FSA plans to delete superfluous rules to lower regulation cost

The FSA is to delete sections of its rule book in an effort to reduce the cost of compliance for small firms.

FSA regulatory services business unitmanaging director David Kenmir said: "We are looking to delete rules from the handbook where those rules serve no purpose. It will reduce the indirect cost of compliance."

The exact nature of the deletions will be published in the second quarter of this year after consultation with the industry's major trade bodies.

"We are reviewing our whole risk-based approach to regulation," said Kenmir.

The move comes after the FSA published its Business Plan for 2005 last week, setting out its priorities for the year ahead. FSA chairman Callum McCarthy said: "We will be examining, more thoroughly than ever before the effectiveness of our supervisory work, how easy it is for small firms to do business with us, the benefits and costs of our regulation and rules, and whether there are some of these we can eliminate."

He said the FSA would focus on reducing the costs of compliance to small firms. "We recognise that small firms are particularly aware of the costs of regulation."

The financial services practitioner panel welcomed the FSA's business plan. The panel said the FSA had taken steps to address some of the concerns raised in its survey of regulated firms. The survey found regulated firms felt they were "over regulated" and that compliance costs were stifling business development.

FSA's aims for 2005

  • Promote efficient, orderly and fair markets - promoting the UK as a hub for international business at a time of regulatory change, and tackling transparency of fees and payments
  • Help retail customers achieve a fair deal - focusing on the importance of improving quality, clarity and relevance of information provided to consumers.
  • Improve business capability and effectiveness - devising proportionate policies and making the FSA easier to deal with.