FCA says it wants the UK to become ‘hostile environment’ for fraudsters
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in a collaboration with industry, plans to make greater strives in ensuring the UK is a hostile environment for fraudsters, delegates at PIMFA’s Financial Crime Conference were told today (18 May 2023).
Opening the conference Nick Hulme, head of department (advisers, wealth and pensions) at the FCA, said prevention of financial crime was one of regulators most important commitments.
“We want to make the UK a hostile environment to financial criminals,” he said, as he revealed that 40% of all crime reported in the UK was fraud.
He welcomed the announcement of the government’s new National Fraud Strategy and said the FCA’s own three-year strategy ‘Prevent, Protect and Pursue’ was benefitting from additional resources and focus.
The FCA, he said, was developing a single view of all threats and investing in new resources and more staff to investigate financial crime. He said the renewed focus on fraud was already yielding results with 18,000 misleading financial promotions having been blocked or removed by the FCA in the past year.
Mr Hulme said the FCA was planning to do more in the coming years however with a new dedicated function within the regulator designed to proactively identify fraud and money laundering in the industry.
He cautioned delegates saying that firms needed to take proactive action too, telling delegates fraud was such a big problem in the UK that it requires a collective effort. “We can’t do it alone, we need the industry,” he said.
The FCA reiterated its calls to firms to be vigilant and come forward, and utilise both its whistleblowing and standard reporting procedures. The regulator reminded firms that it expects firms needed to be on high alert to risks, ensure they had robust system and controls and that should be re-doubling their efforts to ensure staff were fully competent and trained, he said.
“Review your defences and systems and controls and take the appropriate action to remedy or update your firms approach. Never be static. Investment in prevention is absolutely worth it. Being on the other end is not a place you ever want to be,” he added.