The changing regulatory environment - from the FSA to lofty 'Twin Peaks'

Written by Elizabeth Mullins on Wednesday July 18, 2012

With the impending change in UK regulation flooding towards us like the recent wet weather, the FSA are 'drip' feeding information to the industry as they continue along their metamorphic journey in a bid to help ease the transition we will all have to deal with in some form or another.

I don't know about anyone else but on rainy, miserable days there is nothing like settling down with a good story to read. Why shouldn't it be one set in the world of compliance ........

The characters

  • The FSA - the current 'regulator'
  • FCA / PRA - the new regulatory framework, aka ' twin peaks'
  • The Business(es) - anyone who is subject to supervision from the 'regulator'

Once upon a time...

at a free briefing by the FSA, a model of how the proposed new regulatory framework will look was unveiled; known to those who need to as the 'twin peaks' model. This, along with insights into how the twin peaks will work together and what the key areas of focus will be was communicated; along with information on the frequency of the new framework visits and how these would be planned.

The FSA also spearheaded discussions around which businesses would fall into either the FCA or the PRA framework (or both), which were both informative and practical at the basic business level. The current regulator also gave businesses the opportunity to ask ' no holds barred' questions and in return received very good answers, unless the topic was more industry related; to which questions were taken away for digestion.

The people the regulator sent mingled with the businesses that were brave enough to attend the briefing and spent quite some time asking questions themselves, which in turn created a sense of real interest and commitment with a willingness to understand real issues the businesses may encounter. The regulator also wanted to know what type of communications the businesses would like to see and how it could best serve and assist during what would be a challenging and resource intense transitional time period.

The regulator also openly admitted to the businesses that even what they currently knew and were planning for could change, depending on the outcome of something called 'the Financial Services Bill' which was making its way through parliament. However; reassurance was given that any changes that may occur, or any important progress made would be shared with all when the regulator was able to do so.

The briefing ended with a group of people who were faced with a great challenge ahead of them, coming together and working with a single goal in mind - to move towards the most efficient and realistic way of implementing a great change that would affect all regulated businesses in the land.

The end

Seems like a great story? Well in actual fact the above is an account of the recent half day FSA briefing entitled 'Journey to the Financial Conduct Authority' that I attended along with a number of other delegates from various businesses. I have attended these kind of sessions before and I can honestly say that even though I have been following the progress of the upcoming changes, I am really glad I took the time out of my busy week to hear what the FSA wanted to say.

I have also heard that some of these briefings have been cancelled due to a lack of attendance, which is a real shame because it's not every day you get the kind of interaction and actual conversation I had and witnessed recently.

Who says stories you read are not real? Sometimes reality can be stranger than fiction.


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