Purpose – The growth of the commodities markets and the increasing investment by non-traditional market participants, such as pension and hedge funds, has come to the attention of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), which has shown growing concern over the risks and challenges faced by all stakeholders in these markets. Design/methodology/approach – This is a review paper relying on an analysis of the present situation. Findings – Recent trends and significant developments in the commodities markets have not gone unnoticed by the UK's financial services watchdog. The FSA has indicated an increased degree of interest in the commodities markets and has signalled a shift in its approach towards regulating them. Originality/value – The paper raises awareness and highlights issues surrounding financial regulation.