On 18 October 2022, the FCA published a one year update on the progress it has made with its Consumer Investments Strategy.

The update provides that the FCA has placed restrictions on twice as many firms in the investment market compared to last year, as part of its strategy designed to prevent harm in the consumer investment market.

The update also outlines that the FCA stopped seventeen firms and seven individuals attempting to obtain new FCA authorisation in the investment market where phoenixing or life boating was suspected. Additionally, the FCA stopped the UK operations of 16 contracts for difference providers, that entered the UK’s temporary permissions regime last year, where suspected scam activity was detected, or consumers were encouraged to trade excessively to generate revenue.

In addition to the more assertive crack down on firms that are not meeting the FCA’s expectations the update also highlights that the FCA is:

  • Being tough at the Authorisations gateway to prevent firms that could cause harm from entering the market.
  • Issuing more consumer alerts to warn consumers of risks
  • Stepping up its ScamSmart and InvestSmart campaigns to reach millions of consumers.
  • Being more innovative in using data to tackle online fraud faster.

As part of its commitment to be a more focused regulator, the FCA set four targets for the Consumer Investments Strategy to achieve. While three of the four outcomes have declined, the FCA was clear when it launched the strategy that it will take time to embed changes and see the impact of these.