On 9 April 2018, the FCA published its 2018-19 business plan.
The priorities in this year's business plan reflect the high level of resources the FCA needs to dedicate to the UK withdrawal from the EU, given its impact on both FCA regulation and the firms it regulates. Alongside this work, the priority areas that the FCA will focus on during 2018-19 include the following:
- Firm's culture and governance, which should drive behaviours and produce outcomes likely to benefit consumers and markets.
- High-cost credit, building on the significant impact already made in the market.
- Tackling financial crime, including fraud, scams and anti-money laundering (AML), to make the UK financial services sector a hostile place for criminals and a safe place for consumers.
- Data security, resilience and outsourcing, as technology plays a pivotal role in delivering financial products and services.
- Innovation, Big Data, technology and competition, which are driving change in markets.
- The treatment of existing customers, to ensure they do not get less attention or receive poorer outcomes than new customers.
- Long-term savings and pensions and intergenerational differences, which reflects the changing UK population and their financial needs.
The FCA has also published its sector views for 2018, which highlight the issues and developments it has identified in the sectors it regulates. The FCA uses the sector views to help determine its priorities for the year ahead.
IFAC's highlight: "In the past year we have been extremely concerned about some firms exploiting consumers' lack of knowledge of pension products when advising them to transfer out of defined benefit schemes."