The FCA has published a speech by Martin Wheatley, FCA Chief Executive, entitled Looking ahead to 2014. In his speech, Mr Wheatley notes that 2013 has been another eventful year for the financial services industry and takes a step back and offers some broad reflections.

Mr Wheatley states that to a large extent the financial world has moved on significantly in 2013 and this means that the next 12 months are unlikely to involve long discussions about whether something should be done. Instead, it should be increasingly focused on transitioning towards the next steps which involves the delivery of standards.

According to Mr Wheatley, a key challenge will be achieving cultural transition in 2014, in other words demonstrating that there is clear water between the past and the future. In particular, moving away from an era of financiers hurling adding machines across offices to a more mature age where investor interests are front and centre of firm business models in the global markets. The FCA’s approach to asset management should be treated as a “bellwether of FCA direction”, which will involve a more probing analysis of culture and ethics.

Another important issue concerns technical transition. This involves making sure that the nuts and bolts of international regulatory reform – MiFID II, EMIR and the like – are right so that markets remain deep and liquid.

In relation to MiFID II, Mr Wheatley states that this is on the verge of moving out of the negotiating chambers of Brussels into the full glare of public scrutiny as a completed piece of legislation. Mr Wheatley acknowledges that there is also a challenge for the FCA to support this transition and in response it is setting up its own implementation project. A key part of this project will be engaging with firms to help them meet the new obligations and to respond to queries.

In relation to EMIR whilst noting that significant progress has been made, Mr Wheatley accepts that there are still some urgent points that need to be worked through. This includes the detail relating to trading venues, particularly those in the EU and US. Mr Wheatley also states that the FCA has started to review firms’ compliance with EMIR in terms of the business conduct regulations now in place and it will also be checking firms’ preparations for the February start date in the coming weeks.

View Looking ahead to 2014, 9 December 2013