FCA on Brexit: It is going to be tough, it might be a bit more expensive…

Maria Nikolova

Chris Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition, Financial Conduct Authority, has given evidence before the EU Justice Sub-Committee, elaborating on issues like budget and enforcement.


The UK departure from the European Union is likely to be a key topic for years to come, with the financial services sector heavily affected by this process. Some interesting comments in this respect have been made by Chris Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition, Financial Conduct Authority, who on October 10, 2017, gave evidence before the EU Justice Sub-Committee.

The comments (the full recording may be viewed on UK Parliament TV) were made as the Sub-Committee continues with its inquiry into Brexit: consumer protection rights.

Asked about any worries about enforcement, Mr Woolard replied that in terms of the UK’s own enforcement, it’s much of “business as usual”. However, in a broader context, the situation is mixed.

“If we look across the full range of enforcement, some of that is underpinned by European level arrangements, particularly around competition law, but an awful lot of it is already dealt with essentially bilaterally between ourselves and other regulators operating in Europe or operating elsewhere in the world, so it’s a bit of a mixed picture”, he said.

Mr Woolard made a specific clarification about ESMA and its CFD regulations. The FCA had delayed making the new CFD rules final, attributing its decision to a statement by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) on its consideration of product intervention measures under Article 40 of the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR).

On October 10th, Mr Woolard said:

“A lot of the arrangements that are in place at the moment do not rely ultimately on European underpinning. But there are certain places. So, for example, if we look at ESMA, where approaches are being discussed at the moment around things like contracts for difference, where we do see some significant issues in the market, and where, were there to be a European level action in that space, we would absolutely want that to be a part of the UK regime in a post-Brexit scenario”.

Apparently, this is a piece of legislation that the UK authorities would like to onshore as the Brexit process progresses.

Concerning the financial, budgetary aspect of this transition, Mr Woolard faced the question of whether the FCA is resourced enough to the job of dealing robustly with the emerging challenges in this process of leaving the European Union.

“This is a very very significant challenge for us as an organization. We need to scale up significantly the amount of resource we are spending on Brexit”, Mr Woolard said.

“The short version of this is: It is going to be tough, it might be a bit more expensive…” – Chris Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition, FCA.

Read this next

Retail FX

Revolut misses deadline for filing 2022 financial accounts

British fintech firm Revolut has been granted an extension for filing its 2022 financial accounts, marking the second consecutive year the company has secured such permission. According to Companies House, the UK’s public registry of businesses, the original deadline for filing was September 13.

Retail FX

Traders Union Names RoboForex the Best Forex Broker of 2023

In a recent update, Traders Union has unveiled its highly anticipated ranking of the Best Forex Brokers for 2023, continuing its tradition of providing valuable information to traders.

Digital Assets

PayPal introduces its stablecoin to Venmo users

PayPal has revealed that its PYUSD stablecoin, designed for payments and transfers, is now accessible through Venmo. This stablecoin, fully backed by US dollar deposits and similar assets, provides selected users with a regulated, dollar-denominated digital currency.


Stagflation Speculation: Is the UK Economy Heading for Uncharted Waters?

Amid rising concerns about a potential recession, the term “stagflation” is increasingly being used to describe the UK’s current economic scenario, characterized by conflicting indicators such as high inflation and stagnant growth.

Industry News

Exness Becomes Titanium Sponsor for 6th Annual Forex Expo in Dubai.

Multi-asset broker Exness has been named the Titanium Sponsor for the 6th edition of the Forex Expo in Dubai, further cementing its role as a key player and supporter in the trading industry.

Digital Assets

Mt. Gox victims to wait another year for repayments

Nobuaki Kobayashi, the trustee responsible for managing the assets of the now-defunct Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange, has announced an extension of the deadline for repaying the exchange’s creditors.


Sumsub launches Non-Document Verification in the UK: Client onboarding in 5 seconds

Sumsub’s partnership with OneID introduces Non-Document Verification, enabling near-instant identity verification through official bank records while ensuring compliance with UK regulations.

Industry News

CFTC fines Advantage Futures $395,000 for 12.8 million unmonitored trades

Collectively, these failures by Advantage resulted in over 12.8 million cleared contracts not being processed or surveilled from July 2018 to June 2022. This accounts for nearly 1.5% of the trading volume by Advantage’s customers during that four-year period.

Industry News

SEC doubles down on fund names rule: “Growth”, “Value”, “ESG” better watch out

“As the fund industry has developed over the last two decades, gaps in the current Names Rule may undermine investor protection. Today’s final rules will help ensure that a fund’s portfolio aligns with a fund’s name. Such truth in advertising promotes fund integrity on behalf of fund investors.”