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9 August 2021

In the FCA’s 2021/22 Business Plan (published on the 15th of July), fraud was highlighted as a priority across all markets.

The volume and variety of fraudulent activity within the UK is unfortunately increasing. Fraud can pose risk to the integrity of the UK financial system and can also cause significant harm to consumers and businesses individually, therefore the FCA are working to decrease this risk.

Within the business plan it is quoted that the FCA are minimising risk through their “ScamSmart campaigns and information sharing” alongside “cooperation with partners”. It is stated that they cannot tackle this alone: “we need a collective effort at a national level to tackle fraud; we work closely with several agencies, including the Home Office, the National Economic Crime Centre and law enforcement agencies to contribute to this. We will work with partners to disrupt fraudsters harming UK consumers and identify what further steps we can take”.

This includes addressing the recommendations on proactive surveillance, triage and intervention from the independent reviews. Online platforms, such as search engines and social media platforms, play an increasingly significant role in putting consumers at risk of harm through adverts for financial products.

These range from scams and promotions of high-risk investments to false or misleading adverts, which can fall inside or outside the FCA’s perimeter. It is stated that they will focus their work on the areas where their powers and remit mean that they can have the most impact, which includes:

  • Keeping fraudsters out of financial services at the gateway
  • Stopping the firms we regulate from facilitating fraud
  • Detecting and pursuing fraudsters who are FCA-supervised
  • Detecting and pursuing improperly unauthorised/ unapproved fraudsters.
  • Informing and empowering the public to protect themselves”.

Fraud is detrimental to daily business and individual operations, the FCA is doing everything in its power to minimise this. Their aim is to use their authority and influence to work with partners to help drive down the incidence and impact of fraud.

By Ian Beardmore

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