FCA Consultations: Cloud and Big Data

November 29, 2015

On 24 November the FCA published a ‘Call for Inputs‘ relating to how Big Data is may affect ‘consumer outcomes and competition in the retail general insurance sector’. As the FCA puts it:

‘We are seeking views, supported by examples and evidence where possible, of how Big Data is affecting (and is likely to affect) consumer outcomes and competition in the retail general insurance (GI) sector. We are also seeking views on whether our regulatory framework affects developments in Big Data or unduly constrains innovation in the interest of consumers.’

The focus is to be on three key topics:

·        Does Big Data affect consumer outcomes?

·        Does Big Data foster or constrain competition?

·        Does the FCA’s regulatory framework affect developments in Big Data in retail GI?

One hot topic is whether the use of Big Data may act as a barrier for some vulnerable consumers  when trying to access standard insurance products.

The FCA is asking for comments via an online form by 8 January 2016.

Earlier in November, the FCA published ‘GC15/6: Proposed guidance for firms outsourcing to the ‘cloud’ and other third-party IT services‘. It is seeking views on that guidance by 12 February 2016 and asks that comments are sent by email to itoutsourcing@fca.org.uk

According to the FCA briefing:

‘This guidance will be of particular interest to firms interested in outsourcing to the cloud and other third-party IT services. The guidance may also be of interest to:

·        third-party IT providers, including cloud providers, seeking to provide services to financial services firms

·        trade associations and consumer groups

·        law firms and other advisers, and

·        auditors of financial services firms

This guidance sets out the FCA’s view and will be relevant to all firms. Dual regulated firms should also confirm the position of the PRA in relation to firms outsourcing to the ‘cloud’ and other third party IT services.’