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Treasury launches FCA and PRA enforcement review

The Treasury has launched a review of the FCA and PRA’s enforcement processes and decision making.

The review will report to Chancellor George Osborne in the autumn and will look at whether current processes support the fair and effective use of enforcement powers by the regulators.

Osborne says: “The Government has taken action to provide a welcoming business environment for those in the financial services industry who play by the rules whilst ensuring that those intent on breaking them are held to account.

“I am committed to ensuring the financial services regulators pursue a model of enforcement that delivers the appropriate balance of fairness, transparency, speed and efficiency.”

The Treasury has published a call for evidence today and will host roundtable discussions with interested parties next month.

Treasury select committee chair Andrew Tyrie says the review is a step in the right direction.

He says: “This review can pave the way for implementing an important recommendation of the Banking Commission: providing greater autonomy for the FCA’s Regulatory Decisions Committee in taking enforcement decisions.”

He adds: “Those who conduct an enforcement investigation should be, and be seen to be, independent from those who reach a verdict.

“It is crucial that regulators strike the right balance between supervisory and disciplinary powers. Enforcement should usually be the last resort, not the first.”


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

  1. Julian Stevens 7th May 2014 at 9:17 am

    It seems a trifle perverse that only after the Statutory Code of Practice for Regulators has been rehashed in what appears to be a disappointingly watered down format that the government has finally woken up to the fact that the FSA/FCA has largely ignored it and needs to be forced to abide by it. Perhaps this will represent a step closer towards a Statutory Independent Regulatory Oversight Committee which will keep an eye on the regulator on an ongoing and regular basis and issue appropriate directives when the FCA starts showing signs of slipping back into its We can do whatever we want ways.

  2. E L Wisty (an only twin) 7th May 2014 at 9:44 am

    The need for control of the regulator’s casual willingness to abuse its powers goes way beyond enforcement. In fact, the apparatchiks in Canary Wharf have embarked on a number of more pernicious pogroms in order to achieve their new world order.

    For example, I am aware that a number of advisers have encountered problems in gaining re-authorisation when moving firms; merely because their previous firms had a history of recommending dubious products such as CF Arch cru and Keydata.

    Of course, one might have a little respect for the regulator if it was upfront about its intentions; however, it prefers to keep its agenda (to bury the truth about Arch cru) hidden, by denying all those involved the right to work, by procrastinating over applications, and constantly changing the goalposts over the information required. I am aware of an application made by an adviser who was a trainee at a firm that sold CF Arch cru, who has been told that her previous firm’s promotion of that product brings her integrity into question. Despite the fact that she was not involved in product selection and had to follow a selected investment list.

    Ironically, this has not stopped the directors responsible (who also walked away from a huge Keydata liability from ‘phoenixing’ their client base with impunity.

    It is high time that there was independent and objective oversight of the regulatory; otherwise its petty bureaucrats will continue to pervert their powers and victimise at will.

  3. The FCA needs much more than a review of enforcement processes and decision making.

    They have a track record of unprofessional announcements that wreck the financial well being of consumers they are supposed to protect and can (as recently with insurers) decimate share prices.

    Their announcements often lack accuracy and contain inflammatory language. This needs to stop. Somebody with common sense should scrutinise and prevent their outbursts.

    They also lack governance in their handling of complaints. The vast majority are rejected for no good reason and without any kind of investigation. They appoint their own Complaints Commissioner who simply acts as an apologist for their actions, however unprofessional they might be.

    There is now an ePetion to the government calling for reform but I probably can’t include a link here. If you would like to see real change, please support it by visiting the ‘’ site and looking for petition number 63482, Reform the Financial Conduct Authority.

  4. E L Wisty (an only twin) 7th May 2014 at 11:11 am

    @ Pete

    Well done for the e-petition – I would encourage everyone to sign it; and tell your friends, relatives, colleagues and the man on the bus to do likewise.

  5. @ pete, the complaints commissioner does indeed have the authority to enforce complaints action and redress against the regulator and is fully independent under FSMA legislation. You appear to base the majority of your e-petition on opinion rather than fact, which won’t hold water if your successful.

    Also calling for ‘reform’ is intangible, what type of reform and to what extent? You appear to be mainly concerned with communications – why not focus on change in this area? What would the ‘reform’ look like once complete and how would you measure it?

    I like the concept of the e-petition system but we should be aware that in order for it to work, the petitions should have realistic, measureable goals.

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