The UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates the financial services industry in the UK. Its aim is to protect consumers, ensure the industry remains stable and promote healthy competition between financial services providers.
Responsibilities of the Financial Conduct Authority
The FCA has rule-making, investigative and enforcement powers that are used to protect and regulate the financial services industry.
Together with the Prudential Regulation Authority, the Financial Conduct Authority replaces the now-defunct Financial Services Authority (FSA). This followed criticism that the latter failed to regulate the financial markets effectively, a catastrophic failure that led to the collapse of the banking sector and the subsequent intervention of the British taxpayer to avoid financial meltdown.
The FCA follows three statutory objectives. To
- protect consumers
- enhance the integrity of the UK financial system
- help maintain competitive markets and promote effective competition in the interests of consumers
Powers of the Financial Conduct Authority
Firms can only offer or provide financial products and services in the UK if they are authorised by the FCA or registered to do so, or are otherwise exempt. This includes for many of the financial products and services you use or deal with each day.
The FCA's powers include enforcement against
- unauthorised firms
- unfair contracts
- misleading advertisements