to yo lawyers, why couldn’t u have talked to me?”), coz that is how she rolls. And secondly think of the precedent it will set. Within a year we can expect Volkswagen to have sued The Beatles; Guardian columnist Rhiannon Lucy Coslett to be pursuing defamation proceedings against Fleetwood Mac because she doesn’t ring like a bell at any time, day or night. And the estate of Jonny Morris being in dispute with the Beach Boys over who really makes the best Pet Sounds.
That is it. I leave you with this. On a BIPAR call this week, a man who I am not sure I can tell you who it was because it may well have been Chatham house rules and all that, but let me tell you he kind of wrote IDD, said that the review of the Directive (which was due last year but probably won’t happen until 2022) has been delayed, at least in part, by the need to translate the directive into “Gaelic”. Problematic use of language because I think he should have said “Irish”. But clear evidence that the European Commission is already preparing for Scottish membership. Sláinte!