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PwC comments on FCA’s 2021/22 business plan

Andrew Strange, Financial Services Regulation Insights director at PwC, comments on the FCA’s 2021/22 business plan:

“The FCA’s new business plan unveils a new era of regulation for financial services firms that is intent on building a greener, more diverse industry that works better for consumers. While headline regulatory priorities remain broadly consistent, it marks a departure from its previous approaches in both themes and tone.

“The FCA is clearly committed to the wider agenda of competitiveness in a post-Brexit, post-pandemic world. But the accompanying narrative of the regulator is more assertive than firms are used to. Pushing boundaries and testing the limits of its sanctions powers suggests a level of intrusion that may be uncomfortable for some firms, but will be welcomed by good market participants. Modernising its use of data and technology will allow the FCA to be more agile, but will require investment by firms in their own data capabilities.

“The big change in priorities is the transition away from long laundry lists of regulatory initiatives. Instead the FCA is driving new ‘real life’ themes which really matter to firms and consumers alike - diversity and inclusion, building a green and sustainable future, and ensuring international cooperation. The last business plan did not reference ESG or diversity once. That is a huge and welcome modernisation of its approach.

“Consumers will also welcome this. We’ve seen the FCA proactively challenging firms for the benefit of consumers in recent times, and today’s business plan underlines a continuation and ramping up of these efforts.”

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