Defining the Financial Services Authority

Any country which has a banking and finance system requires some kind of body to oversee it … After all, simply allowing banks and financial firms to function independently without some kind of checks and balances mechanism would almost certainly lead to corruption and catastrophe. In the UK, the financial system’s regulatory body is the Financial Services Authority, or the FSA, which functions independently of the government in an attempt to provide the financial sector with non-governmental regulation.Do you want to learn more? Visit McEvoy Insurance & Financial Services

FSA’s history The Financial Services Authority was established as a result of the Financial Services and Markets Act of 2000. The first step in establishing this act was the 1997 integration of banking supervision and control of investment services into an entity known as the Securities and Investment Board, or SIB. In October 1997 the SIB officially changed its name to the Financial Services Agency, and a year later the Bank of England transferred the responsibility for banking supervision to the FSA. In May 2000 the FSA took over from the London Stock Exchange the position of the UK listing authority.

When the Financial Services and Markets Act came into effect in 2001, several other financial institutions were integrated into the FSA and new duties were placed on the company (such as the right to take measures to deter market abuse). In 2004, the FSA was given mortgage regulatory capabilities following a Treasury decision, and in January 2005 the FSA took over.

In short, the Financial Services Regulator is responsible for controlling and overseeing all financial transactions and stock markets within the United Kingdom. They also maintain websites that explain how, when negotiating with other countries or political institutions, individuals and companies within the UK can enhance their financial capacity, as well as maintaining the rules of trade regarding finances and securities. The FSA is also responsible for controlling stock markets within the United Kingdom and takes measures to effectively discourage market manipulation and illicit trading.

How the FSA operates The Authority for Financial Services is an independent organization, limited by guarantee and funded by the financial services industry itself. The FSA is run by the FSA Board, consisting of a President, the Chief Executive Officer, three Managing Directors, and ten Non-Executive Members, one of whom serves as the Vice Chairman and is the non-executive lead member. The Board as a whole agrees and determines general strategy, while the CEO carries out day-to-day activities and staff management.

FSA Board Accountability The FSA Board is appointed by the Treasury, and while it is not in and of itself a government department, it is accountable to the Government for its acts and must report to the Treasury Ministers. Because of this, the appointment of new Board members should one resign from the Board is taken with great care.

Because of the structure of the FSA and its impact on the UK economy, the Board is also accountable to Parliament through its relations with the Treasury, and any indiscretions on the part of members of the Board will be dealt with accordingly by either the rest of the Board, the Treasury Ministry, or the Parliament itself.

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