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1. Law - supervision - oversight.

The official control of markets or of other activities, usually by a system of rules, often including primary or secondary legislation.

Regulation is closely related to supervision and oversight.

Regulation is the most detailed structure and activity, focussing on individual firms.

Supervision is a higher-level activity than regulation, with a greater emphasis on groups of similar firms, and entire markets.

Oversight is the highest-level work, with even greater emphasis on the bigger picture, entire markets and related markets.

2. Law.

A rule with legal force, designed to carry out a specific piece of legislation. Usually enforced by a regulatory agency.

3. European Union (EU) law.

An act of European Union (EU) law having direct effect in all member states.

EU Regulations are passed either jointly by the EU Council and European Parliament, or by the EU Commission alone.

4. UK law - retained EU law - Brexit.

The UK was formerly a member of the EU and EU Regulations were formerly directly applicable in UK law. For example, the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR).

Following the UK's departure from the EU, the UK now has its own "onshored" versions of these Regulations. For example, the UK CRR.

Many of these onshored UK versions of EU Regulations began as exact duplicates of the EU Regulations at the time.

However, they have subsequently diverged, so take advice about them.


More generally, any rule to control, direct or manage an activity, organisation or system.

A 'regulation' - in this broadest sense - may or may not have legal authority.

See also