On August 17, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced on the front page of its online rulebook, which currently also includes the rules of the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and guidance from both Authorities, that new and separate FCA Handbook and PRA Rulebook websites will be launching on August 29. Any persons attempting to visit the current online rulebook after August 29 will be redirected to the new websites of the FCA Handbook and PRA Rulebook.
Both the FCA and the PRA were formed on April 1, 2013 from divisions of the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA), which was perceived by the UK government to have failed to adequately supervise UK banks during the financial crisis of 2007–2008. Consequently, the UK government elected to restructure financial regulation in the United Kingdom and abolished the FSA, splitting its responsibilities between the PRA and the FCA. The two new websites with separate sets of rules represents the final separation of the two Authorities.
The FCA is the United Kingdom’s principal regulator of investment firms (some of which may also be regulated by the PRA). As well as authorizing (i.e., licensing) firms, it conducts supervision and enforcement activities. It also has the power to regulate UK-based conduct relating to the marketing of financial products and can place specific requirements on products and require firms to comply with minimum standards. The FCA also supervises individuals working in the UK financial services sector through its approved persons regime, which requires that they receive approval from the FCA before undertaking regulated activities. Its statutory objectives include: (1) protecting consumers; (2) enhancing market integrity; and (3) promoting competition.
The PRA is a part of the Bank of England and is responsible for the prudential regulation and supervision of approximately 1,700 banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers and major investment firms. It sets standards and supervises such financial institutions at the level of the individual firm. Its statutory objectives include: (1) promoting the safety and soundness of firms; (2) securing an appropriate degree of protection for insurance policyholders; and (3) facilitating effective competition among the firms it supervises.
The current website for the online rulebook is available here.