FCA Financial Conduct Authority

DEFINITION of FCA Financial Conduct Authority

The FCA, or Financial Conduct Authority, is the United Kingdom’s financial regulatory body.

WHAT IT IS IN ESSENCE

The FCA operates independently of the UK government. Its financing is handled by fees levied on businesses and members of the financial services industry.

An independent, non-governmental body, the Financial Conduct Authority is responsible for regulating the UK’s financial services industry.

It was established in 2013 following the Financial Services Act (2012). And replaced the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The FCA has the new regulatory framework.

Also has the mandate to maintain both the stability of the UK’s financial markets. Therefore, the safe conduct of its financial services firms.

The structure of the FCA’s regulatory authority takes in the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulatory Authority, and the Financial Policy Committee.

This regulatory body is responsible for the conduct of around 58,000 businesses. Which employ 2.2 million people and contribute around £65.6 billion in annual tax revenue to the UK economy.

The FCA has wide-reaching powers which it uses to pursue three operational objectives:

  • To secure an appropriate degree of protection for consumers
  • and to enhance market integrity and protect the UK financial system
  • also to promote competition in the interests of consumers

This regulatory body has the power to introduce and enforce the rules which govern the UK’s financial services industry. And it may investigate both organizations and individuals suspected of violating them, for example.

HOW TO USE

The FCA sets out the minimum standards which financial services products. Such as pensions, credit cards, ISAs, and investments.

They must meet those standards to enter the markets. And it may force firms to withdraw or change those products which fall short.

Ultimately, the FCA has the authority to ban financial products for up to a year. And has the right to decide whether to impose an indefinite ban following that period.