Neil Williams of business crime solicitors Rahman Ravelli welcomes the review's timing and hopes it can give the FCA a much-needed boost.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said that it plans a major review of all of the UK's financial services regulations.
The FCA's Executive Director of Strategy and Competition Christopher Woolard announced the review, which is expected to focus on outcomes rather than on compliance.
It is arguably time for a review. The last time a review was held was six years ago – and a lot has happened since then. Shaping the regulatory landscape at a time when London is looking to maintain its status in the global financial marketplace makes perfect sense. This is a chance for those in financial services to play their part in that shaping.
But while a review should be welcomed, the welcome should be a cautious one. The value of any review hinges on what changes or new developments it produces – and that will only be known with time.
The review itself could also be seen as an open declaration by the FCA that it has to change if it is to keep abreast of the markets and consumers' needs. At present, there is a case to be made that the FCA is not functioning as it has to if it wants to be effective.
Given the recent criticisms of the FCA regarding how a number of financial scandals have been allowed to happen on its watch there is a need to review its oversight policy. If the review represents the FCA waking up to the fact that it needs to devise a fresh approach in order to regain some of the credibility it appears to have lost then it has to be a positive development.
Depending on its outcome the review could be the best way for confidence to be restored in the FCA's ability to protect businesses and consumers alike.
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