The Financial Services Bill received Royal Assent on 19th December 2012. The Financial Services Act 2012 (the “Act”) will be published in due course and will come into force on 1st April 2013.

The financial secretary to the treasury, Greg Clark, has stated that the Act “replaces a regulatory structure which palpably failed when tested by crisis. It sets out a comprehensive regulatory framework designed to enhance financial stability in the future and protect consumers.”

The Act will amend the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and will abolish the Financial Services Authority (the “FSA”). The FSA will instead be replaced by a new financial services regulatory structure. In addition to the creation of the Financial Policy Committee, the regulation of prudential and conduct operations will be separated out to two new organisations - the Prudential Regulation Authority (“PRA”) and the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”).

The FSA is currently in the process of consulting on a number of matters to assist in the transfer of powers to the FCA and PRA and a new Handbook will also be published in due course.