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FCA Publication: Our ambitious agenda for UK asset management


In a speech delivered at the Bloomberg Buy-side Forum, Ashley Alder, the FCA Chair set out the agenda for reforms to the asset management sector. 

Although the FCA is already pursuing a set of landmark proposals to enhance UK capital markets (ranging from listing rules and research to affordable mass-market investment advice and value for money in pension schemes) the speech focused on regulation of “direct relevance to the asset management industry”. 

Much asset management regulation is contained in assimilated EU law, namely through UCITS, AIFMD and some parts of MIFID. The Smarter Regulatory Framework (SRF), which is secondary legislation designed to replace retained EU law, is being leveraged to modernise and enhance asset management regulation to meet the needs of the UK market. 

This began with the publication of the Discussion Paper (DP) 23/2: Updating and improving the UK regime for asset management in February 2023 (and concluded in May 2023). Across the sector, there were mixed responses, with some firms wanting rules to broadly remain aligned with EU rules, while others saw benefits in making the regime far more proportionate for alternative managers; which the FCA agreed was the area with greatest potential for reform. 

The requirements will be proportionate to the risks posed by specific business models. A common theme will be that the FCA will think about what tools and data are needed to oversee activities more effectively. 

Thistle has in-house experts who have experience in advising clients on how to respond to FCA information or data requests, and how to approach regulatory reforms.