FCA has published its annual report and accounts for 2020/21, accompanied by the usual specific report. Interesting figures include:
- enforcement data: 134 final notices were issued of which only 15 were against individuals. FCA secured 144 civil and 3 criminal outcomes and imposed 10 financial penalties totalling nearly £198m. The average length of cases resolved by agreement was 32.6 months. Largest numbers of cases related to unauthorised business, then retail conduct, insider dealing, and financial crime. Other areas had under 50 cases each; and
- service standards: FCA achieved its SLA targets on only just over half of its targets. It has improved in its time for responding to letters from firms within 5 working days and completing applications for registration under the MLRs in 45. On applications, FCA states that even if a firm provides all the information the application form requests, this does not necessarily mean FCA will regard the application as complete (thereby giving itself longer to determine it). It says only 7 applications out of 650 missed the statutory deadline. However, the approved persons applications show very poor statistics, which FCA is was due to high volumes of applications from solo regulated firms around the time of SMCR implementation. Time taken to process AR applications was also more. FCA says it is actively recruiting staff in key areas;
- change in control: FCA missed its 60 day deadline in only 1 case out of 705, despite higher than usual volumes.