Simon Turner, UK Financial Services Partner at EY comments on the FCA 2023 Business Plan:
"The FCA’s new Business Plan, as expected, focuses heavily on supporting consumers, but also flags a future commitment to safeguarding and promoting UK financial services as a sector. The £12.7m earmarked to support the Future Regulatory Framework (FRF) and the commitment of additional resource to four priority areas is positive, but ambitious. How far available funding will go, how it will be deployed, and crucially, how it will cover the raft of new priorities in addition to existing activity is not addressed in detail – although up on the past few years, the overall annual budget is only set to increase 8.5% year-on-year.
"The focus on putting the consumer first is clear, illustrated by a reaffirming of the July Consumer Duty implementation deadline and various initiatives to mitigate the cost-of-living crisis and support customers experiencing financial difficulty. Firms are up against a challenging timeline on Consumer Duty, but today’s announcement could not be clearer that this is a priority area requiring an evidence-driven response, and there is no leeway for unexplained non-compliance.
“While today’s Business Plan outlines a clear vision and a commitment to greater investment than in previous years, with so many pressing priorities, the elephant in the room is how the regulator will juggle so much new and existing activity in a market that remains so volatile.”