FCA publishes annual report

FCA’s Annual Report and Accounts for 2018/19 lists its highlights from the past year, and appends several reports from specific business focuses.  FCA notes that alongside deciding over 4,000 applications for authorisation, assessing over 1,750 whistleblowing allegations and launching 484 market abuse investigations, and furthering its general sector and cross-sector priorities, it has:

  • worked to continue to improve protection for high-cost credit customers
  • prepared for Brexit
  • continued its campaign to make people aware of the PPI claim deadline
  • worked to stop scams from claiming victimes and
  • continued to promote innovation

Separate reports cover:

  • competition: this report looks at how FCA addresses its competition objective and how it has already issued its first CA98 enforcement decision. The report focuses on key themes of the year, mainly work on price discrimination and fairness, and its strategic review of retail banking business models. The report also looks at what FCA is doing to remedy harm, once identified;
  • diversity: this report looks at how FCA acts as employer, regulator and public body to get the balance right;
  • enforcement: FCA issued 265 Final Notices during the year (almost all against firms), secured 276 regulatory or civil outcomes and 12 criminal, and imposed 16 financial penalties totalling £227.3m. Unauthorised business provides the greatest number of cases.  Among the authorised market, retail conduct accounts for the highest number of open cases, closely followed by insider dealing. Next come financial crime and culture/governance issues. The report includes a number of case studies;
  • AML: explaining the national and international groups of which FCA forms part, and how it supervises financial crime prevention. The report also covers FCA’s work on OPBAS and how it seeks to improve the quality of AML supervision. On enforcement, the report notes FCA is now following a dual track method, to investigate on regulatory and criminal bases concurrently.  At the time of the report, it had over 60 ongoing AML investigations.

Emma Radmore