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The SRA's laissez-faire approach to compliance

The SRA should follow the lead of the financial services sector and ensure regulatory compliance equates to best business practice, says Ian Muirhead

28 July 2015

When the Legal Services Board (LSB) invited applications from would-be front-line regulators of legal services, it made clear its requirement that they should adopt principles-based regulation following the model of the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

In both cases, the wide range of different business models involved made it impossible to construct a rigid regulatory regime, and flexibility was required. Hence the approach of identifying objectives and letting regulated firms decide for themselves how best to achieve those objectives in their individual circumstances.

Management principles

The FSA quickly determined that the starting point for principles-based regulation should be to require firms to install management systems and controls. When visiting firms, the FSA's successor, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), will ensure that these requirements ha...

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