FCA 2024-2025 Consumer Protection Plan

FCA outlines a comprehensive plan for consumer protection and market competition in the 2024-2025 financial year.

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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Introduces 2024 Consumer Protection Plan, which marks the culmination of a three-year strategy, aims to bolster consumer protection measures, set higher industry standards, and enhance market competitiveness.

Key priorities outlined in the FCA’s plan include ensuring firms adhere to the stringent requirements of the Consumer Duty, advancing the long-term financial well-being of consumers through the Advice Guidance Boundary Review, and scrutinizing pension products to ensure they offer value for money. Additionally, the regulator aims to bolster UK competitiveness by enhancing the appeal and accessibility of wholesale markets, facilitating firm investments, innovation, and expansion, and simplifying the authorization process for businesses.

FCA Consumer Protection Plan 2024 Overview

Nikhil Rathi, Chief Executive of the FCA, emphasized the significant strides already made in realizing the regulator’s strategic vision. Rathi highlighted achievements such as the implementation of the groundbreaking Consumer Duty and proposing extensive reforms to wholesale market regulation and the listing regime. Furthermore, the FCA is poised to leverage data-driven insights by automating analytical tools to swiftly detect and mitigate consumer risks while ensuring the safe deployment of artificial intelligence in collaboration with industry players.

A pivotal aspect of the FCA’s strategy involves bolstering its workforce to meet the evolving demands of its regulatory mandate. The regulator aims to surpass a workforce of 5,000 employees by March 2024, underscoring its commitment to acquiring the necessary skills to achieve sustainable business objectives.

The FCA’s proactive stance has already yielded tangible outcomes, with the removal of over 10,000 potentially misleading advertisements in 2023 and the issuance of 2,243 warnings concerning unauthorized firms and individuals. Lucy Castledine, Director of Consumer Investments at the FCA, emphasized the importance of providing consumers with clear, fair, and accurate information to inform their financial decisions. The regulator’s stringent enforcement measures have resulted in the cancellation of nearly 1,300 unauthorized firms in 2023 and record fines totaling £52,802,900, reflecting a doubling in the revocation of firm permissions compared to the previous year.

In response to mounting concerns regarding debt collection practices amid escalating living costs, the FCA has forged partnerships with regulatory bodies such as Ofgem, Ofwat, and Ofcom. This collaborative effort seeks to address consumer protection concerns by establishing clear expectations for businesses across various sectors and prioritizing the reinforcement of consumer protection safeguards.

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