The FCA has published minutes of its board meeting held on 24 November 2022, which includes the FCA’s discussion on operationalising its new secondary international competitiveness and growth objective to be introduced through the Financial Services and Markets (FSM) Bill currently progressing through Parliament. The minutes refer to the abbreviation “SICGO” and reference a paper setting out the FCA’s interpretation of the SICGO within the context of its primary objectives and how it would be operationalised across the FCA.
Some key takeaways include:
- emphasising the need for all communication to have a clear and consistent narrative that the SICGO is a secondary objective and should not outweigh or disproportionately dilute the FCA’s primary objectives or the interventions the FCA would take under those objectives;
- that, internally, work was underway to ensure staff were clear on the distinction and weighting of the new objective and how staff should apply it to their work. Recommendations included utilising existing guidance to support staff in embedding the SICGO and reporting on compliance through existing mechanisms, such as the annual report; and
- consulting on the transitional approach before the FSM Bill receives Royal Assent. Policies which were being consulted on now and would likely come into force after Royal Assent would reflect the SICGO in policy development.
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"A secondary objective of competitiveness does not contradict our primary objectives to protect consumers, promote market integrity and promote competition in the interests of consumers. A strong UK market, supporting UK growth, is more likely by ensuring the rules that underpin it are supportive, proportionate and robust. So long as we strike the right balance, one enhances the other. Together, our primary, statutory objectives and the secondary objective of promoting competitiveness future proof our markets and ensure that Britain is the best place in the world to do business."