Tuesday, 18 April 2017 08:56

Vulnerable clients and EU exit among FCA priorities

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FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey

The Financial Conduct Authority has today published its key priorities for 2017/17 in its new Mission Statement and Business Plan designed to give firms and consumers “greater clarity” and more “transparency” about how the FCA prioritises its interventions in financial markets.

The FCA has also its Fees consultation proposals for fee changes set to come into effect later this year (see separate story later). The FCA says the additional cost of the Ombudsman, the new-look Money Advice Service and other costs mean fees for advice firms may need to go up by between 1% and 4.7% for 2017/18, depending on size of firm and which costs are covered. The FCA will be consulting on proposed fee changes for several months before making changes.

For the first time, the FCA has also published its Sector Views, which the regulator says highlight the issues and developments the FCA sees in the sectors it regulates.

Key areas for focus highlighted in the Business Plan include:
• supporting UK Government to prepare for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU
• launching a campaign to encourage consumers to make a decision about Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) ahead of the August 2019 deadline
• examining the issue of vulnerable consumers
• continuing work on high-cost credit
• considering the issue of long term savings and retirement outcomes

Over the next year, the FCA will also publish further documents to explain how it carries out its main activities – authorising and supervising firms, taking enforcement action, encouraging competition and influencing market design - and how the Mission affects these activities.

Andrew Bailey, FCA chief executive, said: “Our Mission is to serve the public interest through the objectives given to us by Parliament. The Mission gives firms and consumers greater clarity about how and why we prioritise, protect and intervene in financial markets.

“To do this we will continue to make difficult decisions. When we make regulatory judgements, we will be more transparent about how we reached them as we know that this is something our stakeholders want.

“The consultation demonstrated the desire of our stakeholders to get involved in a discussion about the role of regulation. Those attending our Mission conference and those responding to our consultation were all keen for us to build on this work and deliver change that increases the transparency of our processes and decision making.

“I am grateful to the 184 organisations, firms and individuals who took the time to give us their views. Their comments have provided critical challenge in important areas and useful confirmation in others. Both have been equally valuable in clarifying our final approach.”

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