Financial Conduct Authority

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.

Statutory objectives

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

The FCA's statutory objectives were set up under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 as amended by the Financial Services Act 2012.

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
  • fraud


Movers and shakers


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