The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today published the final guidance on its concurrent competition powers together with a policy statement setting out its responses to feedback received during the consultation earlier this year.
The new powers came into force on 1 April 2015 and give the FCA the ability to enforce against infringements of competition law, additional powers to conduct market studies and powers to refer markets to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for in-depth investigation with regard to financial services. The CMA can also exercise these powers.
Christopher Woolard, director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said:
"The FCA’s concurrent powers are an important part of our toolkit. They benefit all consumers of financial services by encouraging competition amongst firms and deterring and punishing any anti-competitive behaviour."
The concurrent powers also support the FCA’s engagement at a European level to address any potential cross-border competition issues.
The FCA has made amendments to its FCA Handbook that reinforce the obligation on authorised firms to disclose actual or potential competition law infringements to the FCA.
In January 2015, the FCA announced a consultation on guidance and FCA Handbook amendments to enable it to use its competition and concurrency powers effectively and efficiently. The policy statement sets out amendments made to the guidance and Handbook amendments in response to comments received during the consultation.
The FCA handbook amendments take effect from 1 August 2015 and the guidance will be regularly reviewed and updated if necessary.
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