FCA enforcement essentials—investigations
FCA enforcement essentials—investigations

The following Financial Services practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • FCA enforcement essentials—investigations
  • FCA Enforcement Priorities
  • The FCA’s Toolkit
  • The FCA’s approach to opening an investigation
  • Pro-active co-operation with the FCA
  • Referral to Enforcement — the right regulatory response?
  • Enforcement referrals team
  • Statutory test for referral
  • Investigations opening criteria
  • When the investigations opening criteria is not relevant
  • More...

This Practice Note explains the initial stages and investigative steps in the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) enforcement process once a breach has been identified. It describes the FCA’s enforcement priorities and its evolving approach to opening an enforcement investigation following HM Treasury’s 2014 Enforcement Review and the Green Report. It considers the process of the enforcement investigation from the referral of a suspected breach to the FCA’s Enforcement and Market Oversight Division (EMO) through to document requests and interviews, the preliminary investigation report, and submission of a recommendation of enforcement action to the RDC. It considers the appointment of investigators, their formal powers and the restrictions on those powers. It outlines considerations the subject should be mindful of such as confidentiality, publicity and the risk of committing an offence during the investigation. Finally, it provides a brief overview of joint investigations between the FCA and PRA, investigations into breaches of the listing rules and market abuse, collective investment schemes, investigations on behalf of overseas regulators and investigations in respect of criminal cases.

For reference, a flowchart of the FCA’s enforcement process from the FCA’s Enforcement Information Guide, may be found at the end of this Practice Note. This shows the process of a typical FCA enforcement case where the matter is dealt with through the FCA’s administrative powers under FSMA 2000 (as opposed to civil

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