Changes to the Financial Services and Markets Act will enable the FSA to consider applications from firms to waive or amend any or all of its rules.
On July 12, the Treasury announced the deregulatory amendments, the Regulatory Reform Order (RRO), in which they hope to reduce the burden on financial sector firms and the FSA.
The reform report states: “This change should help those who are subject to our rules by making waivers and modifications more flexible,” it says.
“So, subject to EU directive constraints, we can now consider waiver or modification applications for any of our rules.”
The FSA says it will consider granting waivers or modifications if firms are able to demonstrate:
- Compliance with the rule would be unduly burdensome or would not achieve the rule's purpose.
- Anyone whose interests are protected by the rule would not be put at undue risk.
Also, those subject to the FSA's rules, but not authorised – such as appointed auditors and actuaries – can now apply for rule waivers and modifications.
In other changes, the remaining partner of a two-person partnership would be able to continue acting as a sole trader without needing to be re-authorised if the other partner died or resigned – so long as the business does not change.
Meanwhile, the RRO will also remove some of the burdens placed on the FSA when consulting on guidance.
The FSA will consult on the RRO’s minor handbook changes in its October 2007 quarterly consultation paper.
The regulator published a policy statement which highlights the streamlined process.
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