Financial services and markets bill – a landmark piece of legislation

  • Second reading of the Bill introduced in July 2022
  • Implement the outcomes of the Future Regulatory Framework (FRF) Review
  • Maintain the UK’s position as an open and global financial hub
  • Harness the opportunities of innovative technologies in financial services
  • Bolster the competitiveness of UK markets and promote the effective use of capital
  • Support the levelling up agenda, promote financial inclusion and consumer protection

In his speech at the Financial and Professional Services Dinner at Mansion House on 19 July Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nadhim Zahawi, set out the importance of the financial services sector to the UK economy, and the central role of the Financial Services and Markets Bill in delivering the government’s vision for “an open, green, and technologically advanced financial services sector that is globally competitive.”

The Chancellor pointed out that “central to all our plans is a financial and professional services sector that is thriving”.

The Financial Services and Markets Bill is designed to provide the tools needed to seize the opportunities of Brexit and create a “safer, better system for consumers”.

The Bill implements the outcomes of the Future Regulatory Framework (FRF) Review

Hundreds of pieces of retained EU law will be repealed. The Bill will maintain the UK’s position as an open and global financial hub, bolster the competitiveness of UK markets and promote the effective use of capital. It will also support the levelling up agenda, promote financial inclusion and consumer protection

UK financial regulation will be decided “in the United Kingdom, for the United Kingdom, by the UK’s expert, independent regulators”. In addition to financial stability and consumer protection, The FCA and PRA will also be given a new, secondary objective ie to facilitate growth and competitiveness thereby encouraging a greater focus on medium to longer-term productivity.

The Bill also includes new measures to increase the regulators’ accountability and relationships with Government and stakeholders.

The Chancellor announced that he is keeping an “open mind” about the government taking further powers to intervene in financial regulation, in the public interest.

The Bill also enables reform of Solvency II, which sets out regulatory requirements for insurance firms and groups, covering financial resources, governance and accountability, risk assessment and management, supervision, reporting and public disclosure.

UK insurers will be given more flexibility to invest in long-term assets like infrastructure…

The Bill increases the competitiveness of capital markets, allowing reform of the Prospectus Regime – as recommended by Lord Hill – and will take forward the outcomes of the Wholesale Capital Markets review, stripping away EU rules like the double volume cap and the share trading obligation.

The Bill harnesses the opportunities of innovative technologies in financial services and reinforces the UK’s position as a leading centre for technology as we safely adopt crypto assets.

It also enables regulators to require that victims of push payment scams are paid back.

The Bill delivers far-reaching reforms to financial regulation which will be delivered in partnership with industry.

@AndrewEborn @OctopusTV @peoplemattertv

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