New regulator to be renamed to FCA

The incoming Consumer Protection and Markets Authority will be renamed the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Mark HobanThe incoming Consumer Protection and Markets Authority is to be renamed the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and will be given the authority to prohibit retail products, Treasury financial secretary Mark Hoban has revealed.

Hoban told the Financial Times that the FCA will be able to ban products or limit their distribution for up to 12 months as well as to inform investors of future enforcement action against firms.

Hoban advised that the Government has renamed the regulator to emphasise its focus on the behaviour of banks, brokers and individuals. Earlier this month, the Treasury select committee called on the Government to scrap plans to promote the CPMA as a consumer champion, saying the phrase could mislead consumers.

Hoban says the FCA will have the power to warn investors of its intention to bring enforcement action against firms and individuals before they have been able to argue their case in an internal appeals process. The FCA will also be charged with increasing and fostering competition in the market, and the Treasury is considering giving the regulator joint jurisdiction over internal competition enquiries.

OFT chief executive John Fingleton told the Treasury select committee in January that the regulator should have a statutory objective to promote competition.

Last month the FSA published a discussion paper on product intervention, which suggested a “radical rethink” of regulation, including the introduction of price caps and bans on some retail financial products.

Earlier this month, the outgoing head of Hong Kong’s financial regulator Martin Wheatley was appointed chief executive of the CPMA, now to be called the FCA.

He will leave the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission in June and will join the FSA as managing director of its consumer and markets business unit in September, before becoming chief executive of the FCA when it launches in 2012.

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