Small businesses have criticised the Financial Conduct Authority’s “increasingly onerous” data requests.
The regulator’s smaller business practioner panel, which represents the sector to the FCA, said requests for regulatory information within short timescales were a concern.
In response to these concerns, the FCA said: “Before issuing a data request, we conduct a firm burden analysis, which provides a breakdown of the firms in the requested sample, their existing regulatory reporting requirements and other data requests.
“Where possible, we seek to extend the deadline of data requests to allow firms sufficient time to submit information, reduce the scale of a data request or suggest alternate firms on the basis that those included in the original sample are heavily involved in other approved data requests.
“We give further consideration to those smaller firms who aren’t likely to have received a data request from us or who have had little interaction with us.”
The other concern raised by the panel was the development of a secondary annuity market, but this has since been scrapped by the government.
Concerns raised collectively by the FCA’s practitioner panels include the cost of regulation.
The smaller business panel highlighted the challenges and strain on resources for both the FCA and firms as a result of the pace of change and volume of regulation.
In response the FCA said: “Regulatory change since the financial crisis has been substantial, with prudential and conduct changes at a global, EU and UK level.
“We consider the costs on firms when deciding our interventions, including through cost benefit analysis.
“We will continue to take a proportionate, judgement-based approach to regulation, assessing the risk a firm poses to our objectives and focusing resources on the higher-risk firms.”
On the cost of regulation, the FCA said it undertakes analysis to ensure the costs it imposes are proportionate to the benefits achieved.