The financial regulator is set to focus on technology and culture in the coming year, though only one new review will be brought in

Billy Bambrough
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The Silicon Roundabout In Old Street
Oversight on the fintech companies operating out of the so-called Silicon Roundabout in Shoreditch could be about to come under increased regulatory scrutiny (Source: Getty)

The use of technology and culture within banks are set to be the big focus for the UK's financial watchdog over the next 12 months, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) revealed today in its yearly business plan.

The only new review that the FCA will kick off over the coming 12 months will look into pension governance committees.

Spending on complicence is expected to remain as a top priority for financial institutions thoughout the year as the FCA doubles down on existing regulation.

Last year former FCA chief Martin Wheatley was removed from the job by chancellor George Osborne, who wanted "different leadership.”

Deputy Tracey McDermott was given the job temporarily, though later ruled herself out of the running for the permanent position.

The business plan outlined “seven priority themes” which the FCA will focus on in the coming year including pensions, financial crime and anti-money laundering, wholesale financial markets, advice, innovation and technology, firms’ culture and governance, and the treatment of existing customers.

Outgoing chief executive Tracy McDermott said:

The firms we regulate are investing heavily in making the required changes to their business models, technology and culture to meet new regulatory requirements and new customer demands.

Current head of the Bank of England's deputy governor and head of internal prudential regulation authority Andrew Bailey is set to take up the top job at the FCA in coming months, though City A.M. understands he will stick to plans laid out by McDermott.

Read more: Senior PRA official in the running to take over top spot after Andrew Bailey departs

Bailey currently sits on the board of the FCA, which must approve the business plan before it’s published.

John Liver, partner in EY’s financial services and regulatory compliance team said:

There is no sign of the FCA letting up on its demanding conduct agenda for the FS industry. As it transitions leadership, the plan contains few surprises - but it's clear that the industry will need to continue to invest heavily in regulatory compliance.