When this latest edition dropped into circulation, whilst relieved to see every current regulatory initiative nicely presented all in one place, I have to say my heart sank a bit. Why? You might ask. Surely this is a really helpful publication for firms and their compliance teams? In many ways yes, but when you look under the cover and realise there are currently 134 regulatory initiatives in play, you can see how this could feel quite overwhelming for many firms.
For those of you maybe not so familiar with this little beauty, it brings together the current regulatory initiatives from the following organisations that have a part to play in regulating the financial services marketplace:
The first regulatory initiative for the grid was launched in May 2020, and since that initial publication there has been three updates. The FCA report that there has been positive feedback from the industry about the initiative, but also noted that since the last publication the regulatory initiatives have once again grown, albeit modestly from 128 to 134. Now whilst it is obvious that not all initiatives will apply to all firms, there will be many firms that due to the products they offer and the markets they serve, will be affected by a larger number of initiatives than others.
The regulators have obviously received a challenge from firms affected as they have felt need to comment on the volume of initiatives currently in play. An extract from the foreword of the document is noted as follows:
“We are embarking on an ambitious agenda to help develop a more effective and efficient UK regulatory model. Many of these changes will enhance firms’ and the economy’s competitiveness and ease operational burdens in the long term or are meeting important Government priorities such as on the transition to a net zero economy. That is why after careful consideration, we are satisfied that the burden of the current regulatory pipeline, whilst significant is appropriate.”
Regulatory activity in the UK is driven by a number of factors, such as consumer protection, maintaining effective markets and competition, and as such the initiatives that are in play within the RIG will be a combination of measures that focus on these areas, but also the consideration around other regulatory initiatives that are playing out across the globe.
So, on reflection is the RIG of benefit to firms, or by bringing all of this together does it illustrate that the FS landscape is now so complex, that firms really need to consider beefing up their Compliance and Operational teams to have any hope of effectively complying across the piece?
Well, if you haven’t done so already then it is worth taking some time familiarise yourself with the interactive FCA dashboard. Through a neat profiling tool that can be accessed via their website, Regulatory Initiatives Grid dashboard – November 2021 | FCA firms can slice and dice the data in a way that is relevant to their firm. By filtering through the regulators that impact your firm, timelines, and consultations all of a sudden, a huge number of regulatory initiatives fall away and firms are left with a potentially more manageable set of initiatives to work with.
Whilst that doesn’t take away from the fact that each individual initiative will bring with it some meaty challenges both from a cost, resource, planning and delivery perspective, at least in some ways our regulators have listened to feedback from firms and realise there is a need to provide more support than many firms currently perceive they have been given!
As 2021 draws to a close and we all take a breath away from work with our families, the team here at Worksmart would like to thank you all for joining our webinars, reading our blogs, and joining the Worksmart family of clients during the year. For 2022, we invite you to keep in touch and join us for our regulatory blogs, broadcasts and podcasts which will continue in the New Year after the team has re-charged their batteries. 2022 will start with a number of webinars focused on Singapore and new accountability regimes over there, together with a focus on what 2022 might hold for us all from a regulatory perspective, and how firms can manage and mitigate their people risk by utilising RegTech from firms such as us!
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