An introduction to Deferred Prosecution Agreements for Financial Services
Produced in partnership with SHOOSMITHS LLP
An introduction to Deferred Prosecution Agreements for Financial Services

The following Financial Services guidance note Produced in partnership with SHOOSMITHS LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • An introduction to Deferred Prosecution Agreements for Financial Services
  • Deferred Prosecution Agreement
  • Offering a DPA
  • The terms of a DPA
  • The threshold for offering a DPA
  • The court proceedings
  • Breach of DPA
  • Varying a DPA
  • Discontinuance of proceedings on expiry of DPA
  • Difficulties with a DPA
  • more

Deferred Prosecution Agreement

A Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) is an agreement between a prosecutor and an organisation facing prosecution for an alleged economic or financial offence. It involves the:

  1. organisation agreeing to comply with a range of terms and conditions which are monitored; and

  2. prosecutor agreeing to start but then halt criminal proceedings for the alleged offence. If the organisation complies with the terms of the DPA the prosecutor will then terminate proceedings but if not the prosecutor will continue with them.

For those organisations involved in financial services the offences in relation to which a DPA may be entered include:

  1. contravention of the prohibition of carrying on regulated activity unless authorised or exempt or the restrictions on financial promotion

  2. prohibition of dealing etc in transferable securities without approved prospectus

  3. provision of false or misleading statements to auditor or actuary

  4. misleading statements and practices

  5. misleading the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

  6. money laundering including failure to comply with the money laundering regulations, failing to report and prejudicing an investigation

  7. bribery including failure to prevent bribery

Offering a DPA

A DPA is discretionary and it is for the prosecutor to decide whether or not to agree to enter into one. Only the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) can currently enter into a DPA although the Secretary