FCA bolsters independent decisions committee

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has appointed six more members to its Regulatory Decisions Committee (RDC).

FCA bolsters independent decisions committee

The RDC is operationally separate from the rest of the FCA and its members are appointed from a spectrum of business, consumer and industry backgrounds.

It takes certain decisions on behalf of the FCA, relating to firm authorisations, enforcement and supervisory actions, and reviews them.

The newest members appointed to the RDC are Karen Johnston and Nick Lord. They join Stuart McIntosh, Philip Marsden, Robin Mason and Malcolm Nicholson who were appointed last year.

Karen Johnston is an experienced lawyer with a specialist interest in consumer services and consumer protection.

She has previously worked with the Office of Fair Trading, where she advised on credit licensing, unfair terms in consumer contracts and helped develop its industry codes regime.

Nick Lord has more than 30 years’ experience representing the consumer interest in financial services, regarding the regulation of consumer credit and mortgage credit.

Much of his work has been with the third sector, government departments and trade bodies, where he has worked both in consumer-facing advice roles and formulation of policy.

The RDC is also the decision maker for some warning notices, including those relating to suspensions, restrictions, withdrawal of approvals and much more.

The committee is not an appeal body – it is the final stage of decision-making for the FCA. It has its own team of legal advisers to ensure fair actions are made separate from those recommending the action.

For example, if an application for authorisation is refused and the firm is given a warning notice, the firm can dispute this with the RDC with representations as to why it should be approved.

The authorisation team has the chance to respond before the RDC will decide whether the refusal of authorisation should go ahead.

Tim Parkes, chair of the RDC, said: “I am delighted to welcome our newest members to the committee.  Karen and Nick bring a wealth of consumer-focused knowledge and experience in the consumer credit and other sectors, which will complement existing committee members.”