UK: What The FCA's Business Plan Tells Us About Enforcement In The Coming Year

Last Updated: 11 June 2018
Article by Mishcon De Reya

On 9 April, the FCA published its Business Plan 2018/19, which sets out its priorities for the coming year. In analysing this, a number of column inches have been devoted to discussing the resource that the FCA is having to devote to EU withdrawal, and what that means in terms of its other projects.

We focus instead in this piece on determining where enforcement might come from. Consistent with its "credible deterrence" agenda being a thing of the past, enforcement is not a concept that is at the forefront of the Business Plan. Nevertheless, reading between the lines, we pick out from amongst the FCA priorities for this year, 10 areas from which we consider we may see enforcement action arising in future:

  • Anti-money laundering is, as always, a key area. The UK has been told that it needs a more comprehensive picture about how capital markets are being used for money laundering. Accordingly, the FCA will undertake a broad range of diagnostic work, including in the e-money sector. Notably, it proposes to carry out a thematic review to increase its understanding and assessment of the harm that is caused by money laundering in capital markets. Thematic reviews often lead to enforcement activity, and we would expect this particularly to be the case as far as AML is concerned.
  • There are no surprises that culture and governance continues to be an FCA priority and our view is that the FCA will continue to look for cases to bring against senior managers. The FCA remains concerned about the potential for harm arising from poor remuneration and incentive arrangements, and enforcement against firms which score poorly in this area are likely.
  • Data security and resilience is a cross sector priority and, given the heightened public interest in this area, we would not be surprised to see enforcement activity in future. The FCA will strengthen its supervisory assessments of the highest impact firms to better understand their current and planned use of technology, resilience to cyber-attacks and staff expertise. Notably, it will also review how governance, strategy, systems architecture, risk management and culture contribute to firms' data security. It will also conduct focussed thematic work with "lower impact" firms, based on harms it has identified in each sector.
  • The FCA has plainly had concerns about outsourcing in certain areas for some period now, and outsourcing has frequently featured in previous enforcement outcomes. During 2018/19, it will increase its understanding of outsourced services and core infrastructure provision across different sectors through several pieces of thematic and firm specific work. This may well be one of the areas where enforcement action could result.
  • Pension transfer advice has been grabbing much attention in recent years. The FCA makes it clear that it will not hesitate to intervene where necessary if it sees evidence of firms providing unsuitable pension transfer advice. We may well see enforcement arising as a consequence of the data the FCA proposes to collect from all firms that have pension transfer permission in order that it can assess practices across the entire market. The FCA will also continue to monitor, quantify and tackle cases of systemic pension mis-selling and fraud. This involves both firms that the FCA authorises and unregulated firms that introduce business to them. 
  • The high cost credit market is a market that the FCA is concerned about – particularly given the FCA's focus on vulnerable customers. It says it wants to send a clear message to firms and consumers that more work is needed in some parts of the market to improve consumer protection. We shall have to see whether that clear message includes by way of enforcement.
  • As regards the wholesale financial markets, the FCA proposes to monitor, detect and investigate potential abuse in them and enforce against unlawful behaviour where appropriate. As trailed a few months back, it will focus its supervision monitoring on the fixed income, commodity and non-standard derivative markets, as these are important parts of the market but which have previously received less focus than equities. It should also be noted that the FCA will be publishing a document to assist firms, entitled "Approach to Market Integrity".
  • The FCA has a number of concerns in the retail lending market, particularly around the quality of debt advice. The FCA is clearly sceptical about the viability of paid for debt advice and debt management business models. This year, it will look at how fee charging and free to customer debt management providers meet their customers' needs. Enforcement may well result, particularly as the FCA's enquiries will involve reviewing customer files and visits to providers to interview staff and assess their processes and how they deal with customers.
  • As regards firms' access to, and use of, credit information, the FCA intends to launch a market study. The FCA will collect evidence to gain a better understanding of the potential for harm in that market and, if necessary, to identify remedies. Credit reference agencies are entirely dependent on the quality of information provided by lenders and other users. Firms that systemically provide poor quality customer data to agencies may well face enforcement and redress.
  • As regards retail investments, the FCA has been trying to mitigate the harm it believes is caused from firms selling CFDs and spread bets to retail consumers. It plans to evaluate how well its interventions have worked and to act where firms fail to meet its expectations. Given the extent of the warnings and guidance already provided to firms, continued non-compliance is likely to be punished.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Squire Patton Boggs LLP
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Squire Patton Boggs LLP
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions