02Nov

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has opened a consultation on its ‘Mission’, which it says is “designed to provide a guiding set of principles around the strategic choices the FCA makes. It will inform the FCA’s strategy and day-to-day work over the coming years.”

The key themes of the Mission are:
• Protecting consumers – noting that consumers are increasingly expected to take responsibility for their own financial decisions, the Mission consultation document asks what level of consumer protection should a regulator provide and how should the FCA balance the differing responsibilities of firms and consumers in this respect?
• Vulnerable consumers – should protection of vulnerable consumers be a priority, and if so what steps should the FCA take to achieve this?
• Delivering consumer redress – to what extent should the FCA get involved in consumer redress schemes? How should it decide what redress is paid, to whom, and when; and how should it communicate with consumers regarding these schemes?
• When the FCA intervenes – how does the FCA identify wrongdoing within firms, how does it decide what action to take against offending firms and how can it better explain what action it is taking and why?
• The scope of regulation –in what circumstances can the FCA take action against firms? In what circumstances can it intervene regarding unregulated activity?
• The interaction between regulation and public policy – how does the role of the regulator tie in with government policy? Examples of relevant issues might include access to financial services and price discrimination
• Competition, supervision and enforcement – here the FCA is seeking feedback on its current approach to using its various powers
• FCA Handbook – here the regulator is looking for suggestions on how the rulebook could be reviewed
Andrew Bailey, the FCA’s Chief Executive commented:
“Establishing and embedding a clear mission for the FCA is critical to our success, both as a regulator and to UK financial services as a whole. Our Mission will set out a framework within which we prioritise our work, ensuring we focus our resources in the right places. This will improve accountability and transparency of how and why we make the choices that we do.
“The Mission will only be a success if our stakeholders engage with us through this consultation process. We want this to be a very open process. Out of it, we hope that we can set out a clear path ahead for financial conduct regulation in the UK.”
On the same day as the Mission consultation document was released, Mr Bailey made reference to it in his speech to the City Banquet. He said there were three main reasons as to why the Mission had been launched: the sheer size of the regulatory landscape, with the FCA having responsibility for some 56,000 firms; the extensive range of powers available to the FCA, which now include formal competition powers; and the fact that the topic of financial regulation is seldom the subject of academic and other thinking which would otherwise be able to guide the FCA’s choices.
The Mission consultation closes on January 26 2017.

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.