We and the Practitioner Panel have published a report* from our 2019 joint survey of FCA-regulated firms. The survey gives views across the financial services sector of our performance as a regulator. It provides us with important information to help us achieve our objectives.
It is carried out on our behalf by Kantar Public, an independent market research organisation, who sent the survey to a sample of firms. Between January and March 2019, 2,888 firms completed the survey.
In the survey, we ask firms for feedback on how well we are achieving our operational objectives:
- securing an appropriate degree of protection for consumers
- protecting and enhancing the integrity of the UK’s financial system
- promoting effective competition in the interests of customers
This year, scores against the first two of these objectives have risen slightly. In relation to the third objective, the confidence of fixed firms increased, but the overall score for all firms decreased from 72 to 70%, although there had been a significant rise the previous year, following the publication of our Approach to Competition in 2018.
The survey also revealed specific areas for improvement. In particular:
- Information requests: we need to ensure the costs of providing information imposed on firms are proportionate to the benefits achieved. There was a substantial increase in the proportion of fixed firms who said the number of information requests are greater than seems necessary. This is an issue both the Practitioner Panel and the Smaller Business Practitioner Panel have raised, highlighting both the volume of requests and these associated costs to firms.
- Trust in supervision: flexible firms have overall higher satisfaction scores than fixed firms, but they are less likely to agree that our staff have sufficient experience and are appropriately qualified. Since carrying out the survey, we have clarified our approach to supervision and will evaluate the impact of this work and any changes to firm views in the next survey.
We will use the results to better understand the issues affecting all firms and help improve how we work.
* We updated the report to correct an error on Page 34 in relation to how many General Insurance firms had accessed our Brexit-related guidance, we corrected the figure from 51% to 49%.