The FCA oversees financial markets and financial services companies in the UK, ensuring the protection of investors and proper functioning of the markets.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the conduct regulator for over 56.000 financial services firms and the UK financial markets. The financial regulatory body operates independently from the UK government and gets funded through charging fees to the regulated participants of the British financial industry. The 56.000 financial services firms, which the FCA supervises, consist out of both retail and wholesale financial services. Including banks, mutual societies, financial advisers, CFDs and Forex brokers.
What are the Financial Conduct Authority’s duties?
The Financial Conduct Authority’s main objective is to guarantee that the markets function well, while supervising the conduct of the financial services sector. The regulatory authority is responsible to protect consumers by providing an appropriate degree of protections. These includes the FCA’s powers to regulate the marketing of financial products, ban financial products and investigate individuals or organizations. Adding to the FCA’s list of responsibilities, the UK watchdog received additional duties after the introduction of the 2012 Financial Services Act. The new act mandated the FCA to also protect financial markets by improving the integrity of the UK financial system and to promote fair competition.
The FCA is the successor of the Financial Services Authority
The regulation authority FCA was established on the 1st of April 2013. Taking over the responsibilities from the Financial Services Authority. This occurred right the 2012 Financial Services Act was approved by the royal assent. It’s predecessor the Financial Services Authority (FSA) got abolished, while the FCA received the responsibility over the financial services and the Bank of England (BoE) gained the responsibilities over the financial stability. This task falls under the BoE’s arm the Prudential Regulation Authority.
Since the inception of the FCA, the regulatory body has received more responsibilities. Such as the supervision tasks over the consumer credit industry from the Office of Fair Trading. The transition took place on the 1st of April 2014. Moreover, the FCA also created a separate body in April 2015, named the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR). The role of this body is to promote innovation and competition in the payment sector.