The report looks back on the key pieces of work undertaken by the watchdog throughout 2018/19.
Highlights from this year included:
• continuing actions to improve protection for users of high-cost credit
• actions to prepare for EU Withdrawal
• the FCA’s campaign to help people take action on PPI, ahead of the deadline of 29 August 2019
• actions to stop people becoming scam victims
• promoting innovation, including with the launch of the Global Financial Innovation Network
Charles Randell, chair of the FCA, said: “The Annual Report displays the breadth of our work in the past year – from helping consumers take action on PPI, to taking tough enforcement action where rules are broken, strengthening firms’ operational resilience and promoting global financial innovation.
“Along the way we have made decisions on over 4,000 applications for authorisation, assessed over 1,750 whistleblowing allegations and launched 484 preliminary market abuse investigations.
“We are now responsible for supervising around 60,000 firms.
“But we don’t shy away from the difficult challenges we have faced, including the question of what we can and cannot deliver within our current remit.
“That is why we published our first annual Perimeter Report in June, so that we can identify issues with the potential for harm that fall outside of our remit.
“The failure of London Capital & Finance (LCF) has brought this question into particular focus.
“An independent review of our supervision of LCF has been commissioned, the findings of which will be made public.”
Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the FCA, said: “Over the last year, we’ve made a range of important interventions which have brought real benefits to consumers.
“This included the wide-ranging remedies we’ve introduced in the high cost credit market to reduce harm, banning the sale of binary options to retail consumers and reforms to the peer-to-peer lending market to improve consumer protection.
“As we reflect on the last year and what we’ve achieved, we are also mindful of the rapidly evolving landscape.
“Innovation in new technologies, together with changes in consumer behaviour and expectations in wider society are driving rapid change in financial services.
“In addition, we will have to develop a new relationship with the EU.
“So, we must consider the future of regulation and our own capabilities to ensure that the UK regulatory system remains fit for the challenges to come.”
The Annual Report included the FCA’s gender pay gap for the year ending 31 March, which was 20.6% (median) and 17.8% (mean).
In addition, the report included the FCA’s ethnicity pay gap, which was published for the first time and was 28.7% (median) and 27.2% (mean).
The FCA’s Annual Public Meeting will be held on 17 July at The Brewery, in London.