What is the Financial Services Authority (FSA)?

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The Financial Services Authority (FSA) was given statutory powers by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA) to regulate the financial services industry in the UK. It was the industry regulator from 2001 until April 2013 which saw change announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to abolish and separate the FSA’s powers between the Bank of England and new authorities to create a ‘new regulatory framework’ for the regulation of financial services.

The FSA regulated the financial service industry by setting the rules which regulated entities and persons. The FSA was also given investigatory and enforcement powers to enable it to meet the four statutory objectives given to it by FSMA.

Statutory objectives of the FSA were:

  • Market confidence – maintaining confidence in the UK financial system
  • Financial stability – contributing to the protection and enhancement of stability of the UK financial system
  • Financial stability – contributing to the protection and enhancement of stability of the UK financial system
  • Reduction of financial crime – reducing the extent to which it is possible for a regulated business to be used for a purpose connected with financial crime

As well as authorising firms to conduct regulated activities and supervising regulated firms the FSA ‘approved’ certain individuals within firms who carried out particular functions which were called ‘controlled functions’; these individuals were deemed to have a ‘significant influence’ over the direction of the regulated business.

Additional Information

Regulatory approach

Provided by the Financial Services Authority (FSA)