Financial services regulatory

Individuals that perform controlled functions for financial services firms that carry on regulated activities in the UK are approved and regulated by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (‘FCA'), under the UK's Financial Services and Markets Act ('FSMA') regime (‘FCA Approved Persons’). The FSMA regime (as amended by the Financial Services Act 2012) has introduced a further regulator, the Prudential Regulatory Authority ('PRA') for dual-regulated firms such as deposit takers and insurers. This has required the senior management of dual-regulated firms to be FCA and PRA approved themselves.

The immediate outcome of the banking crisis was the move to a more 'intrusive' and intensive policing by the FCA's predecessor (the FSA) of the FSMA regime and FSA Approved Persons, with the FSA seeking to make judgments on the judgments of the senior management of its regulated firms. This pro active regulatory approach has been reinforced with the UK's Financial Services Act 2012 giving the FCA additional powers to intervene and take action against individuals whose conduct it regulates.

The UK Banking Reform Act will introduce a reverse burden of proof for senior FCA approved persons in the banking industry that will require them to satisfy the FCA and/or the PRA that they were not personally responsible for any wrongdoing on their watch.

At the same time there has been a greater focus on individual remuneration packages to ensure that senior individuals’ incentives are aligned with the risks to which their institutions are exposed as regulators seek to change behaviour and culture.

There has been greater international co-ordination and co-operation between national regulators such as the FCA and the SEC in relation to policy and individual cases with the US's Dodd-Frank Act also providing the US regulators with greater powers and 'reach'.

We work closely with individuals in:

  • Scoping the extent that the FSMA regime applies to any activities and promotional activity that they may want to carry on in the UK and any related FCA approvals and/or exemptions
  • Applying for the appropriate FCA (and PRA) Approvals in relation to any regulated activities carried on in the UK
  • Applying to be a controller of a FCA authorised firm
  • Providing ongoing regulatory advice in relation to the FCA (and PRA) Principles and Rules applicable to their FCA (and PRA) Approvals
  • Application of the latest remuneration rules and regulations
  • Handling FCA (and PRA) Supervision and Enforcement inquiries and investigations that may affect them
  • Defending FCA (and PRA) Enforcement proceedings against them
  • Any related civil proceedings to regulatory actions
  • Any related criminal proceedings to regulatory actions
  • Considering the international regulatory dimensions especially with the US and Asia.

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