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Govt to retain ability to repeal FCA’s early warning notice powers

Lord Sassoon
Lord Sassoon, House of Lords

The Government will be able to stop the FCA from issuing early warning notices if it does not use the power responsibly or it is not in the public interest to publish the information, as part of extra safeguards in the Financial Services Bill.

Under Government proposals, the FCA will have the power to publish details of firms or individuals that are the subject of ongoing enforcement investigations.

Speaking in the House of Lords debate on the Financial Services Bill this week, Treasury commercial secretary Lord James Sassoon said the Government will amend the bill as an extra check on the FCA.

He said: “Although we believe this is an important power, the question is will it be exercised properly and is there any further protection needed because we are taking a bold new step in an untested direction and it has to be used responsibly.

“For that reason, and listening to this debate, I can say that we intend to return to this issue at report stage to make provision for the Government to retain the power to repeal the early warning notices power if at some point in the future the power or use of it is contrary to the public interest.”

Highclere Financial Services partner says: “This is the first ever sign of accountability to the Government from the regulator.”

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