Following results from the survey, the regulator admitted that it needed to do further work in certain areas and that its priorities would need to change from 2017, but in general industry satisfaction in the FCA improved again.
Only 28% of all firms that responded to the survey agreed the FCA had been alert to emerging EU issues, with the same number agreeing that the FCA is communicating with firms to the extent that it can.
Slightly fewer firms (16%) said they disagreed that the FCA had been alert to emerging EU issues, with 50% saying they neither agreed nor disagreed.
When firms were asked what the FCA should be doing ahead of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, the most common responses were to ensure clear and regular communication with firms, and communicate the effect leaving the EU will have.
Overall the survey saw a general uptick in sentiment towards the regulator from the industry, with scores for overall satisfaction and effectiveness continuing to increase from 7.5 to 7.6 out of 10, and from 7.0 to 7.1 respectively.
There was also an improvement in the perception of the FCA’s performance against all three of its operational objectives, which are: securing an appropriate degree of protection for consumers, protecting and enhancing the integrity of the UK financial system, and promoting effective competition in the interests of consumers.
However, three key areas were highlighted as poorer performance, the second and third of which were previously highlighted in 2016, leading the FCA to admit that “more work needs to be done in these areas”.
The three areas are: facilitating innovation within UK financial services, transparency of regulation, and more forward-looking regulation.
As a result, the regulator added that it will change its priorities over the next 12 months.
Its priorities identified for improvement in 2017 were: the FCA’s remit being clearly communicated and understood, and the FCA supporting firms adequately during significant regulatory changes.
In a joint statement, FCA Chief Executive Andrew Bailey and FCA Practitioner Panel Chair Anne Richards said: “The FCA and the Panel will continue to work together to identify where the regulator is working well and where there is room for improvement.
“Addressing the issues identified in this report will help the FCA to continue adapting to the rapidly changing external environment, to ensure the UK maintains its strong international reputation for regulation.”