The Financial Services Authority (FSA), the UK’s statutory regulator for the financial services industry, has awarded a £6.5 million contract to design and build its new Mandatory Electronic Reporting (MER) system to Capgemini UK.

The FSA says that the new system, scheduled for implementation from July 2008, will ease the regulatory burden on the financial services industry by making regulatory reporting simpler and easier, while at the same time tightening compliance by improving the accuracy, consistency and availability of information within the FSA.

The system will be designed to enable the FSA and the 25,000 businesses business it regulates to operate against a clearer, consolidated reporting schedule, removing the current complexity of procedures.

It will provide the flexibility to more easily amend the reporting required as new legislation takes effect or the scope of the FSA’s activities changes.

The deal will also provide it with the scalability to handle expansion in the numbers and types of organisations within the FSA’s regulatory remit beyond the current total of approximately 28,000 businesses.

The custom-designed MER system will replace a diverse mixture of IT systems that the FSA inherited from its various predecessor regulators. It is expected to increase efficiency within the FSA by reducing a reliance on paperwork and clerical processing.

The project is the first major piece of work to be contracted under a long term application delivery framework signed between the FSA and Capgemini in July 2006.

Graeme Ashley Fenn, director of Contact, Revenue and Information Management and sponsor of the Integrated Regulatory Reporting (IRR) programme at the FSA, said: “The MER system is of fundamental importance as the FSA delivers against its promises to the industry. We are looking forward to working with Capgemini in building a world-leading regulatory reporting solution.”

Capgemini said it will deploy its service oriented architecture (SOA) in designing MER and integrating the solution with the FSA’s new IT architecture, using some 80% of its 60-strong project team based at a Capgemini Application Development Centre in Mumbai, India.