So you think you know the FSA Handbook?

So you think you know the FSA Handbook?

Submitted by Steve Formica on Wed, 07/20/2011 - 03:25 in

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is a quasi-judicial body responsible for the regulation of the financial services industry in the United Kingdom. If you are a participant in the global financial markets you are probably quite familiar with the FSA and at least acquainted with the FSA handbook.

Very recently I was using our LDS service with a subscription to the FSA rules to set a record retention schedule for a global financial firm. Given my professional background as a financial markets risk and regulatory expert I was surprised to find how little I knew of FSA regulation outside my own domain; in particular the exact records required and record keeping procedures rather than the retention time periods. After researching how large the Handbook has become (thanks Google) I understood the problem.

The term Handbook sounds very handy and compact until you realize that the FSA Handbook is comprised of 10 blocks holding some 65 individual sourcebooks or manuals resulting in an “enormous 8000 page compendium of principals, guidance, and specific rules” as described by the Compliance-Exchange. In a light year, 400-500 pages are added and a few thousand changed, triple that in an expansive year.

But don’t worry if you’re not up on the latest FSA handbook changes. On June 16, 2010, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced plans to abolish the FSA and separate its responsibilities between a number of new agencies and the Bank of England. With the transition expected to be completed by 2012, we will certainly keep you up to date.