UK regulator revamps strategy to tackle scams and enforce penalties – POLITICO


LONDON — The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has revised its approach to monitoring UK markets amid growing threats of scams, consumer harm and evasion of Russian sanctions.

The regulator set out 13 priorities for the next three years in a document released today, alongside a commitment to benchmark its performance in more detail.

A second document outlines its program for the new financial year ending in April 2023, bolstered by a higher budget of £640m, up from £613m. For the first time since leaving the EU, the costs associated with leaving the bloc are expected to fall to zero, from £10m.

As part of a long-standing vow to make the FCA “more assertive”, chief executive Nikhil Rathi has promised to hire 80 new staff to hunt down rogue firms in Britain’s financial sector, as well as employing more analysis of data and computer capabilities to detect money. money laundering and evasion of sanctions.

“We will improve our ability to detect market abuse, through a significant upgrade of our market surveillance systems,” the report said. “Financial crime – including fraud, money laundering, evading sanctions and financing terrorism – causes enormous damage to society.”

Other priorities include improving standards, minimizing online banking failures, promoting increased competition and “strengthening the UK’s position in wholesale markets”.

In an accompanying message, Rathi promised the agency was “changing our operating model to focus more on the problem we face rather than just dealing with types of businesses or sectors.”

“This has… been vital in our ongoing work with our international partners in response to the war in Ukraine,” he added.

Nodding to an ongoing internal dispute over administrative and salary structure changes – which has led to a union organizing campaign, high turnover and difficulties in attracting talent – ​​Rathi said 200 people had joined the organization “since the beginning of the year” and “dozens” continue to join every month.

The FCA did not release detailed headcounts today, but last summer it had 4,194 employees.

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