Out-Law / Your Daily Need-To-Know

UK to launch regulatory initiatives grid to monitor upcoming changes

Out-Law News | 17 Mar 2020 | 2:57 pm | 2 min. read

The UK government has announced the launch of a ‘regulatory initiatives grid’ to provide an indicative two-year forward look at major upcoming regulatory initiatives affecting the financial services sector.

The announcement came in the HM Treasury response (25-page / 342KB PDF) to the Financial Services Future Regulatory Framework Review call for evidence on regulatory coordination. The government said the grid will be published twice a year and will set out an indicative timetable for each regulatory initiative.

It is expected the grid will help financial services firms be better informed about initiatives that could affect their business, and support regulatory bodies to manage the overall flow of initiatives.

Financial services expert Josie Day of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, welcomed the announcement.

“This is a direct and swift response to feedback on how the UK’s financial services regulators and government work together and co-ordinate their activities. As an indicative timetable of ‘what’s up next’, the grid in effect gives financial services firms a two-year horizon scan of publicised, regulatory initiatives for their sector,” Day said.

Day Josie

Josie Day

Senior Practice Development Lawyer

The grid should help firms monitor the initiatives and deadlines - and prepare for them. For regulators, it should be easier to spot pinch-points where multiple regulatory demands could be a burden for firms.

“The grid should help firms monitor the initiatives and deadlines - and prepare for them. For regulators, it should be easier to spot pinch-points where multiple regulatory demands could be a burden for firms," she said.

“As the grid will be a consolidated view of regulatory initiatives, hopefully it will assist regulators further increase the coordination of these initiatives and reduce peaks in regulatory demand on firms,” Day said.

The grid will be managed by a coordinating Financial Services Regulatory Initiatives Forum, with its members comprising the Bank of England, Prudential Regulation Authority, Financial Conduct Authority, Payment Systems Regulator, Competition and Markets Authority, and HM Treasury as an observer member.

Other bodies, including the Information Commissioner’s Office, The Pensions Regulator and Financial Reporting Council will be invited to attend and contribute to the grid on an ad hoc basis, if and when responsible for a major initiative affecting the sector.

The forum will review the grid after a year and will consider improvements which could be made, in light of  any feedback from stakeholders and the views of the participating bodies.

The government also said it would use phase two of the framework review to develop a more coherent approach to financial services regulation in the UK, and provide a clearer split of regulatory responsibilities. This phase will form part of the government’s upcoming white paper on financial services due to be published later in the spring.

The government announced the framework review in June 2019, with then-chancellor Philip Hammond saying the aim was to deliver a proportionate regulatory system enabling innovation, protecting consumers and maintaining high standards.

Over 60 responses were received to the call for evidence, with key themes including the importance of how public bodies manage the cumulative impact of regulatory change on firms, the need to manage the risk of unintended consequences when several initiatives overlap, and the use of regulatory technology to make regulation and supervision more efficient for both authorities and firms.