FCA aims to make faster and more effective decisions

Will a new decision-making process for the financial services regulator lead to better consumer outcomes?

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is changing how it makes decisions to make faster and more effective decisions.

According to the regulator, these changes to the decision-making process at the FCA should benefit consumers, markets and firms.

The changes form part of a broader transformation to a more innovative and assertive regulator.

It means that FCA senior managers will take more decisions rather than waiting for decisions to be referred to the Regulatory Decisions Committee (RDC).

The FCA says that this new process will ensure decisions to prevent or stop consumer harm are taken more quickly in the future.

The RDC will continue to review more contentious cases. The FCA’s RDC operates separately from the regulator, with its members coming from business, consumer and financial services backgrounds.

Under the new approach, FCA senior managers will be able to take decisions on a firm’s authorisation or an individual’s approval; action in straightforward cases to cancel a firm’s permissions and that action is contested; starting civil proceedings, such as seeking an injunction; starting criminal proceedings, such as a prosecution for insider dealing; using the FCA’s powers to vary or limit a firm’s permissions; and using the FCA’s powers to impose requirements on a firm.

Emily Shepperd, Executive Director of Authorisations, said:

“We are taking a fresh approach to tackling firms and individuals who do not meet the required standards. Our new streamlined decision-making process will allow us to be more assertive in stopping harm.”

These reforms are subject to a six-month post-implementation review to see how effective they have been.