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FCA commences study into Big Tech entry into financial services

FCA commences study into Big Tech entry into financial services

The UK's Financial Conduct Authority is launching a study on the potential competition benefits and harms from Big Tech firms’ entry into a range of retail financial services sectors.

Big Tech firms’ presence in UK financial services markets in areas such as payments, deposits and consumer credit has been steadily increasing, with the potential to expand further and change markets quickly.

While the arrival of company's like Amazon, Apple and Google in financial services could bring some healthy competition benefits, the FCA is wary that risks could arise in the future from them rapidly gaining market share, markets ‘tipping’ in their favour, and potential exploitation of market power that would be harmful to competition and consumer outcomes

Sheldon Mills, executive Director of consumers and competition, states: "In recent years, Big Tech’s entry into financial services, in the UK and elsewhere, has demonstrated their potential to disrupt established markets, drive innovation and reduce costs for consumers.

"We want to make sure that these benefits are fully realised while, at the same time, ensuring good consumer and market outcomes. This is vital when we consider the role of Big Tech firms in the provision of key technological infrastructure like cloud services.

To begin the discussion, the FCA has published analysis focusing on the potential competition impacts of Big Tech’s entry in four vital retail sectors: payments, deposit taking, consumer credit and insurance.

No regulatory changes are being proposed at this stage The FCA says its objective is to stimulate discussion to inform its regulatory approach to Big Tech firms as part of the new UK pro-competitive regime for digital markets.

The regulator is inviting responses by 15 January 2023 and will be hosting an expert panel event on 28 November, followed by sector specific workshops on 6 and 7 December.

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