BSB aims for full independence from Bar Council

The Bar Standards Board propose to lobby for full independence from the Bar Council. BSB’s website draft Strategic Plan 2016-2019

“Our financial relationship with the representative body of the Bar should be made clearer and ultimately there should be separation so that both we the regulator and the Bar Council … can carry out our respective roles more transparently and powerfully, in the public interest.”

The Legal Services Board believe that the present setup is too complex and that regulators – the largest being the BSB and the Solicitors Regulation Authority – should be merged.

This would greatly affect the finances of the Bar Council and the Law Society who rely on provisions in the Legal Services Act to receive practising certificate fees to finance their operations.

“We use only 65% of the funds raised from the profession in order to regulate it, the remaining 35% being used by the Bar Council. A further levy on the profession is made by the LSB. Our capacity to reduce the burden of regulatory costs on the profession is thus both constrained and to an extent driven by strategies and work not owned by the BSB.”

SRA Consumer credit toolkit helps firms with compliance

A consumer credit toolkit adopting a new approach for law firm regulation so that the majority of practices should not have to be regulated by both SRA and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The new approach, which comes into effect on 1 April 2016, allows SRA to carry out consumer credit regulation for firms if their work is an integral part of the legal services being provided.

Some firms might still need to be regulated by the FCA, so all practices need to check if they need to apply for dual regulation.

The SRA Consumer Credit toolkit

Amendment to Clause 10 in CML handbook

Clause 10 change to allow a 7 day period following offer of mortgage for cooling off effective from 1st February 2016.

“The amendment is designed to reflect the introduction of a requirement, as the result of the Mortgage Credit Directive, for mortgage customers to have a ‘reflection period’, of at least seven days before accepting a mortgage offer. Recital 23 and Article 14(6) of the Directive set this out. The customer can bring that reflection period to an end earlier, by accepting the mortgage offer.”