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FCA grants investigated individuals chance to ‘partly contest’ cases

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The FCA is introducing a new process for partly contested cases to allow a person under investigation to agree elements of a case and contest others before its Regulatory Decisions Committee.

The person being investigated could agree the penalty, facts and liability, or a combination of these. It will still be possible to get a discount on the penalty if certain elements of the case have been agreed.

The regulator is also providing a mechanism for people under investigation to proceed more directly and quickly to the Upper Tribunal.

It is also abolishing penalty discounts at certain stages of the settlement and using the same panel that gave the warning notice to decide whether to give a decision notice.

In a policy statement published today, the FCA and the Prudential Regulation Authority outline changes in the following areas:

  • how decisions are made about whether to refer an issue to enforcement and markets oversight or the regulatory action division for investigation;
  • the provision of more information to the subject of an investigation about why they have been referred for investigation;
  • regular updates throughout an investigation, as well as ensuring there is increased engagement with the subject;
  • effective levels of dialogue between enforcement and supervision during an investigation; and
  • producing more detailed guidance on the process for joint FCA/PRA investigations

FCA enforcement and market oversight director Mark Steward says: “It is essential that our enforcement decision-making processes command public confidence and operate both efficiently and fairly. The changes set out in today’s [policy statement] are designed to achieve just that and reflect the views of stakeholders who responded to our consultation.”

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Comments

There are 5 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Says Mark Steward: It is essential that our enforcement decision-making processes command public confidence and operate both efficiently and fairly. Wot ~ like the rest of the FCA’s processes (don’t)?

    And, as always, the FCA’s 30% early settlement discount is, in reality, no such thing. In reality, it’s a threat to increase the fine by 43% for anyone who dares to argue the toss and drag things out a bit longer.

  2. I’m always intrigued by the public confidence argument. So after nearly 30 years of Regulation, do the general public feel that much more confident about financial services? The regulatory stance to name , shame and fine hasn’t exactly been what one might call, edifying, for our industry or profession. And maybe the apparent self belief that the great unwashed really care about any of this is slightly off target.

    If the FCA sent their market researches down into the nearest town centre and asked them what they know or think about these latest ideas, I wonder what answers they might get back?

    Here is the statement madam, ‘The FCA is introducing a new process for partly contested cases to allow a person under investigation to agree elements of a case and contest others before its Regulatory Decisions Committee’ Does this;

    a) Continue to hold your complete confidence in the FCA and the Financial Services sector?

    b) Increase your confidence in the FCA and the Financial Services sector?

    c) Remove your anxiety about the FCA and the Financial Services sector?

    d) Mean absolutely nothing to me and I thought this was an opportunity to win a car.

  3. If this process is a precursor to meet and greet before dishing out S166’s (skilled persons reports) willy nilly then this is a positive step.

    If this is a two way process to better understand one’s business, then this is a positive step

    I have been at the receiving end of enforcement by way of a skilled persons review, and the case officers involved pointed the finger to go straight to jail, do not pass go and do not collect your £200, we are not interested in you view, we are not interested in your company, we are not here to debate, what we say goes, its as simple as that, and we want a third party to come in and do all that at your expense.

    Now I was made to go through a process that cost me thousands only to find at the end, I had done nothing wrong other than having messy filing (some was paper based and some was computer as I was in a transitional time of keeping everything electronic) now this could all be avoided with structured dialogue and process.

  4. A better idea would be to allow advisers a right of appeal from FOS/FCA to the courts who are far better equipped

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