FCA confirms how it will use new power to publicise warning notices

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) today confirmed how it will use its new power to publicise warning notices by publishing information about proposed enforcement action. Previously, the regulator could only publish information about enforcement proceedings at a later stage in the enforcement process, once it had decided to take action.

Following a period of consultation, the FCA said that information would be made public through a warning notice statement that will usually name the firm under investigation and, in certain circumstances, name an individual.

Publishing these details will support the FCA’s objectives of consumer protection and protecting and enhancing the integrity of the UK’s financial system. It will make clear to consumers, firms and investors the sort of behaviour considered unacceptable by the FCA and will make the enforcement process more transparent.

Director of enforcement, Tracey McDermott said:

"We listened carefully to views from inside and outside the industry. I believe we have got the balance right so we now have in place a regime that enables us to provide information to consumers, investors and firms earlier about the action we are taking to tackle misconduct to ensure markets work well and consumers get a fair deal.

"It is clear that the more transparent and open that we can make the regulatory process, the more confidence we can give people that we are acting in their best interest."

The FCA will consider the circumstances of each case in deciding whether it is appropriate to publish details of the warning notice and, if so, what details to publish.  Before making its final decision, it will consult the person under investigation and will take into account any evidence that publication would be unfair.

A published warning notice statement will ordinarily include a brief summary of the facts which gave rise to the warning notice to enable consumers, firms and market users to understand the nature of our concerns.    

Notes to Editors

  1. Policy Statement - Publishing information about enforcement warning notices
  2. The FCA was consulting on the power to publicise warning notices, a power the Government gave to the FCA in the Financial Services Act 2012 and set out in the Financial Service and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA).
  3. More information about what the FCA has published regarding enforcement action.
  4. On 1 April 2013 the FCA became responsible for the conduct supervision of all regulated financial firms and the prudential supervision of those not supervised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
  5. The FCA has an overarching strategic objective of ensuring the relevant markets function well. To support this it has three operational objectives: to secure an appropriate degree of protection for consumers; to protect and enhance the integrity of the UK financial system; and to promote effective competition in the interests of consumers.
  6. Find out more information about the FCA, as well as how it is different to the PRA.