FCA to improve pace and transparency around enforcement cases

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has shared plans to speed up how it handles enforcement cases as the organisation seeks to “increase the deterrent impact of its enforcement actions”.

The FCA, the financial regulatory body in the UK, will focus on a streamlined portfolio of cases, aligned to its strategic priorities where it can deliver the greatest impact. It will also close those cases where no outcome is achievable more quickly.

As part of the new approach, the FCA has begun a consultation on plans to be more transparent when an enforcement investigation is opened. Under the plans, the FCA will publish updates on investigations as appropriate and be open about when cases have been closed with no enforcement outcome.
The moves are a step change from the current process where investigations are announced in very limited circumstances.

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Therese Chambers, joint executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA said: “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 behaviour more quickly. Greater transparency will also drive greater accountability for us as an enforcement agency.”

Decisions to announce investigations will be made case by case, considering factors such as protecting the UK financial system’s integrity, reassuring the public, or aiding investigations. It’s important to note that announcing an investigation doesn’t imply misconduct or breaches, and investigations into individuals may not be publicly disclosed, shared the FCA.

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Steve Smart, joint executive director of enforcement and market oversight, 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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