The financial market is one that typically needs strict oversight to help regulate the marketplace, making it a safe and comfortable place for consumers to invest and plan financially. Reassurance is key to a successful & thriving financial services industry.
Most consumers know the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to be the overall regulator of the financial industry. However, as of April 3, 2013, the regulator known as the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has undergone changes and has been renamed the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
There are several reasons for the change and there are also some impacts that may be felt by consumers, smaller firms, and accountants. For all intents and purposes, the FCA will be a more intense champion for the consumer than the FSA. The Financial Conduct Authority will better aid the average consumer and investor in finding the right products and investment strategies.
Despite the recent change, there are still several aspects of the regulator that have remained constant. For one, the Financial Conduct Authority will be largely staffed by the same people that staffed the FSA. They will be working out of the same location and will be regulating the same financial services and firms that were regulated under the FSA.
However, there are some differences between the FSA and the Financial Conduct Authority. The biggest of these changes is the idea that the business of regulating the capital adequacy of the largest financial firms, approximately 1,700, is now outsourced to the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), which a sister regulator of the FCA. Under the PRA, the Financial Policy Committee (FPC) will be overseeing the “macro” issues relevant to the industry. Both the FPC and the PRA are essentially a part of the Bank of England.
The Financial Conduct Authority has also gained some authority and power that was lacking in the FSA. For one, the FCA can intervene in the promotion of market-wide products. This means that the FCA has the power to ban the sale of fraudulent products. This means that the FCA may have a stronger presence when it comes to advocating for the consumer’s best interest. This can only be good for the consumer and genuine financial advisory services companies.
For consumers, the change from the FSA to the FCA may not be felt very strongly. However, the FCA is an advocate for the consumer. The regulator allows the consumer to have a market place that promotes reliable products to the consumer. Without the FCA, consumers would have a much more difficult time planning for their financial futures.
All promotional materials showing the FSA are to be phased out by April next year, however many firms have already taken the initiative, embraced the changes and adopted the new Financial Conduct Authority as the necessary changes to keep on improving the industry.
Equity Release Supermarket are directly authorised by the FCA with permissions under their FCA no 584063. For assurance purposes all financial services firms can be checked on the FCA register to ensure they are fully authorised, or even what permissions and authorisations they have. To check any companies details click this FCA register link.
In addition for equity release purposes, we only recommend lifetime mortgage & home reversion schemes from companies that are members of the Equity Release Council. Both authorities combined, provide the assurance to our customers that Equity Release Supermarket provide the exact standards required to offer our customers peace of mind & the security that regulation can offer.
If you have any questions about the impact of the FSA/FSA changes or further details on the Equity Release Council contact Mark Gregory on 01925 830816 or email [email protected].