The FCA slapped with £2,000 fine for not living up to staff pension rules

From: RegTech Analyst

Following a year of controversies regarding the UK’s top financial watchdog, the body is now facing another setback.

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has penalised the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for failing to live up the standards set up regarding the reporting of its staff pension plan, The Telegraph reported, citing a story in Professional Pensions.

TPR stated that the £2,000 fine, the highest the organisation can levy, was issued because the FCA had not submitted specific details regarding what regular training its pension trustees received. TPR also said the FCA should have given more historical detail on fund managers’ costs and charges.

The news comes after a year when the FCA has had to deal with several controversies.

When Neil Woodford, a fund manager previously hailed in London as an investment mastermind, saw his career end in a flurry of bad market bets, the collapse of his empire also saw the call for stricter regulations of the financial industry.

The Woodford scandal also meant that the FCA faced critique for failing to sufficiently move to prevent the collapse of the firm, even though it had been talking with the firm since February 2018.

The FCA had to cope with a similar backlash when London Capital & Finance, the issuer of mini-bonds, collapsed after having sold high-risky mini-bonds. The regulator came the focal point of the criticism because the FCA was regulating some of the bigger bonds, but not the smaller ones.

However, this enabled London Capital & Finance to tell investors that it was regulated, meaning they could presumably be trusted.

After the £236m company imploded, investors criticised the FCA for failing to be clear about the scope of its supervision.

Following this scandal, the FCA did make some moves to make the rules clearer, efforts that seemingly have not gone anywhere so far.

Now, with chief executive Andrew Bailey stepping down in March to become the governor of the Bank of England, some market stakeholders believe that this area might be revisited.

The FCA was also accused of having whitewashed the Royal Bank of Scotland’s turnaround unit when the regulator delivered a report about the affair, declaring it would not punish the bank for mistreating business customers in the aftermath of the financial crash.

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