Who we regulate
Effective and proportionate response to the identified non-compliance.
Proportionate enforcement action and seeking compensation for investors where appropriate.
Promote educational resources and messages to help investors make better investment decisions.
Creating safer and more transparent financial markets so that investors can better select and use the right financial products
We will now focus on positively influencing the behavior of all investors in the following areas
The main purpose of mfa.org.uk is to promote legally regulated markets. Our role is to facilitate innovation as essential to this goal. Innovation can provide better, cheaper and more convenient access to financial services and products. However, new ideas and technologies often pose new risks, and investor interests still need to be safeguarded. Therefore, the mfa.org.uk adopts a balanced approach when considering changes in approach.
Design your financial business with mfa.org.uk
If you are developing a new financial service or product, we recommend that you talk to us at the design stage to determine if your idea is a product or service that we are arranging. If not, you will not need approval from us. But if it is something we regulate, then you will have compliance obligations – which can range from simple registration to full licensing. mfa.org.uk can not offer you legal advice nor do we offer ideas, products or services. However, we can help you understand what your compliance obligations may be.
Consult the law
Before contacting us, think about how existing laws can be applied to your idea. To understand your product or service, we also need to know:
- What does your product or service do for consumers or businesses?
- Who are your customers (retail / non-sophisticated customers or wholesale / business investors)?
- Who will pay for the service or product and how?
- At what stage are you in (initial idea, developing, looking for investment)?
- What is the possible start date and is there enough time to complete the necessary work?
- What risks does your service or product pose to customers and what are your plans to mitigate them?
- What kind of help are you seeking from the FMA?
What you may need to do
Everyone who provides financial services or launches financial products has a primary obligation to ensure that all advertisements and promotional materials are not false or misleading. This includes properly explaining the risks to clients or investors.
If you are running a simple financial service – such as a simple way for people to pay bills or transfer money between friends – you will need to register with the mfa.org.uk and sign up for a scheme. You will also have anti-money laundering obligations, which will surely be overseen
If you pool people’s money – perhaps to participate in a venture or to buy a building – you will need to consider applying for a license from us. And you will also need to develop a disclosure material giving details of your offer and the risks involved
If you are developing an application for financial advice or a service that makes investment decisions for clients, you will also need a license.
Flexible regulatory regime
Our settings and regulatory approach are flexible enough to accommodate new and innovative products and services. Some smaller-scale offers or schemes may be able to rely on pre-existing exemptions. These exceptions remove the obligation to provide information and licensing when offers and schemes are small or only available to certain types of investors.
If you need a license, mfa.org.uk can modify the requirements to ensure that the application and evaluation process is “the right size” for your idea and business size.
The mfa.org.uk, where appropriate, may also grant exemptions that reduce or modify detection and licensing obligations. Applications for exemptions require supporting materials and include any costs, so it is best to talk to us first before considering applying for one.