One of the key roles of the FOA is to seek to ensure that the legal and regulatory framework - as well as being effective in sustaining public confidence and market orderliness and integrity - is proportionate to the differentiated trading activities, customer bases, services and business risks of FOA member firms.
In carrying out this role, the FOA:
- liaises closely with governments, regulatory authorities and other bodies at national, European, and international levels and endeavours to work with policy makers at an early stage to help shape proposed developments;
- acts as an “early warning system” for its members, identifying proposed (or sometimes even mooted) and future regulatory changes and alerting relevant firms;
- responds to relevant legal and regulatory consultation and discussion papers, seeking to provide, where possible, informed and constructive solutions to regulatory issues;
- produces practical industry guidance and briefings to assist member firms with regard to the interpretation, application and/or implementation of financial service regulation;
- holds regular fora meetings and other regulatory events and courses (see Events section) for members; and
- provides briefings and training to relevant authorities on specific or general industry issues
In the UK, the FOA is engaged, on a regular basis and at many levels, with the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The FOA seeks to provide constructive and practical input into regulatory debates and briefings for the FSA and, increasingly, HM Treasury. We also work with industry bodies such as the Joint Money Laundering Steering Group and other ‘stakeholders’ and chaired the ‘MiFID Connect’ group of trade association that developed industry guidance on the implementation of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive in the UK.
The business of FOA members is international in terms of clients, products and services and, as a result, can be directly affected by non-EU legal and regulatory requirements, such as e.g. the US sanctions regime and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
In the light of recent world events, there is also an understandable focus on the international framework for financial services regulation. The FOA, either in its own right or with other trade bodies, seeks to play an active role in relevant international dialogues pertaining to, or affecting, the derivatives industry. The activities of the FOA reflect that international dimension: in the US, with the founding of the EU-US Coalition on Financial Regulation and the active work in securing a more open transatlantic marketplace; in other parts of the world with, for example, the holding of courses and workshops; and in general lobbying activities with regard to overseas governments and regulatory authorities on key issues which affect the business of its membership.