On 3 December 2012, the FSA published its consultation on "The FCA's use of temporary product intervention rules" (CP 12/35*** is available here).

It's longer and more repetitive than it needs to be because it's trapped in the FSA's house style.

Cut to the chase by reading chapter 4 to find out what temporary product intervention rules are ("TPIRs"), and when they might be used.

If that would take too long, here's a handy summary: The FCA won't make TPIRs very often. When it does, they:

  • May be used for consumer protection, competition or market integrity reasons;
  • Will be used as a quick fix for an urgent problem, while the FCA looks for a permanent solution;
  • Will be made and brought into force without consultation;
  • May provide that products sold in breach of TPIRs are unenforceable, and money paid in respect of them must be returned; and
  • Will apply for a fixed period, before lapsing automatically.

Paragraphs 2.9 and 2.10 of, and Annex 1 to, the CP describe some of scenarios and market failures that might warrant TPIRs.  They also include a brief behavioural economics lesson, and a warning about "over-confident consumers, who may demonstrate self-control problems".

Unlike the CP, the consultation period is brief and to the point: it ends on 4 February 2013.