Treasury announces review of Financial Services and Markets Act 2000

Financial secretary Ruth Kelly has announced a review of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 after its first two years of operation.

As part of the review the Office of Fair Trading will carry out an assessment of the impact of the FSMA on competition in financial services. The Financial Services Authority will examine ways to reduce the costs of compliance by making its handbook of rules and its guidance more accessible, and the FSA and Financial Ombudsman Service will consult jointly on when regulatory action by the FSA should replace decisions on individual cases by the Ombudsman and on the possibility of appeals of FOS decisions.

The DTI will consult with relevant trade and consumer bodies on whether the FOS should be the mechanism for resolving disputes about consumer credit.

The Treasury will also propose changes to the boundary of regulation, particularly with regard to capital raising from investors and, where possible, financial advice.

It is expected the whole review will take around one year to complete.

Kelly says: “The UK was the first country with a large financial services industry to set up a single regulator for the whole industry. The regulatory framework established has been a resounding success that has proved to be a model that other countries have followed.

“The review will consider particular components of the existing framework to see if any changes should be made. Whilst there is no intention to change the structure established by the FSMA, the government will consult publicly on any proposals for legislative change.”