The UK’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has revealed its business plan for the next 12 months, outlining a roadmap in line with its three-year development strategy. The plan emphasizes the FCA’s focus on four key areas: consumer needs, future financial services, the UK’s position in global markets, and reducing and preventing financial crime.

 

One of the key elements of the FCA’s strategy is to improve outcomes for consumers and markets in the UK, which includes closing down businesses that fail to comply with fundamental regulations. With 80 new hires, the FCA is committed to significantly reducing fraudulent activities and paying closer attention to crypto firms that harm consumers.

 

The FCA’s approach could potentially result in the cancellation of permissions for firms that do not maintain adequate financial and non-financial resources, which could lead to insolvency. The regulator is focused on protecting people from unfair treatment, supporting struggling consumers, and setting higher consumer protection standards with the new Consumer Duty coming into force in July.

 

To support the UK’s economic growth and competitiveness, the FCA plans to invest over £12m in the Future Regulatory Framework and Edinburgh Reforms. It also aims to continue supporting innovative and high-growth firms through its Sandbox and Early and High Growth Oversight functions.

 

To combat financial crime, the FCA plans to strengthen authorization processes, improve assessments of regulated firms, and increase staff for investigation and prosecution. It also plans to develop tools to find and remove scams, having already taken down hundreds of websites and issued over 1800 alerts in 2022.

 

Overall, the FCA’s business plan for the upcoming year is focused on improving consumer protection, promoting innovation and competition, and minimizing financial crime. The regulator’s efforts to protect customers from financial harm and combat fraudulent activities are commendable and essential for a healthy financial market.