Although the FCA published a three-year Strategy last year, it also published the usual 12-month Business Plan, and has done so again this year. Within the Business Plan 2023/24 the FCA has set out an ambitious programme for the next 12 months to achieve better outcomes for consumers and markets, in line with its three-year Strategy. The Business Plan also references the Regulatory Initiatives Grid and its Perimeter Reports.
The FCA commentary includes an observation that, over the past year, it has seen record levels of volatility, and that it expects the economic and geopolitical environment to remain highly uncertain over the year ahead. While there are some positive developments in the UK economy the situation will remain uncertain over the coming year, including a heightened risk of firm failure (events over recent weeks include the resolution of Silicon Valley Bank UK and interventions in relation to Credit Suisse).
Key uncertainties include interest rates and inflation, the risk that unemployment increases more than currently projected, the potential for further declines in real household disposable incomes, and the potential for further market volatility.
The FCA’s focus for 2023/24 include a number of familiar issues including its people and locations, and data and technology-led regulation, but also current issues of cryptoassets, deferred-payment credit, its annual funding requirement (the AFR), and a Fees consultation.
In prioritising its work, the FCA says it will focus on four commitments, those being putting consumers’ needs first, preparing financial services for the future, strengthening the UK’s position in global wholesale markets and reducing and preventing financial crime. There is specific commentary on how the FCA will go about delivering these commitments. In addressing how it will reduce and prevent serious harm, the FCA includes commentary on dealing with problem firms, improving oversight of ARs, and reducing and preventing financial crime.
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