The FCA published its Business Plan for 2021/22 on 15 July setting out its key priorities and objectives for the coming year.

The FCA refers to the world as being subject to “continual disruptive change” and rather unsurprisingly, the impact of and change brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic is a trend throughout the Business Plan.

In particular, the FCA notes that the way in which people access and use financial services, along with the structure of global wholesale markets, has significantly changed. For example:

  • the digitalisation of financial services has brought profound changes to the way consumers make decisions and how global markets operate;
  • the transition to a net zero economy will require an entirely different approach to markets and investment products in the UK and internationally; and
  • persistently low interest rates may lead to consumers taking excessive financial risk or broader systemic risks in wholesale markets.

Unlike the 2020/21 Business Plan, the FCA has separated its priorities into those related to consumers, wholesale markets and cross-Market and these are as follows:

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