A landmark Bill to regain control of the financial services rulebook has been granted Royal Assent today (Thursday 29 June).
The Financial Services and Markets Act 2023 is central to delivering the Government’s vision to grow the economy and create an open, sustainable, and technologically advanced financial services sector.
It seizes the opportunities of Brexit by tailoring financial services regulation to fit UK markets. The Act bolsters the competitiveness of the UK as a global financial centre and delivers better outcomes for consumers and businesses.
It contains new powers – available due to Brexit – that will set the path for reforms to Solvency II, which will unlock around £100 billion for productive investment and help cultivate innovation and grow the economy.
The Act also introduces new secondary objectives for the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority – to facilitate the growth and international competitiveness of the UK economy. This will be backed up by changes to enhance the scrutiny and accountability of the regulators, including ensuring regular reporting and a greater focus on cost-benefit analyses.
Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Griffith, said:
“2023 is proving to be a banner year for reforming our financial services.
“This landmark piece of legislation gives us control of our financial services rulebook, so it supports UK businesses and consumers and drives growth.
“By repealing old EU laws set in Brussels it will unlock billions in investment – cash that can unlock innovation and grow the economy.”
The changes enable the delivery of key Edinburgh Reforms, putting the UK on course to be the most dynamic and competitive financial services hubs in the world. This includes enabling the implementation of Lord Hill’s UK Listing Review which simplifies the UK prospectus regime – making the UK a better place for companies to IPO.
Today’s ground-breaking Act also:
- enhances the scrutiny of the financial services regulators to ensure clear accountability, appropriate democratic input, and transparent oversight
- removes unnecessary restrictions on wholesale markets – implementing the key outcomes of the Wholesale Markets Review
- protects free access to cash in law and introduces crucial protections for victims of Authorised Push Payment scams
- enables the regulation of cryptoassets to support their safe adoption in the UK
- establishes ‘sandboxes’ that can facilitate the use of new technologies such as blockchain in financial markets