Brexit key among FCA's 2019 priorities
Publish date: 09 May 2019
Issue Number: 659
Diary: Legalbrief Forensic
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has mapped out its priorities for the coming year, with Brexit named as its most immediate focus. According to a report on the Out-Law.com site, in its 2019/20 business plan the regulator said it had also identified three strategic challenges in areas where it wanted to anticipate and influence market development: innovation, data and data ethics, demographic change, and the future of regulation. Experts from Pinsent Masons welcomed the FCA focuses but said the regulator would need to follow through on many of its commitments with enforcement action and continued co-operation with other authorities. As well as Brexit, the FCA’s other priorities for the coming year include working to improve firms’ culture and governance and operational resilience, fighting financial crime and improving the treatment of customers. It also highlighted priorities for individual sectors. Actions the FCA said it would take included producing guidance on the use of cryptocurrencies as financial assets. Pinsent Masons' financial regulation expert David Heffron said: ‘Technology and innovation can have a profound impact in supporting regulation and the FCA is clearly open to and engaging with the possibilities.’ White collar crime expert David Hamilton, also of Pinsent Masons, said the FCA’s emphasis on intelligence gathering and sharing was of particular note. He said the annual financial crime return, which many larger firms had been required to submit to the FCA since the end of 2016, had produced useful data on areas such as firms’ customer relationships, high-risk jurisdictions in which they do business and the anti-financial crime systems and controls they employ.