Our Enforcement division supports our objectives by making it clear there are real and meaningful consequences for firms or individuals who don’t follow the rules.
The action we take is wide-ranging (it is not just court action) and can occur at any stage of an individual’s or firm’s regulatory journey, and also where they are unauthorised. Credible deterrence is central to our enforcement approach.
Our Enforcement division works closely with the FCA’s Authorisation, Supervision, and Strategy and Competition divisions, as well as other regulators and law enforcement, so that we can identify and act early where enforcement action is necessary.
Our enforcement powers
We use a wide range of enforcement powers – criminal, civil and regulatory – to protect consumers and to take action against firms or individuals that do not meet our standards.
We can take action such as:
- withdrawing a firm's authorisation
- prohibiting individuals from carrying on regulated activities
- suspending firms or individuals from undertaking regulated activities
- issuing fines against firms or individuals who breach our rules or commit market abuse
- issuing fines against firms breaching competition laws
- making a public announcement when we begin disciplinary action and publish details of warning, decision and final notices
- applying to the courts for injunctions, restitution orders, winding-up and other insolvency orders
- bringing criminal prosecutions to tackle financial crime, such as insider dealing, unauthorised business and false claims to be FCA authorised
- issuing warnings and alerts about unauthorised firms or individuals and requesting that web hosts deactivate associated websites
There is more information on how we operate in the Decision procedure and penalties manual (DEPP) and Enforcement guide, including information on our approach to decision making and use of our regulatory, civil and criminal powers.
A useful overview of enforcement powers, our typical procedure for disciplinary cases and information on mediation and settlement is provided in our Enforcement information guide.
We publish enforcement notices to inform the public, maximise the deterrent effect of enforcement action and to ensure the transparency of our decision making.
We also publish certain information about Enforcement action once a statutory notice is issued.
Warning notices are issued when we propose to take action. We may publish details about these online.
Decision notices are issued when we decide to take action.
Final notices are issued when we take action.
Notices are part of our publication scheme under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
You can find FSA notices on the National Archives website.
Under the Financial Services Bill we must pay the Exchequer all financial penalties received, apart from certain enforcement costs incurred in generating these penalties in the same year. We use these retained penalties to reduce our fees, apart from the fees levied on the penalty payer itself.
See our annual fines:
We will often publish a press release accompanying an enforcement outcome, including in criminal cases.
See the latest FCA press releases.
You can find FSA press releases on the National Archives website.