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Retail Finance round-up - 1 September 2016

Retail Finance round-up - 1 September 2016

  • United Kingdom
  • Financial institutions - Retail finance

01-09-2016

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published its Quarterly Key Performance Indicators as at June 2016. The report sets out the FCA’s KPIs for authorisation and variation of permission applications for FCA solo-regulated firms. Overall, the figures indicate that the volume of determined applications for both Part 4A permission and variation of permission applications increased in April to June 2016. The FCA also confirmed that during the same period it did not refuse any applications for Part 4A permission or for variation of permissions, instead, there was an increase in the number of applications withdrawn by firms.

Also of interest this week is the National Audit Office’s confirmation of its intention to launch a study on vulnerable customers in the regulated industries and the Citizens Advice Bureau’s published findings on payday lending post-introduction of the cap.

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FCA publishes Quarterly Key Performance Indicators as at June 2016

The FCA has published its latest Quarterly Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) report with data as at June 2016. The report sets out, among others, the FCA’s KPIs for:

  • Authorisation applications for a Part 4A permission from solo-regulated firms  - The FCA has confirmed that the average processing time (APT) for determined applications, in the period of April to the end of June 2016, was between 0 to a maximum of 74 weeks for retail firms and 2 to a maximum of 53 weeks for wholesale firms. The figures also indicate that the volume of determined applications has increased compared to the first quarter of 2016.
      
  • Variation of permission applications from solo-regulated authorised firms - The FCA has confirmed that the APT of determined applications during the relevant quarter, April to the end of June 2016, was between 0 to a maximum of 44 weeks for retail firms and between 0 and a maximum of 56 weeks for wholesale firms. Equally, the volume of determined applications has increased compared to the first quarter of 2016.

In its report, the FCA confirmed that during the relevant quarter, it did not refuse any applications for Part 4A permission or for variation of existing permissions. Instead, the FCA confirmed that there was an increase in the number of applications withdrawn by firms.

House of Commons publishes briefing paper on common financial services questions

The House of Commons has published a briefing paper addressing common financial services questions.

The paper looks at a broad range of financial service and financial institutions issues and provides introductory material on topics such as:

  • Dormant bank accounts.
  • The Financial Ombudsman Service and other financial regulators.
  • The financial compensation scheme.
  • Financial advisers fees.
  • Bank fines for charity.
  • Interest rate swap compensation.
  • Bank branch closures.
  • Money laundering.
  • Competition in banking.

Some further areas covered include the donation of bank fines to charity and interest rate swap compensation.

National Audit Office to launch a study on vulnerable consumers in regulated industries

The National Audit Office (NAO) has confirmed its intention to launch a study on vulnerable consumers in regulated industries.

This study will examine whether systems and incentives in certain regulated industries sufficiently and cost-effectively protect vulnerable consumers. This will include consideration of:

  • The role of regulators within the wider landscape that includes government departments, ombudsman services, charities and firms themselves.
  • How regulators incentivise firms to identify and consider the needs of vulnerable consumers.
  • The extent to which information on the costs and outcomes of different initiatives is being used to target activities that are having the greatest impact.

The regulated industries to be included in this study include the financial services industry. The study is scheduled to commence in the Spring of 2017, with the NAO welcoming the submission of any relevant evidence in the meantime.

Bank of England releases new webpages

The Bank of England has released new webpages providing a more centralised source of subject-specific information and publications from the Bank of England/PRA. The new webpages are as follows:

Citizens Advice Bureau publishes findings from its data on payday lending post-introduction of the price cap

The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) has published its findings on whether consumers are getting better outcomes following the introduction of the cap on payday lending.

When undertaking the review, the CAB considered its data alongside primary research to understand how borrowers are being treated by payday lenders after the cap and what levels of detriment, if any, are occurring. The CAB also explored whether consumers are finding it more difficult to access credit and what happens when consumers are turned down.

Following its findings, the CAB set out a summary of its recommendations aimed primarily at payday lenders and the FCA.

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