The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the FCA Practitioner Panel have today published the findings from their 2017 survey of FCA-regulated firms. The survey gives a view across the financial services sector of the FCA’s performance as a regulator. It provides the opinions of more than 2,000 regulated firms who completed the survey in March and April this year.
In previous years the Practitioner Panel has carried out a survey of regulated firms to gauge their perceptions of the FCA and to what extent it is meeting its objectives. This year this survey has been combined with the FCA’s annual firm feedback questionnaire to produce a single report, in order to reduce the amount of data requested from firms.
The survey shows that both the industry’s satisfaction with its relationship with the FCA and the industry’s rating of the FCA’s effectiveness have increased.
Performance against objectives
The FCA particularly values the feedback on how well it is achieving its three operational objectives:
- Securing an appropriate degree of protection for consumers;
- Protecting and enhancing the integrity of the UK financial system;
- Promoting effective competition in the interests of consumers in the financial markets.
This year firms reported increased confidence in the FCA’s ability to deliver against all three objectives. Confidence in the consumer protection objective and protecting the integrity of the financial system rose compared to last year.
Understanding of the FCA’s competition objective, which is the newest of the objectives, has consistently scored lower than the others in previous years. This year, however, 60% of firms reported that they were very or fairly confident in this objective, up from 56% last year.
Long-term savings and pensions
Last year there were lower levels of satisfaction in the long-term savings and pensions sector. The Practitioner Panel encouraged the FCA to focus on this area in particular, and this year there have been significantly more positive results for this sector.
Focus for improvement
The survey identified three key areas for further improvement:
- Ensuring that firms, in particular consumer credit firms, clearly understand the FCA’s remit; the publication of the FCA’s Mission shortly after the research fieldwork took place should help to address this;
- The volume of regulatory change makes demands on firms’ resources and firms are looking to the FCA to be more transparent about future plans;
- The FCA should communicate directly and clearly with firms about Brexit.
António Simões, Chair of the FCA Practitioner Panel, commented that:
“We are encouraged by the findings of this year’s survey that there has been progress against all three of the FCA’s operational objectives. Last year we identified that there were concerns around the competition objective, and that the life and pensions industry was more generally dissatisfied with the work of the FCA than other sectors. To see progress against both these points is a sign that the regulator is heading in the right direction. The Panel will continue to work with the FCA to address the issues raised in the survey about communication, volume of regulation and the challenges of Brexit.”
Responding to the survey findings, Andrew Bailey, Chief Executive of the FCA said:
“We are pleased that firms continue to rate our performance as a regulator highly. But we know that we can always do better and the survey is very helpful in identifying a number of areas for improvement. In our Mission we committed to be more transparent, communicating clearly with firms so that they understand our role, remit and expectations. The survey also reflects concerns amongst firms about the uncertainty ahead for the financial services sector and we remain committed to delivering effective regulation which will enhance the UK financial system in the future.”
Notes to editors
- The 2017 joint survey was carried out on behalf of the Panel and the FCA between March and April 2017 by independent research agency Kantar Public.
- The survey is available on the Panel’s website and on the FCA website (PDF).
- The FCA Practitioner Panel, FCA Smaller Business Practitioner Panel and FCA Markets Practitioner Panel were established under the Financial Services Act 2012, along with the Financial Services Consumer Panel. The FCA has a statutory duty under the Act to consider representations that the Panels make. The Act also requires the FCA from time to time to publish, in such manner as it thinks fit, responses to the representations.
- FCA Practitioner Panel members are drawn from senior levels of the industry and represent the various sectors within which regulated financial businesses operate. The Panels provide input to the FCA from the industry in order to help it meet its statutory and operational objectives in an effective manner. The FCA Practitioner Panel represents the interests of practitioners in larger firms, the FCA Smaller Business Practitioner Panel represents the interests of smaller regulated firms, and the FCA Markets Practitioner Panel the interests of the markets sector. The FCA also consults with the Listing Authority Advisory Panel on issues relating to primary markets.
- More information on the FCA Practitioner Panels, including their latest Annual Reports.
- On 1 April 2013, the FCA became responsible for the conduct supervision of all regulated financial firms and the prudential supervision of those not supervised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
- The FCA has an overarching strategic objective of ensuring the relevant markets function well. To support this it has three operational objectives: to secure an appropriate degree of protection for consumers; to protect and enhance the integrity of the UK financial system; and to promote effective competition in the interests of consumers.
- Find out more information about the FCA.