Dealing with the FCA—informal requests for information
Produced in partnership with Sarah Clarke of Hardwicke Chambers
Dealing with the FCA—informal requests for information

The following Financial Services practice note Produced in partnership with Sarah Clarke of Hardwicke Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Dealing with the FCA—informal requests for information
  • Interviews with suspects in criminal or market abuse investigations
  • Voluntary interviews with non-suspects
  • Subsequent interviews
  • Witness statements
  • Internal investigation report provided voluntarily by the firm

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has various powers (see sections 97, 131E, 131F, 165–169, 171–173, 175, 176 and 284 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA 2000)) to gather information, appoint investigators, and require the production of a skilled persons report (FSMA 2000, s 166). In any given situation, the FCA decides which combination of these powers is most appropriate to use. For reasons of fairness, transparency and efficiency, as set out in Practice Note: FCA enforcement essentials—investigations—Powers of FCA investigators under FSMA 2000, the FCA will usually use its formal statutory powers to obtain documents and/or information.

However, in some cases, the FCA is likely to consider its formal, compelled information gathering powers to be inappropriate and will instead invite a person to provide information or documents on a voluntary basis. This is likely to occur in situations where:

  1. the information is sought from suspects or possible suspects in criminal or market abuse investigations. Such suspects will not usually be interviewed using compelled powers because, if they were, the interview might then be considered to be inadmissible in any subsequent proceedings, including criminal or market abuse proceedings. See Practice Note: FCA enforcement essentials—investigations—Powers of FCA investigators under FSMA 2000

  2. the person from whom the information is sought is a third party who has no professional connection with the financial services industry, such

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