Among the legislative initiatives announced during last week's Queen's Speech was the Financial Services and Markets Bill.

The Bill is described in the briefing pack accompanying the Speech as one that will "strengthen the United Kingdom’s financial services industry, ensuring that it continues to act in the interest of all people and communities."

One of the main benefits of the Bill will be to take advantage of the opportunities of FinTech, including supporting the "safe adoption of cryptocurrencies and resilient outsourcing to technology providers."

What's included in the Bill?

The key elements of the Bill are set out below - more details will be available when it is formally introduced to Parliament:

  • Revoking EU financial services law that was preserved in UK law at the end of the Brexit transition period (referred to as "retained EU law") and replacing it with a UK-specific approach to regulation.
  • Updating the objectives of the financial services regulators to ensure a greater focus on growth and international competitiveness.
  • Reforming the rules that regulate the UK’s capital markets to promote investment.
  • Ensuring that people across the UK continue to be able to access their own cash with ease.
  • Introducing additional protections for those investing or using financial products, to make it safer and support the victims of scams. In a policy paper published on the same day as the Speech, the government explained that it intends to use the Bill to clarify that the Payment Systems Regulator may use its existing regulatory powers to require reimbursement in cases of authorised push payment scams in designated payment systems.