The Financial Services Bill has received royal assent, marking a milestone for the industry’s post-Brexit reality.
The bill is now an act and has been designed to enhance the competitiveness of UK financial services outside the EU.
MP John Glen, economic secretary to the Treasury, hailed the act’s progress for giving the UK full control over its financial services regulation for the first time in decades.
He said: “This act will protect people who rely on financial services day-to-day and boost the competitiveness of our dynamic global financial centre.
“It marks a major milestone in our plans to develop a regulatory regime that works for the UK and helps us seize new opportunities in the global economy.”
Measures in the act include enabling the implementation of remaining Basel III standards and a new prudential regime for investment firms.
The FCA will also be given new powers to oversee an orderly transition away from Libor.
The act also simplifies the process to market overseas investment funds in the UK, while simultaneously delivering a ministerial commitment to “long-term access” between the UK and Gibraltar.
A number of smaller measures have also been included, such as improving the functioning of PRIIP regulations and increased penalties for market abuse.
Interest-free buy-now-pay-later products will also be brought into regulation and cashback will be made easier to offer for consumers even when a purchase is not made.
Recently, the government has been lobbied by Pimfa which has argued Brexit allows the UK to reform Mifid in a way that boosts the advice sector.
This particular view has been echoed by senior personnel at the FCA, with the watchdog’s head of consumer distribution policy Alex Roy saying it offered them an opportunity to “specifically look at the advice-guidance boundary”.
The watchdog published a consultation earlier in the week suggesting changes to the best research and best execution aspects of Mifid.
It wants to remove the obligation on execution venues to publish a report on a variety of metrics to enable market participants to compare execution quality.
It also wants to remove the requirement on investment firms who execute orders to produce an annual report setting out the top 5 venues used for executing client orders.