Long Read  

What capability does the FCA already have to tackle fraud?

However, if successfully developed and implemented, the DUIE will no doubt support the FCA’s attempts to tackle fraud and could have the potential to greatly improve its ability to help prevent fraudulent activity from taking place.

Co-ordinated regulation

Last year the FCA joined the Digital Regulation Co-operation Forum (DRCF) as a full member alongside Ofcom, the Information Commissioner’s Office and the Competition and Markets Authority, having been an observer member since the forum’s inception in July 2020.

The DRCF brings together the major UK regulators tasked with regulating digital services, with the aim of providing consistent and co-ordinated regulation to the UK’s digital services and economy as a result.

In its second year, the DRCF has set out to tackle some of the biggest digital challenges, including:

  • Protecting children online.
  • Promoting competition and privacy in online advertising.
  • Supporting improvements in algorithmic transparency.
  • Enabling innovation in the industries they regulate.

While not necessarily the primary focus, the FCA’s membership in the forum has the potential to help its work in tackling fraud and reducing harm.

In addition to its key priorities, the DRCF has said that it aims to continue building on engagement between Ofcom and the FCA on online fraud and scams, which will be key to helping tackle the ever-evolving fraud landscape.

The digital world is constantly changing and has rapidly become central to how the financial services industry operates. While this has its positives, there is also a great deal of risk associated as fraudsters have been provided with new opportunities to target people.

By working collaboratively and adopting a joined-up approach, the regulators will be better able to recognise and reduce harm, and with hope, the reduction of fraud will play a considerable part in that.

But will there be a burden on businesses in terms of the type of data they will need to provide to regulators, or will better tech capabilities lead to smarter ways of obtaining data from companies?

As progress continues, both by the FCA in its creation of the DUIE and by the DRCF in its ongoing work, there is likely to be an onus on businesses in terms of the data they will need to provide to regulators.

However, with hope, this could be a shorter-term issue while technology plays catch up. 

The work being carried out aims to reduce harm to both businesses and consumers alike, meaning any burden on companies to provide data will likely help them in the long run.

In order to make real progress, the collaboration of both the regulators and the businesses that rely on them is vital. 

Matt Burton is chief risk officer at Quilter