On 16 March 2016, George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, delivered the March 2016 Budget.
Of particular interest are the following measures and policy decisions:
- The government will establish a tougher regulatory regime for Claims Management Companies (CMC) including: introducing a senior managers regime, requiring re-authorisation of all CMCs and transferring supervisory responsibility from the Ministry of Justice to the FCA. The FCA has welcomed this development.
- The government commits to implementing all of the recommendations set out in the Financial Advice Market Review, for which it is responsible. Amongst other things, the government will consult on amending the definition of regulated advice, to remove regulatory uncertainty.
- The government has launched a consultation on public financial guidance, aimed at replacing the existing Money Advice Service with a new, slimmed-down money guidance body charged with identifying gaps in the financial guidance market and commissioning providers to fill those gaps.
- The government will legally require nine banks to offer basic bank accounts to help people access basic banking services. It has also committed to publish basic bank account market share data for the first time in Autumn 2016.
- The government will continue to pursue more proportionate capital requirements for small banks and building societies in the EU, work with the FCA and PRA New Bank Start-up Unit to promote the authorisation of new banks, and ensure Bacs takes action to further improve the Current Account Switch Service.
- On 1 April 2016, the government will formally designate the banks and credit reference agencies required to share credit data under the Small and Medium Sized Business (Credit Information) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/1945).