The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is a regulatory body in the United Kingdom that is responsible for ensuring that financial markets work well and that firms in the financial sector are properly regulated. The FCA was established in 2013 as a replacement for the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and has a wide range of responsibilities that cover the conduct of business, the prudential regulation of financial firms, and consumer protection. It is an independent public body that is funded by the firms it regulates, and it is accountable to the UK Treasury and the UK Parliament.
The FCA's main objectives are to protect consumers, ensure market integrity, and promote competition in the interest of consumers. To achieve these objectives, the FCA has a range of powers and tools at its disposal, including the ability to issue fines, revoke licenses, and take legal action against firms that breach its rules. It also has the power to make rules and guidance for financial firms and to conduct investigations into firms and individuals in the financial sector.
The FCA's work is important for ensuring the stability of the UK's financial system and protecting consumers from harm. It plays a key role in regulating banks, building societies, insurance companies, and other financial institutions, and it also regulates financial markets, such as the London Stock Exchange and the Alternative Investment Market. The FCA is also responsible for supervising the conduct of financial advisors, mortgage lenders, and insurance brokers, among others. Through its work, the FCA aims to promote competition, innovation, and growth in the financial sector while ensuring that consumers are protected and markets operate fairly and transparently.