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 You are in: Special Report: 1998: 11/98: Queen Speech  
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Queen Speech Tuesday, 24 November, 1998, 19:31 GMT
Financial markets get stronger super regulator
house of lords
Britain is coming to grips with modern financial markets
The Financial Services Authority, the financial markets' new super regulator, will be given greater power, to create a safer environment for investors and tackle market abuse.

Queen
"Legislation will be introduced to improve the regulation of financial services and markets, with a new statutory regulator."
The bill was announced by the Queen at the annual state opening of parliament.

The United Kingdom's financial markets are currently regulated by a number of separate organisations, among them the Building Societies Commission, the Insurance Directorate, the Investment Management Regulatory Organisation, the Personal Investment Authority and the Securities and Futures Authority.

The Queen's Speech
But the distinctions between these markets have become blurred, and mergers have led to one company operating in many areas.

Therefore the government has been searching for a new approach to financial regulation.

In May 1997 the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, announced he wanted to change the whole system, merging all regulators under the roof of a single body, the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

The FSA was launched in October 1997 - in fact emerging from the Securities and Investments Board, and this summer it was given the responsibility for banking supervision.

The new legislation will give it the powers necessary to do the whole job, and create a single regulator.

The FSA is expected to be fully operational in Autumn 1999.

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