Andrew Bailey, speaking at Mansion house, looked at some of the challenges FCA faces as financial conduct regulator. He focussed particularly on:
- consumer credit – particularly on its rapid growth and the role of high-cost credit. He explained what FCA is doing to help those with persistent credit card debt and how it is trying to prevent problem debt from emerging. He spoke also of the problems of unarranged overdraft charges and doorstep lending. He said FCA is also looking at catalogue credit. He stressed that FCA uses a range of tools, and looks to understand firms’ business models. He said it is important that credit is “sensibly” available to those who need it;
- long term saving and retirement – he focused on how individual responsibility and greater choice for retirement has increased but that the savings rate for retirement is often too low for people to meet their expectations. Among other things, FCA is concerned to police the “advice” boundary, and try to minimise the likelihood of firms pulling back from giving consumers necessary advice; and
- ageing and financial services – he explained what FCA has been doing to understand the issues older consumers face. He said FCA has identified the big issues but has more work to do.