FCA publishes final guidance on concurrent competition powers

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.

Notes to editors

  1. PS15/18: FCA Competition Concurrency Guidance and Handbook amendments: Feedback on CP15/01, finalised guidance and rules
  2. FG15/8 - FCA's powers and procedures under the Competition Act 1998
  3. FG15/9 - Market studies and market investigation references
  4. 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). On 1 April 2014, the FCA took over responsibility for consumer credit regulation.
  5. 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.
  6. Find out more information about the FCA.