Regulator to take on competition powers

Regulator to take on competition powers

Financial services businesses will have to notify the FCA if they infringe competition law, under proposals by the regulator.

In its 72-page consultation paper FCA Competition Concurrency Guidance and Handbook Amendments, the watchdog has outlined proposals on competition powers it is set to assume from 1 April 2015.

They relate to agreements and conduct around the provision of financial services, which the FCA interprets as including banking, credit, insurance, personal pensions and investments.

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In a section outlining one proposal, the document said: “A firm must notify the FCA if it infringes any applicable competition law.

“The firm must do this in writing immediately it becomes aware, or has information which reasonably suggests, that an infringement has occurred or may have occurred.”

The consultation paper, which also covers how the FCA proposes to carry out market studies and investigations, is seeking responses by 13 March 2015.

Adviser view

Paul Brown, director of Greater Manchester-based Bury Financial Advisers, said: “I do not think we as IFAs would be capable of breaking competition law because we are so fragmented.”