Further FSMB revisions released

Parliament has published the latest raft of proposed amendments to the FSM Bill. These include:

  • a change to the very first sub-clause, replacing the revocation of the EU and EU-derived legislation in the schedule so that instead Treasury has power to revoke it, but not if the Chancellor considers that doing so would prejudice consumers, unless adequate mitigating legislation is in place
  • to allow the new designated activities regime to cover businesses that seek to raise finance by soliciting contributions from the general public other than by authorised share issue;
  • to include cryptoassets within the definition of “financial instruments” for the purposes of the designated activities regime;
  • to introduce personal liability for nominated representatives for organisations found liable for the carrying out of a designated activity where an organisation has been found liable;
  • removing Treasury’s power to modify legislation of the devolved administrations on designated activities;
  • to ensure the views of the relevant regulator are taken into account on the Treasury review of FMI Sandbox arrangements;
  • to prevent unauthorised firms from “shopping around” for a fin prom approver, when one firm has refused to approve, unless FCA permits it;
  • to require FCA to act in a way that it compatible with both the competitiveness and growth objective and the Government’s climate commitments, as well as its strategic and operational objectives;
  • to state that consumers are held responsible for their decisions only when the relevant financial services providers is fully compliant with its duties under the Consumer Duty;
  • to amend the definition of cash deposit and withdrawal services to include those available for a fee as well as free of charge;
  • several changes to the access to cash provisions, requiring FCA to publish determinations on lack of availability of relevant services;
  • to provide for the Chair of the PSR to be a member of the FCA Board;
  • to include cryptoassets (with a suggested definition) within the financial promotion and general prohibitions in FSMA;
  • to include the requirement for a Treasury and FCA review of access to essential in-person banking services for local communities, and propose minimum levels of access which FCA should ensure; and for Treasury to lay an “essential banking services access policy statement” before the House of Commons within 6 month of the Act being passed;
  • to require Treasury to make regulations to guarantee a minimum level of access to free of charge cash access services for consumers and small businesses, subject to affirmative resolution in Parliament;
  • to require FCA to monitor, collect and publish data on cash acceptance at retailers and service providers;
  • to require the Treasury to lay before the Commons a national anti-fraud strategy within 6 months of the Act being passed, including appropriate data sharing arrangements;
  • to require PRA and FCA to report annually on the specific needs of mutual and co-operative business models;
  • to require Treasury to update the Green Finance Strategy within 3 months of the passing of the Act;
  • to prohibit PSPs from supplying services to customers on the basis of the customer exercising their right to freedom of expression; and
  • to make regulators able to be the subject of civil damages actions in certain circumstances of consumer loss.

The next sitting of the Committee is on 25 October.


Emma Radmore