FCA postpones all ‘non-critical’ work due to coronavirus pandemic

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The Financial Conduct Authority has delayed much of its planned work due to the Covid-19 pandemic, an FTAdviser article reported this week.

Recognising the need for the financial services sector to focus on ‘supporting their customers during this difficult period’, the regulator told FTAdviser earlier in the week that it was reviewing what regulatory work could be postponed.

On Tuesday, that move was confirmed. Among the work moth-balled was the publication of its vulnerability guidance and research, which we’ve written about previously

Other work being delayed includes:

  • The call for input on open finance
  • The call for input on accessing and using wholesale data
  • Open consultations

For these, the closing date for responses is extended until 1 October 2020.

The regulator has also confirmed that it has ‘scaled back our programme of routine business interactions, especially through meetings so that we only contact firms on business-critical requests and responses to the current situation’.

Firms in trouble to report to the FCA

In its update of 17 March, the FCA said that any firm which anticipated having trouble managing its liquidity and financial resilience should report ‘immediately’ to the regulator.

FT monitoring firms’ contingency preparedness

The Authority is working to understand the response of firms across the financial services industry to the crisis, monitoring the effectiveness of their contingency plans. According to an FCA spokesperson quoted in the FTAdviser article, ‘business continuity plans are generally working well’, with the regulator welcoming ‘steps that firms are taking to show flexibility in their treatment of customers’.

We’ve reported in our other blog this week on the regulator’s expectations of insurers in terms of customer treatment at the current time.

Consultations and calls for input that have been delayed

The full list of consultation papers and calls for input where response deadlines are delayed until October 1, 2020 are:

  • CP20/4: Quarterly Consultation No 27
  • CP19/32: Building operational resilience: Impact tolerances for important business services
  • CP20/1: Introducing a Single Easy Access Rate for cash savings
  • CP20/3: Proposals to enhance climate-related disclosures by listed issuers and clarification of existing disclosure obligations
  • CP20/5: Consultation paper on ETF Listing: Premium to Standard Listing
  • Call for Input: Open Finance
  • Call for Input: Accessing and using wholesale data

The FCA is also delaying a number of publications that were due before the end of June.

You can read more about the regulator’s approach to coronavirus on its website.

Nothing in this document should be treated as an authoritative statement of the law. Action should not be taken as a result of this document alone. We make no warranty and accept no responsibility for consequences arising from relying on this document.