Shayne Halfpenny-Ray shares the latest regulatory updates from the financial services profession
As we now head into autumn, it is time for the latest regulatory update. This one is special for me as it is my last one for the PFS – and I just wanted to say it has been a pleasure being able to provide you with the latest regulatory insights during the past few years.
Onto the task at hand – I have pulled together a selection of key regulatory events to keep an eye out for during the next few months.
Pension redress review
The regulator has confirmed it has launched a four-year periodic review of guidance for pension transfers redress. The review will look at the suitability of the guidance, which sets out how firms should calculate redress for unsuitable defined benefit pension transfers. If changes to the guidance are decided upon, a formal consultation process will be launched.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched a consultation on proposals to improve transparency for investors on the diversity of listed company boards and their executive management teams.
The proposals suggest changes to the listing rules, which require listed companies to annually publish:
- A ‘comply or explain statement’ on whether they have achieved certain proposed targets for gender and ethnic minority representation on their boards.
- Data on the makeup of their board and most senior level of executive management in terms of gender and ethnicity.
The changes also follow the FCA’s recent discussion paper exploring how to promote diversity and inclusion across the financial services sector as a whole. A longer read on this can be found in the article by Dr Matthew Connell on page 30 of PFP.
The FCA is consulting for 12 weeks on these proposals, with a closing date of 20 October 2021, when further discussion on proposals will be sure to follow.
FCA business plan
Outlining its new business plan, the chief executive of the FCA, Nikhil Rathi, discussed how the regulator would become more assertive, innovative and adaptive.
The seven strategic aims set out will be met by:
- Bringing down the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) levy over a multi-year timeframe, as well as the value and volume of FSCS claims.
- Measuring the refusal, withdrawal and rejection rates at the gateway.
- Measuring the number of complaints about newly authorised firms.
- Increasing the number of firms whose permissions are removed either permanently or temporarily.
- Reducing the number and proportion of calls to the FCA that are redirected.
- Increasing the effectiveness of its ScamSmart campaigns.
- Marketing cleanliness measures.
We will continue to engage with the FCA on issues surrounding the FSCS levy, as well as the ongoing difficulties in the professional indemnity insurance market. We believe this focus from the regulator is a sign that it is starting to understand the concerns we have raised with the FCA for some time and will keep campaigning for necessary reform on behalf of members.
As always, the PFS will keep you updated with the latest regulatory activity and developments.
All that leaves me to say is thank you – it has been a real privilege writing this column.
Shayne Halfpenny-Ray is public affairs manager of the PFS
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