The FCA published a letter (dated 16 April 2021) from Charles Randell, FCA Chair, to John Glen, Economic Secretary to HM Treasury, providing an update on the progress the FCA has made with its transformation programme. The letter is copied to the Treasury Committee.

The letter covers the following topics:

  • Strengthening the FCA structure. The FCA has accepted all the recommendations that were made by Dame Elizabeth Gloster and the lessons learnt that were identified by Raj Parker. The FCA has made substantial changes to its operating structure.
  • Operational improvements. The FCA has made a number of improvements, which are summarised in the letter.
  • Actions to implement review recommendations. There is a significant amount of work underway and the FCA’s objective is for the majority of actions to be completed by the end of this year. Some actions are reasonably straightforward to implement, but others will take time to have a sustainable and enduring impact. The FCA has established a new team to provide continuous independent and comprehensive assurance on the delivery of these actions.
  • Transformation. Implementing the actions in the letter will improve the FCA and meet the recommendations of the two Reviews. However, it will not deliver all the improvements that are necessary to make the FCA as effective as it can be. There are longer-term objectives, which are at the heart of the FCA’s transformation agenda. The FCA will report on its progress in its Business Plan for 2021/22, which will be published in July 2021.
  • Recommendations for government. The FCA has consistently been of the view that financial harms should be included in the Online Safety Bill to ensure social media firms take responsibility for the promotions on their websites. The FCA believes that legislative change could see significant benefits very quickly. The FCA sees disturbing activity from lead generators and others in relation to personal debt restructuring services and payment fraud has proliferated due to weak controls at technology platforms.

The letter concludes by stating that the FCA’s Chief Executive, Nikhil Rathi, will write to the Treasury Committee with a further update ahead of its next accountability hearing, which has been scheduled for 12 May.