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FCA to up pace and transparency in enforcement cases

  • 27/02/2024
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FCA to up pace and transparency in enforcement cases
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said it will carry out enforcement cases faster as it looks to “increase the deterrent impact” of such actions.

The FCA has opened a consultation on plans to be more transparent when an enforcement investigation is opened.

The plans mean the regulator could publish updates on investigations as “appropriate” and be “open” when cases have been closed with no enforcement outcome.

The regulator said that it would “focus on a streamlined portfolio of cases, aligned to its strategic priorities where it can deliver the greatest impact”.

It added that it would also close cases where “no outcome is achievable” at a faster pace.

Currently, investigations are only announced in “very limited circumstances”, the regulator said.

The regulator said that any decision to announce an investigation would be done on a “case-by-case basis” and depend on several factors that will inform whether it is in the public interest.

This includes whether an announcement would protect the UK financial system and enhance its integrity, reassure the public or help other investigations.

The FCA said that announcing an investigation did not mean that the regulator had decided whether there had been misconduct or breaches.

A report in The Financial Times confirmed that the regulator planned to name firms under investigation more frequently and at an earlier stage to heighten deterrence of poor practices.

The changes would also allow companies to start making changes earlier than they are currently able to, the report added.

Therese Chambers, joint executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said: “By being more transparent when we open and close cases, we can enhance public confidence by showing that we are on the case.

“At the same time, we will amplify the deterrent impact of our work by enabling firms to understand the types of serious failings that can lead to an investigation, helping them to change their own behaviour more quickly. Greater transparency will also drive greater accountability for us as an enforcement agency.”

Steve Smart, fellow joint executive director enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said: “Reducing and preventing serious harm is a cornerstone of our strategy. By delivering faster, targeted and transparent enforcement, we will reduce harm and deter others. We will also make greater use of our intervention powers to stop harm in real time.”

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