The Financial Services (Banking Reform) Bill (2012-13) received Royal Assent on 18 December 2013 and has become the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013. As you will no doubt be aware, the Act represents the second Pillar of the UK Government's financial regulatory reform programme (the first Pillar is the Financial Services Act 2012 which is already in force - see Edition 4 of this Briefing for further background). The Act implements the recommendations of the Independent Commission on Banking (the so-called Vickers Review) which focused on the structural separation (so-called "ring-fencing") of 'retail' from 'investment' banking and strengthening depositor preference and 'bail-in' rules as well as various aspects of the outcome of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards (PCBS) review. The Act sets out the key provisions on "ring-fencing", the depositor preference scheme and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, the "bail-in" powers (amending the Banking Act 2009), amendments to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 to provide for stricter provisions on approved persons and senior management functions, provisions introducing the regulation of payment systems and the duties of the new Payments Systems Regulator (including the regulators' competition functions, their interaction with the competition authorities, and provisions restricting the disclosure of confidential information), provisions setting out the special administration scheme for operators of "financial market infrastructures", and numerous miscellaneous provisions. The bulk of the Act will be brought into force during the course of 2014 on dates to be appointed by HM Treasury in secondary legislation.