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After the challenges of Brexit and the covid-19 pandemic, UK banking groups are currently enjoying what is, by the standards of recent years, a relatively settled operating environment. Increased domestic growth and two successive Bank of England base rate rises have raised hopes of increased profitability and potential M&A activity.
The long-term effects of the pandemic and the macroeconomic consequences of the ongoing war in Ukraine, however, remain to be seen. Equally, while the UK has now been free to set its own rules in the financial services sector for over a year, it is not yet possible to discern any clear direction of travel or predict the extent of any likely divergence from EU standards in the medium- to long-term.
For now, the regulatory landscape remains relatively familiar. This will likely change as the UK exercises its new rule-making ‘freedoms’, but in the meantime 2022 in some respects offers the prospect of a return to normal for the sector after years of Brexit-related uncertainty and challenging macroeconomic conditions arising from the pandemic.
The top five UK banking groups by market capitalisation are HSBC Holdings plc, Lloyds Banking Group plc, Barclays plc, NatWest Group plc and Standard Chartered plc.2 Other than Standard Chartered plc, these banks, together with Santander UK plc (the UK subsidiary of the Spanish banking group), are the most prominent in the UK personal and business banking markets, although the market share of smaller challenger and digital banks continues to develop.
The regulatory regime applicable to banks
Under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA), it is a criminal offence for a person to engage in regulated activities by way of business in the United Kingdom unless authorised (an authorised person) or exempt from the authorisation requirement. Firms that wish to carry on deposit-taking activities (i.e., prospective banks and building societies) are required to seek authorisation to do so from the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
The PRA forms part of the Bank of England (which discharges its role as the PRA through the Prudential Regulation Council (PRC)). The PRA is also responsible for the authorisation of insurers and certain systemically important investment firms, and for the prudential supervision of all firms that it has authorised, including UK banks and building societies.
Banks authorised in jurisdictions outside the UK may seek authorisation to carry on business in the UK through a UK branch or subsidiary. If an overseas bank’s UK retail deposit-taking activities are deemed by the PRA to be significant, or its wholesale banking activities are deemed to be systemically important, the PRA would generally expect that bank to carry on its business in the UK through a separately authorised UK subsidiary.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is responsible for the authorisation and prudential supervision of firms that are not subject to prudential regulation by the PRA. This may include certain entities within banking groups, such as dedicated consumer credit lenders or investment firms. The FCA also regulates conduct of business of all authorised firms in the United Kingdom (including banks and other PRA-authorised firms) and the conduct of business in respect of wholesale and retail financial markets and market infrastructure. It also has powers to regulate competition in the financial services sector that are concurrent with those of the Competition and Markets Authority.
Both the PRA and the FCA have the power under FSMA to make rules, and to issue related guidance, that apply to the firms that they regulate. In the case of the PRA, these rules are set out in a rule book published by the PRA (the PRA Rulebook), and guidance is set out in associated supervisory statements and statements of policy. Rules and guidance made by the FCA are set out in the FCA Handbook.
Alongside its roles as a prudential regulator (exercised in its capacity as the PRA) and as the central bank of the UK, the Bank of England has specific regulatory functions relating to financial stability.
In particular, it is the resolution authority responsible for the enforcement of the special resolution regime introduced by the Banking Act 2009 (as amended) (the Banking Act) (see Section III.iv) and, acting through the Financial Policy Committee (FPC), has the macroprudential objective of protecting and enhancing financial stability and the resilience of the UK financial system. While the FPC has the power to issue macroprudential recommendations and directions to the PRA and the FCA, it cannot exert control over, or issue directions to, individual firms.
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Tattoo Artist, Entrepreneur, and Oil Painter Kirby van Beek Makes a Mark in the Industry
Kirby van Beek, a talented tattoo artist, entrepreneur, and oil painter, has emerged as a prominent figure in the world of tattooing, showcasing his expertise in black and grey realism. Known for his distinctive designs and captivating portraits with a dark twist, Kirby has established himself as a highly regarded artist, earning recognition both locally and internationally.
Kirby’s journey as a tattoo artist began at the age of 18 when he taught himself the art form while simultaneously pursuing his education in forensic science. During this time, he displayed unparalleled dedication, working at a morgue during the week and honing his tattooing skills during weekends and spare hours. Kirby’s passion for tattooing led him to work at various tattoo studios in the Netherlands, solidifying his experience and expertise in the field.
About Kirby van Beek:
Kirby van Beek is a talented tattoo artist, entrepreneur, and oil painter based in [City]. Renowned for his expertise in black and grey realism, Kirby’s distinctive designs and captivating portraits with a dark twist have earned him a prominent position in the industry. With a passion for tattooing and oil painting, Kirby aspires to become a globally recognized artist, leaving a lasting impact on the world of art.
«The things I love most about tattooing is meeting different clients and getting to know them on a personal level during a long tattoo session,» says Kirby. «There is nothing more rewarding than tattooing individuals who appreciate my art so much that they choose to wear it on their skin for life.»
Specializing in realistic black and grey tattoos, portrait tattoos, and horror tattoos, Kirby’s work has garnered attention both nationally and internationally. His talents have been showcased at several tattoo conventions abroad, and his captivating designs have been featured in prominent tattoo magazines. Additionally, he has been recognized by esteemed publications such as LINDA magazine in the Netherlands and the local newspaper BN de Stem. Furthermore, Kirby’s exceptional skills led him to participate as a tattoo artist in the Dutch version of MTV’s Just Tattoo of Us.
Looking ahead, Kirby aspires to become a world-renowned tattoo artist and oil painter, with a particular focus on portrait tattoos and dark horror tattoos.
His ultimate goal is to reach clients and famous individuals around the globe, sharing his unique artistry and leaving an indelible mark on the industry. In the future, Kirby envisions opening an art show to showcase his diverse body of work.
DJ Khenya Takes Center Stage at Blue Marlin Ibiza, Spreading Joy and Connection
The music of DJ Khenya pulsates with rhythm and emotion. A rich mélange of sun-kissed sounds that blend percussive beats with indie and deep house. The artist’s journey to Ibiza has laid the foundation for a musical expression that communicates joy and connectivity. Taking the reins at Blue Marlin Ibiza, Khenya’s vibrations will inspire dance floor dreamers to move and let go.
From the stage at Blue Marlin Ibiza, DJ Khenya has shared experiences alongside some of the most influential names in the music industry. When asked about the impact of these experiences, the artist responded humbly: «The truth is I feel lucky. I have total admiration for them as they are a source of inspiration for me.»
The energy at Blue Marlin Ibiza is unlike any other, according to DJ Khenya. He describes the place as «a life experience,» synonymous with summer and with all the ingredients to feel in a state of bliss when you’re there. He thanks the team for being like a family to him and for everything they’ve done.
This summer, DJ Khenya will take his audience on a journey filled with unforgettable emotions. He comments, «My goal is to transmit uplifting and unforgettable sensations. My audience is what sets my heart on fire, and I want them to feel my desire to make them dance.»
The path that led DJ Khenya to become a DJ began in Havacia, Cuba, where he grew up in an environment where rhythm, dance, and poetry are like the air we breathe. With son and salsa running through his veins, his first experience at an electronic music party in the early 2000s marked a shift in his life. Khenya recalls hearing ‘The Underground’ by Celeda and says, «It was a different Cuba, and I loved it. I think from that moment, something changed inside me. A seed had been planted, and life would take me in that direction.»
Having traveled the world and now based in Ibiza, DJ Khenya reflects on how these experiences have shaped his identity as an artist. He comments, «Traveling the world is a privilege that every human being should have, especially an artist because when you have these experiences, you can understand different ways of life and the musicality of each place. Creativity is born from that knowledge, and I still have a lot to learn in that sense.»
This summer, DJ Khenya promises to take Blue Marlin Ibiza to new heights with his unique music and his desire to make everyone dance. The experience is guaranteed to be a celebration of life, joy, and connection through music.
Oliver Rouz: Weaving Ink and Inspiration into a Legacy
Born on February 13th, 1988, Oliver Rouz’s path to success is one marked by determination, passion, and the pursuit of creative endeavors. From a young age, Oliver exhibited a profound love for various forms of creativity, which ultimately led him to become one of the country’s most celebrated tattoo artists.
During his school years, Oliver’s artistic talent set him apart. His favorite cartoon characters became his canvas as he tirelessly recreated them in his own style. However, drawing was merely a pastime during his teenage years, a source of pleasure until music took center stage in his life.
In 2005, Oliver formed the «Fairy Tale Jelissa Rose» band, a pivotal moment that expanded his horizons. Immersed in the music community, he developed a newfound fascination with tattoos and ink artistry, spurred by the band’s association with the tattoo culture.
A serendipitous encounter with Artem at the «Quick Silver» shop in Moscow in 2010 marked a turning point. Artem’s influence led Oliver to consider a life-altering decision. By 2012, Oliver, now ignited by a passion for tattoos, made a bold move to another city, all while nurturing his tattoo aspirations.
Artem’s transformation into a tattoo artist himself inspired Oliver further. As fate would have it, an opportunity arose in 2012 for them to collaborate and open their tattoo studio in Moscow. This venture required Oliver’s dedicated efforts, alongside his commitment to saving funds to fuel their creative endeavor.
Oliver’s tattooing prowess flourished within a year, prompting a return to his hometown to establish several home-like studios. Yet, he recognized that true growth beckoned him back to Moscow. Thus, in 2017, he joined Good Hands Tattoo, laying the foundation for his continued ascent.
Oliver’s indomitable spirit and devotion to his craft bore fruit, as evidenced by his stint at Black Point studio, born out of a collective dream. His trajectory exemplifies the power of dedication, leading him to become a recognized tattoo luminary within the nation.
Oliver’s journey, however, extends beyond tattooing. From his early affinity for music, highlighted by the formation of his punk rock band at 14, to his involvement in the music industry and flirtation with global recognition, his story embodies the resilience required to navigate creative industries.
A pivotal moment arrived in 2021 when Oliver, undeterred by previous setbacks, chose to channel his creative energy into designing game art. Leaving behind a stable job, he invested his savings of around $5,000 to embark on a transformative journey. Guided by Hexeth’s interview and tutorials, Oliver delved into the realm of game design.
Fueled by dedication and a newfound purpose, Oliver’s creative expression culminated in designing elements for popular games like CS:GO and RUST. Through unwavering commitment and rigorous self-education, he harnessed the potential of his artistic flair.
Today, Oliver Rouz’s name resonates as a testament to the potential of human determination. His path from a young artist with a penchant for creation to a revered tattoo and game artist serves as an inspiration to countless dreamers. Oliver’s legacy continues to evolve, as he pushes the boundaries of his craft and inspires others to chase their passions unrelentingly.
For more information and to view Oliver’s work, visit his Instagram profile: @oliverrouz.
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