The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has launched a consultation seeking views on its proposal to withdraw from the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Designated Professional Body (DPB) regime for the purposes of consumer credit activities. This means that SRA-authorised firms carrying on any regulated credit activities would need to apply to the FCA for authorisation, rather than being able to rely on the Part 20 exemption set out in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA).

The deadline for submission of responses to the consultation is 15 December 2014.

Law Society president Andrew Caplen said:

’It is disappointing that against a rhetoric of cutting red tape, solicitors are to be faced with the difficult and unwelcome prospect of double regulation. We urge members to consider the impact of the proposals in the SRA’s consultation, which includes the difficult choice between regulation by the FCA or expensive and complex changes to the SRA’s own system.

’In their responses, solicitors should also stress where they need more clarification of exactly what circumstances would require them to register with the FCA.

‘In the meantime, we will continue to make representations to government and the FCA on our members’ behalf and will be responding to the SRA’s consultation.’