Eight things we learned from the FCA's 2017/18 business plan

 
Alys Key
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The FCA said cyber security is an increasingly scary issue (Source: Getty)

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published its business plan for the year ahead this morning, outlining its priorities.

As is to be expected, the regulator put Brexit at the top of its priority list. Here's everything it will focus on in the next year:

Read more: Brexit will cost the FCA £2.5m this year

1. The PPI saga continues apace

A total of £26.2bn has been paid out to date, but the period in which consumers can make a complaint is drawing to a close, with the new deadline of 29 August 2019.

2. The FCA still wants a say over multinational regulation after Brexit

Consistent global standards and maintaining a say in standards affecting the UK topped the list of the FCA's priorities as it prepares to advise the government and provide technical support during the Brexit process.

3. Peer to peer lending and crowdfunding firms are in for a reprimand

The FCA suggested many platforms don't comply with client money regulations, designed to keep client money and assets safe if a firm fails and exits the market. The FCA said it will tackle this by either approaching companies directly or going to their auditors.

4. Firms letting money-laundering slide will be targeted

Following a review of money-laundering prevention, the FCA will impose business restrictions on some businesses which do not do enough to stop the practice, and prosecute the worst offenders. The FCA will also become responsible for reviewing anti money-laundering supervision in professional bodies this year like the Institute of Chartered Accountants this year.

5. Fintech is getting even more important

The watchdog's sandbox for Fintech startups was expanded earlier this month and that success looks set to continue, with greater focus on involving non-London startups through regional and Scottish Fintech hubs. Meanwhile Fintech's less sexy cousin Regtech will get a boost as the FCA investigates new ways to monitor compliance.

6. Vulnerable consumers are set to be prioritised

An upcoming report will set out the challenges facing financial consumers, which the FCA says are more diverse than in previous years due to an ageing population and the precarious situation of many young people. The body will also work with specific organisations like the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute to make financial services easier to use for more people.

7. Everyone is going to get a nifty online app to view their pension

Although pensioners may struggle with technology, the current generation of savers just want simplicity. That's why an online pensions savings dashboard will be accessible by 2019, so that everyone can view what they have in one place.

8. Cyber security is getting scarier

The FCA flagged cyber security resilience as an issue in almost every sector in the business plan. The FCA is teaming up with the Bank of England and the Treasury to work with victims of cyber-attacks and wants to improve how well firms can respond to security issues using the expertise of the National Cyber Security Centre and the National Crime Agency.

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