The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is an independent non-governmental body, given statutory powers by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. This statutory independence means that the Government do not have control over the day-to-day running of the organisation.
Following the internal audit report into its supervision of Northern Rock in 2008, the FSA launched the supervisory enhancement programme, fundamentally changing how it delivers supervision.
The FSA completed the supervisory enhancement programme in August 2009 and continues to enhance the processes and people needed to deliver the intensive supervisory approach required for the very largest firms.
The FSA business plan for 2010-11 states that the FSA will appoint around 260 additional staff to work on supervisory processes. These staff will be targeted on specific areas of need, in particular high-impact and systemically important firms. The FSA will also continue to develop and implement its training and competence scheme to improve the quality and consistency of firm supervision.