The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) put how to deal with coronavirus – and its impact on the finances of individuals, businesses and the country – at the top of its priority list this morning when it set out its plans for the coming twelve months.
The City watchdog said that over the next year, it will focus on ensuring that financial services businesses give people the support they need, that people avoid scams, and that financial services businesses and markets know what it expects of them.
The regulator’s annual forecast acknowledged steps taken by the Treasury and the Bank of England – and itself – to protect consumers, firms and the markets.
These have ensured that customers retain access to essential banking services and are able to benefit from flexibility on mortgage and other debt payments, it said.
A spokesman for the FCA said it will also look at how firms are supervised, and how unacceptable firms and individuals are stopped and removed from the regulated sector as quickly as possible
The FCA would build its capacity by investing in skills, systems, people and technology, the spokesman said.
Chris Woolard, Interim Chief Executive of the FCA, said: “In a matter of weeks, coronavirus has altered the UK’s financial landscape dramatically.
“At times like this it is more important than ever that the FCA leads the way on the protection of consumers, firms and the markets.
“Our Business Plan recognises the impact of coronavirus on the financial services industry, while looking forward at how we transform the FCA’s operations in future.”