The FSA has published a Policy Statement about its powers to give guidance and waivers to financial firms under the Financial Services and Markets Bill.
The statement cover three principal areas, general guidance, individual guidance and waivers.
All the FSA's rules and general guidance to firms will be provided in a single "Handbook of Rules and Guidance" to be published next year.
The handbook will prevent the need to search through past bulletins and updates for regulatory guidance.
The regulator says supervisors will not operate on the basis of unwritten rules or unpublished standards. It says it will also work with trade associations and consumer organisations to identify high priority issues appropriate for general guidance.
For individual guidance the FSA says it aims to respond quickly and substantively to reasonable requests for guidance on regulatory requirements. It will be given on an informal basis and without charge.
The FSA says the general guidance will be applied in a way that allows them to be tailored to fit the circumstances of particular firms.
Waiver will be published promptly and in a way that allows easy cross referencing with the handbook.