UK parliamentary group calls on regulators to adapt to new working practices

A survey by the APPG on Challenger Banks and Building Societies has found the pandemic has directly driven the digital transition in banking services and working practices.

The APPG survey looked at how the pandemic had impacted challenger banks and building societies as well as the actions of government, regulators and customers and how they had impacted smaller challenger institutions.

Up to two-thirds of institutions felt that the advice they had received from a regulator was helpful and clear, while just under a third thought the opposite. Around 71% felt that the regulatory community had provided helpful and clear advice, compared to only a minority who reported that it was incomplete or vague.

Based on its research from the survey, the APPG for Challenger Banks and Building Societies has made a number of recommendations. First of all, it stated the regulatory community must adjust to the new realities of remote and flexible working. These are work practices that have taken hold during the pandemic and could likely be here to stay.

In addition, the APPG noted that as normal life returns, government and regulators need to make sure that vulnerable customers and those who depend on traditional cash-based transactions are not unduly disadvantaged. It also recommended that government needs to adjust regulation where necessary to take account of pandemic changes to work patterns and business models.

Chair of the APPG Karen Bradley MP said, “We were fascinated to see the change in perception towards the regulators compared to our 2020 work. There were criticisms from some, but overall firms seem far more satisfied with the Government and the regulators now than they were at the start of the pandemic.

“The pandemic has had a huge effect on businesses operationally and on working patterns across the economy. Although restrictions have now ended, it looks as if many of these effects from remote working to increased digital transactions will be permanent changes.

“It is the view of the APPG that Government and regulators need to be fleet of foot in monitoring the effect these have on our economy and on firms’ business practices and ensure their actions moving forward reflect these changes.”

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