Financial Conduct Authority
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THE SBPP WELCOMES FSA PAPER – FOCUSING ON THE OUTCOMES THAT MATTER

The Smaller Businesses Practitioner Panel (the Panel) has welcomed the FSA's document, published today, entitled: "Principles-based Regulation – Focusing on the Outcomes that Matter"
 
As a part of the regulatory accountability framework, the Panel represents the interests and views of smaller financial services firms, and monitors the overall performance and effectiveness of the FSA in the context of its treatment of smaller firms. Smaller firms now make up over 90% of the FSA's regulated population.        
 
Mark Rothery, Chairman of the Panel, said:
 
"Last November's Practitioner Panel survey featured a very clear message from smaller firms that, up until that point, the FSA had not provided sufficient information about what exactly Principles-based Regulation meant for them in practice. 
 
"This document – along with the separate material published on the FSA's Small Firm web-pages – provides a necessary and meaningful basis to help smaller firms understand this important shift in emphasis and a high-level backdrop against which they should expect to be assessed by the FSA going forward - and for how they should proactively assess themselves. 
 
"Given that smaller firms vary considerably in their activities and ambitions, there will be different degrees to which such firms wish to take full advantage of the flexibility and opportunities that Principles-based Regulation provides. For the very smallest firms, the transition should be relatively straightforward, and they should not feel daunted by or apprehensive about it. It is, nonetheless, crucial that all smaller firms take the time to read this material and engage with the FSA's efforts to make regulation more effective and manageable.  
 
"The Panel is especially pleased at the explicit reference to enhancing the role of the FSA's Firm Contact Centre – specifically, the ability and willingness to provide smaller firms with more authoritative and qualitative guidance when needed.  
 
"With the creation of the Small Firms Division in 2004, the Panel believes that the FSA is genuinely attempting to provide focus and raise its game in dealing with smaller firms. We shall continue to provide an open, collaborative and constructive channel of support and challenge for those efforts as Principles-based Regulation develops and smaller firms gain experience of this outcome-focused approach in operation."         
 
Notes to Editors
 
1. The Smaller Businesses Practitioner Panel (the Panel) was established by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in 1999 to represent the views and interests of smaller regulated firms. Its membership is drawn from smaller firms across all sectors of regulated business. Until June 2005, the Panel was known as the Small Business Practitioner Panel. 
 
2. The Panel believes that smaller firms have a crucial role to play in a healthy and competitive financial services marketplace - and in providing consumers with choice, service and flexibility.
 
3. The Panel can be contacted by email through its secretariat function at the FSA - sbpp@fsa.gov.uk - or in writing c/o the Independent Panels Secretariat at the usual FSA office address.
 
4. Further information about the role, work and membership of the Panel can be found on its website: www.sbpp.org.uk 
 
5. Mark Rothery, the Panel Chairman and CEO of Foresters Friendly Society, is an ex officio member of the Financial Services Practitioner Panel (which has statutory independence from the FSA) to help ensure that smaller firms are properly represented at the very highest level within the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 accountability framework. Information about the Financial Services Practitioner Panel can be found at: www.fs-pp.org.uk.  
 
6. The FSA's website address is: www.fsa.gov.uk.    
    
Press Enquiries:
Chris Cherlin
Secretary to the SBPP
020 7066 9534                                          
Chris.Cherlin@fsa.gov.uk 

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