FCA launches consultation on authorisation and competition

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The FCA has launched a consultation on its approach to authorisation and competition, which will be open to responses until March next year.

Following the launch of the FCA’s mission in April, the approach documents are the second and third in a series of papers explaining how the watchdog tackles regulation. The first document, the approach to consumers paper, was published in November.

The approach to authorisation document looks at whether the threshold conditions for authorisation are widely understood, how the FCA can support firms to meet the minimum standards and whether the FCA has outlined the correct commitments to firms making applications.

The approach to competition document considers whether the FCA’s competition remit, powers and aims are understood and what warning signals should be flagged up in the early stages of assessing competition.

Andrew Bailey, FCA chief executive, says: “As part of our Mission, we committed to being more open and transparent about how we regulate and how we make decisions.

“Authorisation is the gateway for firms that want to operate in the financial services industry. We use it to prevent harm from occurring by ensuring that all firms meet our minimum standards before they are allowed to start doing business.  It’s vital that we get it right to keep out firms that are not up to scratch and allow the right ones through.

“Effective competition in financial services benefits consumers and firms. We are one of the few financial regulators in the world with a core objective to promote competition and it applies to all the work we do.”

Both documents are open for consultation until 12 March 2018. The final approach documents will be published next year.