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The differences between the FSA and FCA

The Financial Conduct Authority was launched on the 1st April 2013 to replace the previous regulator, the Financial Services Authority, following the financial collapse, after it was revealed that major flaws in the organisation had led to lack of regulation including the mis-selling of Protection Payment Insurance.

The key difference between the organisations is in the name, - the FCA is a conduct authority, rather than a services authority. This means its primary function is to make sure that businesses are acting in the correct manner, rather than maintaining all sorts of financial services.

This means that the FCA is more customer focused than it’s predecessor the FSA – it manages the interests of the customers whereas the FSA had to maintain the safety of risk in institutions as well as trying to look out for customer dissatisfaction. How this showed itself, during the financial crisis, was that the FSA could not effectively do both jobs because it was trying to manage the concerns of institutions and this meant that customers’ best interests were not being fully looked after.

Some of the FCA’s new powers include being able to ban products if they feel there is sufficient reason to do so, rather than having to have consultations about every different product, which used to eat up FSA time and resources. This helps to avoid the issues of businesses not following the set rules or adjusting to changes in time to positively benefit customers, which can only be a good thing.

Since its inception, the FCA has taken a more proactive approach to this. It has continued with the controversial Section 166 reviews of the FSA. These give the FCA the power to request that businesses pay for a review into their own practices, if they receive a certain number of complaints.

FSA and FCA rule books

The regulatory rule books for the UK financial services industry have been constantly updated under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

We have a extensive library of COB and COBS rules and notes ranging from 1999 (includes PIA & IMRO rule books) to current date relating to financial investment which can assist legal teams and individuals with possible breaches in duty of care by financial institutions and/or advisers.

To see the full list COB rules (to October 2007) please click here.

To see the full list COBS rules (from November 2007) please click here.

To see a full list of PIA & IMRO please click here.

It is impossible to list all our documents currently on our database so if the information you require is not listed please contact us by email on

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