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FCA Dear CEO letter – COVID-19 and retail investor services

FCA Dear CEO letter: Coronavirus and providing services to retail investors

Background

  • FCA Dear CEO letter: “to firms providing services to retail investors about coronavirus (Covid-19)”; published by the FCA on 31 March 2020.
  • The letter is signed by Christopher Woolard, the FCA’s Interim Chief Executive.
  • This letter is relevant to all firms providing services to retail investors.
  • In the last few days the UK, and the world in general, has faced an unprecedented set of circumstances linked to the coronavirus (Covid-19) emergency.
  • The FCA has received hundreds of requests for adaptations to its regulatory approach from trade associations and firms, in addition to the range of measures the FCA has taken in close coordination with the Bank of England and HM Treasury.

Impacts

In the first week of the crisis, the FCA focused on essential support and announced a significant package of reprioritisation and deprioritisation of regulatory work to allow firms to concentrate their efforts on responding to the crisis and their customers.

The FCA will continue to update its firm-facing coronavirus webpages. The FCA will also regularly update on its further amendments to help firms and consumers.

This five-page CEO letter sets out many specific topics.  Key heading summaries are these:

  • Client identify verification must continue but firms have flexibility within FCA rules
  • Supervisory flexibility over best execution until the end of June 2020
  • Supervisory flexibility over 10% depreciation notifications until the end of June
  • FCA policies – temporary pause on implementation of various measures
  • Financial resilience

The FCA encourages firms and associations to sign up for the FCA’s alerts on scams and updates using the FCA website and to subscribe to the FCA’s regulatory news round-up.

The FCA will continue to work closely with its regulatory partners, including the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme as well as the Bank of England, HM Government and international regulatory partners, throughout this period.

Timeline with relevant dates to be logged on regulatory calendar

  • FCA Dear CEO letter published on 31 March 2020

Next steps

For any queries or to discuss further, the FCA asks CEOs to contact its dedicated Supervision Hub on 0300 500 0597. This is the primary contact for a firm’s day-to-day interactions with the FCA.

Click here if you would like to get in touch with us.