The Financial Services and Markets Bill was introduced into Parliament on 20 July 2022. UK Finance described as a "once in a generation opportunity to improve regulation, enhance consumer protection and create a more competitive financial services sector". It follows on from the Government's 'Future Regulatory Framework' review and itself creates a framework for the Government to take forward several diverse initiatives, not least:
- Enhancing and aligning regulatory objectives and powers
- Allowing the repeal and replacement of all laws and regulatory requirements stemming from EU measures, whether onshored into UK legislation on Brexit or already implemented into the UK regulatory framework
- Creating a new regime under which the largest providers of critical services to regulated firms will themselves be subject to regulatory supervision
- Introducing the ability to regulate crypto-assets and their providers under financial services regulation
- Bringing Buy Now Pay Later products and their providers within the scope of regulation
- Ensuring the maintenance of access to cash
- Paving the way for mandatory reimbursement for victims of APP scams
- Legislating for tighter controls on those who approve financial promotions for others.
While the Bill progresses through the parliamentary passage, several consultations on implementing its provisions are already underway. We can expect significant debate on some of the Bill's contents, but we can also expect quick action to embed some of its proposals with in the regulatory system.