What is the issue?
The FCA’s current approach to regulation is based on the assumption that enhancing competition in financial services is the best way to deliver value to consumers. However, certain financial services fall into the category of goods and services for which there should be universal access; and enhanced competition does not guarantee this outcome. Retail financial services should meet the needs of the population as a whole and the industry’s regulator should be tasked with ensuring this outcome.
What will the project try to achieve?
The purpose of this project is to develop a set of recommendations for action by the government, the FCA and the financial services industry. These recommendations will focus in particular on the remit of the FCA and its approach to regulation and set out how they should be changed to ensure the most vulnerable in the UK get a better deal from financial markets so as to increase their resilience to shocks.
Who might be interested in this project?
The project’s conclusions will be aimed primarily at ministers, shadow ministers, their advisers and the FCA. The FCA has said that it is open to receiving views on its approach to regulating the financial sector, and in particular on its competition objective. Others who are likely to be interested include consumer groups such as Which? and Citizens Advice, charities such as Step Change, and of course the financial industry.