A&O Shearman | FinReg | UK Approach to Critical Third-Party Supplier Designation Published
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  • UK Approach to Critical Third-Party Supplier Designation Published

    The Financial Services and Markets Act 2023 established a framework for the regulation of third parties who provide significant services to financial institutions, giving HM Treasury power to designate an entity as a "critical third party" if its failure would pose financial stability or confidence risk to the U.K. We discussed this in our client note, "The U.K.'s New Regime for Critical Third Party Supervision". HM Treasury published on March 21, 2024, its policy approach to designation of critical third parties.

    When designating CTPs, HM Treasury is required by the FSM Act 2023 to consider the materiality of the third party's services to the delivery of essential activities, services or operations in the financial sector as well as the number and type of licensed firms to which the services are provided. This is a process where HM Treasury carries out the designation; a "critical third party" is not a status that firms would apply for. The policy paper sets out the process for designation, including receipt of a recommendation from one of the financial regulators and assessment of the basis for making a designation decision. HM Treasury discusses how it will engage with the relevant third-party service provider and the regulators, including communicating its decision. The process for de-designating a critical third party is also described.

    The Bank of England, Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority recently proposed rules and regulatory expectations for critical third parties. The regulators will have new direct power over third parties that provide critical services to authorized firms, their service providers and financial market infrastructures.

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