FCA speaks on culture in financial services

Emily Shepperd, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director of Authorisations at FCA, gave a speech at City and Financial Global’s 8th Annual Culture and Conduct Forum.

The speech highlighted that FCA believes culture drives conduct, and the Consumer Duty aims to help firms analyse their current cultures. Ms Shepperd spoke of the overall negative perception of financial services and labelled the perceived culture as two extremes: either ‘dull’ or ‘scandalous’. She posited that firms should ensure all employees feel safe to challenge and speak out. One of the suggested methods of achieving this is by using language carefully, particularly at a senior level.

The speech brought several FCA initiatives and reports into the spotlight which aim to help firms improve their culture. The one that will do the most to address conduct, and therefore culture, is the Consumer Duty but another tool is the FCA’s Early and High Growth Oversight support.

The speech also focused on how culture can drive innovation but acknowledged that innovation also comes with risks. For instance, Ms Shepperd noted that only 5% of crypto firms who applied for FCA registration could demonstrate that they understood the MLRs.

Nicola Radford