Government proposals for self-regulation for the bulk of professional accountants not involved in mainstream financial services business, have been outlined in the Commons. Backing the comments made by the Financial Services Authority last week, economic secretary Melanie Johnson said the FSA would be limited to general indirect oversight of 13,000 of the UK's 15,000 firms which provide financial services in the course of accounting, legal or actuarial work, such as the execution of client instructions in the purchase or sale of a company. Johnson announced the concession during the first sitting of the committee debating details of the Financial Services and Markets Bill when MPs returned to Westminster last week from their summer break. She outlined a series of tests to qualify for exemption including: the activity be carried out by a member of one of the three professions in an incidental manner in the course of a professional activity; the activity is subsidiary to the supply of professional service; the activity does not result in any payment except by the client; the accountant does not hold himself out as providing regulated services; and that the product does not relate to sensitive retail products like life insurance. Johnson said: 'I believe that broadly reflects the tenor of existing regulation for the relevant professional bodies.' Her arrangements would result in limiting the requirement for audit to professional firms engaged in mainstream business. She said the FSA's authority would only be required for firms engaged in mainstream financial business, such as the management of client portfolios or giving discrete financial advice. Johnson said firms benefiting from the exemptions will carry out activities for which firms who are not members of professional bodies will need exemption.
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Genuinely useful side-arm coming to PUBG in Update #23