On 9 April 2018, the FCA published its business plan for 2018/19. The annual business plan provides details of the specific areas of work the FCA is prioritising for the next year and displays a packed agenda, particularly in the consumer finance sector.
Cross-sector priorities include:
- Firms’ culture and governance.
- Financial crime (fraud & scams) and anti-money laundering.
- Data security, resilience and outsourcing.
- Innovation, big data, technology and competition.
- Treatment of existing customers.
- Long-term savings and pensions and intergenerational differences.
- High-cost credit.
Sector priorities for consumer finance include:
- Assessing creditworthiness in consumer credit: The FCA is due to publish a Policy Statement in Summer 2018 which will clarify their expectations of firms in relation to how creditworthiness assessments are carried out on customers. This follows the Consultation Paper published last year.
- Market study on credit information: Looking at the potential for harm in the market and if necessary, setting out possible remedies. The terms of reference for the market study are expected to be published in Q4 2018.
- Making the mortgage market work better for consumers: The FCA has recently published its interim report on the mortgage market, setting out its findings and inviting responses by the end of July. The FCA will publish its final report at the end of 2018.
- Credit-broking remuneration models at the point of sale: The FCA is currently carrying out a thematic review looking at commission and other remuneration models between brokers and lenders and is considering whether these models affect how credit products are sold to consumers. A report is expected towards the end of 2018.
- Ensuring the debt management sector works well for consumers: The FCA is undertaking a thematic review on practices in this sector and expects to report on its findings in Q1 2019.
- Motor finance: The FCA expects to complete its review of the motor finance market at the end of 2018 and will publish its findings following on from that.
- Review of retained CCA provisions: The FCA is due to report to HM Treasury on whether some or all of the retained provisions of the CCA should be retained in their current form, repealed and/or replaced with FCA rules or guidance. The FCA will publish an interim report as part of its review in Q4 2018/19.