The FCA’s Three-Year Strategy

Rahman Ravelli | View firm profile

Niall Hearty of Rahman Ravelli summarises the Financial Conduct Authority’s plans for 2022-25.

Fraud, market abuse, money laundering, sanctions evasion and terrorist financing are among the priorities in the three-year strategy produced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

In “Our Strategy 2022-25’’, the FCA has expressed its commitment to three principles:

  • Reducing and preventing serious harm.
  • Setting and testing higher standards.
  • Promoting competition and positive change.

In more specific terms, the FCA has said it is determined to be more proactive regarding supervision. It will continue to closely scrutinise firms when they first seek FCA authorisation to ensure they meet the correct standards to be allowed to proceed further. The FCA will continue checking social media outlets for advertising that may indicate fraud and will maintain its efforts to have illegal advertising taken down.

As an acknowledgement of the increasing prominence of crypto assets, the FCA has said it recognises the role that cryptocurrency has played in money laundering and will supervise cryptoasset firms’ compliance with Money Laundering Regulations. It has emphasised that it will intervene when cryptoasset firms could be used to assist illegal activity or where they could pose a risk to consumers or market integrity.

The FCA has stated that it is taking an increasingly data-led stance, especially regarding systems and controls. This, it believes, means it is now able to detect financial crime faster and be more effective regarding the disrupting and pursuit of firms and individuals, and the removal of FCA-regulated fraudsters from the financial system.

The FCA has said it will continue to prosecute money laundering and fraud wherever it can. Its strategy refers to working with partners to ensure a wide-ranging approach to financial crime prevention.

Coming as the invasion of Ukraine has led to an increased focus on the flow of dirty money into the UK, the FCA strategy could be viewed as a valid response to the problems posed by financial crime.

In his foreword to the strategy, FCA Chief Executive Nikhil Rathi, cites the response to the invasion of Ukraine as being an example of both its work with international partners and its attempts “ to focus more on the problem in front of us rather than simply addressing types of firms or sectors’’.

Rathi has emphasised the need for the FCA to be more innovative, more assertive and able to adapt to changing circumstances. His organisation’s strategy can be viewed as its attempt to do just that.

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