UK ‘regulatory family’ creates new framework to improve ‘big issues’ collaboration and transparency

Tom Selby, senior analyst at AJ Bell
Tom Selby, head of retirement policy, AJ Bell
  • UK regulators and official bodies have created a new ‘wider implications framework’ designed to improve collaboration (Wider Implications Framework (financial-ombudsman.org.uk))
  • Minutes of meetings, an annual review and a central log of issues identified will be published to boost transparency
  • Members of the new framework include:
    • The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
    • The Pensions Regulator (TPR)
    • The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)
    • The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)
    • The Money and Pensions Service (MAPS)

Tom Selby (pictured), head of retirement policy at AJ Bell, comments:

“Anything which improves collaboration and transparency in regulation has to be a good thing.

“There are a lot of regulatory stakeholders involved in UK financial services and when these organisations don’t talk to each other policymaking can become disjointed, inconsistent and confusing.

“While for obvious reasons all regulatory business cannot be disclosed at all times – particularly where live investigations are ongoing – improving visibility of major issues should help ensure any significant problems are identified and tackled more quickly.”

Consumer Duty

“This collaborative approach should also help ensure rules written by one part of the regulatory system are applied in a sensible way by others.

“For example, the FCA’s planned overhaul of its regulatory approach via the Consumer Duty will see it move from a rules-based system to one focused on outcomes. In particular, the FCA has said financial services firms ‘must act to deliver good outcomes for customers’.

“Any well-run business should be aiming to achieve good outcomes for customers. However, when you consider saving and investing for the long-term, risk is inherent and positive returns – clearly a key component of a good outcome – can never be guaranteed, particularly over the short-term.

“It would be ludicrous if this approach was interpreted by the FOS as meaning any investment loss over any time period could give rise to a claim.

“This patently isn’t the intention of the FCA, and this new framework should help ensure the aims of the Consumer Duty – underpinned by a concept of reasonableness – are not misinterpreted by the Ombudsman.”

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