Financial services

Today’s financial services market is a vastly different animal from that of only a few years ago. The mortgage and insurance markets now fall within the remit of the FSA, while the Pensions Act 2004 has seen the replacement of the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority by the more powerful Pensions Regulator.

However, the FSA’s Enforcement Division has caused the most ripples – and newspaper column inches – with 2005 pivotal in defining the division and the extent of its powers. The Financial Services and Markets Tribunal’s overruling of the division’s judgment against Legal & General, and the subsequent procedural changes within the division as a result of the Strachan review, were a turning point for the Enforcement Division and the market as a whole.

This financial services special report examines these events, in conjunction with concerns over the impact of the Pensions Regulator’s proposed funding requirements for defined benefit pension schemes. It also focuses on the regulator’s potential use of its moral hazard provisions, as well as providing an update on the Cheney pension scheme fraud following the lifting of reporting restrictions which led to the imprisonment of four men for 26 years last month.