Enhancing market integrity

We aim to support and empower a healthy and successful financial system, where firms can thrive and consumers can place their trust in transparent and open markets.

We protect and enhance the integrity of the UK financial system. This benefits firms, individuals and society as a whole, and we work to ensure markets are effective, efficient and reliable.

The markets need to be supported by resilient infrastructure, with appropriate access and transparency to meet the needs of the consumers, corporates and other wholesale clients that use them.

We seek to ensure that:

  • senior management are accountable for their capital markets activities, including principal and agency responsibilities
  • there is a positive culture of proactively identifying and managing conflicts of interest
  • there is orderly resolution and return of client assets
  • firms’ business models, activities, controls and behaviour maintain trust in the integrity of markets and do not create or allow market abuse, systemic risk or financial crime
  • market efficiency, cleanliness and resilience is delivered through transparency, surveillance and the supervision of infrastructures, as well as their principal users
  • firms, acting as agents on behalf of their clients, put clients’ best interests at the heart of their businesses
  • we intervene early in wholesale markets to mitigate the risk of harm being transmitted to retail consumers

We also have a duty to promote effective competition when addressing our market integrity objective. Specifically, FSMA provides that we must, so far as is compatible with acting in a way which advances the market integrity objective, discharge our general functions in a way which promotes effective competition in the interests of consumers.

As a matter of policy we normally aim to choose the most pro-competitive measure open to us provided that it is compatible with our duties as a whole. Consideration of how to apply this in practice will be made on a case-by-case basis.