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FCA Business Plan & Outlook for 2015/16

Regulatory Outlook for 2015/16

April 2015

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) released their Business Plan for 2015/16 last month that provides insight into the regulator’s key priorities and objectives over the next financial year.

Unlike in previous years, the FCA has not published a separate Risk Outlook and instead has incorporated this into their Business Plan for 2015/16.

The Regulator’s Business Plan is an extremely important publication for the Financial Services industry, giving insight into the regulator’s top priorities and the activities it intends to undertake over the course of the year.

Key Risk Areas of Focus:

The regulator has identified seven forward-looking key areas to focus upon, each chosen for posing a risk to market integrity, competition and consumer protection.

Whilst the first six of these areas (below) were also included in the previous year’s key focus, the seventh replaces last year’s concerns over house price growth.

1. Technology

2. Poor culture and controls continue to threaten market integrity

3. Large back-books may lead firms to act against existing customers’ best interests

4. Pensions, retirement income products and their distribution methods may deliver poor consumer outcomes

5. The risks of unaffordable debts due to the growth of consumer credit

6. Complex and unfair contract terms and conditions

7. The importance of firm’s systems and controls in preventing financial crime

FCA Focuses on prevention of financial crime

With the importance of firms’ systems and controls making the list, the FCA will be looking to target firms with insufficient internal mechanisms in place to minimise the risk of financial crime. As such, firms should be mindful of this need when developing their business strategies and as part of their product governance processes.

Contact Us for Compliance & Regulatory Support:

If your firm would like assistance in reviewing your systems and controls or advice on how to develop your business with the FCA’s key objectives in mind, just send us an email and we would be happy to help.