CCP 12th Annual Conference 2016, 9-10 June, OPEN, Norwich

Welcome to this year's CCP Conference on Competition Policy in Financial Markets.

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  1. The CCP's 12th Annual Conference on Competition Policy in Financial Markets is fittingly based at OPEN, the premises of the former regional headquarters of Barclays Bank until 2003. The programme for this year's event boasts a truly multi-disciplinary line-up (with speakers from Law, Economics, Politics and Philosophy) with a strong policy focus to provide a range of different perspectives. The stage is set for some lively debate and discussion over the 2 days.
  2. Counting down the final few minutes before the official opening of the CCP 12th Annual Conference. Any questions? Just ask the friendly faces at the Registration Desk. #ccp2016conf
  3. CCP Annual Conference registration
    CCP Annual Conference registration
  4. Our academic organisers, Amelia Fletcher and Andreas Stephan, are looking forward to a compelling couple of days, with insights from a broad spectrum of sectors and disciplines (including the first Philosopher to ever appear at CCP).
  5. And with the introductions concluded, we're all set for the first session of #ccp2016conf, with presentations from members of some of the key financial service regulators in the UK (inc. the Financial Conduct Authority, the Prudential Regulation Authority, and the Payment Systems Regulator).

  6. Session 1: Setting the Scene - View from the Regulators

  7. Jun 9, 2016 12:59 PM BST
  8. Mary Starks, Director of Competition at the Financial Conduct Authority, highlighted some of the overarching objectives for making markets work effectively. This includes market integrity, consumer protection and promoting competition in the interests of consumers.

    Promoting competition is a tough sell post-financial crisis, with serious challenges to trusting the free market more rather than less. Key here is that we know competition is beneficial but not who will get the benefits or when. In the short term promoting competition requires a leap of faith. This is particularly challenging when public policy debates focus on outcomes not output and there is a compelling political narrative for intervention.

    Ultimately, competition is the best way to find out what consumers want and how to get it to them. That may mean we as regulators do not know necessarily what ‘good’ looks like. This highlights the importance of innovation, entry and exit. This means using a range of tools to understand markets holistically, build detailed knowledge of consumers perspectives and the perspectives of new entrants. In particular, to understand how new financial technology can provide challenger products and services and how regulation needs to adapt to these. This includes a proactive approach to listen to new entrants and provide a ‘sandbox’ for experimenting with new solutions.

    Importantly, in designing regulation we need to think well beyond the status quo and be open to a wide range of futures. This may require a leap of faith but Mary is optimistic that we will get there.
  9. A full transcript of Mary's speech is now available on the FCA's website.
  10. Hannah Nixon, Managing Director of the Payments Systems Regulator (PSR), discusses how the PSR works to ensure that payment systems such as credit and debit cards are secure, reliable, and offer good prices for the services provided. For the PSR ensuring effective competition and innovation in payments systems are key objectives to achieve this goal.

    Hannah discusses the scope of the regulatory scope and powers of the PSR, in particular with respect to fostering competition to the benefit of consumers. To achieve this, the PSR aims to make a proportionate use of its powers based on evidence. Current key issues in the industry include barriers to entry limiting retail banking competition and slow innovation in payment systems.

    To foster retail banking competition, the PSR is working on improving both direct and indirect access to payment systems by improving speed, quality, and cost of direct access to facilitate entry of competitors. Speed of innovation and its effects on service quality is another area of intervention that is tackled, e.g. through the Payments Strategy Forum. Finally, a preliminary market review on the central industry infrastructure has determined that it is not effective, and remedies have been proposed to address problems identified.

  11. Session 2: Behavioural Economics and Competition in Financial Markets

  12. Jun 9, 2016 3:56 PM BST
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