Financial Services and Markets Bill

Financial Services and Markets Bill

The Government intends to bring forward a Financial Services and Markets Bill in this session of Parliament.

This important piece of legislation gives the UK the opportunity to create a more competitive financial services sector post-Brexit, while preserving high regulatory standards tailored to our needs. This includes changes to the framework within which financial services regulators operate, reform of the regime for wholesale capital markets and addressing important issues affecting communities across the country, such as fraud and access to cash.

On this page you can find all of our work in relation to the Bill and the various policy issues it addresses.

Future Regulatory Framework review

The Bill will implement the findings of HM Treasury’s Future Regulatory Framework (FRF) Review. Launched in light of Brexit, the FRF review has been a once in a generation assessment of the legislative framework in which the financial services regulators operate.

We have been heavily engaged in the review since its launch in 2019, deeming it an important opportunity to secure improvements to the way in which banking and finance is regulated.

Our views on the FRF review can be read in the following documents:

Wholesale Markets and Prospectus Regime reviews

The UK is a major hub for global wholesale markets. Companies from around the world come to the UK to manage risk and raise the capital they need to grow. Through the Wholesale Markets and Prospectus Regime reviews, the Government is taking advantage of the opportunity to refine and tailor retained EU law in these areas to meet the needs of the UK. Specific improvements will include enabling small businesses and retail investors to better access the crucial funding which UK capital markets provide, streamlining and simplifying requirements to make secondary markets more efficient for end-investors and customers, and delivering a more flexible and user-friendly Prospectus Regime, which will help UK-founded businesses to invest and grow and attract innovative companies from overseas by allowing them to raise cash and establish a foothold in the UK.  

By enacting these changes, the Bill will strengthen the UK as a leading global centre for financial services.   

Our views on these reviews are set out in:

Access to cash

The use of cash is declining in the UK, falling from over 50 per cent to only 17 per cent of all payments in 2020, and this has been accelerated by the pandemic. More people than ever are choosing to ‘go digital’ or use contactless when paying for goods and services. It is, however, important that those who want to use cash can do so.  

UK Finance, through the Cash Action Group (CAG), has been assessing cash needs across the country. In certain places this has led to new shared banking hubs, as well as other measures to preserve access.

HM Treasury will legislate, through the Bill,  to enable itself to designate firms for the purpose of ensuring continued access to cash across the UK. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will be established as the lead regulator for retail cash access and will be given appropriate powers for ensuring that designated firms continue to provide deposit and withdrawal facilities across the UK. The FCA’s powers will allow it to address cash access issues at both a national and local level. We largely welcome these proposed measures, which, in conjunction with the work being carried out by the CAG, should ensure sustainable access to cash for those who continue to need it. 

Read our response to HM Treasury’s consultation on Access to Cash for our detailed views on these issues.

Reform of the Consumer Credit Act 1974

A growing proportion of transactions now completely digital, and lenders are innovating rapidly to respond to shifting consumer preferences. The scale and pace of change is shown by the emergence of Buy Now, Pay Later products, now used by over 17 million customers in the UK.

We welcome the Government’s commitment to reform the Consumer Credit Act and give full responsibility for regulating consumer credit to the FCA. This will enable regulation to keep pace with changes in consumer behaviour. The Bill should enable those reforms to be implemented without delay.

Read our response to HM Treasury’s consultation on the regulation of Buy Now, Pay Later.

APP Scams

The banking and finance industry is committed to stopping fraud happening in the first place, but for those who have lost money, banks have reimbursed millions of pounds to customers since the APP voluntary code was introduced. 

UK Finance and our members have long called for a regulated code, backed by legislation, to ensure consumer protections apply consistently. We therefore welcome the government’s announcement of its plans to address this in the Financial Services and Markets Bill.

The work the Payment Systems Regulator undertakes here needs to recognise the role played by other sectors in enabling fraud and be clear on the expectations of customers and payment service providers

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