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19 July 2016

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will consult on the future of its mission later this year.

The consultation will aim to address concerns about public accountability at the regulator.

A proposal will be published in autumn, This will be followed by a period of public consultation.

Speaking at the FCA’s annual public meeting, the regulator’s chief executive Andrew Bailey announced plans to change the FCA’smission following several failures in financial conduct.

‘We have experienced, and continue to experience a crisis of financial conduct, which has led to damaging consequences for the economy and society,’ Bailey said. ‘Financial conduct regulation has been criticised heavily for allowing this misconduct to occur.

‘Out of this experience we must establish and embed the mission of the FCA, and give it the much needed underpinning.’

He said the mission would answer ‘very important questions which shape how the FCA operates’ going forward. Bailey hinted this could include prioritising some consumers over others as well as justifying regulatory decisions.

‘Among these I would highlight whether we should prioritise some consumers over others and how we would do this, and the need to explain and justify how the FCA decides among its tools when it sees a need for action,’ he said.

He also said the mission was likely to answer questions about the balance between the FCA, firms and consumers which had ‘not been adequately answered’ previously.

According to Bailey work has begun on the mission statement, which will be published in Autumn. He said that he hoped it would help establish public accountability at the regulator.

‘I recognise that there will no doubt be sharply contrasting view on these issues, but it seems to me that the success of the FCA depends on being able to establish its mission and thus a basis for public accountability,’ he said.

‘Establishing and embedded a clear mission for the FCA is in my view critical to the success of the organisation.’

By David Petty

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