FCA will not name and shame but must improve transparency

The FSA has ruled out the prospect of the Financial Conduct Authority naming and shaming firms where thematic reviews expose poor practice.

As part of a discussion paper on how the FCA can improve transparency and be held more accountable, the FSA has come up with a range of proposals through internal discussions and in consultation with trade bodies and regulatory panels.

Consumer bodies lobbied for the FCA to disclose firm-specific results of thematic work. The FSA has rejected this idea, saying it is legally bound by confidentiality restrictions and its public censure process under the Financial Services and Markets Act.

But the FSA admits failing to name poorly-performing firms can mean consumers are “kept in the dark”. Instead it proposes publishing results of thematic reviews on an anonymous basis.

The regulator has also proposed providing more detail about the average length of time it takes for firms to become authorised, and the broad reasons why applications are refused.

It has also suggested giving more detail to whistleblowers about action that has been taken after they have contacted the FCA, publishing more data about the outcome of whistleblowing incidents, and expanding the amount of information that is published in its annual performance account.

FCA chief executive designate Martin Wheatley says:“This is not a one-off exercise. As the FCA develops, we will continue to identify additional ways to increase transparency and will be open to feedback from our stakeholders about how this can be achieved.”