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Critical issues in financial services

On 26th April the FCA published a wide-ranging speech given by its CEO Nikhil Rathi during City Week 2022, in which he highlighted the current critical issues on the regulator's agenda concerning financial services and regulation.

Key aspects of his speech included:

  • as a result of the current cost of living crisis those who are least able to bear rising costs will be hardest hit and consumers are exposed to more risk. They are also more reliant on financial services.

  • the new Consumer Duty will ensure firms take ‘good outcomes’ into account and clear rules will cut firms’ future costs. Final proposals are coming in July this year.

  • supporting innovation will encourage long term economic growth in the UK and competiveness abroad.

  • post Brexit the regulated entity for firms that are predominantly UK-based should protect investors and market integrity.

The speech covered other topics including action on Russia, ESG reforms, diversity and inclusion, the FCA’s own accountability and performance and innovation and crypto, highlighting the FCA’s first crypto-sprint and the current ambiguity around crypto with ‘most adults’ unaware that bitcoin is not regulated by the FCA.

Rathi also cited the three overarching areas of focus in the new FCA strategy, which will concentrate firmly on:

  • reducing and preventing serious harm    

  • setting and testing higher standards  

  • promoting competition and positive changes  

Read the full speech here

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