Rights of victims

You are a victim in an FCA case if you have suffered harm or economic loss as a result of the activities of an individual (or company) who we are investigating or prosecuting.

We conduct criminal investigations and prosecutions to further our statutory objectives and credible deterrence strategy.

We are committed to treating victims fairly, with dignity and respect. We uphold the standards in the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (Victims’ Code).

If you are a witness in an FCA investigation, we will explain:

  • the investigation and prosecution process
  • how it may affect you
  • what you can expect from us as a witness in our investigation

Reporting a criminal offence

The FCA investigates certain types of financial crime. The types of cases that we investigate depend on who the victims are and on what type of offending is alleged.

If you have been a victim of crime who has suffered economic loss then you can contact us. We will inform you, once we have considered your report, whether we are likely to investigate, or if it might be appropriate to refer the matter to the police or another agency.

Alternatively, we may become aware of an allegation of a criminal offence which has resulted in economic loss being suffered. We may contact you, as a victim, to find out if you can provide relevant information.

If you are contacted by an FCA investigator for this purpose, they will ask you for some personal details, including contact details, so that we can contact you during the investigation. These details will be held securely, and in line with the Data Protection Act.

Interviews

If you have made a complaint to us and have suffered economic loss, we will speak to you as soon as possible. It is likely that you will be interviewed by telephone. If, after speaking to you by telephone, we consider you to have relevant information that may need to be presented to the court, we may wish to interview you at our offices or at your home.

There are different ways in which we may interview you. This may be on a voluntary basis, or we may use our compulsory powers to require you to attend an interview using our powers under the Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA) 2000. If you are interviewed under our compulsory powers, we shall send you formal notification saying so.

We record all interviews, so that we have an accurate account of what has been said.

Giving a statement

We may ask you to make a witness statement. This will be taken by an FCA investigator, who will ask you questions and put what you have said into a formal statement.

The FCA investigator will:

  • explain the purpose of the witness statement
  • explain the process of taking a witness statement
  • ensure that you read and understood your draft statement thoroughly to ensure it accurately reflects what you have said before you sign it
  • explain the implications of signing the witness statement

You will be asked to read your witness statement to ensure that you are completely satisfied with it. If you are, you should sign it with your name. When you sign a witness statement, you are confirming that you agree with the contents of the statement and that it is a true account of what you have to say about the events in question.

The contents of the statement cannot be changed once it has been signed. If at a later time, you wish to add further information to the statement or clarify something within it, a further witness statement can be taken.

Interpretation and translation

If you need language assistance in interpreting or translating any documents during the interview or while we take a witness statement, then please inform the FCA investigator, who can arrange for assistance.

Giving evidence

If the case is brought to court you may be required to give evidence during a trial. We shall give you as much notice as reasonably possible, if you are required, so that you may properly plan for your attendance, and so that it causes as minimal disruption as possible.

We will notify you of the court date and ask that you avoid any significant commitments (such as holidays) in and around when you are likely to give evidence. Please let us know as soon as possible should any commitments arise that clash with this date.

Court dates can change. If the date changes when you are due to give evidence, then we shall let you know as soon as possible.

During the court case you will be assigned an FCA witness liaison officer who will keep you informed about the progress of the case.

To help you prepare to give evidence in a trial we shall:

  • explain the process of giving evidence, including the courtroom procedure and layout
  • seek to answer further queries that you may have

When you are called to court to give evidence you will not be allowed into the courtroom to watch the trial until you have given your evidence. Once you have given your evidence you may be allowed to stay in court if the judge agrees.

Giving evidence at court can be stressful. If you are a young or vulnerable witness, then we can take measures to help ensure that you give your best evidence. This may involve us applying to the court for ‘special measures’. This assistance is offered to those that are particularly vulnerable or intimidated when giving their evidence. For example, you may be entitled to provide your evidence from outside the courtroom via live video link, so that you do not need to see, or be seen, by the defendant(s). Alternatively, you may be provided with screens around the witness box, so that you are unable to see the defendant while you give evidence.

You are able to ask for special measures if you think it would assist in giving your evidence. The court ultimately decides whether these measures can be put in place.

Accessibility

Please let us know if you have:

  • a disability that may affect how we provide you with information or how you communicate with us
  • any requirements that may affect your ability to give evidence at court

Then we can make reasonable adjustments when providing you with information or arranging access to our premises or the court.

Alternatively, you can consult the Court and Tribunals website to see the facilities available and contact details.

Helping you claim your expenses

If you need to attend court to give evidence, we will send you:

  • a witness expenses form setting out the rates for claiming expenses
  • the application form with detailed rules about claiming expenses

 You can claim limited expenses for:

  • travel to and from court
  • accommodation (with our prior agreement)
  • food and non-alcoholic drink (unless the Witness Service or the court provides free refreshments )

You may sometimes be able to claim limited expenses for:

  • compensation for loss of earnings from attending court
  • related costs such as childcare

The FCA's witness liaison officer will be happy to explain the procedure and help you fill out the form.

Applying for compensation

You may apply for compensation if you have suffered loss as a result of a crime in which a defendant has been convicted. If it is appropriate to do so, we will apply to the court for compensation for the victims in a case. This application takes place at the conclusion of the trial and once a full financial investigation has taken place, which may take some time after conviction to complete.

An application may be made for some, or all, of the loss directly resulting from the offences of which the defendant is convicted, taking into account the specific facts of the case and all the circumstances. The final decision on whether to grant compensation lies with the court.

The amount of any compensation is also a matter for the court. Anything payable to you in compensation depends on:

  • the defendant satisfying the compensation order
  • whether you have received compensation already

Inviting your feedback

We welcome all feedback.

You can give feedback to us or make a complaint. This does not cover the decisions or verdicts made by the court.

Victims’ Right to Review

Victims can seek a review of an FCA decision not to bring charges or to terminate all proceedings.

Please note that the scheme applies only in relation to qualifying decisions made on or after 16 November 2015.

If you wish to seek a review of such an FCA decision then please contact us.