United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority.

London - Britain's financial watchdog is launching a wide-ranging “exploratory” review of competition in wholesale financial markets to check if they operate effectively to aid the economy.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) was set up just over a year ago as part of Britain's post-financial crisis shake up of supervision to protect consumers better and increase competition in markets.

Mary Starks, director of competition at the FCA, said on Wednesday the watchdog had launched a review of competition in wholesale markets, saying it was an exploratory exercise to determine where competition may be weak.

“And why is it important? Because wholesale financial markets play a crucial role in the economy, and the UK plays a key role in the international markets,” Starks told a meeting of the Chartered Institute of Securities on Wednesday.

The review will cover markets, their infrastructure, asset managements, and corporate and investment banking, she said. - Reuters