City watchdog promises to ‘raise its game’ after probe errors

City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority vows to ‘up its game’ after probe errors

The city’s watchdog has admitted it needs to “up its game” to get “fit for purpose” after a string of scandals.

Bosses from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said £120m will be invested in improving data capabilities over the next three years to tackle fraud and misconduct.

These include tightening the rules on financial promotions to protect investors, improving standards for pension advice and a more proactive approach to detect scams and risky investments.

Chiefs of the Financial Conduct Authority said £120m will be invested in improving its data capabilities over the next three years to tackle fraud and misconduct

The plans come less than a month after MPs from the Treasury Select Committee said the FCA needed a culture change following the collapse of mini-bond firm London Capital & Finance (LCF).

LCF went bankrupt in 2019 after raising £237 million from 11,000 small investors and a report from Dame Elizabeth Gloster last December found the FCA failed to properly regulate and monitor the company.

In an obvious nod to the report, the FCA said it would be “proactive on the fringes of the perimeter” of its regulated markets — after previously pointing out that the LCF model was not within its purview.

The regulator also said it would develop plans to differentiate the UK’s financial institutions from the EU’s after Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s recent revelation that attempts to sign a mutual recognition agreement with Brussels had failed.

Chief executive Nikhil Rathi said: “We know there are areas where we need to improve our game significantly.

“The FCA must remain a forward-looking, proactive regulator.

‘One that is tough, assertive, self-confident, decisive, agile. One that is not only purposeful, but also fit for purpose.’

  • The FCA is facing criticism after it misplaced 323 electronic devices worth £310,600. It’s not clear what information was on the devices or if anyone suffered as a result. The information was obtained by law firm Griffin Law using the Freedom of Information Act.

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