What is the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)?

Definition of FCA

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the body responsible for regulating the financial service industry in the United Kingdom. The FCA operates independently of the UK government and was introduced as a successor to the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

What does the FCA do?

The Financial Conduct Authority was brought about by the Financial Services Act of 2012. The FCA’s goals include protecting consumers, boosting competition and managing the integrity of the market.

The primary focus of the FCA is to regulate the conduct of financial firms in both the retail and wholesale sectors.

As part of this focus it has the power to investigate misconduct, regulate the marketing of financial products and govern minimum standards.

The FCA can also ban certain products or practices and has been responsible for the regulation of the consumer credit industry since 2014. Types of businesses that fall under the supervision of the FCA include:

  • banks
  • independent financial advisors
  • mutual societies

In total, the Financial Conduct Authority regulates over 58,000 businesses across the UK. Many of these companies are also governed by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), which is responsible for safety and risk control within the financial services sector.

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