FCA publishes Annual Report

FCA has published its Annual Report and supporting papers. It highlighted:

  • how nearly 600,000 people are paying less in interest and charges on credit card debt following rule changes;
  • how further rule changes have prevented insurance firms from overcharging loyal customers;
  • its first criminal prosecution under AML legislation;
  • the updated listing regime;
  • that its innovative sandbox is now open all year round;
  • that its robust approach to authorisations meant that 80% of crypto firms applying for registration under the MLRs either withdrew their applications or were declined; and
  • perimeter issues that it has noted as presenting potential risks to consumers, such as exclusions in the financial promotions regime, general insurance products and third party providers

Richard Lloyd, the Interim Chair of the FCA, said he is “proud of the way that the FCA ensured that financial services could provide strong support for people” and that “the next year will see major changes”.

Among the supporting reports were the perimeter report, which highlighted as key challenges:

  • the ability to collect intelligence and data on unregulated activities;
  • the current inability to bring unregulated activities undertaken by regulated firms within its remit;
  • its work on lead generators and ARs;
  • the risks of deposit aggregators;
  • the need to clamp down on funeral plan providers who are not authorised when they need to be;
  • the lack of a full definition of insurance in the RAO and the resulting differences in structuring of products;
  • its powers over “Annex 1 financial institutions” under the MLRs;
  • implementing BNPL;
  • employer lending;
  • SME lending;
  • mass marketing of high-risk investments to retail customers;
  • use of the sophisticated investor FPO exemption and concern over the HNWI threshold;
  • online harms;
  • access to cash;
  • crypto assets;
  • the need for extension of the SMCR to exchanges and credit rating agencies;
  • the operation of the overseas persons exclusion;
  • overseas funds; and
  • competition in the investment consultancy markets.

Emma Radmore