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Advisory, Compliance and Supervisory

In the financial services sector, it is a business imperative for authorised firms to comply with the requirements of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). Whilst regulation is a business cost, it is also an opportunity. Addressed correctly, it helps to ensure that a business operates efficiently and mitigates the risks posed to it, and to its clients, through its commercial activities.

We regularly advise on the detailed provisions of the Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA), the FCA Handbook and on the complex European legislation that applies to the activities of authorised firms in the UK.

We also have first-hand experience and in-depth legal and market knowledge of identifying whether financial services activities fall to be regulated by the FCA or PRA. Many activities fall on the boundary of regulation and it is important that they are identified and managed appropriately. We combine our expertise in these complex matters to ensure that we deliver the right solution to our clients. Examples of the areas in which we can assist our clients include:

  • assisting unregulated firms by providing 'perimeter advice' to enable them to identify whether any of their activities amount to regulated activities may require authorisation under Part IV of FSMA and/or advising on how to structure their affairs so that they do not require authorisation
  • establishing, monitoring and evaluating firms' policies, systems and controls to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, including anti-money laundering, financial crime and client asset rules
  • assisting authorised firms in complying with the FCA/PRA Handbook requirements that they are subject to including conduct of business (COBS) requirements, systems and controls (SYSC) issues and regulatory capital issues
  • advising on the scope of the financial promotions regime to ensure compliance with the requirement of section 21 FSMA

It is also vital for FCA authorised firms to maintain a good relationship with the regulator, especially where the FCA's supervisory approach continues to be increasingly proactive.

Fox Williams has expert insight into the working of the regulator and coupled with our insight into the regulatory regime within the UK we are able to assist our clients in handling their relationship with the regulator. Such supervisory contact with the regulator can be both scheduled and unexpected. Accordingly our services, expertise and approach are tailored to deal with the situations that our clients may face and include:

  • preparing for supervisory and thematic visits and liaising with the FCA in respect of any subsequent issues arising
  • advising and assisting with FCA liaison where the appointment of a section 166 skilled person is being considered
  • responding to requests for information arising out of FCA thematic enquiries and "Dear CEO" communications
  • urgent assistance in respect of FCA unannounced supervisory visits and inspections

As experts in the field we also appreciate that it may, from time to time, be necessary to access the skills of other professionals. When required, we assist our clients by working with other business professionals, including compliance consultants, accountants and the providers of other forensic service.

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Who should I contact?


Peter Wright
Direct dial: +44 (0)20 7614 2680


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