About the FCA

The Financial Conduct Authority is the conduct regulator for 56,000 financial services firms and financial markets in the UK and the prudential regulator for over 24,000 of those firms. 

What we do

Financial markets need to be honest, fair and effective so that consumers get a fair deal.

It is our aim to make markets work well – for individuals, for business, large and small, and for the economy as a whole.

We do this by regulating the conduct of more than 56,000 businesses.

We are the prudential regulator for over 24,000 of these firms and the Prudential Regulation Authority is the prudential regulator of banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers and designated investment firms.

We were established on 1 April 2013, taking over responsibility for conduct and relevant prudential regulation from the Financial Services Authority.

Why we do it

We are responsible for regulating a sector which plays a critical role in the lives of everyone in the UK and without which the modern economy could not function. From children’s ISAs to pensions, direct debits to credit cards, loans to investments – how well financial markets work has a fundamental impact on us all.

UK financial services employ over 2.2 million people and contribute £65.6bn in tax to the UK economy. If UK markets work well, competitively and fairly they benefit customers, staff and shareholders, and maintain confidence in the UK as a major global financial hub. Our role is to help ensure this happens.

How we do it

Our strategic objective is to ensure that the relevant markets function well and our operational objectives are to:

  • Protect consumers – we secure an appropriate degree of protection for consumers.
  • Protect financial markets – we protect and enhance the integrity of the UK financial system.
  • Promote competition – we promote effective competition in the interests of consumers.

We are an independent public body funded entirely by the firms that we regulate, by charging them fees. We are accountable to the Treasury, which is responsible for the UK’s financial system, and to Parliament.

Our work and purpose is defined by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA). We work with consumer groups, trade associations and professional bodies, domestic regulators, EU legislators and a wide range of other stakeholders. With this extensive remit, we use a proportionate approach to regulation, prioritising the areas and firms which pose a higher risk to our objectives.