FCA and PRA search and seizure powers and dawn raids
Produced in partnership with Sara Cody of Linklaters
FCA and PRA search and seizure powers and dawn raids

The following Financial Services practice note Produced in partnership with Sara Cody of Linklaters provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • FCA and PRA search and seizure powers and dawn raids
  • Search and seizure—the law
  • Power to apply for warrant
  • Execution of a warrant
  • FCA and PRA rules requiring co-operation and production of information
  • Criminal liability
  • Other powers of search and seizure
  • How to prepare in advance
  • Responding to the execution of a warrant—practical guidance
  • General principles
  • More...

Search and seizure—the law

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) (together, the Regulators) have powers of entry, search and seizure under warrant. The most important of these, and the focus of this Practice Note, is the power under section 176 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA 2000). A selection of the Regulators’ other significant powers of entry, search and seizure with and without a warrant are listed below under Other powers of search and seizure.

This Practice Note considers the Regulators’ powers of search and seizure. It considers the obligations on firms and individuals to co-operate with the Regulators and provides practical advice on how to prepare for a dawn raid. Finally, it considers in detail how firms and individuals should respond to the execution of a warrant.

Power to apply for warrant

Under FSMA 2000, s 176, the Regulators have the power to apply to a magistrate for a warrant to enter premises where documents or information are held. To issue a warrant, the magistrate must be satisfied on information on oath given by either Regulator or an investigator that there are reasonable grounds for believing that one of three conditions are satisfied:

  1. a person on whom an information requirement has been imposed has failed (wholly or in part) to comply with it, and the required documents or information

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