The FCA Smaller Business Practitioner Panel (the Panel) was established at the same time as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), on 1 April 2013. The Panel’s remit is similar to that of the previous FSA’s Smaller Businesses Practitioner Panel, and the majority of members transferred across at Legal Cut Over.
The FCA has a statutory duty to establish and consult the Panel on the extent to which its policies and practices are consistent with its general duties.
Role of the FCA Smaller Business Practitioner Panel
The Panel represents the interests of practitioners of firms of small or medium size within their sector – whether by market capitalisation, funds under management, size of balance sheet and employees, etc. - across the range of regulated activities as regulated by the FCA. Its key remit is to provide input to the FCA from the industry in order to help it in meeting its strategic and operational objectives from a smaller business standpoint.
The Chairman of the FCA Smaller Business Practitioner Panel is also a member of the FCA Practitioner Panel. This helps to coordinate the industry views which are given to the FCA, and ensure that the smaller firm perspective is considered during FCA Practitioner Panel deliberations.
Access to the FCA
The Panel Chairman meets regularly with the Chairman and Chief Executive of the FCA. These meetings provide an opportunity to discuss issues of particular importance and to raise emerging concerns. The Panel also submits a monthly report to the FCA Board, to highlight specific fundamental points raised in the course of its monthly meetings.
The Panel’s Annual Report will normally be the subject of a formal presentation to the FCA Board and there are frequent informal and ad hoc contacts between Panel members and Directors and senior executives of the FCA.
Links with Trade Associations
The Panel takes care to ensure it does not duplicate the important work of the trade associations in representing the views of their members. The associations have the staff and resources to promote the interests of their respective members in response to the impact of FCA policies on the sector they represent.
At the same time, the Panel retains close links with the trade associations through regular meetings between Panel representatives and trade body officials. In addition, individual Panel members often have close links with the respective trade association representing their sector. This ensures that the Panel is properly sighted on trade association views and can include them in its deliberations.