On 24 September 2021, the FCA published a speech by Sheldon Mills (Executive Director, Consumers and Competition, FCA) entitled A regulatory perspective: measuring and assessing culture, now and in the future, the role of purpose and the importance of D&I.

Highlights in the speech include:

  • Culture remains central to how the FCA supervises the firms it regulates. The importance of an authentic, embedded purpose, visible leadership and an inclusive environment where staff feel safe to speak up is paramount.
  • The FCA believes that firms with healthy cultures are less prone to misconduct.
  • Hybrid working brings opportunities and challenges. Firms need to find approaches that give due regard to safeguarding their purpose and values, the wellbeing of staff and effective oversight.
  • During the pandemic, the FCA has seen leaders engaging more directly and openly with people in their businesses. This is an important gain that should not be lost. But it will need thought and care to keep it in a hybrid workplace. This is even more important when thinking about a workplace where people can speak up and feel included.
  • Diversity and inclusion is an aspect of culture where the investment management sector has considerable ground to make up. The FCA welcomes the initiatives led by the Investment Association but lasting change will only come from firms looking at their own culture and taking action.
  • Firms in the investment management sector have a huge sphere of influence on ESG, both to improve their own ESG performance and to drive positive change through their investments. The FCA looks to firms in the sector to be effective stewards.