Financial Conduct Authority  

FCA to delay further work as focus remains on financial stability

FCA to delay further work as focus remains on financial stability

The Financial Conduct Authority is eyeing further delays to its regulatory work as its focus remains on the financial resilience of firms amid the coronavirus crisis.

Speaking at FTAdviser's Financial Advice Forum yesterday (September 20) Alex Roy, head of consumer distribution policy at the FCA, said the regulator was likely to delay more work as the industry battled an ongoing coronavirus workload. 

Mr Roy said: "Inevitably more important and valuable pieces of work will be stopped in the FCA while we can no longer see them as important in this current crisis."

The City watchdog first moved to delay certain areas of its regulatory timeline in March in an attempt to allow firms under its supervision to focus on "supporting their customers" during the pandemic. 

Areas of work at the FCA which have been hit by delays as a result of the crisis include the regulator's evaluation of the Retail Distribution Review and the Financial Advice Market Review, its work on vulnerable clients and its suitability review of retirement advice. 

Mr Roy added: "Our priority at the moment is to ensure firms are financially stable and, where they are unable to continue operating, that they close in an organised way and client assets are protected.

"This has brought a much closer focus from our supervisors on the importance of prudential requirements and our safeguarding rules."

In June the FCA sent a mandatory survey to 13,000 regulated firms in a bid to take stock of the industry's financial wellbeing in light of the virus outbreak.

But encouragingly only 14 advice firms told the regulator the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic had threatened the survival of their business. 

The FCA revealed earlier this week it would soon be sending a second survey to advisers to assess the sector's financial resilience in light of the crisis. 

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

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