What Is the Financial Services Authority or FSA?
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What Is the Financial Services Authority or FSA?

The United Kingdom underwent regulatory changes in its financial services sector following the 2008 financial crisis. The Financial Services Authority (FSA), which previously regulated financial services from 2001 to 2013, was dissolved in April 2013. In its place, two new regulatory bodies were established: the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, operating under the Bank of England.

Basics

From 2001 to 2013, the Financial Services Authority was the regulatory agency responsible for overseeing financial services in the United Kingdom. It played a key role in ensuring the stability and fairness of the country's financial markets.

The FSA was established in 2001 as a response to the need for comprehensive regulation in the financial sector. It aimed to protect consumers, maintain market integrity, and promote competition. However, following the global financial crisis of 2008, it became apparent that the regulatory structure needed to be revised. In 2013, the FSA was dissolved and replaced by two new regulatory bodies: the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), both operating under the Bank of England. This restructuring aimed to enhance the effectiveness and specialization of financial regulation in the UK.

FSA Brief History

The FSA was established in the United Kingdom under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. Originally known as the Securities and Investments Board since 1985, it adopted the name Financial Services Authority in 1997 before its dissolution in 2013.

The FSA's primary role was to regulate banks, financial advisors, insurance companies and intermediaries, and mortgage businesses. The Financial Services and Markets Act outlined four main objectives for the FSA: promoting market confidence, increasing public awareness and understanding of the financial system, ensuring consumer protection, and reducing financial crime. Later, the objective of enhancing financial stability was added. These objectives were supported by a set of principles that governed good regulation.

The FSA also aimed to enhance transparency in policy-making and general operations, providing accountability to the financial and consumer sectors in the UK. Oversight and scrutiny of FSA activities were carried out by the Treasury and Parliament, and the agency was required to include performance assessments in its annual reports to fulfill its principles.

FSA Disbandment

Following the 2008 financial crisis, the United Kingdom implemented regulatory changes in its financial markets. As a result, the FSA was dissolved in April 2013. To maintain effective financial regulation, new agencies were established, namely the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, operating under the oversight of the Bank of England.

FSA Replacement

The Financial Conduct Authority was established as an independent regulatory body to oversee financial markets in the United Kingdom. Its main objectives are consumer protection, market integrity, and fostering competition. The FCA is funded by fees collected from the 58,000 firms it regulates.

The Prudential Regulation Authority, operating under the Bank of England, is responsible for regulating banks, credit unions, insurance firms, and investment firms. As part of the Bank of England, the PRA is owned by the UK government and governed by Parliament.

The decision-making body for the PRA is the Prudential Regulation Committee, which includes the Governor of the Bank of England, the Chief Executive of the FCA, the Deputy Governors for Financial Stability, Markets and Banking, Prudential Regulation, a member appointed by the Governor with the Chancellor's approval, and five additional members appointed by the Chancellor.

Conclusion

The Financial Services Authority played a significant role in regulating the UK's financial services sector for over a decade. Although it was dissolved following the 2008 financial crisis, its legacy lives on through the two regulatory bodies that replaced it. As investors, it's important to be aware of regulatory changes and the role of regulatory bodies in overseeing financial services.

 

Financial Services Authority (FSA)
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA)
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