FCA Business Plan for 2024/2025

FCA Business Plan for 2024/2025

In March of this year, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued its Business Plan for 2024/2025, which sets out ‘an ambitious program of work for the final year of its 3-year strategy to achieve better outcomes for consumers and markets’

Key Points

Throughout the Plan, there are some clear key areas of focus, many of which firms will be aware of following the implementation of Consumer Duty in July 2023.  These key areas include protecting customers, ensuring market integrity, and promoting effective competition. These have been broken down into ‘commitments'.

Reducing and preventing financial crime

The regulator will continue its current approach in continuing to take a data-led approach to identify potential harm through supervisory and/or enforcement action, including taking assertive action to tackle scams and fraudulent websites.

Putting consumer needs first

July 2024 sees the deadline date for Consumer Duty Closed Book products.  From this date, the FCA have stated that firms need to ensure both open and closed book products are delivering the right outcomes for consumers.  The FCA will continue to place its focus on interventions where there is the greatest risk of harm to a consumer, or where more work is needed by firms to identify and address any gaps, enabling them to meet the expected standards on the Consumer Duty.  As advised in its webinar on 6th December, the FCA will be carrying out multi-firm work and market studies across different sectors within financial services to help drive up standards.

Dealing with problem firms

The regulator will increase its ability to detect and pursue market abuse though more developed market monitoring which will cover both market abuse and market integrity.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) priorities

The FCA will integrate the Sustainability Disclosure Requirements and Investment Labels across the market, including the anti-green-washing rule and guidance. The FCA will be continuing its engagement with new and emerging risks and will progress work on a new ‘Nature’ principle coming into force.

Oversight of Financial Promotions

Since February 2024, the FCA Register now includes information about firms’ permissions to approve financial promotions.  The FCA intends to continue with this area of focus and will act quickly against authorised firms issuing non-compliant financial promotions and unauthorised firms whose activity could lead to mis-selling and risk of consumer harm.

Improving oversight of Appointed Representatives

The FCA will continue to strengthen scrutiny and engagement with Principal firms as they appoint ARs and will continue assertive supervision of high-risk Principals.  There will be a more targeted approach through a deeper analysis of existing data, including updated Gateway forms, new regulatory returns and data requests which will cover all ARs.

How can PPL help?

As a Compliance Consultancy firm, PPL believe in making compliance simple for you and have developed a wide range of services and products to fit your needs.  Whatever retail sector your business is in, our experienced team will make sure you have the tools, processes and support in place to ensure you are compliant, leaving you free to run your business.

If you are a directly authorised firm, a principal who needs support with its AR network, or a firm who is interested in becoming and Appointed Representative, then we have the tools and expertise to ensure you are supported.

Please get in touch with us on 01274 921234, or visit our website to make an enquiry www.productpartnerships.com/contact-us/