The Financial Services Authority

Who is the Financial Services Authority? (FSA)

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The Financial Services Authority
Who is the Financial Services Authority? (FSA)........

The Financial Services Authority is an independent non-government body, given legal powers under the Financial Services and Market Act 2000.

The FSA are a company limited by guarantee and financed by the financial industry. The Treasury appoints an Board that consists of a Chairman, a Chief Executive Officer, two Managing Directors, and 11 non-executive Directors.

This Board will set the FSA’s policy, but the day-to-day decisions are made by the Executives.

What the FSA does

The FSA has four main aims:
· Maintaining confidence in the UK’s financial system – The FSA achieve this by, supervising financial exchanges, settlement houses and other market infrastructure providers; conducting market surveillance; and monitoring transactions.

· Promoting the public’s understanding of the UK’s financial system – The FSA try to help people to gain the understanding, aptitude and skills that they need to become informed consumers, so that consumers can more effectively manage their financial affairs.

· To protect consumers – vetting is at the application stage of entry to the FSA and is aimed at admitting only those firms and individuals who satisfy the necessary criteria (including honesty, competence and financial soundness) to be involved in regulated activity. Once authorised, the FSA expect firms and individuals to maintain defined standards set by the FSA. The FSA then monitors how far the firms and individuals meet these standards. Where serious problems are identified the FSA investigates and, if appropriate, disciplines or prosecutes those responsible for conducting financial business in contradiction to the rules. The FSA can also use their powers to restore funds to clients.

· To help to reduce financial crime – the FSA’s work concentrates on three main kinds of financial crime: money laundering; fraud and dishonesty; and criminal financial misconduct such as insider dealing.

Whilst working towards these aims, the Financial Services Authority takes the following into account:
· The need to use resources in a cost effective and efficient way;
· The responsibility of the management in regulated organisations;
· The need to balance the restrictions on financial firms with the benefits of regulation for clients and industry
· The need to allow innovation to flourish;
· The international characteristics of financial services and markets and the United Kingdom’s competitive position; and
· The value of competition between financial businesses

Regulating insurance intermediaries

The Financial Services Authority also regulate the sale of general insurance products such as life insurance, house and car insurance. This follows from moves in the European Union on the Insurance Mediation Directive.

How to visit the FSA website

Their address is