The FCA has launched a new strategy to improve outcomes for consumers and in markets throughout the UK.
As the FCA’s remit is broad and growing, the three-year strategy prioritises resources to prevent serious harm, set higher standards and promote competition. The regulator will also, for the first time, hold itself accountable against published outcomes and performance metrics.
A key focus of the strategy is shutting down problem firms, which do not meet basic regulatory standards. The FCA is recruiting 80 employees to work on the initiative, which will protect consumers from potential fraud, poor treatment and create a better market.
IE Comment: The move to shutdown ghost brokers is good news for the insurance industry, and consumers alike. We need rapid action against those offering worthless policies online, often using Whatsapp, FB or other social media channels.
In the development of the strategy, the FCA has calculated that for every pound spent on its operations, consumers and small businesses benefit by at least £11. The regulator has also considered the rising cost of living, which could drive greater demand for credit products and lead consumers to look for new ways to manage and make more of their money.
The strategy builds on activities launched last July, when Nikhil Rathi, Chief Executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, committed the regulator to become more innovative, assertive and adaptive and transform the FCA into a data-led platform that can face the threats and opportunities of the future.
This approach led to the FCA reforming the general insurance market, saving consumers an expected £4.2bn over 10 years; leading the transition from LIBOR; helping small businesses claim £1.3bn against business interruption insurance cover; bringing its first ever criminal prosecution under anti-money laundering regulations, with NatWest fined £264m; and protecting consumers from scams by preventing unauthorised firms from advertising financial products on Google.
Nikhil Rathi said: ‘Our new strategy enables the FCA to respond more quickly to the rapidly changing financial services sector. It will give us a foundation to continuously improve for the benefit of our stakeholders, and respond swiftly to economic and geopolitical developments.’