Designated Professional Bodies
Designated Professional Bodies

The following Financial Services guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Designated Professional Bodies
  • What is a Designated Professional Body?
  • Who are the DPBs?
  • Exemption from the general prohibition
  • Non-Exempt Activities
  • Required Disclosure

What is a Designated Professional Body?

A Designated Professional Body (DPB), is a body that regulates and supervises members of the professions (ie solicitors, accountants, actuaries, licensed conveyancers and chartered surveyors), which are exempt professional firms under section 327 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA 2000). An exempt professional firm, is a person to whom the general prohibition does not apply.

A person must not carry on a regulated activity in the UK or purport to do so, unless authorised or exempt. This is what is referred to in UK Financial Services as the general prohibition. For more information on the general prohibition see Practice Notes Financial Services and Markets Act 2000—essentials — The general prohibition and regulated activities (FSMA 2000, Pt 2, Sch 2 and s 22A) and The general prohibition and implications of its breach. A regulated activity is any activity defined in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order 2001, SI 2001/544 (RAO). For more information about regulated activities, see Practice Note: What are regulated activities?FSMA 2000, s 19

There are various exemptions to the general prohibition which are set out under FSMA 2000 and the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Exemption) Order 2001, SI 2001/1201 (Exemption Order). Where they apply, people who would ordinarily be carrying out regulated activities will not be seen as doing so. An exemption can either be:

  1. limited to specific circumstances, eg where another person who is authorised and has the relevant permission under FSMA 2000, Pt 4A accepts responsibility for the regulated activity in question, or

  2. subject to specific conditions, eg a requirement that the activity is not carried out for