FCA reforms decision-making process

The UK’s financial watchdog has announced it is reforming its decision-making process to make “faster and more effective decisions” for consumers, markets, and firms.

Under the reforms, more decisions will be taken by the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) senior managers rather than by the Regulatory Decisions Committee (RDC).

The FCA said that the new process will ensure that decisions to prevent or stop consumer harm are taken more quickly.

More contentious cases will continue to be reviewed by the RDC, which is a committee of the FCA’s Board that operates separately from the regulator. Its members are drawn from business, consumer and financial services backgrounds.

The FCA’s senior managers are now able to take decisions on the following:

• a firm’s authorisation or an individual’s approval
• action in straightforward cases to cancel a firm’s permissions and that action is contested
• starting civil proceedings, such as seeking an injunction
• starting criminal proceedings, such as a prosecution for insider dealing
• using the FCA’s powers to vary or limit a firm’s permissions
• using the FCA’s powers to impose requirements on a firm

“We are taking a fresh approach to tackling firms and individuals who do not meet the required standards,” said Emily Shepperd, executive director of authorisations. “Our new streamlined decision-making process will allow us to be more assertive in stopping harm.”

The authority said it would carry out a six-month post-implementation review to check out effective the reforms are.

The FCA will carry out a 6-month post-implementation review to assess the effectiveness of the reforms.

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