13Jul

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published its annual report for the 12 months to March 31 2017. It says it believes its key achievements during that period include:

  • Further development of the FCA’s ‘Mission’ – this is the framework for the strategic decisions the FCA makes
  • Issuing new rules ahead of the implementation of the Markets and Financial Instruments Directive Part II (MiFID II)
  • Continuing to carry out enforcement activity to protect consumers and preserve market integrity
  • Continuing to promote competition in key sectors of the industry
  • Setting a deadline for payment protection insurance claims
  • Completing the roll out of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime in the banking and insurance sectors
  • Publishing the Financial Advice Market Review
  • Helping consumers who find themselves in persistent debt due to mortgage payment shortfalls, high-cost credit products and payment arrears for unsecured lending
  • Setting a cap on pension exit charges

In his introduction to the report, FCA chairman John Griffith-Jones commented that some risks remained ever-present, saying:

Among [these risks] are overindebtedness, the ability to exploit more vulnerable consumers, the pace of technological change and its threats as well as its undoubted benefits, a lack of competition in certain sectors and meeting our long-term savings and pensions needs.”

In his statement in the report, chief executive Andrew Bailey writes of his organisation’s “focus on vulnerable consumers [that] can be seen in many areas of our work”. He adds that:

“In November 2016, we launched our review of high-cost credit, which includes overdrafts, rent-to-own, guarantor loans, catalogue credit and log book loans. This follows on from the introduction of the cap on payday loans in 2015.”

The report says that the FCA’s priorities for the year were:

  • Pensions
  • Financial crime and anti-money laundering
  • Wholesale financial markets
  • Advice
  • Innovation and technology
  • Firms’ culture and governance
  • Treatment of existing customers

Some of the ways the FCA claims to have achieved its three operational objectives during the year are also cited in the report:

  • Securing protection for consumers – forcing insurers to tell customers at renewal stage what last year’s premium was, and introducing a requirement to encourage their customers to shop around; reviewing the high-cost credit price cap; reviewing how firms are treating customers in arrears; capping pension exit charges and ensuring firms pay compensation to customers where they have suffered detriment
  • Protecting and enhancing the integrity of the UK financial system – continuing to carry out thematic work, reviewing data in firms’ regulatory returns and carrying out other regulatory assessments; as well as assisting firms in making the transition to MiFID II
  • Promoting competition for consumers – proposing a package of measures to improve competition in the asset management market, and also in the credit card market

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.