The FSA has published an updated approach document for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) titled, "Journey to the FCA". The document sets out the FSA's thoughts on how the transition to the FCA will be best achieved and how the new regulator will operate once it is established in April 2013. In a speech launching the document, Martin Wheatley, CEO-designate of the FCA, said, "The FCA offers a huge opportunity for the regulator and firms to start afresh and work in partnership to reset how we deal with conduct in financial services. We see it as the role of the regulator to not only make the relevant markets work well but also to help firms get back to putting their customers at the heart of how they do business."

The document confirms that there will be three key objectives underpinning the role of the FCA:

  1. making sure that consumers receive financial services and products that meet their needs from firms they can trust
  2. ensuring that competition between firms is effective, with firms having the interests of their customers at the heart of their business
  3. making markets stable and resilient with transparent pricing information

A new department will be created within the FCA – the Policy, Risk and Research division – which will act as the "radar" of the FCA, picking up on any potential risks to the market or consumers. The FCA will have new product intervention powers to allow it to ban financial products that are deemed to pose a risk to consumers. It will also be able to remove misleading financial promotions from the market with immediate effect. The document provides further details on how the FCA will categorise firms for supervision purposes and the three pillars of its supervision model.

The FSA is using the "Journey to the FCA" as an opportunity to consult on specific questions in relation to the transition and operation of the FCA. Comments are welcome until 14 December 2012 and feedback is expected to be published early in the new year.