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Will the UK regulatory regime become more fragmented?

George Osborne has already announced significant changes to the UK regulatory structure which will effectively take significant powers away from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and transfer these to the Bank of England. There will also be the introduction of various other agencies which will become involved in the financial sector, in one way or another, which has led to concerns about the regulatory framework becoming too fragmented.

There is no doubt that the Bank of England will have ultimate control of the UK financial regulatory regime and Mervyn King will be the kingpin in this particular scenario. However, some of the powers formerly held by the FSA could be shared out amongst other parties below the Bank of England which would require very close communication and a very close working relationship between all parties involved. There has been some friction within the regulatory regime in the past and George Osborne and David Cameron will need to keep a very close eye on the situation.

It is unfortunate that the FSA is now finding itself under threat of effective closure because the Authority has been very productive and very successful over the last few years. Indeed, it could be argued that the last two or three years have seen the FSA secure more convictions and issue more fines than ever before because of an increased awareness of the market and what is going on beneath the surface.

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