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FCA Business Plan 2019/2020 – an overview

On 17 April 2019, the FCA issued its Business Plan for 2019/2020 which sets out the regulator’s key priorities for the coming 12 months.

We’ve prepared a brief overview of the plan to give you a quick idea of how the changes will affect your firm in practice over the next year.

Cross-sector priorities

The Business Plan sets out a number of key cross sector priorities, which include some new and ambitious additions:

Priority

Objective

Implementation

EU Withdrawal and International engagement

  • Maintain the effective international standards which underpin the UK regulatory regime.
  • Enable market access and reduce the risk of regulatory arbitrage.
  • Access impact EU withdrawal on the industry and consumers.
  • Provide technical advice to the government and support on the Global Financial Partnership Strategy.
  • Strengthen strategic international engagement and relationships with key regulators.
  • Engage with financial services firms to monitor impact.

Culture and governance

  • Support culture transformation within firms with a focus on 'purpose' in culture.
  • Appraisal of remuneration practices.
  • Extend the SM&CR regime to all firms and implementation of the Directory.
  • More firm engagement in the form of culture sprints and roundtables to ensure firms understand what a healthy culture looks like and explore the role 'purpose' plays in creating those cultures.
  • SM&CR to be extended to all authorised firms in December 2019.
  • The Directory is due to go live in March 2020 for banks/insurers and December 2020 for all other FSMA firms. This applies to individuals in key roles who will not be included in the Register as senior managers as part of SM&CR.

Operational resilience

  • Ensure expectations are clear regarding operational resilience to minimise harm to customers due to service outages resulting from cyberattack and cyber-enabled fraud.
  • Assess third party outsourcing provider relationships and firm's change management strategies.
  • Promote guidance on outsourcing to the cloud and other third-party IT service providers.
  • Review a selection of firms to understand their current approaches and causes of problems in change management processes.
  • Use ethical hacking to test high impact firms.

Financial Crime and AML

  • Stop the UK financial sector being used to facilitate financial crime.
  • Use technology to be more intrusive in assessing the effectiveness of firms' own systems and controls.
  • Work closely with the NECC.
  • Strengthen professional body supervision through OPBAS.

Fair treatment for existing customers

  • Identify situations where existing customers are treated differently to new customers and address any resulting harms.
  • Investigate pricing practices in the motor and home insurance industry.
  • Ensure fairness in pricing and product value and set out proposals to tackle any price discrimination in the cash savings market.
  • Set out proposals to improve choice in the mortgage market.

 

Innovation, data and data ethics

  • Ensure that innovation and advances in technology and data use works in consumers' interests.
  • Assess Open Finance.
  • Publish proposals on regulation of cryptoassets.
  • Encourage development of RegTech in data exchange, tackling AML and financial crimes and helping vulnerable consumers.

Demographic change

  • Lead the debate on the intergenerational challenges and different financial needs and resources of different generations.
  • Run a further survey on Financial Lives which considers consumers' experiences and behaviour.
  • Provide clarity on expectations for firms' treatment and identification of vulnerable customers.

The future of regulation

  • Ensure, post-Brexit, that the regulatory landscape is fit for the challenge it faces including addressing issues of equivalence and future-proofing.
  • Update rulebook in light of onshored requirements.
  • Publishing first annual statement of perimeter issues.
  • Review costs and benefits of regulation for small firms.

Sector-specific priorities

Priority

Objective

Implementation

Retail lending

  • Protect consumers from unaffordable lending and ensure fair access to the mortgage market.
  • Provide final proposals to reform the overdraft market.
  • Establish regulation of Claims Management Companies.
  • Conclude work on the retained Consumer Credit Act Provisions.

Pensions and retirement income

  • Ensure pensions savings and retirement income products support people to increase their financial provision in later life.
  • Address the remedies from Retirement Outcomes Review.
  • Focus on the joint priority work with The Pensions Regulator.
  • Assess competition in non-workplace pensions market.

Retail banking

  • Manage the wide-ranging changes such as ring-fencing, PSD2, and Open Banking and ensure these changes have tackled the harm they were aimed to address.
  • Ensure the PSD2 and Open banking are introduced securely.
  • Promote the PPI 29 August 2019 deadline.
  • Implement the Payments Sector Strategy and follow up on findings from the Strategic Review of Retail Banking business models.

Wholesale financial markets

  • Ensure the wholesale markets effectiveness by being visibly fair, transparent and efficient.
  • Collaborate with PRA, the Bank of England and industry on LIBOR replacement.
  • Further work on compliance with MiFID II.
  • Reviewing access and use of data in wholesale Financial Markets.
  • Implement EU Prospectus Regulation.

 

Whilst ensuring the UK's withdrawal from the EU is smooth remains top of the priority list, the FCA have some stretching cross-sector work planned in the coming year. The Business Plan recognises the speed of technological change and consequently the changing ways consumers are engaging with firms to access products and services. Focus on firms' culture, individual responsibility and financial crime threats remain high.

This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at April 2019. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms & conditions.  

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