FCA enforcement action—process
Produced in partnership with King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin
FCA enforcement action—process

The following Corporate Crime guidance note Produced in partnership with King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • FCA enforcement action—process
  • Warning Notice
  • Decision Notice
  • Reference to the Upper Tribunal
  • Final Notice
  • Discontinuance
  • Settlement

Once the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) investigators have:

  1. completed their investigation (including producing a Preliminary Investigation Report and taking into account any comments made by the subject of the investigation in response to this initial report)

  2. decided that enforcement action is appropriate (following an independent review by a separate legal team in the FCA’s enforcement division)

  3. produced their final Investigation Report for the Regulatory Decisions Committee (RDC), and

  4. the RDC has agreed that the matter should be referred to enforcement action

the formal disciplinary process begins.

Warning Notice

The first step following the referral to enforcement is the issue by the RDC of a Warning Notice. The RDC is a committee appointed by the FCA comprising senior experts who are not (apart from the Chairman) FCA employees. The RDC is separate from the FCA staff involved in the investigation process. In deciding whether to issue a Warning Notice, the RDC will consider whether the material, on which the recommendation by the FCA investigators that the matter should be referred to enforcement action is based, is adequate to support it and satisfy itself that the action recommended is appropriate in all the circumstances.

A Warning Notice must:

  1. be in writing

  2. state the action the FCA proposes to take, including, for example, whether the FCA proposes to suspend or issue a prohibition