Financial Conduct Authority  

FCA on tackling financial crime: ‘We are changing’

FCA on tackling financial crime: ‘We are changing’
FCA's executive director of markets, Sarah Pritchard

The Financial Conduct Authority has said it is “changing” as an organisation in response to increasing threats of financial crime levelled against consumers as living costs rise.

In a speech today (September 7), the City watchdog’s executive director of markets, Sarah Pritchard, said her team has been working with partners both in the UK and abroad to promote more intelligence sharing.

“We are changing,” Pritchard said at the Financial Crime Summit in London.

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“We are unleashing our tools more rapidly, driving improvements in firms’ controls and issuing warnings where we see harm, flagging up names on our warnings list more quickly and firing up our Scamsmart campaigns.”

The markets boss also said the FCA was sharing more of what it was seeing, including examples of good and bad controls.

The regulator recently published a review into the challenger bank sector, which found evidence of weak customer due diligence and insufficient dealings to transaction alerts.

The FCA’s boss, Nikhil Rathi, has previously spoken on the topic of data.

At the Financial Markets 20th anniversary seminar in June, he said there would need to be more co-operation between regulators across borders and industries, adding that “undoubtedly” regulators like the FCA will face their next 20 years regulating much more data.

The City watchdog is investing £34mn over the next year in digital skills, and is recruiting 100 more ‘data experts’.

Financial crime on the rise

In her speech today, Pritchard said she expects financial crime to become “even more prolific” during the cost of living crisis.

“More than seven in ten people say they have been targeted by scams in the past three months as con artists try to exploit the cost of living," she said. 

“The best way of us getting ahead of this new wave of financial crime is through being alert and through joined up action and joined up intelligence.”

She added that the FCA is also already seeing more scams such as loan fee fraud, ghost broking, and false access to rebates from utility companies.

Addressing financial firms at the summit today, Pritchard said: “As you all sit here today, have you asked what your firm is doing to calibrate your financial crime controls to changing risks in the cost of living crisis?

“How are your firm’s customers likely to be impacted, and is your firm doing enough to raise their awareness of crimes such as APP fraud [authorized push payment fraud], pension scams and ghost broking so they are not easily exploited?”

ruby.hinchliffe@ft.com