The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been responsible for the regulation of the UK’s financial services industry since taking over certain powers from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in April 2013.
The FCA works to ensure that regulated financial firms are obeying the rules, and maintaining high standards of operation, by supervising their conduct.
If regulated firms behave in a manner which risks the financial stability of the market, or they do not treat customers fairly, then the FCA can intervene.
In order to achieve its aims, the FCA regularly assesses the conduct of small firms, and continuously assesses the conduct of large firms. It also monitors financial products to ensure that firms are ‘playing fairly’, and not acting in a way so as to compromise consumer interests.
The FCA must also respond quickly to anything that threatens the integrity of the industry, and make sure that firms compensate consumers whenever necessary.
Additionally, the FCA acts as a ‘consumer champion’. It does this by ensuring regulated firms offer the most appropriate product to consumers based on their needs, to try and make sure that consumers receive a fair deal.