FCA Announces Reforms to Decision Making to Tackle Consumer Harm

The FCA has announced reforms to its decision-making processes in order to address consumer harm. The regulator aims to “make faster and more effective decisions for consumers, markets and firms.”

It has issued a new Policy Statement (PS21/16: Issuing statutory notices – a new approach to decision makers) which outlines how more decisions will be taken by the FCA’s senior managers rather than by the Regulatory Decisions Committee (RDC).

The more contentious cases will still be reviewed by the RDC. This is a committee of the FCA’s Board which operates separately from the regulator, with its members are drawn from business, consumer and financial services backgrounds.

The FCA’s senior managers will now be able to take decisions on the following:

  • a firm’s authorisation or an individual’s approval
  • action in straightforward cases to cancel a firm’s permissions and that action is contested
  • starting civil proceedings, such as seeking an injunction
  • starting criminal proceedings, such as a prosecution for insider dealing
  • using the FCA’s powers to vary or limit a firm’s permissions
  • using the FCA’s powers to impose requirements on a firm

Executive Director of Authorisations at the FCA, Emily Shepperd, said of the reforms, “We are taking a fresh approach to tackling firms and individuals who do not meet the required standards. Our new streamlined decision-making process will allow us to be more assertive in stopping harm.”

A 6-month post-implementation review will be carried out by the FCA to assess the effectiveness of these reforms.

If you need any advice on this or other compliance issues, please contact your RWA Business Manager or email helpdesk@rwagroup.co.uk.

About the author

Steve has over 15 years of experience in retail general insurance, including influential roles at Hallmarque Assistance Ltd, Endsleigh and more recently as Compliance Director for Premium Choice Ltd, a large independent insurance broker.

Steve is Head of Compliance at RWA and is responsible for the day to day needs of some of RWA’s larger clients nationwide, often working with RWA’s senior team on larger more complex projects such as those involving remedial works, auditing of standards, developing compliance frameworks and providing project assurance, particularly when subject to FCA scrutiny.

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