Find out more about our enforcement powers, including how we protect consumers and act against firms and individuals that don’t meet our standards.
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We make it clear that there are real and meaningful consequences for firms and individuals who don’t follow our rules. Taking action that will deter others from committing misconduct in the future is central to our enforcement work.
Our Enforcement division works closely with teams across the FCA, as well as with other regulators and law enforcement. This means we can quickly spot when enforcement action is needed and act early.
Our enforcement powers
We use a wide range of enforcement powers – criminal, civil and regulatory – to protect consumers and act against firms and individuals that don’t meet our standards.
This could include:
- withdrawing a firm's authorisation
- prohibiting individuals from carrying on regulated activities
- suspending firms and individuals from undertaking regulated activities
- issuing fines against firms and individuals who breach our rules or commit market abuse
- issuing fines against firms that breach competition laws
- making a public announcement when we begin disciplinary action
- publishing 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 and individuals and requesting that web hosts deactivate associated websites
You can find out more about how we operate in the Decision Procedure and Penalties Manual (DEPP) and Enforcement Guide. This includes information on our approach to decision making and use of our regulatory, civil and criminal powers.
Our Enforcement information guide gives an overview of our enforcement powers, our typical process for disciplinary cases, and information on mediation and settlement.
We publish statutory notices to inform the public, to maximise the deterrent effect of enforcement action and to make sure our decisions are transparent.
We publish certain information about enforcement action once a statutory notice is issued.
- Warning notices are issued when we propose taking 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.
Under the Financial Services Act 2012 we must pay the Exchequer all financial penalties received. This excludes permitted deductions equivalent to certain enforcement costs we incurred in the financial year we received those penalties.
We use these retained deductions to reduce our fees, apart from the fees levied on the penalty payer itself.