The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has committed to become more innovative, adaptive and proactive.
The City regulator set out its challenges and prioritises in its business plan for 2021/22, the first annual plan since Nikhil Rathi (pictured) joined as chief executive in October 2020.
Speaking at the FCA’s ‘Our Role and Business Plan’ webinar, he said that the FCA intends to be more innovative with technology, more assertive with its powers and more adaptive with its approach.
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“To prepare for inevitable future disruption, the FCA must continue to become a forward-looking, proactive regulator,” Rathi said.
“One that is tough, assertive, confident, decisive, agile. One that acts, acts fast – and where we can’t act, engages enthusiastically with those who can.
“To get there involves making progress on three fronts. First, continuing to be more innovative – taking advantage of data and technology to increase our ability to act decisively.
“Second, continuing to be more assertive – testing the limits of our powers and supporting others to bring their powers to bear.
“Third, continuing to be more adaptive – constantly learning and always adjusting our approach as consumer choices, markets, services and products evolve. And underpinning it all will be a regime of accountability and culture of transparency.”
Rathi said that while it has to prioritise its resources, the FCA has to use its insights so that suspect activity on cases that fall out of its regulatory remit can be stopped and punished by its partner agencies.
He said that he plans to reinvigorate cooperation between the FCA, the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme through a consumer investments coordination group. He added that he hears the calls for even more consistency in approach and greater clarity for consumers.
“With our role more critical than ever, our remit bigger than ever, and scrutiny of our performance closer than ever, the FCA needs to get on the front foot,” Rathi said in the speech.
“To become more proactive, we must become even more innovative to fully capitalise on data and technology; even more assertive to ensure consumer protection and market integrity; and even more adaptive to meet the challenges we know about and prepare for those that will come.
“There is a solid foundation to build on and notable successes that we must consistently replicate across our work. From the way we are using data, to the forceful action we’ve taken on fraud and money laundering, to our suite of new executive directors, we are already striding forward.
“There is a lot of work to do. And I am confident that we now have the right strategy, the right people and the right ambition to do it.”