March 2003

80.1 General 

The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (‘the Act’) came into force on 1 December 2001 and replaced the system of self-regulation under the FSA86. The Act consolidates previous legislation on financial services into one statute (see Annex A).

The scope of the Act is far wider than that under the FSA86. It includes the regulation of insurance companies, credit unions, banks, building societies, industrial and provident societies, mortgage provision and aspects of the Lloyd’s insurance market.

The Act provides a framework within which a single regulator for the financial services industry, the Financial Services Authority, operates, with a full range of statutory powers. The FSA authorises and regulates the types of business set out in Annex B.

The Act co-ordinates and modernises the financial regulatory arrangements which were previously the responsibility of a range of independent bodies (see Annex C).

The Act also extends protection to consumers by establishing a single Ombudsman and compensation scheme and by creating an administrative appeal board: the Financial Services and Markets Tribunal (see paragraph 80.39).

Notes: [The Act, FSA]

80.2 The Act-regulatory objectives 

The regulatory objectives of the FSA under the Act are:

  1. Market confidence, i.e. maintaining confidence in the financial system.
  2. Public awareness, i.e. promotion of public understanding of the financial system.
  3. Protection of consumers, i.e. securing the appropriate degree of protection for consumers.
  4. Reduction of financial crime, i.e. reducing the extent to which it is possible for a business carried on by a regulated person (see Part 4) or in contravention of the general prohibition (see paragraph 80.5) to be used for a purpose connected with financial crime. Financial crime includes any offence involving fraud or dishonesty, misconduct in, or misuse of information relating to, a financial market or handling the proceeds of crime.

Section 3(2) defines the financial system as the financial system operating in the United Kingdom and includes financial markets and exchanges, regulated activities (see paragraph 80.6) and other activities connected with financial markets and exchanges.

These objectives govern the way the FSA works and describe the boundaries within which it is authorised to act.

This chapter summarises the areas of the Act and the role of the FSA which are of particular interest to the official receiver.

Notes: [s2, and s3(1)] [s4(1)] [s5(1)] [s6(1)] [s6(3)] [s3(2)]


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