The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today launched a consultation on its Mission, which is designed to provide a guiding set of principles around the strategic choices the FCA makes. It will inform the FCA’s strategy and day-to-day work over the coming years. The intention of the Mission is to provide clarity over the objectives, the methods to allow it to focus its efforts in the right places as well as explaining the reasoning behind the work the FCA does and a framework on how it chooses the tools it uses to do it.

In developing the Mission, the FCA will be seeking engagement across the breadth of its stakeholders. Consultation with these groups will have a fundamental impact on the shape of the final strategy.

 Andrew Bailey, FCA Chief Executive said “Establishing and embedding a clear mission for the FCA is critical to our success, both as a regulator and to UK financial services as a whole. Our Mission will set out a framework within which we prioritise our work, ensuring we focus our resources in the right places. This will improve accountability and transparency of how and why we make the choices that we do. The Mission will only be a success if our stakeholders engage with us through this consultation process. We want this to be a very open process. Out of it, we hope that we can set out a clear path ahead for financial conduct regulation in the UK.”

Key themes that the FCA will be consulting on include:

  • Protecting consumers – in an environment where consumers are increasingly expected to take responsibility for their own financial decisions, what is the right level of consumer protection; and how does the FCA  balance the responsibilities of firms and consumers?
  • Vulnerable consumers – should the FCA prioritise the protection of vulnerable consumers and if so how?
  • Delivering consumer redress – what should the role of the FCA be in redress schemes, for example in dealing with activity outside the FCA’s remit?
  • Then the FCA intervenes – how the FCA identifies harm and how it decides which approach to take to address it; and how can the FCA be clearer for firms, consumers and stakeholders on what it is doing and why?
  • The scope of regulation – explaining the remit the FCA has for taking action and the circumstances in which the FCA may intervene with regard to unregulated activities;
  • The interaction between regulation and public policy – explaining this interaction using examples including access to financial services and price discrimination;
  • Competition, supervision and enforcement – providing clarity and seeking feedback on the FCA’s current approach to using its different regulatory powers and tools;
  • FCA Handbook – seeking suggestions on a proposed review of the FCA Handbook which sets out the rules for firms.