Comment: FCA Annual Report: COVID tech revolution holds potential for regulated industries

As the Financial Conduct Authority prepares to release its annual report, it’s clear that this year is like no other for the financial services.

With the pandemic necessitating and accelerating digital transformation, the FCA is set to face its toughest year yet to protect consumer interests.

Michael Chalmers, MD EMEA at Contino, said: “This year’s disruption has led to the acceleration of digital transformations in a huge variety of enterprises. There is an ever-growing pressure to embrace emerging technologies, such as AI and machine learning, to get closer to customers and empower the financial services industry to transform to more modern ways of working.

“To do this safely and securely, within the FCA’s guidelines, these highly regulated enterprises need to make sure they are keeping consumer interests at the forefront of their digital transformation agenda. Minimising risk where possible, ensuring the right security measures are in place to avoid scammers and new sophisticated cyber threats, and protecting consumer data as these enterprises look to get closer to their customers and adopt more of a cloud approach.

“Technological revamps of this scale could potentially create significant risks for regulators, who have to keep up and respond where their remit allows. With new technologies, Brexit and a global pandemic, the FCA is about to face its toughest test yet. Protecting the operational resilience of the sector will rely on firms to partner with the right consultancies – with those that can guide a business through its digital transformation within the guidelines, minimising risk in the process, and implementing sufficient solutions to protect against future threats.”