Recent news and developments: The new Financial Services Authority

United Kingdom
The Financial Services Authority (FSA), the new "Super-Regulator", was launched at the end of October and will be headed by the former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, Howard Davies. Eventually the FSA will assume the responsibilities of nine existing financial watchdogs and bring together the supervision of banks, buildings societies, insurers, unit trust companies and investment advisers. Well known names such as IMRO, PIA and SFA will disappear as well as the Securities and Investment Board which the FSA will replace.

The FSA is expected to have acquired its full range of powers by late 1999, following the implementation of two key pieces of legislation. The first will transfer responsibility for the supervision of banks, money market institutions and related clearing houses from the Bank of England to the FSA. This will be followed by the implementation of a financial regulatory reform bill which will create a new statutory regime replacing the old self-regulatory system. Under this bill the FSA is expected to acquire the responsibilities of, amongst others, the Self-Regulatory Organisations, the Building Societies Commission and the Friendly Societies Commission. The Government has yet to decide whether the FSA will take responsibility for mortgages regulation or whether these will continue to be covered by a voluntary code of practice.