The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is an autonomous government agency responsible for the treasury. It was established on 1 April 2013 to conduct related precautionary regulation concerning Part 1A of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA). FCA regulates almost 50,000 financial businesses and markets in the UK and acts as an alert regulator for more than 18,000 organizations. The purpose is to create an environment where markets work well for both consumers and all businesses. It implements rules to provide this market for firms under the FCA supervision, such as banks, independent financial advisors, and mutual communities. There are two types of FCA authorization for firms as limited and full permission. According to a company's activity type, implementing FCA regulations is mandatory.
What Does FCA Stand for?
The FCA, as the body regulating the financial service industry in the UK, operates independently of the Government. FCA's goals include protecting consumers, increasing competition, and managing the market's integrity. The focus is to regulate financial firms' behavior in the retail and wholesale sectors. As part of this focus, it has the power to investigate abuse, handle the marketing of products, and determine the minimum standards.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is also responsible for promoting effective competition and ensuring the proper functioning of all financial service companies' relevant markets and regulations. This responsibility includes preventing market abuse and ensuring that consumers make a fair deal from firms. The Financial Conduct Authority states that its general aim is to "ensure that markets and monetary systems are robust, stable, and flexible, and provide transparent pricing information that consumers can easily understand.”
Role of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)?
The Government has determined these responsibilities underneath the 2012 Financial Services Act. The Financial Conduct Authority has three operational objectives to support this fundamental task:
- Offering an appropriate safety diploma for consumers to defend them
- Guarding and enhancing the integrity of the UK markets in economic systems
- Promoting effective opposition for the advantage of consumers
The Financial Conduct Authority has some powers:
- Examining organizations or individuals,
- Ban products or services for up to one year when considering a permanent ban,
- Ensuring that customer treatment is fair,
- To play a supervisory role with banks and authorized payment institutions to monitor healthy competition and detect risks early.
FCA Anti Money Laundering Regulations
The Financial Conduct Authority aims to ensure that markets operate competitively and fairly in the UK, benefit customers, staff, and shareholders, and maintain trust in the UK as a significant global monetary center. It publishes some Anti Money Laundering regulations for this purpose.
Based on FCA's AML regulations, FI must perform risk assessments and due diligence procedures. Organizations obliged to comply with the rules must closely follow FCA regulations.
Some Industries Regulated by FCA
The Financial Services Act 2012 established a new system regulating financial services to protect and develop the UK economy. In this determined regulation, FCA will control the bans on the following issues:
- Ensuring that banks treat all their customers fairly
- Promoting innovation and healthy competition
- Help the FCA identify potential risks early thus they can take action to reduce risks
- There are over 10,000 mutual societies in the UK, and the FCA is responsible for:
- Maintaining public records
- Registration of new mutual communities
- Receiving annual returns
FCA published a document to enlighten those concerned about its rules and enforcements. In the FCA handbook, these are some of the information released:
- Compliance and obligations
- Related markets, organizations, jurisdictions, and companies
- Regulatory activities and processes
- Financial products and services
- Controllers and roles of many titles like CRO, CEO, Auditors, etc.
FCA Register System
There are different risk levels for all players in the financial market. As a result, FCA comes to the stage to protect all counterparties from those risks with its regulations and the power of supervision. In the market provided by the FCA system, companies and clients have a trustworthy environment because of the idea that they are all audited by it. UK legislation requires compulsorily to get involved with FCA standards to conduct a financial activity.
FCA Register provides a database to check companies, individuals who engage in related financial activities, and employees at certain firms. Their regulations, activity areas, and permissions provided by FCA are listed in the Registration system. It also goals to ensure to meet with the right parties and offers its users legally registered contact information.
Furthermore, users can find financial services like pensions, mortgage, and investment geographically in the Register System. FCA lists other links leading to organizations that provide transparent knowledge about specific sectors like banking and insurance, limited companies, and financial advice providers.
Keys to Receive FCA Confirmation
FCA expresses its confirmation criteria for industry guidance as follows:
- It is not enough to comply with the regulations to be granted for an industry guidance. FCA also expects to see the links between the guidance and its rules.
- Companies or individuals working with the B2C business model must satisfy consumer needs with the protection of this regulatory system. FCA prefers to see this in an application.
- FCA expects a guidance for not to clash with third parties’ interests and rights as the regulations also do not affect them
- Mentioning the related area and company information is one of the other necessary principles. Also, a guide must be reachable for everyone without any cost.
Also, it might be beneficial to know about the confirmation process. FCA traces a pathway during the confirmation process:
- An industry guidance must state a clear, transparent working field which the company or applicant individual involve; so that, FCA examines its requirements correctly.
- Examination of previous applications and guidance which is confirmed might be helpful if there is a similar one in terms of working field.
- All industry guidance needs to meet FCA’s regulatory principles and confirmation criteria, so they must be implemented even during the drafting process.
- After all suggestions mentioned during the drafting process are applied, the last version needs to be shared with FCA.
- If an applicant wants to make changes in confirmed guidance, there is a certain period of time to appeal as three months before the expiration of the guidance.
- Confirmed industry guidance is valid for three years.
- FCA shares all confirmed industry guidance on its website via a link from provider.