The Financial Conduct Authority has announced plans to double the number of staff based in Edinburgh over the next two years.
At present, the FCA has offices in Edinburgh and London. Under new plans unveiled this week, the regulator said it intends to expand the Edinburgh-based workforce to around 200.
The FCA will also explore opening a new office site in Leeds – with 100 staff based there initially – and establish a presence in Belfast and Cardiff.
CEO Nikhil Rathi confirmed the workforce expansion plans as the regulator unveiled its new Business Plan for 2021/22 this week.
The business plan outlines key areas upon which the FCA will focus over the coming year, detailing plans to strengthen consumer market protections and enhance its ability to cut down on fraudulent or abusive activities.
“Over the next 18 months, you will continue to see an FCA that looks and feels even more different. One that operates differently, partners differently, and communicates differently,” Rathi said.
“One that delivers market integrity and delivers for the consumers that we serve. One that is not only purposeful but that is fit for purpose.”
The FCA also plans to improve standards of pension advice and launch a consumer campaign on scams and high-risk investments.
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As part of its business plan for the year ahead, the FCA said it hopes to “drive down the incidence and impact of fraud” across the country.
The regulator will explore new ways to find and address issues or unlawful activity. Part of this will see £120 million invested in its data strategy over the next three years.
“The FCA must continue to become a forward-looking, proactive regulator. One that is tough, assertive, confident, decisive, agile,” Rathi commented.