Third FCA COVID survey imminent

We have received the following information from the FCA, which you should be aware of.

FCA COVID SURVEY

Many of you will be aware that we issued the first phase of the Covid-19 Impact Survey in June, covering around 13,000 firms across 15 Supervision portfolios (Tranche 1), and then rolled this out to a further 9,500 firms in 21 portfolios (Tranche 2) at the beginning of August. We then repeated this survey for both Tranches 1 and 2 to understand the change in firms’ financial positions with time. The survey has helped us obtain an accurate view of the impact of Covid-19 and supported our work to mitigate risks of harm to consumers, the market and competition within it.

We are now repeating this survey for a third time.

We are planning to send this survey to the relevant firms in Tranche 1, some of which may be members of your associations, on one of the following dates:

Batch 1: to be sent on 13 January 2021 – response due by 3 February 2021

Batch 2: to be sent on 14 January 2021 – response due by 4 February 2021

Batch 3: to be sent on 15 January 2021 – response due by 5 February 2021

Batch 4: to be sent on 19 January 2021 – response due by 9 February 2021

We will send a warm up/introduction email to all the firms at least 1 day prior to them receiving the survey.

This survey will include 10 questions in total, designed to give us information about the following important areas:

  • Liquidity/ cash availability and needs
  • Recent financial performance
  • Scale of business activity
  • Access to government schemes

The survey will be sent to all firms in the following Tranche 1 portfolios unless they satisfy specific exclusion criteria:

  • E-Money Issuer
  • High Cost Lenders
  • Payment Services Firm
  • Peer-to-Peer lending platforms
  • SIPP Operators
  • Advisers and intermediaries
  • Contracts for Differences (CFD) Providers
  • Credit reference agencies and providers of credit information services
  • Crowdfunders
  • Custody Services
  • Debt purchasers, debt collectors and debt administrators
  • Mainstream Consumer Credit Lenders
  • Personal and Commercial Lines Insurance Intermediaries
  • Platforms
  • Wealth Management

Firms will be emailed a link to complete the survey online (not through Gabriel). It is designed to be easy to complete even via a mobile phone and we expect that most firms will not need more than an hour to complete it. The link that we will send will be unique to each firm. If firms need a different individual within their organisation (or a consultant) to answer and submit the survey, the link can be forwarded to the required person.

Completion of the survey is mandatory under section 165 of the Financial Services & Markets Act (FSMA) 2000. We may exercise our powers under FSMA for firms who do not respond. We have designed this survey so that it is quick and simple to complete. However, if due to exceptional circumstances a firm cannot access its financial information, they will need to ensure that they complete the questions where the relevant information is available.

At the FCA, our core responsibilities include protecting consumers and enhancing the integrity of the UK financial markets. We know that financial stresses can put additional pressure on firms and so we are seeking to understand the effect Covid-19 is having on the finances of the firms we regulate and to better guide our supervisory actions.

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