The FCA is using data to tackle online fraud faster by scanning around 100,000 websites created every day to identify those that appear to be scams.
Where fraudulent websites are identified, the FCA is proactive in requesting the website host shut them down (though it does not have the powers to force this). Between May 2021 and April 2022, 1,966 possible scams were added to its consumer warning list; this is over a third more than during the same period the previous year.
This forms part of the regulator’s data strategy which sets out its vision for the use of data and analytics to spot and stop harm faster, and is part of its wider three-year strategy for financial services.
Key elements of the data strategy:
- The FCA will invest significantly in its use of data in 2022/23, recruiting skilled roles in Artificial Intelligence (AI), analytics and data science as well as cloud engineering and digital technology, adding to the 100 it has recruited since 2020. These individuals will be responsible for a variety of data and digital initiatives, including improving the quality of the data collected.
- The FCA uses advanced analytics and new sources of data to identify inappropriate financial adverts. 564 adverts were withdrawn or amended last year.
- A sanctions screening tool has been developed and implemented to support the monitoring of the effectiveness of a firm’s controls in identifying organisations or individuals that have been sanctioned. This has supported the FCA’s ongoing work with domestic and international partners in response to the war in Ukraine.
- The FCA will provide its staff with a dashboard for all the financial companies it regulates and sectors it oversees, making it easier to identify and focus on the highest risk cases.
Chief Data, Information and Intelligence Officer, Jessica Rusu, said, “Better use of data means we can be more proactive and find and stop harm faster. We are continuing to improve our data, technology and capabilities to act decisively in consumers interests, while making it easier for firms to report to us.”