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Financial Services Rules

3 October 2013

Changes to consumer credit regulation

On 1 April 2014, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will take over the regulation of consumer credit activity from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). The OFT will cease to exist on the same date. This will change the way consumer credit activities carried out by solicitors' firms and alternative business structures are regulated.

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These rules are relevant to solicitors who are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and rely on the Part XX Exemption in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 to carry on certain incidental financial services for their clients. They are able to do this because the Law Society has been granted designated professional body status by H.M. Treasury.

SRA Financial Services (Scope) Rules

The SRA Financial Services (Scope) Rules 2001, which are part of the SRA Handbook, set out the scope of the activities which solicitors who are not authorised by the FCA, and who are unable to rely on an exclusion, can undertake under the Part XX exemption available to solicitors. These rules include a list of prohibited activities, basic conditions which must be satisfied, and other restrictions relating to particular types of activities and investments.

SRA Financial Services (Conduct of Business) Rules

The SRA Financial Services (Conduct of Business) Rules 2001, which are part of the SRA Handbook, apply to all firms relying on the Part XX exemption and regulate the way in which they carry on exempt regulated activities. Most of the rules also apply to firms who are authorised by the FCA, in respect of their non-mainstream regulated activities. 


Please use www.sra.org.uk/financial-services to link to this page.