On 24 January 2023, the FCA published a speech by Jessica Rusu (FCA Chief Data, Information and Intelligence Officer) entitled Building better foundations in AI.

Key points in the speech include:

  • Last month the FCA published a multi-firm review on diversity and inclusion. The review demonstrated that firms – even those with the best data – are not making full use of those insights to inform their diversity and inclusion strategies. The outputs from those strategies require better data to measure outcomes, something that is as true for diversity and inclusion as it is for AI.
  • A recent survey that the FCA conducted with the Bank of England found that the use of AI in financial services is accelerating – 72% of respondent firms reported actively using or developing AI applications, with the trend expected to triple in the next three years. Firms also reported that AI applications are now more advanced and embedded in day-to-day operations, with nearly 8 out of 10 in the later stages of development.
  • One of the most significant questions in financial services is whether AI in UK financial markets can be managed through clarifications of the existing regulatory framework, or whether a new approach is needed. This is the topic of a Discussion Paper that the FCA issued with the Bank of England.
  • Effective governance and risk management is essential across the AI lifecycle. Good governance is complemented by a healthy organisational culture, which helps cultivate an ethical and responsible environment at all stages of the AI lifecycle: from idea, to design, to testing and deployment, and to continuous evaluation of the model. 
  • Synthetic data is an increasingly important area of research for the FCA. For the past five years, the FCA has been exploring the potential for synthetic data to expand data sharing opportunities in a privacy compliant manner. The FCA will shortly be publishing a Feedback Statement to its Call for Input on Synthetic Data which it published last year.
  • Within the next few weeks, the FCA will also be publishing a Call for Interest in a Synthetic Data Expert Group.