The FCA, or Financial Conduct Authority, is the United Kingdom’s financial regulatory agency and jurisdiction over all financial institution. They have commenced the introduction with the middle level employees of London’s largest investment financial institutions in a bid, as a form to enhance and analyze performance that occurs in London’s banking industry.

Why is the FCA Meeting with Junior Staff?

The FCA has taken part in meeting the junior staff from sixteen different investment banks across London, including Barclays, JPMorgan, and Barclays. This event occurred because the financial regulatory agency mentioned in May 2019 that non-financial misbehavior and illegitimate actions has proven to become an emerging issue and concern.

The current concentration on middle level employees has defined a new and upcoming approach by the FCA, trading in the previous strategy of arranging annual conduct meetings with only higher level management from financial institution.

The top fifty financial institutions and banks all across the world have taken a hit to more than 1.6tnUSD, due to the global issue in finance that resulted from misconduct and ill behavior, according to an in-depth financial analysis from Quinlan and Associates.

What Happened in the Meetings?

The current meetings revolve around both financial and non-financial fields of interest; these include: whistle-blowing, bullying, and sexual harassment, in the workplace. The FCA convened with junior employees in round table sessions at its branch office in Stratford, with more that are planned to follow. The current meetings between both parties revolve around a short survey and a 90-minute debate between the regulatory agency and the junior bankers.

The junior staff and employees were inquired to speak openly and transparently on how they would deal with potentially difficult issues that could occur in the workplace. According to the aforementioned survey, the questions consisted of situations that include, cultural challenges and hindrances, awareness of whistle-blowing methods, and if conduct is part of the performance reviews.

The feedback and analytical response will be announced and publicly released into the FCA’s five Conduct Questions Program, to enhance performance in financial institutions. The FCA has been moving farther and faster on the CQP, since they found that there has been progress, but that “overall progress or embedding in some cases has been patchy or in danger of stalling”.

The FCA stated that one of the major issues with financial institutions is non-financial misconduct, stating that “Non-financial misconduct is an inherent risk in any industry. Serious misbehavior is toxic to a working environment and can lead to bad outcomes for customers, staff, other stakeholders and the firm.”

According to a spokesperson from UK Finance stated that “the banking industry has undertaken significant reform over the past decade to rebuild trust and improve accountability. However, we cannot be complacent and will keep working hard to build a thriving banking and finance industry that always acts in the best interests of consumers, businesses and wider society.”