Five Questions About: The FCA


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The Independent Online

What's that? Something to do with football?

No. FCA is the new financial regulator. The Financial Conduct Authority replaces the FSA – the Financial Services Authority – on Monday 1 April.

April Fool's Day? That sounds fitting.

Now now! The new authority has promised "a renewed focus on consumers" as well as "strong enforcement action" when it encounters market abuse. The FCA has also claimed it "will be much more proactive, acting earlier and more decisively than the FSA".

Fighting talk. Are these fresh faces eager to tackle our out-of-control financial industry?

Not as such. Most of the staff working at the FCA will simply transfer from the existing regulator. Other FSA staff will transfer to the new Prudential Regulation Authority, which will be part of the Bank of England and look after all deposit-taking institutions, insurers and investment banks.

So it's a case of "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss"?

Not totally. the new chief – Martin Wheatley – has been brought in from Hong Kong where he was with the financial regulator.

So will I notice any difference?

Hopefully the FCA's statements will be backed up by strong action, sooner rather than later.

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