On 15 July 2021, the FCA published its Business Plan 2021/22.

The FCA also published a speech by its CEO, Nikhil Rathi, entitled Transforming to a forward-looking, proactive regulator.

In the Business Plan the FCA explains how it sees its future role and priorities, how it intends to deliver them and how it will measure its performance.

In consumer markets FCA priorities include:

  • Strengthening rules on financial promotions to protect consumers in relation to investments.
  • Continuing to improve standards of pension advice.
  • A consumer campaign on scams and high-risk investments.
  • Progressing proposals for a new Consumer Duty to raise standards in firms’ treatment of consumers.

In wholesale markets the focus includes:

  • Following the UK’s exit from the EU, continuing to develop plans to make primary and secondary markets work better while maintaining high standards.
  • Continuing to support the smooth transition away from sterling LIBOR to alternative risk-free rates.

The Business Plan also sets out a number of cross-cutting priorities including:

  • Using the FCA’s authority and influence to work with partners to help drive down the incidence and impact of fraud.
  • Improving diversity and inclusion, both at the FCA and in regulated firms.
  • Supporting environmental goals by adapting the regulatory framework to enable a market-based transition to net-zero carbon emissions.

The FCA has also announced that it will begin a review of aspects of the rules on the scope and coverage of Financial Service Compensation Scheme payouts, for specific regulated activities.

The FCA will also be consulting on changing the balance between decisions taken by the FCA executive and the Regulatory Decisions Committee, which is a sub-committee of the FCA Board. The proposed changes aim to streamline decision making on authorisation applications and specific supervisory and enforcement decisions.

In his speech Mr Rathi states, among other things, that the FCA’s role is more critical than ever and that scrutiny of its performance is closer than ever.  He also discusses the FCA being more innovative, assertive and adaptive.