Information we can share

A guide to what we can and can’t share with the public about firms, people, and markets.

What we can share

We can release information we’ve received under section 348 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA) when:

  • it subsequently becomes publicly available in a way that’s not contrary to FSMA, or
  • we have the consent of the person, company, or partnership the information is about, and
  • we have the consent of the person, company or partnership who gave it to us

For example:

  • We publish information about the number of complaints firms have received. This is so that firms can compare their performance with their peers’ and consumers have another source of information about the firms we regulate.
  • We publish detailed information of the volumes of ‘approved person’ applications for controlled functions that we’ve received and decided on.
  • We publish details of thematic reviews we’ve carried out, based on information we’ve received under section 348, to assess a current or emerging risk relating to an issue or product across firms within a sector or market.
  • When we take formal enforcement action, we publish a Decision or Final Notice and press statement on our website, explaining what action we’ve taken and why.

Information we’ve created rather than just received is not covered by section 348 of FSMA. For example:

  • our opinion on whether a firm is complying with our rules
  • our assessment of the riskiness of a firm’s business model
  • what actions we should take when making inquiries into a firm or market, and
  • setting out the factors for and against making a new rule

What we can’t share

FSMA states we can’t share confidential information with the public. We therefore can’t always provide information when requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Having a clear confidentiality restriction encourages the free flow of information to us. If certain information became public, our sources could be less willing to share it with us limiting our ability to effectively regulate.

Under UK law, a public body such as the FCA must treat certain information as confidential. We can only disclose it if there are good public interest reasons to do so.

There are also other UK laws that only permit disclosure of information under certain conditions, such as the Data Protection Act 2018. For us, this means respecting the non-public information we hold about the firms and individuals we regulate. You may have passed information to the FCA and enquire about action taken, however we don’t usually make public the fact that we’re investigating (or have investigated) a firm or individual. This is partly to protect the effectiveness of our investigation, and partly because announcing an FCA investigation can damage reputations.

If we can’t say we’re investigating someone, we also can’t say we’re not. Therefore, the right answer in such cases is: ‘We can neither confirm nor deny’. For more on this, see our Enforcement Guide.

We’re sometimes asked for copies of our communications with a firm or group of firms about issues in the news, such as payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling, or our thematic work when we look at trends in the marketplace.

As explained above, any information we receive from a firm is protected under section 348 of FSMA.

We carefully consider any information you give us, and we value it.

Other information

Requests for any re-use of our documents under the Reuse of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 (RPSI). Requests can be made online, by letter or by email. Your request should include as much detail as possible on what you are seeking:

Information Disclosure Team
The Financial Conduct Authority
12 Endeavour Square 
E20 1JN

Or you can contact us by e-mail at: [email protected]

The Environmental Information Regulations (EIR 2004) clarify and extend previous rights to environmental information. Requests for information can be verbal or in writing to the Information Disclosure Team at the above addresses. Please find following links to our procedures for complying with and handling requests under EIR, and information about the regulations and charging structure:

Environmental Information Regulations

FCA Environmental Information Regulations Policy

Environmental Information Fees Statement

Environmental Information Internal Review Process