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Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Exemption) (Amendment) Order 2022

Volume 708: debated on Monday 7 February 2022

Today I have laid the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Exemption) (Amendment) Order 2022 (SI 2022/100) before Parliament. This will permit Norges Bank, the Norwegian Central Bank, to continue to benefit from access to the UK market without requiring authorisation under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA) in respect of specific activities under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order 2001. These activities are: dealing in investments as principal, dealing in investments as agent, managing investments, arranging, safeguarding, and administering investments, and advising on investments.

Furthermore, so far as relevant to any such activity, this order also exempts Norges Bank from being required to obtain authorisation in respect of regulated activities of the kind specified in article 64 (agreeing to carry on specified kinds of activity) of the regulated activities order, pursuant to article 5(2) of the exemption order.

Prior to the UK’s departure from the European Union, Norges Bank, as an EEA central bank, benefited from an exemption from the requirements to be authorised under the provisions of FSMA. Norges Bank operates Norges Bank Investment Management, which manages investments on behalf of the Government Pension Fund Global. Under the EEA central bank exemption, it was permitted to undertake regulated activities in the UK without authorisation. A temporary transition power allowed a directive to be issued through which relevant EEA firms may continue activities that they were previously undertaking. As enabled by the TTP, Norges Bank has benefited from this exemption, which will expire at the end of March 2022.

HM Treasury has, in consultation with the Bank of England/Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), considered Norges Bank’s suitability for an exemption as provided under section 38 FSMA, and has determined that Norges Bank is suitable for listing as an exempt person in respect of specified activities outlined above. This will allow Norges Bank to maintain its current UK position by carrying out the same activities that they are currently undertaking, with regulatory certainty and without a need for authorisation.

The legislation laid today is intended to come into force on 31 March 2022.