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HCA polishes economic regulations document

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Regulation

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The Homes and Communities Agency has updated its ‘Regulating the Standards’ document, giving additional detail on its approach to economic regulation.

The document has been revised against the "continuing backdrop of a changing operating environment and an increased level of risk faced by registered providers".

The document's key changes are:

• New V3 and V4 viability straplines to ensure clarity in the HCA’s description of non-compliant viability judgements, and greater consistency in the form of its governance and viability judgements.
• Emphasis on providers providing timely and accurate data returns. Where providers fail to do this, the HCA may take this into account in arriving at its published judgements.
• An explanation of the HCA’s new approach to risk assessment of individual providers. "In an increasingly complex sector, the Regulator needs to differentiate its regulatory activity with the 250 large providers and groups of providers in a more nuanced way, ensuring that regulatory activity is focused on the riskiest and most complex providers."
• An update to the consumer regulation section, reflecting the experience of the first year’s regulation of the consumer standards.

Matthew Bailes, the HCA's executive director of regulation, said: “In an increasingly complex sector, as Regulator we need an even more granular, risk-based approach to our regulation of providers. This is predicated on a comparative assessment of providers’ exposure to financial and other key risk factors that may cause it to fail the economic standards.

“Each provider will be set a proportionate individual strategy. The regulatory activities undertaken to gain evidence will vary between providers and will focus on particular exposures identified through our risk assessment to gain assurance of compliance.”

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