Britain's FCA Plans Low-Key Year Ahead After Turmoil at the Top

  • Few initiatives starting this year as agency takes stock
  • Former FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley ousted last year

Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority marked the end of a year of leadership turmoil, promising low-key plans for 2016-17 in an effort to focus on existing regulation.

The U.K. watchdog introduced few new initiatives, as Bank of England Deputy Governor Andrew Bailey prepares to take over the helm. In contrast to last year’s plan, the only new review slated to start in the next 12 months will examine pension governance committees. The FCA also said it will be focusing on how to extend a new approval process for senior managers introduced last month.

The agenda follows a challenging year for the regulator, after former Chief Executive Officer Martin Wheatley was ousted by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in July amid a call for "different leadership.”

Bailey is set to become chief executive later this year, taking over from acting CEO Tracey McDermott. Bailey already sits on the FCA board, which must approve the business plan before it’s published.

"Over the course of this year we will continue to embed sustainability in everything we do," McDermott said in the plan. "We will review whether aspects of our rules may be outdated or no longer effective in advancing our statutory objectives, and consider which may need to be removed or redrafted to better do so."

The FCA increased its budget eight percent to 519.3 million pounds ($738 million) for 2016-17, although this is due to its new remit for regulation of the consumer credit industry, the FCA said. Excluding consumer credit, the budget was trimmed by 7.6 million pounds.

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