At the end of January 2012 the Government published detailed draft plans for the transfer of the role of registering co-op and community benefit societies after the new Financial Services Bill becomes law.
Currently the role belongs to the FSA but when the FSA’s functions are transferred to two new regulators this function will belong mainly to the new Financial Conduct Authority. In essence that body will carry out the basic regulatory function while the new Prudential Regulation Authority will deal with issues specific to any societies that are authorised to operate in financial services – most obviously credit unions. However, there is a certain amount of overlap in the roles of the two bodies.
The detailed proposals are to be found in clauses 47 to 50 of the Financial Services Bill 2012 published on 30th January 2012 and in the Draft Mutual Societies Order published at the same time to aid parliamentary consideration of the Bill.
This represents a decision to effectively continue with the present arrangement rather than transferring the function of registering societies to another regulator dealing with similar issues such as the CIC Regulator.
This has the advantage that the co-operative and community society structure is less likely to become a variation of the company structure but the disadvantage that the function may remain, as it has been with the FSA, a rather marginalised and minor function of a large orgainsation mainly focused on other issues.
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