The FCA has held its annual public meeting, at which it reviews the year past, talks about key priorities for the year ahead and takes questions from the public.
Charles Randell, who was chairing his first Annual Public Meeting, opened the meeting by:
- noting that the demands of Brexit preparation meant that they were forced to make ‘difficult decisions’ in order to meet the estimated £30 million funding requirement;
- observing that the early results from FCA’s Sandbox indicated that the benefits hoped for were being realised, as innovate ideas were being brought to market more quickly and cheaper, but with the right safeguards being built in; and
- focusing on financial crime, highlighting that between the start of January and the start of the summer the FCA had routed approximately 3.1 billion transaction reports to other National Competent Authorities via the European transaction reporting mechanism. Mr Randell commented that “we cannot manage the risks of financial crime successfully unless we can share data in this way. Data sharing provides both the UK and EU countries with a vital foundation to tackle cross-border market abuse, including insider dealing and cross-market manipulation.”
Andrew Bailey then discussed the year in review and ongoing work. Under the umbrella of Brexit preparation, the FCA is working on the design of the proposed temporary permissions regime that will enable EEA firms currently operating in the UK to continue to provide services to customers without interruption.
Mr Bailey also highlighted the importance of maintaining open financial markets:
“Our commitment to protecting consumers and to strong, open markets remains resolute – whether the UK is a member of the EU or not. So we are committed to keeping our relationships with European counterparts as close as possible, after exit and beyond […] [W]e believe our objectives are best achieved in open financial markets where there is respect for the autonomy of domestic regulation, but where the outcomes of that regulation respect those international standards. This in turn provides a foundation for open markets. There is nothing new about this: Brexit does not require the international system to be reinvented. But I would re-emphasise a point I have made many times: that in the wake of the financial crisis it would have been easy to respond by closing financial markets in a bid to insulate the domestic economy and financial institutions, and ultimately consumers. That would have been a huge mistake. Now is not the time to go back on the commitment to open markets, and I am pleased that there are many authorities around the world who share our position.”