The FCA has been protecting consumers and enhancing market integrity since 2013, but so far 2020 has presented more obstacles than ever before. Brexit and COVID-19 have both presented their own unique challenges but the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have recently set out a plan of action for the year ahead.

With all of these challenges in mind, here’s a breakdown of what we can expect from the FCA this year.

How does the FCA protect consumers?

The FCA was set up to help consumers like you get a fair deal. Their core values ensure that:

  • Customers are protected
  • Market integrity is protected and enhanced
  • Effective competition is promoted

FCA priorities for 2020/21

In their recent business plan, the FCA has outlined its key focuses throughout the next year.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Although not initially planned to enter their priority list for 2020, this global health crisis has undoubtedly presented consumers with unprecedented challenges. With this in mind, the FCA’s main priorities lie with consumers and businesses who may be facing severe financial difficulties over the coming months. To combat this, the FCA has been working hard to ensure that:

  • Financial markets keep functioning throughout the pandemic
  • Small firms and mortgage holders have access to emergency guidance and advice
  • Generic support is available to consumers who may need it
  • The public has access to essential banking services throughout
  • The most vulnerable in society are protected at all times

5 key priorities outlined by the FCA in 2020 

Aside from the ever-changing and developing COVID-19 situation, the FCA has outlined a further 5 key priorities that they will focus on throughout the rest of the year to protect consumers like you throughout Brexit, COVID-19 and any other challenges that might arise. These include:

Transforming how the FCA works and regulates

At the forefront of their priorities is transforming how the FCA works internally in order to benefit consumers. Throughout the next 12 months, the FCA will work on prioritising and delivering outcomes in order to work towards a fairer future for all.

Enabling effective consumer investment decisions

The FCA understands that it is important for consumers to plan for their future using the likes of retail and pension investments. The FCA will be making some big changes to this market throughout the next year in order to protect those who are looking to invest their hard-earned money. These changes include ensuring there is enough information available to consumers in regards to investments and that investment products are appropriate for consumer needs. 

As we have reported time and time again here at Expert Pension Claims, it is not uncommon for consumers to be mis-sold high-risk pension investments that are unsuitable for them. Throughout the next year, the FCA will put a greater focus on protecting customers from such high-risk investment products by offering more advice beforehand and implementing preventative measures to stop such investments from going ahead.

If you believe you may have already been subject to mis-sold pension advice, we can help you make a claim. The FCA sets aside money every year to help those who have been affected by high-risk investments. For more information, visit our SIPPs claims page.

Ensuring consumer credit markets work well

The FCA will also tackle the issues facing credit markets throughout the coming year, ensuring that consumers can find the right credit products for them and that affordable credit is available to prevent further debt issues.

Making payments safe and accessible

Scams have been on the rise in early 2020 with scammers targeting those who are most vulnerable using Brexit and Coronavirus to scaremonger. This year, the FCA has recognised they must request improved data handling from organisations. All businesses will also be required to meet new safeguarding responsibilities in order to protect consumers.

Delivering fair value in a digital age

With coronavirus set to further develop our digital markets, the FCA is taking measures to ensure consumers are more protected than ever in the digital age. These measures include ensuring consumers have the right information to make informed buying decisions and ensuring that vulnerable customers are not exploited. As we have seen first hand how consumers can be affected by purchasing decisions online, particularly those who are vulnerable, this is certainly another welcomed addition by our team.

Protecting yourself from financial scams in 2020

With everything that is going on in the world right now, it’s more important than ever to ensure you are protected from financial scams this year by becoming scam smart. We regularly publish guides offering information and advice on financial scams, including this recent guide on the scams that have emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Have you already been a victim of financial mis-selling? Don’t worry, we’ve put this guide together to help you understand what steps to take next. For more information, contact our team on 0800 849 5078 and we’ll do our best to determine whether or not you have a claim and to help you claim back any money you may have lost. Just take a look at some of our testimonials to see how we could help you!