The Financial Conduct Authority said that regulators will monitor how Britain’s furlough scheme ends for signs of distress among consumers. It also said it was ready to take more legal action to counteract an upturn in financial crime, which was triggered by this pandemic. Britain rolled out measures from March 2020. This is to ease the shock on consumers and businesses from the economy going into lockdown. This is triggering the worst downturn in 300 years.
Regulators and central bankers are nervous removing the measures will affect debt and employment. FCA CEO Nikhil Rathi said in a speech to the Mansion House in London’s historic financial district that during the pandemic, up to 5.8 million temporary payment deferrals were granted for credit cards, loans and mortgages. By planning carefully and collaboration with consumer groups and industry, these have been phased out without acute consumer distress, though they remain vigilant as the furlough scheme ends soon.
More people invested online during the pandemic and this made the financial crime to rocket up. 754 million pounds in Britain were stolen by some criminals, through bank frauds. This piled up the pressure on the FCA to get tougher. Rathis said that they have often been criticised for acting slowly. And this is changing. They will litigate more if they need to, recognising that they won’t win every case but also appreciating that legal certainty can provide considerable benefits for industry as well. Rathis added that the proposed reforms are far-reaching and will mean international firms can have confidence that they will maintain an open, global and market-leading approach.