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With the changes to the regulation of veterinary medicines in the UK as a result of Brexit, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate has created a helpful information hub pulling together its communications on current and future regulatory changes. Access the Hub here, including useful explainers on “Application and authorisation“, “Manufacturing and distribution“, and “Pharmacovigilance“, and see below for a summary of some key points.

On 12 July the European Commission and the European External Actions Service (EEAS) published guidance on “due diligence for EU businesses to address the risk of forced labour in their operations and supply chains”. The non-binding guidance seeks to provide European companies with practical advice on the implementation of effective human rights due diligence practices to address forced labour risks in their supply chains.

In July of 2017, Andrew Bailey, the chief executive of the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), announced in a speech that after 2021 the FCA would no longer use its power to compel panel banks to submit rate information used to determine the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Mr. Bailey encouraged the market to develop robust alternative reference rates to replace LIBOR.

The FCA recently published a consultation paper (CP21/24: Diversity and inclusion on company boards) setting out a number of proposals to enhance diversity-related reporting by certain listed companies. Proposals include creating new requirements in the Listing Rules for certain premium and standard listed companies to publish (in their annual report and accounts) a “comply or explain” statement on whether they have achieved proposed targets for gender and ethnic minority representation on their board, as well as preparing further numerical data on the gender and ethnic diversity composition of the company’s board, key board positions, and executive management team. The consultation will close on 20 October 2021, with the proposed rule changes expected to come into force for financial years starting on or after 1 January 2022.

The FCA has written a letter to the chairs of authorised fund managers on improving the quality and clarity of authorised ESG funds, setting out guiding principles on compliance with ESG obligations. The FCA’s letter is driven by concerns about the number of poor quality applications for funds marketed with a sustainability and ESG focus making claims that do not hold up under scrutiny. In the letter, the FCA criticises “the number of poor-quality [ESG/sustainable] fund applications we have seen and the impact this may have on consumers”, and requires material improvements to be made.

On 22 June 2021, HM Treasury (HMT) confirmed that it will take forward legislation to introduce a gateway for the approval of financial promotions of unauthorised persons. Once the gateway is in place, only firms which have successfully applied to the FCA to approve financial promotions will be permitted to approve the financial promotions of unauthorised persons.

On 20 July 2021, the UK Government announced that the National Security and Investment Act will enter into full force on 4 January 2022. To help businesses prepare for commencement of the regime, the Government also published alongside this announcement a series of further guidance notes and materials.