FCA chief looks to ‘reset’ expectations for watchdog

FCA chief looks to ‘reset’ expectations for watchdog
  Credit: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

The Financial Conduct Authority will focus on how it can "reset" people’s expectations when it publishes its business plan in July, its chief executive has said.

In a speech delivered today (May 6) at the Association of Foreign Banks, the regulator's chief executive Nikhil Rathi said the FCA would reveal more of what this would involve in July - but suggested it could involve a "more effective gateway" for new firms.

Rathi said: “One key area we’re currently focusing on is how we can properly set (or reset) people’s expectations for the FCA, so that they better understand the outcomes we are working towards – transformation will allow us to do much more with the resources we have and there are areas where we have to do much better, but there will still be a limit on what we can and should do.”

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Rathi’s comments come after his interim predecessor, Christopher Woolard, warned of an “expectation gap” between what the public expects and the FCA can deliver.

According to Rathi, one of the areas the FCA will focus on will be enhanced regulation of new firms that enter markets.

He said: “I can say for example that you will see a tougher and much more effective gateway for new firms entering markets, with closer scrutiny of what those firms do post-entry.

“Our data strategy will move up the gears as we fix the fundamentals and increase our capacity to make better and faster use of data.

“And we’ll make more agile use of our principles – particularly the requirement to treat customers fairly – so that we can respond to issues as they arise with firms who are not doing the right thing.”

Last year the FCA’s chief executive said further investments in a more “digital and data-enabled” approach should enable the regulator to intervene sooner to reduce harm to consumers and markets.

Part of the FCA’s transformation agenda also saw the regulator merge its supervision divisions with its policy and competition functions last year, with further appointments to the executive team in February.

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