The FCA has published its mission document giving firms a blueprint to define the regulator’s remit and how it makes its decisions.
The FCA launched a consultation on its mission in October which included discussions about vulnerable customers, the FCA’s role in redress schemes and its approach to enforcement.
FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey has outlined today the mission is a “high-level document” that sets out the framework for the strategic decisions the FCA makes, the reasoning behind its work and the way it chooses the tools to do it.
Bailey says: “This mission is the result of a number of critical factors coming together which affect financial services, consumers and regulators. Demographic and economic changes, evolving technology, increasingly complex consumer needs and the FCA’s finite resources require us to be very clear about what we prioritise and why.
“I hope this mission makes it clear the FCA serves the public interest through the objectives given to us by parliament. They are the basis on which we are held to account.
“Importantly, I also hope it gives firms and consumers greater clarity about how and why we prioritise, protect and intervene in financial markets. Above all, our goal is to serve the UK public interest through our regulation.”
The mission document states the regulator will be clear and consistent in the information it gives to firms so they have more certainty about its expectations and supervision.
It says this should reduce the overall cost of compliance for firms and the regulator.
The mission says: “By making it easier for firms to comply, they will make fewer avoidable errors and reduce harm to consumers. Additionally, from co-ordinating or supporting industry groups to improving the consistency of our supervision, we will add further public value by making it clear to firms they can and should be proactive in finding ways to ensure they treat their customers fairly.”
The mission also says the regulator will ensure its “messages are consistent” across the information it puts out.
The mission says: “When we publish information about an intervention we will ensure we also publish the reasons for the intervention, including the harm we are addressing and how we expect our intervention to tackle it. We will also be clear about how we will monitor the effectiveness of our intervention. This will help ensure all our communications about our intended outcomes will be consistent, transparent and predictable.”
The mission says the FCA will publish further information on its approach to enforcement, competition, authorisation and supervision.
It states the FCA is continuing to implement European Union legislation that will come into force before the UK leaves the EU.
It says Brexit will have “important implications” for the FCA over the coming years.
The mission says: “We have dedicated resource to co-ordinate and manage this work and are liaising closely with the Treasury and the Bank of England to ensure a smooth transfer of EU rules and legislation into the domestic framework. We are also providing the Government with impartial technical support, and will continue doing so throughout the withdrawal process.
“At the same time, we are carefully considering what withdrawal from the EU may mean for our objectives and are working to make sure that any risks to our objectives, including any operational challenges, are identified and addressed. We are also ensuring the FCA is able to respond flexibly to anything that may arise.”
In the mission consultation the FCA suggested it should review its handbook, however it says it cannot begin this work until the outcome on Brexit is clear.