2021 was a year of contrasts when it came to the FCA's and PRA's enforcement work.
On the one hand, the regulators rationalised their caseloads in the face of lockdown-related capacity constraints and, for the FCA, an ongoing decrease in the size of its Enforcement and Market Oversight team (see the chart below). However, where cases were concluded their content, combined with our knowledge of the regulators' ongoing case portfolios, provide clear insights into their key priorities.
For the PRA, prudential reporting and effective risk management were priorities. For the FCA, AML/financial crime and consumer protection saw significant enforcement and policy attention (the exponential rise in scam enquiries - see the chart below - is just one indicator that no doubt will be drawing the FCA's attention). And both regulators are focusing on non-financial misconduct as well as the role of diversity and inclusion in promoting healthy culture and individual conduct. These areas will continue to be significant into 2022.
Meanwhile, technological change, innovation and emerging products are testing the FCA’s stated desire to be more agile in tackling consumer harm. The FCA has made changes to its decision-making processes to support this.
And there are already signs that 2022 will see the FCA make greater and more assertive use of its sweeping supervisory intervention powers - a change in approach that may take many firms by surprise.
For our more detailed insights on these and other aspects of the regulators' enforcement and supervisory intervention work, read our note on financial services enforcement trends for 2022.
Or you can listen to us count down our top five trends for 2022.