FCA Publishes its Business Plan for 2021/22

The FCA has published its business plan for 2021/22, in which it outlines its plans to become more ‘innovative, assertive and adaptive.’

Nikhil Rathi, Chief Executive of the FCA, has said that, “The FCA must continue to become a forward-looking, proactive regulator. One that is tough, assertive, confident, decisive, agile” and that, “over the next 18 months you will continue to see an FCA that looks and feels even more different. One that operates differently, partners differently, and communicates differently.”

The need to transform comes after much disruption to the financial services sector – with the pandemic, Brexit, technology and the drive towards a greener economy quoted as being “profound forces” which mean the FCA needs to adapt.

In the business plan, the regulator sets out its consumer priorities for the year ahead, which are:

  • Enabling consumers to make effective investment decisions
  • Ensuring consumer credit markets work well
  • Making payments safe and accessible
  • Delivering fair value in a digital age
  • Consumer Duty

The FCA is currently consulting on proposals for a Consumer Duty to set clearer and higher standards for culture and conduct within firms; this consultation closes on 31 July 2021. The new rules are likely to be introduced by the end of July 2022.

The FCA’s wholesale market priorities for the year ahead are identified as:

  • Review of its rules in primary and secondary markets
  • LIBOR transition
  • Market abuse and financial crime
  • Asset management and non-bank finance
  • Pension products
  • Appointed Representatives (ARs) regime

The business plan also identifies the FCA’s ‘cross-market’ priorities which apply across all financial services firms. These are:

  • Fraud strategy
  • Financial resilience and resolution
  • Operational resilience
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)
  • Market access, equivalence and trade negotiations

The FCA very recently released a discussion paper on diversity and inclusion in financial services - https://www.fca.org.uk/publication/discussion/dp21-2.pdf – which we looked at in a previous article.

The business plan explains how the FCA plans to measure how well it is achieving its outcomes, to ensure transparency and accountability, and it aims to report on its progress from April 2022.

To read the business plan in full, go here.

About the author

Ash was Managing Director at RWA from 2018. He had over 15 years’ experience in the legal and compliance field and ten years in broker sales and leadership roles in national and global insurance firms. Sadly, Ash passed away suddenly in August 2021. 

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