On December 8, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced a new strategic approach that is intended to provide a “sharper focus” for the agency as it grapples with its new responsibilities and the implementation of new European financial services regulations. Principally, the changes are justified on the basis of making the FCA’s organizational structure more flexible, to reflect the heterogeneity of market participants, as well as to ensure collaboration across formerly separated functions where appropriate. For example, the Authorisation and Supervision Divisions will be brought together with the financial crime and client assets teams to focus resources appropriately in the regulation of large versus small investment firms.

The UK Listing Authority and Market Monitoring functions will now be combined into a single Market Oversight Division, whereas a separate Markets Policy and International Division will focus on promoting the FCA’s vision for market structure reforms at the European and international levels. The FCA also has an obligation to promote effective competition in the interests of consumers in the markets it regulates. The FCA’s new Strategy and Competition Division will bring together the agency’s competition resources and capabilities under one roof to ensure better prioritization and focus.   

These changes are the result of an internal review of the FCA’s strategies and priorities in the 18 months since the FCA took over certain of the functions of its predecessor agency, the Financial Services Authority. The FCA’s announcement can be found here.