The Financial Conduct Authority has published its latest guidance on how it intends to deliver on its fundamental obligations, in a document entitled The FCA Approach to Advancing Its Objectives.
A key objective for the organisation is to ensure that sufficient levels of competition are achieved in financial services sectors.
“Markets that work well for consumers and for firms benefit everyone and benefit the UK economy,” says FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley. “Our competition mandate is the single most significant change in our objectives as a regulator.”
The mandate calls for the FCA to determine whether consumers currently have the ability to drive healthy and natural levels of competition within the financial services sector.
If it determines that competition is not in the hands of consumers, the FCA will consider what changes need to be made, not only to better serve consumers, but to ensure new companies can enter the market, and to ease access to the right products, and the process of changing suppliers.
“In a more competitive environment, with firms meeting the needs of engaged and informed consumers, consumers will be better off,” claims Mr Wheatley.
He adds that competition delivers innovation, improved quality and design, wider choice and lower prices, all of which lead to broad benefits and economic growth.