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FIU Financial Services.

Our History

The Beginnings of FIU Financial Services

As the financial regulator for the UK, we use a wide range of rule-making, investigatory and enforcement powers to fulfill our statutory objectives.

Our powers and objectives are given to us by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA). We also aim to promote efficient, orderly and fair financial markets and follow our orinciples of good regulation.
We are an independent body and we receive no government funding – we are funded entirely by the firms we regulate. However, we are accountable to the Treasury and, through them, Parliament.

Who we are

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is an independent non-governmental body, given statutory powers by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. We are a company limited by guarantee and financed by the financial services industry. The Board sets our overall policy, but day-to-day decisions and management of the staff are the responsibility of the Executive Committee.

We are accountable to Treasury Ministers and, through them, Parliament. We are operationally independent of government and are funded entirely by the firms we regulate. We are an open and transparent organisation and provide full information for firms, consumers and others about our objectives, plans, policies and rules, including through this website.


The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the reform of financial services regulation in the UK and the creation of a new regulator on 20 May 1997.

The Chancellor announced his decision to merge banking supervision and investment services regulation into the Securities and Investments Board (SIB). The SIB formally changed its name to the Financial Services Authority in October 1997.

The first stage of the reform of financial services regulation was completed in June 1998, when responsibility for banking supervision was transferred to the FSA from the Bank of England. In May 2000 the FSA took over the role of UK Listing Authority from the London Stock Exchange. The Financial Services and Markets Act, which received Royal Assent in June 2000 and was implemented on 1 December 2001, transferred to the FSA the responsibilities of several other organisations:

  • Building Societies Commission
  • Friendly Societies Commission
  • Investment Management Regulatory Organisation
  • Personal Investment Authority
  • Register of Friendly Societies
  • Securities and Futures Authority

In addition, the legislation gives us some new responsibilities – in particular taking action to prevent market abuse.

In October 2004, following a decision by the Treasury, we took on responsibility for mortgage regulation.  In January 2005, to implement the Insurance Mediation Directive and in accordance with a Government announcement in 2004 we took on regulation of general insurance business.

In June 2010, the Chancellor announced the government’s intention to replace the FSA as a single financial services regulator with two new successor bodies, and restructure the UK’s financial regulatory framework.