The FCA has published a speech given by Martin Wheatley (CEO, FCA) entitled Regulation – supporting vibrant markets.

In his speech Mr Wheatley covers two linked themes, competition and innovation. In relation to innovation Mr Wheatley acknowledges that at the moment it is very difficult to predict how the increased mechanism of financial services will play out over the coming years. Currently, the FCA is seeing the emergence of a pretty disparate group of innovators that are looking, in the fintech space in particular, to deliver ‘one-click’ standards of customer service. However, what effect this will have on the market place is unclear at the moment.

Mr Wheatley mentions that the UK and Ireland are today the fastest growing fintech incubators in the world, developing at an annualised rate of some 74% since 2008. Against this background the FCA does not want to create an environment where innovators see the UK as an unhelpful place to conduct business which is why it created the ‘Innovation Hub’ last October. Mr Wheatley also mentions that the FCA is working with firms to test approaches to customer engagement. Disclosure being the first key area, where it has been working closely with some of the big banks to develop more effective means of reducing information asymmetries. The FCA is also looking at the regulatory regime itself. At the moment key areas include over how innovators access finance, uncertainty around regulation in areas like digital currency, and the FCA’s own paper-based processes which do not fit the innovator model of iMacs, cloud-based computing, selfies sticks and the like.

View Regulation – supporting vibrant markets, 2 June 2015