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Proposed legislative changes

Financial Services Bill

The Bill provides a new framework for financial regulation in the United Kingdom. It introduces four institutional changes, by establishing the Financial Policy Committee (FPC), the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and making the Bank of England responsible for the regulation of recognized clearing houses. Existing powers, exercised by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), will be transferred to one or more successor bodies and certain new powers are provided for in the Bill.

In relation to the CC, the Bill proposes to change its current responsibilities under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 by:

  • altering the CC’s role in reviewing the regulating provisions and practices of the current FSA (to apply to the FCA and PRA); and
  • removing its role in reviewing the regulating provisions of investment exchanges and clearing houses.

Civil Aviation Bill

The Bill aims to modernize the regulatory framework for civil aviation in the United Kingdom through reforms to the legislative framework for the economic regulation of airports, the legislative framework of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), and the transfer of certain aviation security functions from the Secretary of State to the CAA.

As part of the reforms, the Bill proposes to replace the current uniform approach to regulation with a modern licensing regime where licence conditions can be tailored to the specific circumstances facing individual airports. Airport operators of ‘dominant areas’ located at ‘dominant airports’ will require a licence to levy charges for airport operations services.
In relation to the CC, the Bill provides that:

  • The CAA’s decisions to include and modify licence conditions can be appealed by the licence holder (the operator of the airport area) and materially affected airlines to the CC. These persons also have the right to apply to the CC for the suspension of the relevant licence conditions, prior to the CC determining the appeal.
  • Where the CC allows the appeal, it can quash all or part of the CAA’s decision, refer the matter back to the CAA for reconsideration and decision in accordance with any directions it may give or substitute its own decision for that of the CAA. This appeal mechanism would replace the CC’s current role in quinquennial reviews under the Airports Act 1986 (where designated airports are subject to mandatory five-year price caps).
  • If it has reasonable grounds for suspecting that any features of the airport operation services market prevent, restrict or distort competition, the CAA will be able to refer matters to the CC for in-depth investigation using its Enterprise Act 2002 powers.