The financial crisis demonstrated the need for a new approach to financial regulation. Major reforms have therefore been underway to establish a regulatory framework which is focused on the issues that matter and better equipped to deliver financial stability.
The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) is responsible for the prudential regulation and supervision of banks, building societies and credit unions, insurers and major investment firms. The PRA promotes the safety and soundness of these firms and helps to ensure an appropriate degree of protection for insurance policyholders. In total the PRA regulates around 1,700 financial firms.
In promoting safety and soundness, the PRA is particularly concerned about the harm that firms can cause to the stability of the financial system. A stable financial system is one in which firms continue to provide critical financial services to households and businesses. Protection for the public
A number of bodies protect the public in relation to financial services.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) seeks to ensure that consumers get a fair deal. It is also responsible for promoting competition and ensuring financial markets work well.
If a consumer has a complaint that they haven’t been able to resolve against a bank, insurance company or financial firm, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) may be able to help. The FOS is the official independent expert in settling complaints between consumers and businesses providing financial services.
In the event that a financial firm gets into difficulty, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) offers compensation to depositors and holders of insurance policies. The FSCS covers business done by firms authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority and those authorised by the PRA.