The FCA has published the minutes from a Board meeting held on 24th June. Several topics were on the Agenda including a report from the Chief Executive, Nikhil Rathi, the Annual Report to the FCA from the Complaints Commissioner, the FCA’s wider location strategy and pre-paid funeral plans regulation.
The Chief Executive’s report covered Google changing their terms and conditions requiring those wishing to run Google ads that relate to financial products or services to be authorised by the FCA or to have their ads approved by an FCA-authorised firm, access to cash, E-payment firms, ‘use it or lose it’ in relation to FCA Permissions, and ‘Document Management Transformation (DMT)’
The key themes in the Annual Report to the FCA from the Complaints Commissioner were:
Supervision and the regulation of firms: complaints about alleged failures in the FCA’s supervision of firms that have failed.
Data breach: the data breach discovered in February 2020 with referral rights provided to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Vulnerable complainants: the increase in complainants with a vulnerability. However, it was recognised that these types of complaints do not fall under the Scheme unless they relate to the FCA’s exercise of its relevant functions.
Rulemaking: complaints regarding the FCA’s interpretation or application of rules, the lack of rules in relation to certain aspects of financial services, or what complainants perceived to be unfair rules. However, whilst it was recognised that most complaints relating to rule making are excluded from the Scheme the Commissioner welcomed the FCA’s evolving, consumer centric approach to offering helpful information to such complainants.
The Board supported development of the FCA’s regional presence, including establishing a presence in Leeds and expanding the existing presence in Edinburgh, and sought further detail to understand the associated costs.
The Board considered the key proposals contained in the first policy statement which were reflected in the Funeral Plans Instrument 2021 and was briefed on the second consultation paper to bring pre-paid funeral plans within the regulation of the FCA. The Board also discussed the proposed plans to manage the authorisations gateway and for the appropriate resources to be put in place.