Business and internal control risks vary from firm to firm, according to the nature and complexity of the business. The FSA's assessment of these risks is reflected in how its rules apply to different categories of firm as well as in the use of its other regulatory tools. One of the tools the FSA has available is to give a firm individual guidance on the application of the requirements or standards under the regulatory system in the firm's particular circumstances.
the FSA may consider that general guidance in the Handbook does not appropriately fit a firm's particular circumstances (which may be permanent or temporary) and therefore decide to give additional individual guidance to the firm;
some of the FSA's requirements are expressed in general terms; however, there may be times when the FSA will wish to respond to a firm's particular circumstances by giving individual guidance on the application of the general requirement in these circumstances;
the FSA may consider that a firm should be given more detailed guidance than that contained in the Handbook; for example, where a firm holds positions in instruments of a non-standard form it may be appropriate to give the firm additional or more detailed guidance on how the FSA considers that it should calculate its financial resources requirement;
in some instances a rule allows a firm to select which requirement, within a range of alternative requirements, a firm should comply with; in many instances, the Handbook gives guidance setting out the circumstances in which compliance with a particular requirement is appropriate; the FSA may sometimes consider it necessary to give additional individual guidance to tell a firm which requirement it considers appropriate;
in relation to the maintenance of adequate financial resources, the FSA may give a firm individual guidance on the amount or type of financial resources the FSA considers appropriate, for example individual capital guidance for BIPRU firms and insurers;2 further guidance on how and when the FSA may give individual capital guidance2 on financial resources is contained in the Prudential Standards part of the Handbook:2222