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ABI calls for clarity on FCA competition remit

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ABI director of financial conduct regulation Maggie Craig

The Association of British Insurers is calling on the Financial Conduct Authority to provide clarity on how it plans to police competition in the financial services industry.

As part of this year’s regulatory reforms, the FCA has been handed a new objective to promote competition in financial services.

Speaking to Money Marketing, ABI director of financial conduct regulation Maggie Craig urges FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley to explain how the regulator will use these powers.

She says: “We are going to be working with the FCA and our members over the summer to get to grips with what this new competition remit means and how it is going to manifest itself.

“One of the things that is concerning me is that competition is a tough area, so the FCA’s methodology has to be robust.

“We need to know exactly what it is the FCA plans to do with its new competition powers.”

Earlier this year, Wheatley suggested the regulator could use the powers to bring down charges in the fund management industry.

Wheatley will speak about the future of conduct regulation at the ABI’s bi-ennial conference in July.

Evolve Financial Planning director Jason Witcombe says: “It would be very helpful if the FCA provided the industry with a bit more clarity on how it plans to wield its new competition powers.

“It is important that the regulator approaches this issue with balance and does not hinder businesses by over-regulating. However most people would accept that more competition is generally a good thing for consumers.”

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