The Financial Services and Markets Act 2023, which the UK government described as a ground-breaking law, has been welcomed by the specialty insurance market.
Granted Royal Assent on Thursday, the Financial Services and Markets Bill was introduced in the House of Commons in July 2022 to tailor financial services regulation to fit UK markets following Brexit. Aside from new powers that will set the path for reforms to Solvency II, the law consists of new secondary objectives for the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
“2023 is proving to be a banner year for reforming our financial services,” Economic Secretary to the Treasury Andrew Griffith said in a release. “This landmark piece of legislation gives us control of our financial services rulebook, so it supports UK businesses and consumers and drives growth.
“By repealing old EU (European Union) laws set in Brussels, it will unlock billions in investment – cash that can unlock innovation and grow the economy.”
Commenting on the development, the London Market Group (LMG) said it welcomes the Royal Assent on behalf of the specialty insurance market, noting that the Act closely reflects the measures the trade body has asked for over the last 18 months.
“We want to thank the MPs and peers who have supported our campaign and the work they have undertaken to make these changes happen,” stated the LMG in an emailed release. “This Bill, together with the ongoing work on developing performance metrics, represents a package of reforms that will specifically require the regulators to set out how they are facilitating the UK’s international competitiveness.
“Given the extensive new rulemaking powers they now have, these measures will be instrumental in ensuring they are focussed on improving both day-to-day operations and attracting new entrants and investment to the UK.”
For LMG chief executive Caroline Wagstaff (pictured), meanwhile, the focus should now shift to ensuring a speedy implementation of measures.
“The issue here is now about the pace of change – what are the regulators going to change to deliver on the new secondary objective, how fast will they implement those changes, and how will the success, or otherwise, be measured,” the CEO declared.
“This is vital if the UK is to keep pace with the increasingly fierce international competition for investment. We look forward to continuing to work with the government to make a success of these important changes.”
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