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FCA to visit fewer companies in battle against consumer risk – FCA

  • 16/10/2012
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FCA to visit fewer companies in battle against consumer risk – FCA
New regulator the FCA will concentrate its resources on research and analysis targeted to stave off consumer risk and spend less time on individual company visits, it said.

In a paper out today laying out the FCA’s projected working methods, its incoming CEO Martin Wheatley, said a new department called the Policy, Risk and research division will be dedicated to combining better research into the market and analysis of the risks to the regulator’s objectives.

“Getting a better understanding of why consumers act in the way they do,” will also be key to the FCA’s new modus operandi, he said.

“Fewer firms will have regular direct contact with supervisors, as we shift resources to allow us to deal more quickly and effectively with emerging issues, and run more cross-industry projects to get to the root cause of problems,” said Wheatley.

Working with the new Prudential Regulation Authority alongside lobbying to defend the UK’s position in EU and international policymaking, will also be central to the FCA’s new role.

In a change of culture, staff will also be encouraged to make bold, predictable decisions on issues like product design, product bans and advertising.

The new regulator will not ignore market competition, but will take into account any impact on competition on any of the measures it proposes.

“We are not here to stand in the way of progress that will be of benefit to consumers,” he said.

“Our goals as the FCA are clear: we will work for an industry that is better at serving the needs of its customers. I see this as an opportunity – not just for us but for the industry.”

The FCA, which will replace the FSA, is set to launch in 2013. The FSA is asking for comments about the plans for the FCA and the consultation period runs until 14 December 2012.

Peter Williams, IMLA’s executive director, said: “An initial review of the consultation paper suggests the industry will have concerns over the division of labour across the regulatory landscape, the trade-offs between tighter regulation, innovation and competition, and how the FCA will keep a track of market developments. Considerable weight is being placed upon developing a new understanding of consumer attitudes and behaviour, a far from easy task.”

For the full speech, click HERE



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