By Claire West

Commenting on the news that the UK financial services regulators will be given new powers, David Kenmir, director in PricewaterhouseCoopers regulatory practice, said:

"Financial services firms have to face up to the tough reality of a more intrusive and onerous regulatory system. The proposal to hand the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) powers to ban products, or limit their distribution for up to 12 months, will fundamentally change how financial services companies create and sell their products and is likely to make life a lot more difficult. If the FCA uses these powers appropriately and proportionally, the result will be better outcomes for consumers, fewer complaints and lower compensation scheme levies, which is in the longer term interest of the financial services market.

"The new UK regulatory structure is already a reality for financial services firms as the FSA has started reorganising internally to mirror the new structure and has redesigned its approach to conduct and prudential regulation. The implications of these changes are therefore likely to be felt well before the 2012 deadline.

"HM Treasury proposals will give the industry a further chance to engage in informed debate with regulators, the government and consumers, and the opportunity to shape the future landscape of the UK financial services market."