On July 15, 2021, the FCA released its latest business plan for 2021/22 which sets out the FCA’s key priorities and objectives for the coming year. In his latest business plan, FCA Managing Director Nikhil Rathi underscored FCA’s commitment to being a forward-thinking and proactive regulator, which he said would involve three distinct changes:
- that the FCA will be more innovative;
- that the FCA will be more assertive; and
- that the FCA will be more adaptive.
The FCA’s commitment to such a change is driven by a variety of factors, including the resumption of COVID, a response to Brexit, increased attention to environmental and social issues in the financial sector, and ever-changing technology. With this in mind, the FCA separately details its main priorities with regard to:
- consumer protection and efficient consumer markets (including the proposed new consumer law);
- increase the efficiency of wholesale markets; and
- focusing on issues that apply on a cross-market basis, including fraud, financial resilience, operational resilience, diversity and inclusion, support for ESG issues and prevention of greenwashing, as well as international cooperation.
In the report, with these goals and priorities in mind, the FCA details a number of reform proposals – a clear indication that the FCA intends to be a forward-thinking and proactive regulator. Companies should review the FCA business plan and consider their business practices in line with the FCA focus areas.