Confirmed Industry Guidance - Financial Conduct Authority

Confirmed Industry Guidance

Published: 14/02/2014
This page provides links to confirmed FCA Industry Guidance. By clicking on the links in the table you will be routed to the guidance provider's website, who own that particular piece of Industry Guidance.

Our confirmation wording

The FCA has reviewed [this Industry Guidance] and has confirmed that it will take it into account when exercising its regulatory functions. [This Industry Guidance] is not mandatory and is not FCA Guidance. This FCA view cannot affect the rights of third parties.

The practical effect of FCA confirmation for firms' compliance

As now, a firm's defence against us is in essence the same whether they follow FCA guidance or FCA confirmed Industry Guidance – our rules say 'The FCA will not take action against a person for behaviour that it considers to be in line with guidance, other materials published by the FCA in support of the Handbook or FCA-confirmed Industry Guidance, which were current at the time of the behaviour in question.' (DEPP 6.2.1(4)G). Similarly, as Industry Guidance is not mandatory (and is one way, but not the only way, to comply with requirements), we do not presume that because firms are not complying with it they are not meeting our requirements.

However, where a breach has been established, Industry Guidance is potentially relevant to an enforcement case. The ways in which we may seek to use Industry Guidance in an enforcement context are similar to those in which we may use FCA Guidance or supporting materials. As set out in Chapter 2 of the new Enforcement Guide, these include:

  1. Help assess whether it could reasonably have been understood or predicted at the time that the conduct in question fell below the standards required by the Principles.
  2. Explain the regulatory context.
  3. Inform a view of the overall seriousness of the breaches e.g. we could decide that the breach warranted a higher penalty in circumstances where the FCA had written to chief executives in that sector to reiterate the importance of ensuring a particular aspect of its business complied with relevant regulatory standards.
  4. Inform the consideration of a firm's defence that we were judging the firm on the basis of retrospective standards.
  5. Be considered as part of expert or supervisory statements in relation to the relevant standards at the time.
  6. However, we are conscious that our use of Industry Guidance in this context should not create a second tier of regulation and that guidance providers are not quasi-regulators. We will take the specific status of FCA confirmation into account when we make judgements about the relevance of Industry Guidance in enforcement cases.

Questions on individual pieces of guidance

Should you have a question on a particular piece of Industry Guidance, please contact the guidance provider directly. The Guidance Provider for each piece can be established by clicking on the relevant piece of guidance.

The following table lists Industry Guidance that has received FCA Confirmation

  Guidance title Expiry Date
1. BBA/BSA/Payments Council Guidance on the Banking Conduct of Business sourcebook 31 December 2015
2. MIFID Connect Outsourcing 16 May 2010
3. MiFID Connect Suitability and Appropriateness 10 August 2010
4. MiFID Connect Investment Research 20 August 2010
5. AIC guidance on investment policies 16 July 2011
6. Transparency, disclosure and conflicts of interest in the commercial insurance market 23 March 2015
7. IMA guidance on paperless renunciation / transfer of units / shares in authorised funds 9 April 2015
8. IBA's LIBOR code of conduct 15 July 2016

 

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