Big Ben, Westminster Bridge on River Thames in London, the UK. English symbol. Lovely puffy clouds, sunny day
Michal Bednarek/123RF

The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is consulting on regulatory reforms for the asset management sector with a view to enhancing investor protection, boosting competition and facilitating innovation.

Existing regulations regulations in the U.K. are derived primarily from the rules set by the European Union.

“[This] provides an opportunity for the FCA to look to improve asset management regulation with a more modern and tailored regime, better meeting the needs of U.K. markets and consumers,” the regulator said in a release.

The regulator isn’t advocating any specific proposals at this point. Instead, the consultation is intended to launch a discussion about the tack it should take.

The FCA indicated that it may consider a wide range of possible reforms.

“We want to ensure that the U.K. remains an attractive domicile for internationally active asset managers,” the FCA said in its paper. “We want to see innovation in the sector, maintaining the U.K. as a leader in the use of technology. We also want to see the sector work in the best interests of the consumers and businesses it serves.”

To that end, the FCA said there are areas where it may introduce “more extensive requirements” for firms.

For instance, it said it could raise standards to ensure that investors’ needs are being met.

“Setting higher standards can also benefit firms that are already working to best practice,” it said.

At the same time, there are other areas where regulations are imposing excessive costs on firms or investors, or “creating unnecessary barriers to innovation,” it said.

There could also be gaps in regulation that need to be closed, the paper said.

“We want the regime to be effective at providing the right outcomes. But we do not want to make unnecessary changes if they either do not benefit consumers, create disproportionate costs, or do not improve the way the market is working,” it said.