Framing the agenda: In Conversation with the FCA at FBC’s iNED Council meeting

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As part of FBC’s regular engagement with the regulator, FBC’s chairs, CEOs and iNEDs spent an hour with the Financial Conduct Authority discussing the year that has been, and what authorised fund managers and their fund boards can expect from the FCA in 2022.  

It was the last FBC event of the year, but one certainly worth waiting for. Over 50 fund board chairs, CEOs and iNEDs from FBC’s corporate membership (and a few invited guests) had the benefit of an open dialogue with Garry Murdoch (Mr AoV, as he is sometimes referred to!) and Aidan McEvoy who spoke on product governance. Philip Warland, FBC’s advisory council’s chair was in his usual position of inquisitor-in-chief, and after opening remarks from both Garry and Aidan the floor was open for questions which ran the length of an hour of the 90-min meeting.  

The meeting covered a wide range of topics, including: 

  • An emphasis on Quality of Service (from Assessment of Value’s 7 criteria) in 2022, as well as a need for the asset management industry to get to grips with the FCA’s Consumer Duty 
  • ESG and sustainability where “there will be quite a lot of work from us (the FCA) on this next year to really, really understand what firms are doing and variation in the service levels” 
  • Concerns around fund liquidity and how the industry continues to “fall short”. 
  • How asset management firms (and by extension their fund boards) deal with and work with distribution firms; what’s being done well and not 
  • The need for “consistent product governance related requirements on product providers” 
  • The importance of record keeping and evidencing – a subject area that will get a lot of attention in 2022 as part of FBC’s board effectiveness programme  
  • Economies of scale and profitability levels, which has been much discussed in 2021, but remains a key AoV deliverable in 2022 
  • The ‘real challenge’ of stewardship 

FBC corporate members who would like to listen to the proceedings of the meeting in full, can do so via the member portal here