Financial Conduct Authority

Treasury written question – answered at on 24 May 2024.

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Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Conservative, Wimbledon

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) proposals to publicly announce the names of firms and/or individuals at the commencement of enforcement investigations on the (a) commercial value of firms, (b) career prospects of individuals who are named and (c) overall competitiveness of the UK’s (i) financial and related professional services industries and (ii) wider economy; and if he will make an assessment of the compatibility of that proposal with the FCA’s secondary objective to consider international competitiveness and economic growth.

Photo of Bim Afolami Bim Afolami The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

I recognise that many in the financial services sector have concerns about the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) proposed changes to its approach to enforcement.

This is why the Chancellor and I have been clear that we believe the FCA should reconsider its proposals, in light of responses to its consultation, and considering its new growth and competitiveness objective. The competitiveness of the UK’s world-leading financial services sector is one of the Government’s top priorities.

The legislative framework provides for the FCA to be operationally independent from the government. The independence of the FCA is vital to its role. The Government respects this operational independence, but takes holding it to account very seriously.

The specific concerns you have raised are a matter for the FCA, as the operationally independent regulator. The FCA will respond to the Honourable Member by letter on this matter, and a copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House of Commons.

The purpose of any consultation is to allow the regulators to test their proposals and understand their potential impact. It is therefore appropriate to suggest that the FCA reconsider its proposals in light of the feedback received. The Government will continue to engage closely with stakeholders, and with the FCA as they consider next steps.

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