Traditionally, the UK’s FSA has been a “light-touch” regulator that prided itself on not meddling too much with the businesses it regulated. In 2007, for instance, Hector Sants stated in his first speech as FSA chief executive that the FSA was committed to implementing more principles-based regulation. Sants explained in 2007 that the FSA’s desired approach was to regulate firms by requiring managers to “run their own businesses in accordance with general principles of conduct laid down by the regulator rather than by setting down strict rules by which they must operate.”
Fast-forward to 2010, however, and that light-touch is quickly vanishing. Full details are available in this post on my Enforcement Action blog over at Compliance Week.