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Appeal process to survive under new regulator

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Appeal process to survive under new regulator

The Regulatory Decisions Committee (RDC) will survive under the new regulatory structure for financial services, a Financial Services Authority (FSA) consultation paper has revealed.

The future of the RDC, which provides an independent appeal process for the regulator’s decisions, had seemed unclear. In October the government rejected Labour’s calls to force new regulator the Financial Conduct Authority to maintain the RDC.

But a FSA consultation paper on the Financial Services Bill has outlined the RDC’s role under the new regulatory structure. It is consulting on changes to its handbook to align it with the FCA’s policies.

The RDC will be handed a key role as part of the FCA’s controversial new powers to publish warning notices before its investigations into firms have concluded.

The FSA said that the new power would only apply to disciplinary matters, where the regulator was proposing to censure, fine or suspend a firm or individual. It added that the Regulatory Decisions Committee would decide on behalf of the FCA whether to publish information about the matter to which a warning notice relates.

The FSA is consulting on changes to its handbook to set out a process for deciding on whether to publish warning notices and how to consult with the firm to which the notice relates.

The FSA is also consulting on handbook changes that would hand FCA staff the power to ban financial promotions if they believe it breaks, or looks likely to break, its rules. 'We consider that decisions to exercise this power ought to be taken by FCA staff under executive procedures,' the regulator said in its consultation paper.

The FCA's powers over firm permissions will also change from those employed by the FSA. The FSA can currently vary a firm's permissions on its own initiative. The FCA will however be granted a new power to vary ‘requirements’ made on regulated individuals, and will be able to vary these requirements due to individuals’ activities both within and outside financial services.

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