UK regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched a review into competition in the wholesale financial markets, calling for market input on four key areas.
In a bid to ensure the fairness and competitiveness of the UK’s financial markets, the FCA is investigating market infrastructure, investment banking, asset management and corporate banking.
The regulator said it is interested in behavior which could ‘inhibit or distort competition’ as part of a wider goal to review the financial markets alongside the Bank of England and HM Treasury.
The initiative, titled the ‘Fair and Effective Financial Markets Review’, will also focus on trading practices and the scope and impact of forthcoming regulations.
“It is vital that wholesale financial markets are efficient, fair and competitive,” said Christopher Woolard, director of policy, risk and research at the FCA.
“Effective competition within the wholesale sector can lead to an increase in institutional efficiency, lower prices, greater innovation and can improve the quality and range of financial services provided.
“Improvements in competition should contribute to the sustainable development of the financial system, and have positive knock-on effects for retail consumers and real economy businesses.”
The FCA was set up over a year ago in place of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and has sought to clamp down on various market practices from the outset.
Along with handing out a record number of fines in its short time, the FCA has also targeted better protection for consumers and increasing competition in the financial markets, an ambition also shared by other European regulators.