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FSA urges firms to read its guidance to prepare for change

The FSA says reading its guidance will save firms time and effort when preparing for regulatory changes.

The FSA launched tailored handbooks last year and personal and ‘focus on’ handbooks earlier this year to improve the accessibility of its rulebook and help firms comply with its rules.

The regulator says it will not bring disciplinary action against any firm that reasonably relies on them for compliance.

These handbooks have been designed to automatically filter out inapplicable material so that the remaining rules relevant to firms are quicker to find and easier to browse.

It says the web-based system should enable the industry to prepare more efficiently for forthcoming changes in 2007, including the Capital Requirements Directive and Markets in Financial Instruments Directive.

Most regulated firms can use tailored handbooks, smaller versions of the full Handbook, containing only the rules and guidance relevant to them. These have been produced for asset managers, fund managers, authorised professional firms, financial advisers, mortgage intermediaries, general insurance brokers and life insurers. The ‘focus on’ handbooks are topic specific and cover key areas such as appointed representatives, approved persons and financial crime. Firms can also build their own personal handbook containing only the rules specific to it by answering ten questions about its business.

Tailored, ‘focus on’ and personal handbooks are available free of charge on the FSA website http://www.fsa.gov.uk/Pages/handbook/ <http://www.fsa.gov.uk/Pages/handbook/> .

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