FCA 'failing to communicate well' on Brexit

Just 14% of finance firms believe the FCA is communicating effectively with them over Brexit.

The FCA Practitioner Panel survey of 2,080 companies published the finding today.

It asked firms if they agreed with the statement ‘The FCA is communicating effectively with firms on the process of preparing to exit the EU’.

Some 33% disagreed and 53% answered either ‘neither agree nor disagree’ or ‘Don’t know’.

The panel’s report stated: “These responses presumably reflect the fact that there is very little information available at this stage about how post-Brexit regulation will be set up.

“It was clear from the results that few respondents agreed that the FCA is currently communicating effectively on Brexit.

“Clearly there is more work to be done in this area, and the panel is encouraging the FCA to communicate directly with firms on an ongoing basis, even although specific details of post-Brexit regulation may not yet be clear and the message is that firms should continue, as far as they can, with business as usual.”

All firms were asked what they consider the FCA’s objectives should be during the process of exiting the EU, and were invited to provide their response in an open-text question.

Just over one in ten firms said that they would like to see the FCA minimise upheaval/ disruption/ change (13%) and provide clear guidance about new regulation/ change to regulation (12%), suggesting that many firms are primarily concerned with ensuring stability and clarity.

Fixed firms were more likely than flexible firms to want the FCA to ensure rules/ regulations are consistent with the rest of Europe (21% vs. 4%), and ensure access to the single market (14% vs. 4%).

Across different sectors, the most notable difference was among investment management firms, the authors of the report said.

One in ten IM firms (11%) would like to see the FCA maintain or improve ‘passporting’ between the UK and the EU, compared with 4% of all firms.

 

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'Satisfaction with FCA is growing' - poll of 2,000 firms

The industry’s opinion of the job the FCA is doing has improved since last year, a survey of over 2,000 firms suggests.

The FCA’s satisfaction rating has gone up from 6.7 to 7 out of 10.

However, the amount of respondents completing the FCA survey - 2,080 or 21% of those asked - dropped from the year before. The regulator is investigating why.

Satisfaction with the regulator has increased steadily, from a low of 5.4 out of 10 in 2010 to 7.5 this year, the FCA Practitioner Panel report stated.

The purpose of the study was to gauge the industry’s perception of the FCA and to what extent it is meeting its objectives.

The FCA asked for views on its three operational objectives:
 Securing an appropriate degree of protection for consumers
 Protecting and enhancing the integrity of the UK financial system
 Promoting effective competition in the interests of consumers in the financial markets

This year’s survey found firms had increased confidence in the FCA’s ability to deliver against all three goals.

The report stated: “The competition objective, which is the newest of the FCA’s objectives, has always scored lower than the others, and last year the Panel expressed disappointment that there had been no real progress in this area.

“This year, however, 60% of firms reported that they were very or fairly confident in this objective, up from 56% last year, although still lower than the score for the other objectives.

“An increase in the score this year is welcome, but there is still further work to be done on this objective.”

The panel said that in the area of long-term savings and pensions last year there was concern about lower levels of satisfaction apparent. This year’s results showed satisfaction and effectiveness scores have both risen in this sector, as has their confidence in the FCA’s ability to meet its objectives. Levels of trust in the FCA have also increased in this sector, the report stated.

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