Lenders hope for smooth journey to regulatory reform
Published: 17 October 2012 | Author: Bernard Clarke
The CML is looking forward to working more closely with two new regulatory bodies, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA), as they develop a range of new powers, some of which are untried and untested.
The publication of new documents earlier this week set out in broad terms how each of the new bodies intends to work. In a paper entitled Journey to the FCA, the new body responsible for regulating financial conduct said it wanted "to communicate more effectively with firms that want to do the right thing" and "be clearer about our expectations."
Meanwhile, a document published jointly by Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority said the new PRA wanted to set new standards for firms, and that its "approach will be very clearly based on judgement rather than narrowly rules-based."
Of the two bodies, the new FCA will have more direct bearing on the mortgage market. It will have new and wide-ranging – but some untried and untested – powers, including product intervention.
A key challenge, for firms and the FCA alike, will be to meet the regulator’s goal of allowing businesses space to try out new ideas while, at the same time, minimising uncertainty about whether innovative developments will clear the regulatory hurdles.
Lenders will be looking for as much information and help as possible from the FCA, to ensure that they do not inadvertently fall foul of the regulator’s expectations.
The FCA says it intends to identify risks sooner, step in earlier and act faster when it identifies problems with how firms in the financial sector are operating. It says that it will encourage staff to be confident in making "bold, firm and predictable decisions" but "will work collaboratively with our stakeholders to inform our knowledge and understanding."
We are encouraged that heads of supervision will engage with firms and trade associations, as appropriate, to gain a more in-depth understanding of specific sectors for which they are responsible, and will seek to build open and transparent relationships.
We look forward to working with the FCA and the PRA and contributing to the evolving framework to ensure that the important bedrock of communication about expectations works as intended as the new regulatory bodies become a reality.