On 16 July 2021, the FCA published a statement on its website providing an update on some of its plans which had been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of the headlines from the statement include:

  • The FCA will not continue its planned work on the second assessing suitability review, looking at retirement income advice, which was placed on hold in April 2020.
  • In late 2020, the FCA resumed its work that sought to identify retail lending business models which benefit from consumers not repaying their debts. During the second stage of this work the regulator identified indicators of business models that may benefit from consumers not repaying debts. The analysis was embedded into the FCA’s methodology and findings into wider business model analysis and therefore no further work is being undertaken on this theme.
  • The FCA is delaying a post implementation review of the rules set out in Policy Statement 18/21: SME access to the Financial Ombudsman Service – near final rules. The FCA will assess the position by April 2023. The FCA will continue to engage with the Financial Ombudsman Service on its insights from current handling of SME complaints.
  • In July 2018, the FCA announced its intention to consult on mandating removal of the minimum repayment anchor. Whilst the FCA has engaged stakeholders on its research findings, further work has been put on hold. As set out in Policy Statement 18/4: Credit card market study: persistent debt and earlier intervention – feedback to CP17/45 and final rules, the FCA intends to review the effectiveness of the credit card market study remedies in 2022 after they have been fully implemented by firms and in operation for long enough to assess consumer outcomes.  The FCA’s planning for the post implementation review has begun. The outcome of this work will indicate whether there is still a need for a de-anchoring remedy and whether this would address any new harms.