The UK Financial Services Authority has confirmed that it will simplify the customer functions regulations by merging the functions in its approved persons regime into a new single category, after receiving strong support from the industry for the proposal.

The modification eliminates the need for companies to submit a form when an employee already approved for a customer function within that firm wants to move between customer functions or add a customer function to one already held. As a result, firms will see greater administrative savings and added flexibility to respond to their business needs.

This move is the latest in a series of initiatives to streamline and simplify the handbook that the FSA implemented during 2006.

David Kenmir, FSA managing director of regulatory services, said: Through our handbook review program and as part of our better regulation agenda, the FSA is removing regulations whose costs outweigh the benefits they bring. The merger of customer functions will save firms a further GBP1 million a year.

The merger will be effective as of November 1, 2007, along with other handbook alterations relating to the implementation of the Market in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID).